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Joseph Gowen, [William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of William Gowen and Sarah Gowen, was born about 1735, perhaps in Stafford County. He was brought to Brunswick County, Virginia about 1747. Three years later the family moved across the state line into Granville County, North Carolina.
Joseph Gowen was a taxable in his father’s household in the 1757 tax list of Richard Harris. On August 7, 1765 “William Gowing of Granville County” deeded 350 acres “to loving son Joseph Gowing,” according to Granville County Deed Book H, page 28-29.
Joseph Gowen was taxed for the last time in 1767 in Granville County. Three other taxable white males, Presley Harrison, John Cunningham and Minor Cochram, were living in his household, according to the tax list of Phillips Pryor.
It appears that he remained there until he was awarded land in the “Apex Cession” in South Carolina in 1770, possibly for colonial militia duty. Several Gowen families removed to the western tip of South Carolina immediately following the cession which wrested that area from the Cherokee Indians. They pioneered in the area which lay on the headwaters of the Tyger River.
Three hundred acres of land was “admeasured and laid out unto Joseph Gowen February 19, 1770 in Craven County, South Carolina, on the north side of Tyger River, bounded southwardly by said River, northwardly by Thomas Fletcher’s land and all other sides vacant land.” The land grant was probably in compensation for militia duty. Craven County at that time encompassed land that later became District 96 [and Spartanburg County when it was organized in 1785.] Description of the land grant is contained in South Carolina Archives, Colonial Plats. The surveyor’s record reads:
“South Carolina, Craven County
Pursuant to a Precept from under the hand and seal of John Bremar, Esquire, Deputy Surveyor General dated October third day AD 1769, I have admeasured and laid out unto Joseph Gowen, a plantation or tract of land containing three hundred acres situate, lying and being on the North side of Tyger River, bounded Southwardly by said river, Northwardly by Thomas Fletcher’s land and on all other sides by vacant land and hath such form and shape as the above plat represents. Certified under my hand this 19th day of February AD 1770.
James Wofford, Deputy Surveyor”
His land grant from King George III is recorded in South Carolina Archives, Royal Grants Volume:
“South Carolina: George the Third by the Grace of God, of Great-Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith and so forth, To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting: Know ye, that we of our special Grace, certain Knowledge and mere Motion, have given and granted, and by these Presents for our heirs and successors, Do Give and Grant unto Joseph Gowen, his heirs and assigns, a plantation or tract of land containing one hundred acres situate on the South fork of Pacolet River bounded all sides by vacant land, and hath such shape, form and marks, as appear by a plat thereof, hereunto annexed:
Together with all woods, under-woods, timber and timber-trees, lakes, ponds, fishings, waters, water-courses, profits, commodities, appurtenances and hereditaments whatsoever, there unto belonging or in anywise appertaining: Together with privilege of hunting, hawking and fowling in and upon the same, and all mines and minerals whatsoever; saving and reserving nevertheless, to us, our heirs and successors, all white pine-trees, if any there should be found growing thereon; and also saving and reserving, nevertheless, to us, our heirs and successors, one tenth-part of mines of gold and silver only: To have and to hold, the said tract of three hundred acres of land and all singular other the premises hereby granted unto the said Joseph Gowen, his heirs and assigns for ever, in free and common foccage. The said Joseph Gowen, his heirs and assigns yielding and paying therefor, unto us, our heirs and successors, or to our Receiver-General for the time being, or to his Deputy or Deputies for the time being, yearly, that is to say, on the twenty-fifth day of March, in every year at the rate of three shillings sterling, or four shillings proclamation money, for every hundred acres, and so in proportion, according to the number of acres, contained therein the same to commence at the expiration of two years from the date hereof. Provided always, and this present Grant is upon condition, nevertheless that the said Joseph Gowen, his heirs and assigns, shall and do yearly, and every year, after the date of these presents, clear and cultivate at the rate of three acres for every hundred acres of land, and so in proportion, according to the number of acres herein contained; And also shall and do enter a minute or docket of these our letters-patent in the office of our Auditor General for the time being, in our said Province, within six months from the date hereof; And upon condition, that if the said rent, hereby reserved shall happen to be in arrear and unpaid for the space of three years, from the time it shall become due, and no distress can be found on the said lands, tenements, and hereditaments hereby granted; if the said Joseph Gowen, his heirs or assigns shall neglect to clear and cultivate yearly and every year, at the rate of three acres for every hundred acres of land, and so in proportion, according to the number of acres herein contained, or if a minute or docket of these our Letters-patent, shall not be entered in the Office of our Auditor-General for the time being, in said Province, within six months from the date hereof, that then and in any of these cases, this present Grant shall cease, determine and be utterly void, and the said lands, tenements and hereditaments hereby granted, and every part and parcel thereof, shall revert to us, our heirs and successors as fully and absolutely, as if the same had never been granted.
Given under the Great Seal of our said Province.”
By 1771 he was in South Carolina where he received a land grant in District 96, probably for militia service in North Carolina. When Spartanburg County was created from District 96 in 1785, Joseph Gowen was located in the new county.
In the grant in District 96, presently in Greenville and Spartanburg Counties, Joseph Gowen received land on the Tyger River, according to Spartanburg County Deed Book 23, page 539.
Children born to Joseph Gowen include:
Allen Gowen born about 1750
Allen Gowen, [Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] regarded as the only child of Joseph Gowen, was born about 1750, probably in Granville County. It is believed that Allen Gowen was married about 1770, probably in Granville County, wife’s name unknown.
Allen Gowen received a land grant from the State of South Carolina August 30, 1784, according to a letter written by Frank Maxwell Gowen, family researcher of Phoenix, Arizona. He received 214 acres on Sink Hole Fork of the Tyger River in what later became Greenville County, Washington District. He requested that the deed be delivered to his kinsman, Capt. John “Buck” Gowen.
On January 1, 1785 Allen Gowen received a land grant “bounded by lands laid out for Thomas Benson and on the southeast of land laid out to Michael Miller on the fork of the Tyger River, Pacolet River, according to District 96, South Carolina Deed Book 2, page 550. Thomas Benson in 1808 was one of the executors of the estate of William Benson in Bourbon County, Kentucky.
Three weeks later, on January 21, 1785, Allen Gowen received another land grant on the Pacolet River, according to District 96 Deed Book 2, page 532. Allen Gowen witnessed a deed from kinsmen, Maj. John “Buck” Gowen and Lettice Winn “Letty” Bearden Gowen to Benjamin Barton, December 13, 1785, according to Anderson County, South Carolina deed records.
Allen Gowen and Maj. John “Buck” Gowen witnessed a deed conveying land on Beaverdam Creek in Greenville County, South Carolina from John Combs of Washington County, North Carolina [later Tennessee] September 20, 1787, according to Greenville County Deed Book A, page 213.
Allen Gowen appeared in the South Carolina state census of 1786 in District 96 in the Greenville County section, along with Maj. John “Buck” Gowen who lived in Spartanburg County section of the district.
The household was rendered as:
“Gowen, Allen white male over 16
It is believed that the wife of Allen Gowen died about this time, and his children removed to Davidson County, Tennessee, probably being attracted there by glowing reports of the area sent back by Gowen kinsmen who had preceded them there.
Allen Gowen was a witness December 1, 1790 to a power of attorney given by Thomas Wheelwright Pearson to Maj. John “Buck” Gowen, according to Spartanburg County Deed Book C, page 230-231. “Allin Gowen” of Washington District received a deed April 24, 1792 from Samuel Easley, also of Washington District, according to Greenville County Deed Book D, page 36. Witnesses were William Easley and John Easley. Allen Gowen was a witness to a deed of John Clayton June 23, 1792, according to Greenville County Deed Book C, page 292.
“Alan Gowen of Greenville County, Washington District and Samuel Easley had some real estate transactions in 1795,” wrote Mary Alice Seale, G.R.S. of Greenville, South Carolina September 30, 1975. “Neither man had a wife to renounce dower, and they are evidently sharing a home.”
Allen Gowen disposed of three farms in Greenville County in 1795-96, preparatory to move to Davidson County, Tennessee to join his sons and other kinsmen who had preceded him there, according to Frank Maxwell Gowen in “Gowen, 1687-1980” published in 1980.
On October 20, 1796, Allen Gowen “of Davison County, Tennessee” deeded the 300 acres he had inherited from his father “on the north side of Tyger River adjoining Thomas Fletcher” to Burrell Bobo of Spartanburg County for £150 sterling. Allen Gowen had received the land “by descent,” according to Spartanburg County Deed Book E, page 75.
It is believed that Allen Gowen removed to Davidson County, Tennessee about 1796 to be near other members of his family. Adeline Evans Wynn in “Southern Lineages,” page 326, confirms that “he removed to Tennessee.”
Allen Gowen received warranty deeds to two pieces of land located on the headwaters of Mill Creek in Davidson County on December 23, 1797, one for 118 acres and one for 50 acres. Both plots came from John Buchanan, and both transactions were witnessed by Joseph Gowen, son of Allen Gowen. Joseph Gowen and George Gibson later acquired the 118-acre farm which lay in Williamson County, Tennessee when it was created from Davidson County. Joseph Gowen and George Gibson “of Warren County, Kentucky” sold the farm to Joseph Mason for $600 on March 10, 1818, according to Williamson County Deed Book E, page 444.
Allen Gowen gave a bill of sale for a slave in 1796, according to Davidson County Will Book 1, page 100:
“I Allen Gowen of Davidson County, Tennessee sold unto John Buchanan of the same place a Mulatto girl named Pen this 23 December 1796.
