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Charles Boewe

Born: March 11, 1924 in West Salem, Illinois
Died: January 1, 2016 in Pittsboro, North Carolina,

Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Boewe was born in West Salem and graduated from High School in Albion.

Biography: Charles Boewe served in the U.S. Army during World War II as a medic in training. Following the war he graduated from Syracuse University and went on to receive graduate degrees, including a Ph.D. in literature, from the University of Wisconsin, where he also taught.From 1964 to 1980 he served as the Executive Secretary of the United States Educational Foundation (the Fulbright Foundation) in Iran, India and Pakistan. He was also a Fulbright scholar in Norway and South India, and helped establish the American Studies Research Center in Hyderabad, India.Following his return to the United States Boewe was a scholar in residence at Transylvania University, in Lexington, Kentucky, before retiring to Louisville, Kentucky, then moving to Pittsboro, North Carolina in 1992. As an independent scholar he published articles and books on a variety of subjects, including ''Prairie Albion; An English Settlement in Pioneer Illinois''. His most notable research, publications and edited works concerned the life, work and letters of early botanist C.S. Rafinesque, for which in 2014 the International Association for Plant Taxonomy awarded him its Stafleu Medal. He also published a memoir about growing up in West Salem, titled ''The Town on the Square; Portrait of a Vanished World''. He was working on a memoir about his career in educational exchange when he died.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers

Charles Boewe on WorldCat :

Selected Titles

Prairie Albion :
ISBN: 0809322838 OCLC: 45843670

Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, Ill. : 1999.

  The town on the square :
ISBN: 1604748419 OCLC: 309295917

PublishAmerica, Baltimore, Md. : ©2008.

In this memoir the author profiles the Middle Western market town of his youth that, despite the rigors of the Great Depression, afforded a quality of life since vanished. Most small-town enterprises got spun off there to larger municipalities as an unintended consequence of post-Depression economic recovery. Since similar events occurred elsewhere, this detailed sketch of West Salem, Illinois, has relevance to many small towns in the region stretching from Wichita to Wheeling, from Minneapolis to Memphis. Ever in the interest of greater efficiency and economy of scale, the same centrifugal forces irrevocably altered village life in Middle America - not always for the better.