Glendale, California Biographies

Alphonso Welker Tower

        Alphonso Welker Tower is a native of Tower, Indiana, a small country town near the Ohio River and not far from Louisville, Kentucky. The Towers are an old American family tracing their ancestry back to John Tower, John Adams and John Stark of New England fame. At Hingham, Massachusetts, stands a monument erected in honor of John Tower, the founder of the line in America. Cotton Tower, the great grandfather of the subject of this review, settled in Southern Indiana when a young man and for him, Tower, Indiana, was named. To C. R. Tower and Luzetta (Henry) Tower on January 16, 1878, was born a son, who for some reason best known to them was christened Alphonso. Young Mr. Tower attended the country schools of the neighborhood and at the mature age of sixteen was licensed to teach in the public schools of Crawford County, which he did for three years. He then entered the Academy of De Pauw University at Greencastle, Indiana. Graduating from the academy he then entered the university, from which he graduated in June 1903. While in college he was a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity. After graduation he came to Los Angeles and for a time taught in a boys’ school, but shortly entered the University of California, at Berkeley for post graduate work. He was elected to Sigma Xi, an honorary scholarship society, while at the university.

        In September 1905, he came to Glendale, as vice-principal of the Glendale Union High School, and served in that capacity for two years. For the next twelve years he was head of the Biology department of the Polytechnic High School, Los Angeles. In 1918-19120 he was vice-principal of the Polytechnic Evening High School, which then was, and still is, the largest night school in the world. In 1920, Mr. Tower associated himself in business with the firm Vold, Tower & Lee, Printers, Binders and Engravers at 431 Wall Street, Los Angeles. In August 1922, Mr. Tower and Mr. Wilbur E. Lee purchased the interest of Mr. Vold in the business and organized the Tower-Lee Company, Commercial printers.

        Mr. Tower served as a trustee of the City of Glendale for four years (1912-1916), as Chairman of the committee on public welfare and a member of the finance committee. During his term of office, Mr. Tower introduced the City Manager form of government for Glendale, which has since proved so popular.

        He is a member of Unity Lodge, No. 368, F. & A.M., Unity Chapter, No. 116 R. A. M. and Glendale Commandry, No. 53, Knights Templar, and has been secretary of Unity Lodge, No. 368, since 1910. He has always taken an active part in all public affairs and is a member of the Chamber of Commerce in Glendale and Los Angeles, also the Los Angeles Merchant’s and Manufacturer’s Association, the Los Angeles City Club, the Advertising Club and the Los Angeles Masonic Club. In the religious life of Glendale he has also taken an active interest, having helped to organize the Federated Church Brotherhoods. He is a member of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he is Sunday School Superintendent and a Trustee.

        June 28, 1906, at Ishpenning, Michigan, Mr. Tower married L. Pearl Collins. Mrs. Tower is also a graduate of De Pauw University and a member of the Alpha Phi Sorority. She is a Past President of the Tuesday Afternoon Club, having served for two terms.

From History of Glendale and Vicinity by John Calvin Sherer. The Glendale Publishing Company, c. 1922 F. M. Broadbooks and J. C. Sherer. p. 407-408