Allen Gowen retained a “negro wench,” probably his housekeeper and cook, at that time.
Allen Gowen was a purchaser at the estate sale of William Simpson, deceased, according to Davidson County Will Book 1, page 128. Sarah Simpson is suggested as the bride of William Gowen, the Pre-emptor of Davidson County.
Allen Gowen, William Gowen and Joseph Gowen were called for jury duty January 12, 1798 in Davidson County.
Apparently Allen Gowen died in the latter part of 1799. William Gowen, regarded as his son, was appointed administrator and itemized the estate to Davidson County Court during its January term, 1800. The items were recorded in Davidson County Will Book 1, page 166:
“Allen Gowen, deceased. An Inventory of Chattles as delivered into court, January Session, 1800 by William Gowen, Administrator, To Wit: two horses, three cows and calves, two two-year-old heifers, one bull and one heifer, nine head of hogs, two beds, furniture, one table, one chest, one cotton wheel, one flax wheel, three chairs, one woman’s saddle, five water pails, one churn, one tin kittle, two collars, one pewter dish, two pewter plates, three pewter basins, five knives, six forks, six spoons, three tin cups, one pair of spoon molds, five weaving slays [reeds that guide the warp threads in a loom], one teakettle, one pot, one oven, one skillet, some sheets, three woolen blankets, one bed ladder, two bed quilts, one pair of saddle bags, one bridle, seven horseshoes, two horse collars, two pair of irons, one pair of [double] trees, two weeding hoes, three axes, one mattock, one iron wedge, one Barshaw plow, one shovel plow, two flat irons, pair clevises, one cowhide, one gimblet [gimlet, auger], one pair of cotton cards, one barrel, one pot crook, one man’s saddle, one pair of singletrees, one quart bottle, one jug, one candlestick, three phials [vials?, files?], a piece of bar iron, two bedsteads, two pair of pot hooks, one sifter, one bread tray, one ring, two pails, one washing tub, one canister box, one twisted link, a pair of shoe leathers, one keg and one Negro wench.”
An estate sale was held May 14, 1800 of the chattels, and an accounting was made to the court by William Gowen itemizing the purchaser, the item and the price:
“May 14, 1800 Allen Gowen, an Inventory of the Sale of his Estate as delivered into Court, April [obviously May] Session, 1800, to Wit:
Purchaser Item Purchased Price
David Crouch 2 beds and stids & furniture $49.17
David Crouch One chest 4.25
David Crouch One table 3.08½
David Crouch One cotton wheel 3.08½
John Everett One flax wheel 4.50
David Crouch Three chairs 1.66
David Crouch Hunting saddle 12.25
James Campbell One watter pail .75
David Crouch One small pail .33½
William Gowen One small pail .25
David Crouch One pail .16½
James McCuiston One pail .16½
David Crouch One tin buckett 1.25
David Crouch One churn .75
Francis Saunders One coler [collar?] .37½
David Crouch One coler .45
David Crouch Pewter 7.75
David Crouch Knifs and forks .31
Bevely Ridley One pair spoon moles [molds] 5.08½
David Crouch Two irons 3.27
Peter Young Two clevises 1.07
David Crouch Two clevises and ring 2.25
David Crouch Double trees 1.18
James Campbell One canister .25
David Crouch One pair of cards .50
James McCuiston One barrel .25
David Crouch One pot rack .37
James McCuiston Three vials .35
James McCuiston Two pair of pot boiler hooks 1.26
James Hill One sifter 1.00
David Crouch One bread tray .16½
Thomas Caffey One keg 1.00
David Crouch One tub .50
James Campbell One tub .70
William Gowen One bell .50
Thomas Davis One sadle 4.50
James Gowen One horse 79.25
Jeremiah Moore One horse 36.00
James Campbell One piece of iron .50
Thomas Caffey One cow and calf 15.00
Francis Saunders One reed .80
William Gowen One reed 1.08½
Jeremiah Moore One reed 1.50
Jeremiah Moore One reed 1.00
James Hill One reed .85
David Crouch One bottle .16½
Joseph Gowen One jug 1.40
David Crouch One oven 1.25
David Crouch One pot 2.56
David Crouch One skillet .50
William Gowen One counterpane 1.00
David Crouch One sheet .77
Obadiah Benge One pair of saddle bags .40
James Hill Horse shews & bridle bits .25
David Crouch Collars and harness 1.50
Thomas Davis One hoe 1.02
David Crouch One hoe 1.06
James McCuiston One ax 2.75
Peter Young One mattock 3.40
James Hill One wedge 1.32
Francis Saunders One big plow 7.00
Thomas Davis One little plow 1.52
David Crouch One cow and calf 15.37
William Gowen One cow 10.00
John Everett One cow 15.10
David Crouch One yearling heifer 4.05
Thomas Caffey One yearling 4.00
David Crouch Nine head of hogs 18.00
James McCuiston One Negroe woman 255.10
David Crouch who purchased 30 of the 70 lots offered at the auction for a total of $135.62½ was recently married to Rhody Gowen, regarded as the daughter of Allen Gowen. Apparently the young couple was in the process of setting up housekeeping and bought many of the sale offerings. Proceeds of the auction totaled $604.02. The estate was closed by the court in its July 1802 session.
It is believed that children born to Allen Gowen include:
William Gowen born about 1774
Joseph Gowen born about 1775
James Gowen born about 1777
Allen Gowen born about 1778
Rhody Gowen born about 1779
Much of the data concerning the children of Allen Gowen is included in this manuscript through the courtesy of Frank Maxwell Gowen who did extensive research into this branch of the family.
William Gowen, [Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of Allen Gowen, was born about 1774, probably in Greenville County. It is believed that he was married there about 1792, wife’s name unknown. Following her death, he was remarried about 1795, also in Greenville County.
It is believed that William Gowen and his brother Joseph Gowen accompanied their father in Davidson County, Tennessee about 1796. Allen Gowen “of Davison County, Tennessee” sold a farm in Greenville County October 20, 1796.
William Gowen was one of four individuals of that name who appeared in the early days of Davidson and Rutherford County at the same. The researcher has to be very careful in delineating between the four so that the activities of one is not ascribed to another. When it is impossible to document a particular event to one specific “William Gowen,” it will be included in the narrative of each who could be the subject.
William Gowen was appointed executor of his father’s estate in 1800 by the Davidson County Court. An “inventory of the chattels of Allen Gowen, deceased” was returned to the Davidson County Court in the January term of 1800 by William Gowen, according to Davidson County Will Book 1, page 166.
William Gowen attended the estate sale of his father held May 14, 1800 and purchased “1 small pail, 1 bell, 1 reed, 1 counterpane and 1 cow” for a total purchase price of $12.75.
Other purchasers at the estate sale included Joseph Gowen, David Crouch, John Everett, James Campbell, Frances Saunders, Beverly Ridley, Peter Young, James McCuiston, James Hill, Thomas Coffey, Thomas Davis, Jeremiah Moore and Obediah Benge, according to Davidson County Will Book 1, page 168.
On November 17, 1800 William Gowen, joined by his brother, Joseph Gowen, Jeremiah Moore and Federick Foster, possibly kinsmen, each posted a $125 appearance bond for Thomas Plummer, according to Davidson County court records. Thomas Plummer had been indicted for petit larceny in July 1799 and had been delivered to the court by his security, Asa Briant. William Gowen and Luke Anderson had each posted a $200 recognizance bond. The state’s witnesses each posted $200 bond as well. Samuel Crockett, Nathan Smith and Patrick Martin were also to appear as witnesses.
Thomas Plummer had pled innocent, and a date was set for trial. The court had previously appointed Plummer to be in charge of a road venire to maintain the road from “the Sycamore crossing to Nashville.” Upon Plummer’s indictment, Nathan Smith was appointed by the court to replace him as road foreman.
The trial ran throughout the January 1800 court session. Asa Briant was paid for 13 days appearance as a witness for the state. Other prosecution witnesses included “Booth Malone, 11 days; Nathan Smith, 11 days; Nicholas Darnell, 10 days; Samuel Crockett, 9 days and Patrick Martin, 8 days.” The only witness for the defense was “Henry Ayres, 6 days.” “Jury No. 12 found the defendant guilty as charged. The defense attorney appealed the verdict, and the defendant was again released on bond.
When Thomas Plummer “skipped the country,” the bonds were forfeited. The quartet made several trips to court in an effort to avoid having to pay the forfeit. Finally on May 21, 1804 the court reduced their forfeit to $50 each.
William Gowen was appointed guardian of Joseph Gowen and Betsy Gowen, regarded has his minor children, January 11, 1802, according to Davidson County Court Minute Book C, page 434. It is believed that his wife had died, perhaps in 1801, leaving an interest in property. To represent his minor children in legal matters, it is believed that the Davidson County Court required him to post bond and be appointed their guardian.
William Gowen was listed as a purchaser at the estate sale of Thomas Martin which was recorded April 2, 1802 in the court minutes of Davidson County, according to Davidson County Will Book 1, page 236.
In the July 1802 session of the County Court, William Gowen completed the settlement of the estate of Allen Gowen. He was joined by “Joel Lewis and Robert Edmondson, commissioners appointed for that purpose,” according to Davidson County Will Book 1, page 252.
William Gowen and Joseph Gowen were among the 256+ Davidson and Williamson county men who signed a petition dated August 10, 1803 requesting the formation of a new county. The petition pointed out to the General Assembly that “it is inconvenient for your petitioners to attend Courts, General Musters, Elections, etc. at the towns of Nashville and Franklin.”
