William & his wife, Sarah (unknown), came to New Haven with the Davenport Company in 1638 and left the following year for settle Milford. He was a founder of the Church of Christ of Milford in 1639.
He died at age 88, leaving his two sons, William & John.
His name is on a memorial stone on the Bridge over the Wepawaug River.
Here is the memorial given for William Fowler at the 250th anniversary celebration of Milford:
Mr. Fowler held the three important positions of Trustee,
Pillar of the Church and Judge.
At the combination of Milford and Guilford with New
Haven, in 1643, and the establishment of the jurisdiction of "the New Haven Colony," Mr. Fowler was selected as the
Chief Magistrate of Milford, which he held for several years, and was succeeded at his death by Mr. Benjamin Fenn. He was evidently a man of much practical knowledge, energetic and persevering. He early discovered the advantages and facilities furnished by the river or stream running through the town, and at once determined to secure them to the community.
Since that period nine generations of the Fowlers have
successfully conducted its operations, and recently the eighth William Fowler has completed the fifth mill in succession on the precise spot, confirming the wisdom of his honored ancestor whose keen eye discerned the advantages and facilities presented, when single handed in a country scarcely a year old.
He accepted the situation and at once proceeded to control
the water power in its natural condition, to block out a
location, to build the dam, quarry out the millstones and
obtain the iron and other necessary materials with the limited means of transportation the wilderness afforded, and all this was to be done in the midst of arduous duties thrust upon him, filling various offices, and a leading citizen in the numerous projected improvements in progress.
The stone presented to the committee by the present
energetic proprietor and bearing the inscription, tradition says, has lain dormant about the premises for centuries, and which on examination by geologists and antiquarians, has been pronounced as doubtless the original millstone quarried and hewn out by Mr. Fowler and used temporarily, until a better substitute could be obtained.
It is now acknowledged to be the oldest business estab-
lishment of its kind in the country; and the present proprietor's grandson is the 10th Wm. Fowler in a direct line.
On the buttress is cut Law, Order, Morality, Liberty, Charity, to typify the principles that buttress our institutions. The gift, a special contribution of Charles H. Trowbridge, Esq.