The petition recommended by metes and bounds the size and shape of the proposed county:
“Beginning on the top of a ridge dividing the waters of Stone’s River & Mill Creek, in the Williamson County line, & running southwardly with said ridge as to leave all the waters of Mill Creek & Harpeth River in Williamson County, until the ridge intersects the now Eastern boundary of said Williamson County; thence continue South with said line of Williamson County to the south boundary of this state; thence with the line of Wilson County North and Northwestwardly with said county line to an elm and white ash, the corner of said county, which is Northeast from the mouth of Hurricane Creek which is four miles and thirty-six poles; thence from the mouth of Hurricane Creek southwest to the top of the first mentioned ridge; thence with said ridge Southwardly to the beginning.”
Anthony, John Jr.
Avery, William Isom
Benge, Obediah M.
Glover, Samuel, Sr.
Harper, William Sr.
Harper, William Jr.
Harriss (?), James
Hayes, Cain (?)
Jetton, John L.
Johns, John H.
Jones, John H.
Jones, John M.
Kelton, Wm, Jr.
Kimbro, William CG
McKee, Capt. John
Morton, Abner (?)
Morton, James Sr.
Morton, James Jr.
Nash, Francis C.
O’Dean, (?) Meger
Oldham, Hugh Rier
O’Neil, (?) Sim
Palin (?), William
Searcy, Wm. W.
Smith, Robert FN
Smith, William R.
Smothers, John Sr.
Smothers, John Jr.
Stockird, John Jr.
Thompson, Col. John
Thompson, Joseph L.
Watts (?), Thomas
White, C(am) G.
Wright, Isaac Jr.
Young, John H.
At the same time, there was another petition being circulated that requested that a new county not be created. Most of the estimated 3,000 population of the area were clustered in the Stewart’s Creek-Stone’s River area, centered around Jefferson, Tennessee, the earliest settlement in the new county.
Rutherford County was established from Davidson County and Williamson County by an act of the Tennessee General Assembly October 25, 1803. Rutherford County was organized January 3, 1804, according to “An 1803 Census of Rutherford County, Tennessee” by Robert M. McBride.
William Gowen had a kinsman, Lt. William Gowen, son of William Gowen, the pre-emptor of adjoining Davidson County, who appeared in Rutherford County at the same time. A researcher has to be careful to delineate between the cousins and not ascribed the activities of one to the other.
On May 4, 1807 William Gowen deeded 150 acres to John Lawrence, according to Rutherford County Deed Book E, page 505. Witnesses were John Thompson, Joseph Williams and Alexander Turrentine. The deed was proved in the October 1807 session of the Rutherford County Court.
Bedford County, Tennessee had been created in 1807 with land from Rutherford County. On March 1, 1809 “Joseph Gowen of Bedford County, Tennessee” was the grantor of 150 acres of land to “William Gowen of Rutherford County, Tennessee.” The land was described in Rutherford County Deed Book H, page 24, as “150 acres located on Cripple Creek on the east fork of Stone’s River on the south side of Cumberland River.” Consideration was $1 per acre.
William Gowen was enumerated as the head of a household in the 1810 census of Rutherford County:
“Gowen, William white male 26-45
white female 26-45
white male 10-16
white male 0-10”
He and Joseph Gowen headed the only two Gowen households in the 1810 census. Davey Crockett, who was immortalized at the Alamo in Texas 26 years later, was also enumerated in the census. There were 1,141 families recorded in the 1810 census of Rutherford County. Rutherford County is the only county in Tennessee whose 1810 census has survived.
“William Gains” appeared as a taxpayer in the 1810 tax list of Rutherford County. He paid a tax of 47¢ on “one free poll” and 150 acres. His brother “Joseph Gains,” also recorded as “one free poll,” and 1,180 acres paid a tax of $2.39½. They were the only two members of their family in the 1810 tax list. “David Crockett” appeared in this tax list, paying tax on only “1 free poll.”
William Gowen and John Orr were the bondsman for William Edwards who was sued in the January 1811 session of the Rutherford County Court. The plaintiff recovered against the defendant, and the bondsmen had to produce $77.44 damages and court costs.
William Gowen received a deed of 40 acres from Joseph Gowen in 1814. Joseph Gowen appeared before the Rutherford County Court April 12, 1814 to prove the deed, according to County Court Minute Book G, page 147. At the same time he proved a deed to William Gowen for an additional 10 acres.
On April 15, 1817, a case against “William Gowen for bastardy” was settled out of court. The case was crossed out in the minutes of the Rutherford County Court Minute Book C, page 434. Although the case never came to trial, it appears in the court minutes for all the world to see, nearly two centuries later.
More research in the Rutherford County Court records is needed to determine which William Gowen is being implicated, who the mother was, and what the name of the child was.
The household of William Gowen reappeared in the 1830 census of Rutherford County, adjoining that of his brother, Joseph Gowen, page 80:
“Gowen, William white male 50-60
white male 10-15
white male 5-10
white male 0-5”
The household of “William Gowin,” regarded as a cousin of William Gowen, also appeared in the 1830 census of Rutherford County, page 160:
“Gowin, William white male 50-60
white female 20-30
white female 15-20
white male 10-15
white female 10-15
white male 5-10
white female 5-10
white male 0-5
white female 0-5”
The household of William Gowen appeared in the 1820 census of Rutherford County:
“Gowen, William white male 26-45
white female 26-45
male slave 14-26
female slave 14-26
male slave 0-14
female slave 0-14”
Three members of the household were engaged in agriculture.
William Gowen was named a petit juror July 22, 1823, according to Rutherford County Court Minute Book E, page 16. Three times in 1823 William Gowen was summoned to serve on the grand jury, according to Court Minute Book E, pages 114, 131 and 133.
William Gowen gave a deed to William G. Brandon, according to Rutherford County Deed Book V, page 540.
Children born to William Gowen and a first wife include:
William Gowen, Jr. born about 1793
Children born to William Gowen and a second wife include:
Joseph Gowen born about 1798
Betsy Gowen born about 1799
Joseph Gowen, [William8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1], son of William Gowen and his second wife was born about 1798, probably in Rutherford County, Tennessee. His father was appointed his guardian January 11, 1802, probably after the death of his mother.
Betsy Gowen, [William8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1], daughter of William Gowen and his second wife was born about 1798, probably in Rutherford County, Tennessee. Her father was appointed her guardian January 11, 1802, probably after the death of her mother.
Joseph Gowen, [Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of Allen Gowen, was born about 1775, probably in Greenville County. Donna Gowan Johnston suggests that because of census enumeration entries Joseph Gowen was probably born in 1780. It is believed that he accompanied his father in a move to Davidson County, Tennessee in 1796.
“Joseph Gowen” received 126 acres on Mill Creek from John Buchanan December 23, 1797, according to Davidson County Deed Book D, page 311. On November 12, 1798, Joseph Gowen was witness to a bill of sale “of a negro boy named Oliver” from James Chapel to John Buchanan, according to Davidson County Will Book 1, page 143. He proved the bill of sale before the Davidson County Court February 8, 1799.
Joseph Gowen was married to Mary “Polly” Foster, regarded as a sister to Federick Foster, January 8, 1800, according to Davidson County Marriage Book 1, page 236. She was born about 1774 in Cumberland County, Virginia to James Foster and Martha Dupuy Foster.
Several members of the Foster family appeared in the early records of Davidson County. William Foster received a deed from Jason Thompson which was acknowledged in the Davidson County Court session of July 1799. In the same session Elizabeth Ann Foster was granted letters of administration on the estate of George Foster, deceased. Anthony Foster proved a deed in court in the same session.
In the October 1799 court session Elizabeth Ann Foster was appointed guardian “to her children, Patsy Dupree Foster and Obedience Foster, orphans of George Foster.” Anthony Foster received a deed from Bradley Gambrill, according to the October 1799 court minutes. Fedrick Foster and Henry Foster were appointed, along with John Gowen, to maintain the road from Gowen Station to Nashville in the court session of April 1800.
Anthony Foster appeared in court April 15, 1800 to prove the will of Francis B. Sappington by verifying his handwriting. On that date he was also appointed as a juror to serve in the “ensuing county court.” James Foster was summoned as a juror at the same time. Anthony Foster was summoned for jury duty again July 14, 1800. Robert Foster was called to be a grandjuror among the October 1800 veniremen.
Anthony Foster posted a $200 bond for Francis Nash January 12, 1801 to guarantee that Nash would not “disturb the peace.” At that time Anthony Foster and Robert Foster were appointed as jurors for the “ensuing county court.” Henry Foster and Robert C. Foster were appointed as jurors in April 1801. Robert C. Foster was serving on the grand jury in July 1801. In October 1801 Anthony Foster and William T. Lewis gave a deed to Christopher Waggoner.
Fedrick Foster and Henry Foster gave a deed to Andrew Buchanan in January 1802, according to Davidson County court minutes. Anthony Foster was a witness to the will of Thomas Molloy which was probated by Davidson County in April 1802. Robert Foster received a deed from John Gowen which was proven in the July 1802 court session. At the same time a deed from John Gowen to Robert C. Foster was also proven.
Robert C. Foster received a deed from Thomas A. Claiborne which was proved in October 1802 court. At the same time a deed to Robert C. Foster from Thomas Hardeman was proven. Anthony Foster and Robert Searcy were securities on a $4,000 bond for William Maclin as he assumed the administration of the estate of James C. Maclin, deceased in the January 1803 session of Davidson County Court. At the same time, the court accepted the $4,000 bond of Anthony Foster and Robert Searcy for William Maclin as he accepted the administration of the estate of Sackfield Maclin, deceased. Henry Foster was a witness to the will of John Blackamore, deceased which was proven in the October 1803 session of Davidson County Court.
The State of Tennessee brought an indictment against Anthony Foster in the September 1803 session of court. Anthony Foster pled guilty and was fined one cent.
Joseph Gowen was mentioned in Davidson County Will Book as purchasing some items from his father’s estate on May 14, 1800. He bought a very expensive horse for $79.20 [??], a jug for $1.40 and an axe for $2.75
On September 5, 1801 Joseph Gowen received 100 acres on Mill Creek from William Thomas, according to Deed Book E, page 337. On August 5, 1803 he witnessed a deed in which Elisha Prewitt sold 372 acres on Cripple Creek to “John Gowan,” according to Rutherford County Deed Book E, page 425. The deed, which was also witnessed by Read Howell and James Gowen, also recited that the land purchased “begins at Joseph Gowen’s northeast corner.” Rutherford County had been organized in that year from land that was formerly included in Davidson County.
A deed from Joseph Gowen to William Fisher was proved in the January 1803 Davidson County Court by the oath of Benjamin D. Wells.
When Rutherford County was formed from Davidson County in 1803, Joseph Gowen found himself in the east central part of the new county. In 1804 he received land in Rutherford County in a deed from Elisha Prewitt, according to Rutherford County Deed Book G, page 229.
Joseph Gowen next appeared in the legal records of Rutherford County when he was sued by John Anthony. The court found in favor of the plaintiff and assessed the defendant $2.50 for damages on July 8, 1806.
In December 1806 John Gowen, regarded as a kinsman to Joseph Gowen, bought from Elisha Prewitt 372 acres of land “begining at Joseph Gowen’s northeast corner,” according to Rutherford County deed records. “Joseph Gowen, James Gowen and R. Howell” witnessed the transaction. On December 18, 1806 “John Gowan of Davidson County” completed the transaction, paying Elisha Prewitt $150 for the 372 acres of land located on “Cripple Creek of Stone’s River” which was a part of a tract of land originally granted to Samuel Pearson by the state of North Carolina, probably for military services. This transaction was recorded in Rutherford County Deed Book E, page 425. “Reed Howell, Joseph Gowen and James Gowen” again were witesses.
Elisha Prewitt sold to David Howell 263 acres April 6, 1807, according to Rutherford County Deed Book E, page 491. The property was described as “beginning at Joseph Gowen’s northeast corner . . . James Gowen” witnessed the deed.
In 1809 Joseph Gowen paid a tax on “one poll,” along with “William Goins,” his brother. He also paid $2.39½ advalorem tax on 1,180 acres of Rutherford County land.
Joseph Gowen appeared as the head of a household in the 1810 census of Rutherford County composed of:
“Gowen, Joseph white male 26-45
white female 26-45
white male 16-26
white male 16-26
white female 0-10
white female 0-10
white male 0-10
white female 0-10”
Rutherford County is the only county in Tennessee whose enumeration of that year escaped the ravages of time and still remains for researchers to use.
In 1810 Joseph Gowen paid a poll tax and $5.07½ advalorem tax on 208 acres of land. “Joseph Gains” paid a tax of $2.39½ on “one fee poll and 1,180 acres” in the 1810 tax list of Rutherford County. “William Gains” also appeared in the 1810 tax list, paying a tax on “one free poll” and 150 acres. Joseph Gowen reappeared as a “free poll” in the 1811 tax list, paying tax of 68¢ on 168 acres.
Joseph Gowen received a deed for 150 acres from William Nash which was proved in the October 1811 Rutherford County Court. Joseph Gowen was the bondsman for Hugh P. Braley who was sued by Thomas Hopkins in January 1812. The court found for the plaintiff and awarded him $118.90½ and court costs of $7.57½.
On July 16, 1813 Joseph Gowen deeded land to his brother William Gowen again “on Cripple Creek east from Stone’s River” for a consideration of $100, according to Rutherford County Deed Book H, page 243 and Deed Book K, pages 38 and 44. Charles Lowe and Francis Yourie were witnesses.
In 1813 “Joseph Gowan” paid a poll tax and an advalorem tax of 69½ on 208 acres of land. A tax receipt for William Gowen was in a consecutive entry. Joseph Gowen served as a juror for the Rutherford County Court in its April 1814 session.
Joseph Gowen was appointed by the Rutherford County Court as one of the commissioners “to meet at the dwelling of David Pearson, deceased and set apart to Dinah Pearson, widow one year’s provision,” according to Rutherford County Court Minute Book E, page 228.
Joseph Gowen appeared before the Rutherford County Court April 12, 1814 to prove his deed of 40 acres of land to William Gowen, believed to be his brother, according to County Court Minute Book G, page 147. Joseph Gowen was bondsman for Hyram Howell who was convicted in the April 1814 session of Rutherford County Court and fined $1 and court costs.
Joseph Gowen and George Gibson later acquired the 118-acre farm that Allen Gowen purchased from John Buchanan in 1797 which lay in Williamson County, Tennessee when it was created from Davidson County. Joseph Gowen and George Gibson “of Warren County, Kentucky” sold the farm to Joseph Mason for $600 on March 10, 1818, according to Williamson County Deed Book E, page 444. George Gibson was possibly a brother-in-law to Joseph Gowen.
Joseph Gowen gave a deed to Reuben Todd which was proved in court June 6, 1819, according to Rutherford County Court Minute Book N, page 151.
Mrs. Sarah Dyer, Tennessee State Library & Archives, wrote April 3, 1975 that the enumeration of the household of Joseph Gowen in 1820 appeared as:
“Gowen, Joseph white male 26-45
white female over 45
white male 16-26
white female 16-26
white female 10-l6
white female 10-16
white male 0-10
white male 0-10”
“Joseph Gowen” was married in nearby Sumner County to Patsy Robinson March 5, 1822. Frances Boren was the bondsman, according to Sumner County marriage records.
In 1824 Joseph Gowen received a land grant in Rutherford County. On July 22 of that year he was named to the grand jury along with his kinsman, Alfred P. Gowen.
Joseph Gowen took the oath of justice of the peace in Rutherford County October 18, 1824. Joseph Gowen, “justice of the peace” performed the marriage ceremony of Charles Bland to Nancy Cates August 4, 1825, according to Rutherford County marriage records. Joseph Gowen was mentioned in the estate settlement of Walter “Watt” Lowe, deceased, February 10, 1827.
On January 28, 1828 he was appointed by the court to assess taxes in “Lowe’s company,” a judicial district in eastern Rutherford County.
In the July 1828 session of Rutherford County Court, the court ordered that Joseph Gowen “be allowed $40 for keeping Polly Waddle the last year, ending at this time . . . and that he be allowed $40 for keeping the said Polly Waddle the present year.”
On May 23, 1829 “Joseph Gowen, Esquire” was appointed “tax assessor in Capt. Neisbett’s Company for 1828 & 1829 by the court,” according to Rutherford County Court Minute Book W, page 31. In May 1829 he was an election judge.
The household of Joseph Gowen appeared in a consecutive entry with that of William Gowen in the 1830 census of Rutherford County as:
“Gowen, Joseph white male 50-60
white female 50-60
white female 20-30
white male 15-20
white male 15-20”
On Christmas day 1830 he performed the marriage ceremony of William Benson and Catherine Higginbotham.
On August 30, 1831 Joseph Gowen received 87.5 acres of land in Rutherford County in Grant No. 10607 from the State of Tennessee, according to Tennessee State Archives Land Record Book 13, page 69.
In 1833 and again August 30, 1834 Joseph Gowen appeared in land transactions with Alfred P. Gowen and William Lowe, deeding some 307½ acres and 150 acres on Cripple Creek, according to Rutherford County Deed Book U, page 193. In 1835 Joseph Gowen et al deeded land to William H. Murray, as recorded in Rutherford County Deed Book U, pages 459 and 551. In that same year he sold “a negro girl named Julian, about 18,” for $300 to William Lowe and received a bill of trust from him, according to Rutherford County Deed Book U, page 410.
On May 2, 1836 Joseph Gowen returned an inventory of the estate of James F. Gowen, deceased, believed to be his son, showing an estate valued at $75. At that time, the last occasion when Joseph Gowen is found in Rutherford County records, he would have been about 57 [??] years old.
It is believed that he was influenced to move to Shelby County, Illinois about that time by his son, Allen Gowen, who must have moved there some 10 years earlier.
The household of Joseph Gowen was enumerated in the 1840 census of Shelby County, Illinois, according to Miriam Herron of Shelby County Historical and Genealogical Society, as:
Gowen, Joseph white male 50-60
white female 50-60
white male 20-30
white female 20-30
white male 10-15
white male 10-15
white female 10-15
white female 5-10
white male 5-10
white female 0-5
white female 0-5″
No explanation is offered for the fact that Joseph Gowen appears “50-60” in both the 1830 and 1840 returns.
Joseph Gowen penned a stray cow in Shelby County December 5, 1840 and filed a notarized report with Shelby County officials:
“Taken up by Joseph Gowen on the 5th day of December, 1840, living four miles southwest from Shelbyville, one common size cow with red sides, white on back rump and legs with red spots, with a cropp off of the left ear, and a swallow fork and underbit in the right. Cow has been appraised at twelve dollars and supposed to be five years old.”
Gowen descendants who appear in Rutherford County and who are possibly children of Joseph Gowen and Polly Foster Gowen include:
James F[oster?] Gowen born about 1802
Allen Gowen born about 1803
John Gowen born about 1804
Cynthia M. Gowen born about 1805
Martha Gowen born about 1807
Susan Gowen born about 1810
Mary J. Gowen born about 1815
John Gowen born September 29, 1816
Regarded as children of Joseph Gowen and Patsy Robinson Gowen are:
Elizabeth Gowen born about 1824
William Gowen born about 1825
James F[oster?] Gowen, [Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of Joseph Gowen and Mary “Polly” Foster Gowen, was born about 1802 in Rutherford County. He appeared in the 1820 and 1830 census returns of Rutherford County, according to the research of Samuel F. Rockwall III of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
On May 2, 1836 Joseph Gowen returned an inventory of the estate of James F. Gowen, deceased, believed to be his son, showing an estate valued at $75.
Allen Gowen, [Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] believed to be a son of Joseph Gowen and Polly Foster Gowen, was born in 1803 in Rutherford County. He was appointed a constable in Rutherford County in 1825 with Joseph Gowen and Benjamin McFarland acting has his securities.
On February 5, 1827 Allen Gowen was shown as surety in the marriage of Nathaniel Crowder to Nancy Neisbet in Rutherford County. Again on March 2, 1827 he was shown as surety in the marriage of Lewis Howland and Elizabeth Jacobs. He was surety a third time in the marriage of John Benson and Mary Anne Higginbotham November 7, 1829.
It is believed that Allen Gowen removed to Shelby County, Illinois before 1830. No individual by the name of “Allen Gowen” appeared as the head of a household in the state of Tennessee in the 1830 census.
Allen Gowen was married February 25, 1841 in Shelby County, Illinois to Nancy Brown.
Allen Gowen purchased some items in an auction held to settle the estate of John C. Rodman at Shelbyville March 7, 1842. William Gowen, assumed to be his brother, also made a purchase at this sale.
On March 3, 1844 Allen Gowen was appointed guardian of William H. Smith and Sarah B. Smith, minor children of John B. Smith, deceased, and posted a $300 bond. Roswell D. Bowen and Henry J. Bowen, believed to be kinsmen, were securities. He was reappointed guardian of William H. Smith, age 15, June 18, 1847 and finally concluded the guardianship January 7, 1850.
On March 16, 1846 Allen Gowen loaned Isaac Corbin $150, and Corbin put up 40 acres, according to Shelby County Deed Book 7, page 184. Burrel Roberts, possibly a cousin of Allen Gowen because of the unusual name “Burrel,” a name derived from “Burleson,” unique to the Gowen family, was the county clerk who recorded the document.
On February 3, 1846 Allen Gowen was a purchaser at the sale of the estate of Isaac Martin, his brother’s father-in-law, according to Miriam Herron, Shelbyville, Illinois. Isaac Martin was commissioned as coroner of Shelby County April 20, 1827, the year the county was formed.
Allen Gowen and Joseph Cummings, believed to be a relative, were appointed administrators of the estate of Susan Cummings January 10, 1849. They posted a $4,000 bond. “Joseph Cummins, age 22, and Sariah Cummins, age 20” appeared in the 1850 census of Shelby County. Allen Gowen and his brother, William Gowen were purchasers at the estate sale of Susan Cummings. Part of the property they were to administer was an 80-acre farm.
A Joseph Cummings was “married to Sarah Ann Goins February 19, 1846 at the residence of George Goins,” according to Van Buren County, Missouri Marriage Book A, page 98. A Joseph Cummings was married to Hannah H. Martin February 18, 1850, according to Shelby County marriage records.
On April 4, 1849 Allen Gowen was bondsman for Robert Cummings when he was appointed administrator of the estate of his brother-in-law Thomas Bowen, posting a $500 bond.
Allen Gowen appeared as the head of a household in the 1850 census of Shelby County, Household No. 545-545. The family included:
“Gowing, Allen 47, born in Tennessee
Nancy 44, born in Tennessee
Bowen[?], Elizabeth 49, born in Tennessee”
Elizabeth Bowen in the above enumeration is believed to be a sister of Allen Gowen, recently widowed.
On October 1, 1853 Allen Gowen purchased from Jourdan Hanson and Elizabeth Jane Hanson 40 acres of land in the Tower Hill area of Shelby County for $250, according to Shelby County Deed Book 11, pages 36 and 37.
Marriage records of the county reveal that Allen Gowen was security for the marriage of Green Armstrong to Cordelia Foster March 23, 1854. It is believed that Cordelia Foster was a cousin on his mother’s side.
Apparently Allen Gowen died sometime in 1857, leaving no will. His widow, Nancy Gowen and John Killam were appointed administrators of the estate. They posted $400 bond to the Shelby County Court November 13, 1857 for the faithful execution of their trust. The appointment, recorded in Shelby County Court Probate File, December Term 1857, pages 473 and 474, was signed by John Killam and Nancy [X] Gowen.
An inventory of the estate of Allen Gowen had been prepared for the February term of the court showing cash of $7, a note of $10.00 on Thomas Abbot and accounts receivable of $23.75. Among the creditors was William Gowen, his brother, who owed $3 and Martha Bowen who owed $4.75. The estate included the 40 acres of land Allen Gowen had purchased from the Hansons.
The inventory was recorded in Shelby County Probate Court records, February Term, 1858, page 519, as:
Inventory of the property belonging to Allen Gowen, deceased of the County of Shelby and State of Illinois:
4 Head of Horses 1 Log Chain 1 Looking Glass
7 Head of Cattle 1 Saddle 1 Cooking Stove
19 Head of Hogs 1 Ax 1 Wash Kettle
5 Head of Sheep 1 Press 1 Pot
20 Acres of Corn 1 Table 1 Skillet
3 Plows 1 Bureau 30 lbs. rolls, Wool
2 Pr. Plowing Gears 8 Chairs 1 Oven
3 Hoes 1 Candle Stand 1 Reel
1 Spade 2 Bedsteads & bedding 1 Quilt Wheel
1 Scoop Shovel 1Trunk 1 Spinning Wheel
1 Pitch Fork 1 Clock 3 Bee Hives
1 Mowing Scythe
Cash on hand $ 7.00
Account on Martin Hanson 8.00
Account on John Killam 5.00
Account on Martha Bowen 4.75
Note on Thomas Abbot 10.00
Account on John Killam 5.00
Account on Greenberry Walker 3.00
Account on William Gowen 3.00
Inventory of Allen Gowen’s land: The Southwest Quarter of the Southwest Quarter of Section 33 in Township 12 North of Range Two East, containing 40 acres.
Some of the property in the estate was sold at auction November 28, 1857. The sale record was made in Shelby County Court Probate File, February Term, 1857, page 519, as:
“Sale Bill of Allen Gowen’s property sold November 28, 1857:
Buyer Item Price
John Killam 1 Scoop Shovel $ .75
John Killam 1 Pitch Fork .85
William Messick 1 Log Chain .75
Albert P. Hudson 1 Plow and 1 Scythe .20
A. R. Jenkins 1 Feather Bed 15.00
J. M. Brown 1 Hog 5.00
J. M. Brown 1 Hog 4.35
J. M. Brown 1 Hog 5.05
J. M. Brown 2 Hogs 12.00
John Brown 2 Calves 13.25
John Brown 1 Yearling 13.25
Jesse M. Overman 1 Cow 20.00
Lawrence Warren 5 Sheep 10.75
James Higginbotham 1 Mare 55.75
J. M. Brown 5½ Acres Corn @6.15 32.25
William Messick, Cryer Total $115.23
William E. Killam, Clerk”
Allen Gowen was buried in Tower Hill Cemetery.
Nancy Gowen wrote her will October 15, 1859 and named her nephew Thomas Bowen, a minor, as her sole heir. Thomas Bowen was married to Elizabeth Gowen December 22, 1844, according to Shelby County marriage records. This appointment suggests that Allen Gowen and Nancy Gowen had no children. William E. Killam, another nephew and clerk at the estate sale of Allen Gowen, was named executor. The will read:
“I, Nancy Gowen of the County of Shelby and State of Illinois, do hereby make and declare this my last will and testament in manner and form follows to wit:
First: It is my will that my funeral expenses and all my just debts be fully paid.
Second: After the payment of such funeral expense and debts: I give, devise and bequeath unto my nephew, Thomas Bowen, all my undivided interest in the farm I now reside on, known and described as the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 33 in Township 12 North and Range 2 East of the third principal meridian containing in all 40 acres, be the same more or less.
Third: It is my will that at and after my death all of my personal property shall be sold by my executor herein after mentioned and all my just debts being first paid the balance of the money received for the sale of said property shall be put at interest for my nephew, Thomas Bowen, until he is twenty-one years of age, and it shall then be paid over with the interest to him as his forever.
And lastly I hereby constitute and appoint my nephew, William E. Killam, Executor of this my last will and testament, revoking and annulling all former wills by me made and ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament.
In witness whereof I, the said Nancy Gowen, have hereunto set my hand and seal this 15th day of October in the year of our Lord Eighteen Hundred and fifty-nine.
Nancy [x] Gowen
Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Nancy Gowen as and for her last will and testament in presence of us who in her presence and in the presence of each other and at her request have subscribed our names as witnesses thereunto.
Witnesses Thomas W. Craddick
The will was probated in Shelby County Court in the October term of 1862, indicating that Nancy Gowen had died shortly prior. An inventory and sale bill of her estate was recorded in Shelby County Probate File, October Term, 1862, pages 456-458. Included were:
Cash on hand $ 15.00
1 Account, Jane Fakner 7.00
1 Note on Allen Jenkins 3.00
Undivided one-half of the SW/4 of the SW/4 of Section 33, T12N, R2E, 40 Acres.”
“A Sale Bill of the goods, chattels and personal estate of Nancy Gowen, deceased:
Buyer Item Price
Joseph Fultz 1 Turning Plow $ 4.00
Robert Pugh 1 Plow and Hoe .50
F. M. Higginbotham 1 Box of Sundries 1.30
George Cummings 1 Churn .40
Joseph Moses 1 Pile of Sundries .30
Jacob Heeble 1 Lard Keg .60
Joseph Moses 1 Stove 1.00
John Neel 1 Bell and Rope .75
Jacob Ghem 1 Plow and Harness 1.35
Jacob Heeble 1 Big Kettle 5.75
Martin Hanson 1 Bedstead .95
Peter Killam 1 Bee Hive 5.10
Peter Killam 1 Cow and Calf 21.25
Jacob Heeble 1 Yearling Heifer 10.00
Robert Pugh 1 Saddle 2.00
Catherine Hanson 1 Side Saddle 6.00
Joseph Fultz 1 Tub and Washboard 1.60
William Gowen Steelyards, late and Clevis .75
Jacob Heeble 1 Hatchet .15
Joseph Moses 1 Hammer .30
George Cummings Bucket and Kettle 1.00
Jacob Heeble 2 Jars and Jug .05
Madison Neel 6 Chairs 1.00
George Cummings 2 Hand Irons 1.10
John Neel 1 Skillet and Iron .35
Peter Killam 1 Lot of Crocks .50
Peter Ghem Scissors and Candle Mold .30
Jacob Heeble Scissors and Candle Mold .30
Jacob Heeble 1 set of Plates .80
Martin Hanson 1 Basket of Sundries .45
George Cummings Set Plates and Sundries .25
Peter Ghem 1 Basket of Knives 1.35
Joseph Moses Sugar Bowl and Dish .30
George Cummings 1 Pan of Sundries .10
Jacob Heeble 1 Gander 2.05
Ner Middlesworth 2 Sows and Pigs 8.18
James Brandon Cream Mug and Sundries .25
Jacob Heeble Sundries .35
Ner Middlesworth Dictionary .80
William Gowen 1 Books .40
George Cummings 1 Book .15
G. B. Scovil 2 Books and Sundries .05
Jacob Heeble Sundries .85
James Brandon 1 Lamp .50
George Cummings Sundries .30
James Moses 1 Coffee Mill .75
James Brandon 1 Griddle .10
Peter Killam Sundries .30
William Gowen Table Cloth .65
Jacob Heeble Table Cloth .65
Jacob Heeble Bed Quilt .30
Jacob Ghem Sheet .65
Jacob Ghem 1 Cover Lid [coverlet?] .75
James Brandon 1 Quilt and 2 Blankets 1.40
William McCullough 1 Bea Card .75
James Moses 1 Meal Sack .15
James Brandon 1 Mirror .10
Martin Hanson 1 Dining Table 2.05
James Moses 1 Bureau 6.75
James Brandon 1 Barrel .70
James Cloek [Clark?] 1 Clock .25
C. C. Sunsan 1 Cupboard 3.60
James Brandon 1 Trunk .25
James Moses 1 Feather Bed and Quilt 4.50
James Brandon 1 Feather Bed and Quilt 5.50
George Cummings 1 Bedstead 1.55
Robert Pugh 1 Table .15
Joseph Fultz 1 Mare 87.00
Ner Middlesworth 6 Hogs 12.50
G. B. Scovil 1/3 of 17 Acres of Corn 15.00
John Gowen, [Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] regarded as a son of Joseph Gowen and Polly Foster Gowen, was born about 1804 in Rutherford County. He was married about 1825, wife’s name Jane.
John Gowen died prior to 1828 and was probably buried in Rutherford County. His estate was divided between his widow, Jane Gowen and his daughter Catherine M. Gowen, believed to be his only child, on January 30, 1828. At the same time William B. Benson was appointed guardian for Catherine M. Gowen since Jane Gowen prior to that time had remarried to James J. Maxwell.
“Catherine Gowen” was enumerated in the 1850 census of Rutherford County living in the household of Stokeley White, No. 1044:
“White, Stokeley 46, born in Kentucky, farmer,
$4,000 real estate
Jane 46, born in South Carolina
William B. 12, born in Tennessee
Ann 11, born in Tennessee
Jane S. 9, born in Tennessee
Gowen, Catherine 55, born in Tennessee
Catherine E. 19, born in Tennessee
Catherine Elizabeth Gowen, daughter of Catherine M. Gowen, was born about 1831, probably in Rutherford County. Cath-erine Elizabeth Gowen was married November 23, 1854 to Granville Ledbetter Norman, according to Rutherford County marriage records.
“John Gowen” [or the estate] was sued by William B. Benson on November 20, 1828. Later Benson dropped the charges, according to Rutherford County court records.
By the January 1829 term of the court James J. Maxwell was also deceased. His will, dated December 18, 1828, was probated in the January 1829 term. The will mentioned his wife Jane Gowen Maxwell “who is pregnant.” It also mentioned his daughter, Naomy L. Maxwell; his step-daughter Catherine M. Gowen and his parents, William Maxwell and Elizabeth Maxwell. Jane Gowen Maxwell came into court in the May 1829 session to contest the will of James J. Maxwell.
Children born to John Gowen and Jane Gowen include:
Catherine M. Gowen born about 1826
“Catherine E. Gowen” was married November 23, 1854 to “Granville L. Norman,” according to Rutherford County marriage records. She was born November 24, 1832, according to Billy J. Norman. The groom is identified as Granville Ledbetter Norman. They removed to Ellis County, Texas about 1860. Catherine Elizabeth Gowen Norman died at Ferris, Texas March 18, 1882, according to Billy J. Norman, a great-grandson of Saginaw, Texas.
Cynthia M. Gowen, [Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] daughter of Joseph Gowen and Mary “Polly” Foster Gowen, was born in Rutherford County about 1805.
Martha Gowen, [Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] daughter of Joseph Gowen and Mary “Polly” Foster Gowen, was born in Rutherford County October 26, 1808. She was married January 25, 1825 to John Newman, according to Rutherford County marriage records. He was born February 12, 1802 in Virginia, according to Samuel F. Rockwell III.
John Newman was mentioned in Rutherford County Deed Book 1, page 538 and Rutherford County Deed Book 3, page 732.
They were enumerated in the 1830, page 300 and 1840, page 122, census returns of Rutherford County. They were enumerated in the 1850 census return, page 60 and 1860 census returns of Jackson township, Polk County, Missouri, page 4. They were recorded in the family bible of Albert W. Mitchell and Susan C. Mitchell.
Frank Maxwell Gowen of Phoenix, Arizona wrote June 6, 1974, “My grandmother, Vesta Adeline Martin Gowen died in 1857 shortly after my father was born, and my father always spoke of ‘old Aunt Martha Newman’ as the person who raised him.”
Martha Gowen Newman died March 15, 1875 and was buried near Aldrich, Missouri in Polk County. John Newman died May 5, 1881 and was buried beside his wife at Mitchell Camp Ground Cemetery.
Children born to John Newman and Martha Gowen Newman include:
Joseph Newman born about 1826
John A. Newman born about 1830
Belleville Newman born about 1833
Elizabeth Newman born about 1834
William Newman born about 1837
Mary J. J. Newman born about 1838
Lorenzo Newman born about 1841
Susan C. Newman born February 24, 1844
James F. Newman born about 1847
Martha C. “Mattie” Newman born about 1850
Jopseph Newman, son of John Newman and Martha Gowen Newman, was born about 1826 in Rutherford County. He appeared in the 1850 and 1860 census returns of Polk County, Missouri.
John A. Newman, son of John Newman and Martha Gowen Newman, was born about 1830 in Rutherford County. He appeared in the 1850 and 1860 census returns of Polk County, Missouri.
Belleville Newman, daughter of John Newman and Martha Gowen Newman, was born about 1833 in Rutherford County. She was married to William P. Mayfield, son of Tolbert Mayfield and Nancy Davis Mayfield in Polk County, Missouri March 28, 1850. They appeared there in the 1850 and 1860 census returns. William Mayfield died before the 1870 census of Polk County. She died in 1918 and was buried at Mitchell Campground Cemetery near her parents.
According to the 1870 census, children born to William Mayfield and Belleville Newman Mayfield include:
Elizabeth Mayfield born about 1851
Mary Mayfield born about 1854
John Mayfield born about 1856
John Mayfield, son of William Mayfield and Belleville Newman Mayfield, was born about 1856, according to the 1870 census of his mother’s household. He was married about 1879 to Ophelia Roberts. Three children were born to them by 1885, including a daughter born July 16, 1885.
Susan C. Newman, daughter of John Newman and Martha Gowen Newman, was born February 24, 1844 in Rutherford County. She was married to Albert Wesley Mitchell December 25, 1862 in Polk County, Missouri, according to Polk County Marriage Book A, page 288. He was born to Stephen Mitchell and Sarah Norwood Mitchell March 2, 1838.
They appeared in the 1850 and 1860 census returns of Polk County, Missouri.
Children born to Albert Wesley Mitchell and Susan C. Newman Mitchell include:
Martha Dupuy Mitchell born August 12, 1877
Martha Dupuy Mitchell, daughter of Albert Wesley Mitchell and Susan C. Newman Mitchell, was born August 12, 1877 in Polk County. She was married there to Thomas Wiley Brim December 25, 1895. He was born there July 27, 1876. He died July 15, 1947 at Fairland, Oklahoma in Ottowa County. She died there November 23, 1959.
Elizabeth Newman, daughter of John Newman and Martha Gowen Newman was born about 1834 in Rutherford County. She appeared in the 1850 and 1860 census returns of Polk County, Missouri.
William Newton, son of John Newman and Martha Gowen Newman was born about 1837 in Rutherford County. He was married about 1860, wife’s name Caroline.
Mary J. J. Newman, daughter of John Newman and Martha Gowen Newman was born about 1838 in Rutherford County. She appeared in the 1850 and 1860 census returns of Polk County, Missouri.
Lorenzo Newman, son of John Newman and Martha Gowen Newman was born about 1841 in Rutherford County, Tennessee. He appeared in the 1850 and 1860 census returns of Polk County, Missouri.
James F. Newman, son of John Newman and Martha Gowen Newman was born about 1847 in Illinois, according to Samuel F. Rockwell III. He appeared in the 1850 and 1860 census returns of Polk County, Missouri.
Martha C. “Mattie” Newman, daughter of John Newman and Martha Gowen Newman was born about 1850 in Jackson township, Polk County, Missouri. She appeared in the 1850 and 1860 census returns of Polk County. She was married there about 1867 to George Clay Mitchell.
Susan Gowen, [Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] daughter of Joseph Gowen and Polly Foster Gowen, was born about 1810 in Rutherford County. “Susan Gowen” was married June 19, 1829 to Joseph Nelson, according to “Marriage Records of Rutherford County, Tennessee, 1804-1872” by Edythe Rucker Whitley.
They were enumerated in the 1830 census of Rutherford County. In the 1850 census they were recorded in Jackson township, Polk County, Missouri, page 288.
In April 1814 the Rutherford County Court had appointed Beverly Nelson and Daniel Nelson, guardians of “Ambrose Nelson, Matthew Nelson, Drury Nelson, Benjamin Nelson, Joseph Nelson, Malcomb Nelson, heirs of Humphrey Nelson, deceased.” John Matthews and William Vaughn were bondsmen.
Mary J. Gowen, [Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] daughter of Joseph Gowen and Polly Foster Gowen, was born about 1815 in Rutherford County. It is believed that she elected to remain in Tennessee when her father’s family moved to Illinois.
“Mary J. Gowan” was married to Benjamin P. Norman February 2, 1846, according to “Rutherford County, Tennessee Marriages, 1804-1850.”
According to Karla Bass, children born to them include:
Ellen Phillips Norman born September 24, 1848
Martha E. Norman born about 1850
John Gowen [Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of Joseph Gowen and Mary “Polly” Foster Gowen, was born September 29, 1816 in Rutherford County. He was enumerated in the 1850 census of Jackson township, Polk County, Missouri. Later he returned to Rutherford County. He died there November 11, 1885 and was buried in Gowen Cemetery.
Elizabeth Gowen, [Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] believed to be a daughter of Joseph Gowen and Patsy Robinson Gowen, was born in Rutherford County about 1824. It is believed that she was brought to Shelby County, Illinois by her parents during the 1830s.
Elizabeth Gowen was married to Thomas Bowen December 22, 1844, according to Shelby County marriage records. William Whitfield was security for the marriage. Apparently he died before 1850.
Children born to Thomas Bowen and Elizabeth Gowen Bowen include:
Thomas Bowen born about 1846
Thomas Bowen, son of Thomas Bowen and Elizabeth Gowen Bowen, was born about 1846, probably in Shelby County. “Thomas Bowen, minor” was named as the beneficiary of the estate of his aunt, Nancy Gowen, in her will written October 15, 1859. The will was probated in October 1862, indicating that Nancy Gowen had died a short time prior. [A search of the guardianship records of Shelby County might reveal additional information about Thomas Bowen and his mother.]
William Gowen, [Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] believed to be a son of Joseph Gowen and Patsy Robinson Gowen, was born in Rutherford County in 1825. He accompanied his parents in their move to Shelby County, Illinois prior to 1840. The 17-year-old William Gowen was a purchaser, along with his brother Allen Gowen, at the estate sale of John Rodman held March 7, 1842 in Shelby County.
William Gowen was married to Vesta Adeline Martin May 31, 1848, according to Shelby County Marriage Book 1, page 22. She was born in Tennessee in 1830, the daughter of Isaac J. Martin, native of England, and Cecilia Cain Martin, native of Ireland. William Nichols was security for the marriage. Isaac J. Martin was appointed coroner of Shelby County April 20, 1827 when the county was organized and had died January 15, 1846.
Shortly after his marriage William Gowen contracted with Susan Cummings, a widow, to build a house on her 80-acre farm located five miles southwest of Shelbyville on the Kaskaskia River. In the agreement Susan Cummings was to provide money for materials and William Gowen the labor to build the two-story house, 18 feet wide and 36 feet long. The agreement further provided that the entire property would go to William Gowen at the death of Susan Cummings.
William Gowen began the construction, but before completion Susan Cummings reneged on providing money for materials, and he was obliged to finish providing materials at his own expense. Susan Cummings died later in the year, and Allen Gowen, brother to William Gowen, and Joseph Cummings were appointed administrators of the estate. Listed as heirs of Susan Cummings, a native of Tennessee, were Robert Cummings; Mary Cummings Bowen, wife of David Bowen; George Cummings, Martha Cummings, Elizabeth Cummings and Susan Cummings. George, Elizabeth and Susan Cummings were minors, and Burrell Roberts was appointed their guardian.
Four years later the administrators had not delivered a deed to the 80 acres so William Gowen filed suit in Shelby County Court and received title to it. He moved his family there immediately.
William Gowen appeared as a purchaser at the estate sale of Susan Cummings April 24, 1849. He also made purchases at the estate sale of Thomas Bowen, his brother-in-law.
The household of William Gowen and Vesta Adeline Martin Gowen appeared in the 1850 census of Shelby County, Wakefield District, located southwest of Shelbyville. They were enumerated October 12, 1850 as Household No. 182-182:
“Gowen, William 25, born in Tennessee, carpenter
Vesta 20, born in Tennessee
Mary 1, born in Illinois
Johnson, Jane 4, born in Illinois”
Vesta Adeline Martin Gowen met a tragic death just a few days after the birth of their fourth child in June 1857. Frank Maxwell Gowen, a grandson, wrote “When she reached under the house to get the eggs from a hen’s nest she was bitten by a poisonous snake and died a few days later.”
William Gowen was appointed guardian of their four children upon posting $150 bond. His bondsmen were Albert Doyle and William Henry. When his mother-in-law died in 1861 William Gowen continued as guardian to his children.
In addition to the children of William Gowen the heirs of Cecilia Cain Martin were named as: Hannah Martin Cummings, wife of Joseph Cummings; Andrew J. Martin; Catherine Martin; Julian Martin Brothers, wife of Anderson W. Brothers and Isaac J. Martin, Jr.
William Gowen was enumerated as the head of a household in the 1860 census of Shelby County:
“Gaiven, William 43, born in Tennessee, farmer”
Mary 10, born in Illinois
George C. 9, born in Illinois
Martha 8, born in Illinois”
Since the youngest child did not appear in this enumeration it is believed that he was living in the home of Martha Gowen Newman at this time. William Gowen had the sad duty to report to the Shelby County court that his daughter Mary Gowen had died on February 3, 1861.
William Gowen purchased at the estate sale of Nancy Gowen, his sister-in-law, in October 1862 two books for 48¢, steelyards [scales] for 75¢, a beehive for $5.10, a yearling heifer for $10 and a cow and calf for $21.25.
William Gowen sold his 80-acre farm October 14, 1867 to a neighbor and removed to Litchfield, Illinois, it is believed. His brother-in-law George Cummings and Hannah Martin Cummings had moved in 1862 to the Montgomery County community and influenced him to move there. After a short period of residence in Litchfield, William Gowen removed his family to Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri, crossing the Mississippi River at St. Louis. He apparently spent some time in Ste. Genevieve County where, it is believed, that his brother-in-law John Newman and Martha Gowen Newman were living.
In the early part of 1869 William Gowen was on the move again, traveling to Arkansas via Springfield, Missouri. Later in the year he arrived in Boone County, Arkansas, on the Missouri state line, and on October 20, 1869 purchased 62 acres on the south side of White River there. Later he acquired an adjoining 160 “upland” acres.
He appeared as the head of a household in the 1870 census of Boone County:
“Gowen, William 45, born in Tennessee, carpenter,
$300 real estate, $1,600 personal
George C. 19, born in Illinois, at home
Martha J. 16, born in Illinois, at home
William 13, born in Illinois, at home”
William Gowen undertook a contract about 1871 to build a ferryboat to carry traffic across the White River. Since the construction required some large timbers, William Gowen took a crew of loggers into a nearby pine forest and set up a logging camp. While in camp he ate beans which had been cooked in a large pot. Acute indigestion developed, and he died shortly afterwards. It is believed that he was buried in nearby Lead Hill Cemetery. When Bull Shoals Dam was under construction across White River, it was determined that Lead Hill Cemetery would be inundated by the new lake, so the graves were removed to higher ground. Frank Maxwell Gowen wrote, “It is believed that my grandfather rests in the new graveyard in an unmarked grave.”
Children born to William Gowen and Vesta Adeline Martin Gowen include:
Mary C. Gowen born in 1849
George C. Gowen born in 1851
Martha Jane Gowen born in 1854
William M. Gowen born June 7, 1857
Mary C. Gowen, [William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] daughter of William Gowen and Vesta Adeline Martin Gowen, was born in Shelby County, Illinois in 1849. She appeared in the 1850 census in her father’s household as a one-year-old, and was mentioned as an eight-year-old in her mother’s probate in 1857. She reappeared in the 1860 census of Shelby County as a 10-year-old living in her father’s household. She died February 3, 1861 at age 12.
George C. Gowen, [William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of William Gowen and Vesta Adeline Martin Gowen, was born in Shelby County, Illinois in 1851. He was mentioned in his mother’s probate proceedings as a five-year old and in the 1860 census of Shelby County as a nine-year old living in his father’s household.
After short tenures in Litchfield, Illinois and St. Genevieve County, Missouri, his father removed to Boone County, Arkansas. He appeared there in the 1870 census as a 19-year-old in his father’s household. About 1871 George C. Gowen and a companion, Wash Andrews, made a camping trip down White River. While on the trip George C. Gowen developed a respiratory disease and died, leaving Wash Andrews to carry home the news of his death. His place of burial is unknown.
Martha Jane Gowen, [William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] daughter of William Gowen and Vesta Adeline Martin Gowen, was born in Shelby County, Illinois in 1854. She appeared in her mother’s probate record as a three-year-old and in the 1860 census of Shelby County as an eight-year-old. She was reported as age 16 in the 1870 census of her father’s household in Boone County, Arkansas.
She was married about 1871 to Mike J. Long, son of John B. Long, in Boone County. Later they were estranged, and although never divorced, lived about a mile apart across the White River–she in Missouri and he in Arkansas. In 1917 she moved to Harrison, Arkansas to live with a granddaughter. In 1931 she moved to Ponca City, Oklahoma where she died in the fall of 1932. A clipping from a Blackwell, Oklahoma newspaper read:
“Mrs. M. J. Long, 82, a former Blackwell resident died Friday at Ponca City as the result of an injury received several days ago. She sustained a broken hip in a fall. Mrs. Long, who lived in Blackwell for two years, was the mother of J. B. Long, about 10 miles southeast of Blackwell, who formerly lived in the city. Besides J. B. Long she is survived by another son, L. D. Long of Oregon.”
Children born to Mike J. Long and Martha J. Gowen Long include:
John B. Long born about 1873
Leonard Delant Long born about 1875
William M. Gowen, [William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of William Gowen and Vesta Adeline Martin Gowen, was born June 7, 1857 in Shelby County, Illinois. His mother died when he was three weeks old, the victim of a snakebite. He did not appear in the 1860 census of his father’s household in Shelby County, suggesting that he was living in the household of his aunt, Martha Gowen Newman. He appeared in the 1870 census of Boone County, Arkansas as a 13-year-old living in his father’s household.
He was orphaned at age 14 and went to live with John B. Long, his sister’s father-in-law. John B. Long operated the principal ferry across White River, and the young orphan became a boatman on the ferry. Frank Maxwell Gowen wrote of one of his experiences:
“Five well armed men riding good horses rode up to the ferry and wanted to cross the river which was at flood stage at the time. Mr. Long thought it would be extremely dangerous to try to cross the river when the water was so high, but when he was offered $5 to ferry the five horsemen over the river, he agreed to take the chance. The five men, my dad and Dan Long, son of John B. Long, embarked, removing their clothing in the event they had to swim, and made the passage without mishap. A few days later they learned that the five men they had ferried across the river were Jesse James, Frank James and the three Younger brothers.”
“Dad spent the entirety of his young manhood in Arkansas, leaving it only once to make a trip to Kansas. He told of attending a circus in Salina, Kansas in 1878 where the major attraction was a new-fangled electric light bulb hung high up in the tent for illumination.”
In 1885 William M. Gowen bought the relinquishment of a 160-acre homestead located about five miles north of Lead Hill in Boone County. He was married February 7, 1886 to Laura Maxwell on her eighteenth birthday at Lead Hill. She was born at Western Grove, Arkansas February 7, 1864. He joined the Masonic Lodge in 1906.
In 1914 William M. Gowen sold his farm at Lead Hill and moved to Harrison, Arkansas. About 1927 William M. Gowen removed to Garza County, Texas where he was a farmer. His son William Thomas Gowen had preceded him to Garza County. Laura Maxwell Gowen died October 18, 1927 at Hayden Junction, Arizona while on a visit, and her body was returned to Post for burial.
On August 12, 1938 William M. Gowen gave a warranty deed to Laura Loraine Gowan and Thomas John Gowan, his grandchildren to 1 3/4 acres of land near Post, according to Garza County Deed Book 40, page 11.
In 1933, at the age of 76, he returned to Shelby County, Illinois for a visit to a place of his childhood. At the time he visited his uncle, Isaac J. Martin, Jr. of Shelbyville for the first time since the Civil War. At that time he remarked that he remembered the Kaskaskia River being a big, wide river when he left in 1867, and in 1933 it was almost dry.
William M. Gowen wrote his will May 30, 1939 and named his “five living children” as heirs. He died of arteriosclerosis October 29, 1929, according to Garza County death records. Probate File No. 407 showed that his estate consisted of $2,245 in postal savings certificates. He was buried at Post.
Children born to William M. Gowen and Laura Maxwell Gowen include:
Joseph Henry Gowen born November 24, 1886
George Fancher Gowen born January 10, 1888
Anna Belle Gowen born November 13, 1889
William Thomas Gowen born April 16, 1892
John Sherman Gowen born December 7, 1893
Martha Carolee Gowen born April 2, 1897
Frank Maxwell Gowen born September 22, 1901
Joseph Henry Gowan, [William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of William M. Gowen and Laura Maxwell Gowen, was born at Lead Hill, Arkansas November 24, 1886.
An account of the life of Joseph Henry Gowan was written in May 1996 by his son, Patrick William Gowan of San Diego, a member of the Foundation Editorial Board.
“Joseph Henry Gowan, the eldest child of William M. and Laura Maxwell Gowan, was born on a farm of 160 acres located in Boone County on the White River about 6 miles north of Lead Hill, Arkansas November 24, 1886.
Six other children were born on that farm to William and Laura:
George Fancher Gowan born January 10, 1888
Anna Belle Gowan born November 13, 1889
William Thomas Gowan born April 16, 1892
John Sherman Gowan born December 7, 1893
Martha Carolee Gowan born April 2, 1897
Frank Maxwell Gowan born September 22, 1901
[The family name was spelled “Gowen” until 1907, but after that the family gradually began to spell it “Gowan.” When Joe enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1911, the name was spelled Gowan in the induction process. Joe kept this spelling for the rest of his life and requested that the rest of his family do likewise. They all complied with his request.]
Joe grew up on his fathers farm, helping with planting and cultivation of the crops. I remember him telling me of the hours he spent making split rail fences, “just like Abe Lincoln did.” He did a lot of fishing on the White River and hunted turkey and coon on the river’s bottom land on the farm. Joe attended the Fair View School which was about one mile south of the Gowen house; this was the typical one room country school, teaching grades first through eighth. He also attended Lead Hill School which went through the tenth grade. There he played a lot of baseball. They made their own baseballs out of string which was saved. After graduation, he clerked in the Lead Hill general store for two years and taught at a nearby school for one year. He may have been influenced in the decision to leave teaching when one of his students pulled a knife on him during class.
After leaving teaching, he enrolled in the School of Telegraphy in Chillicothe, Missouri, graduating in 1905. He then obtained work as a telegraph operator on the Santa Fe Railroad at Hackney, Kansas, but left there in 1908 to join some friends who were going to homestead land in the Estancia Valley of New Mexico, near the town of Estancia.
After about a year, Joe vacated his homestead and obtained a job at Dawson, New Mexico as lineman and electrician with a large coal company. He left Dawson in 1910, and moved to Belen, New Mexico where he obtained employment with the Santa Fe Railway Company as a locomotive fireman working east from Belen. My Uncle Frank, who also worked as a fireman on this route, stated that it was a steep grade for the first fifty miles, so Joe was kept busy shoveling coal. In late 1910, he was laid off from the railroad. After a visit home with his family, who had just moved to Harrison, Arkansas, he went to El Paso, Texas, hoping to get a job with the Southern Pacific Railroad. He stayed for a few months in El Paso visiting his brother Tom who was working for the Santa Fe as a telegrapher, but, being unable to obtain steady employment, he decided to enlist in the U.S. Navy.
Joe enlisted in the Navy at Kansas City, Missouri August 22, 1911. Because of his experience as a telegrapher, he was able to enlist as a Landsman Electrician. After boot camp, he was transferred to the U.S.S. Raleigh, a cruiser in the Pacific fleet. Life for an enlisted man was not easy in those days. I remember him telling me that each sailor was issued one bucket of fresh water daily. This had to serve for all personal needs including clothes washing. By June 1914, he had been promoted to Electrician [Radio]) First Class and was transferred to the Naval Radio Station, Tatoosh Island, Washington. This island is one mile off the northwest tip of the Olympic Peninsula, and the adjacent part of the peninsula is an Indian reservation.
Obviously, there were no good liberty towns nearby, so Joe took a correspondence course in mathematics to keep occupied and out of the rain while not on duty. In January 1915, he was assigned to the coal-burning battleship U.S.S. Oregon, and steamed from Bremerton, Washington to San Francisco where his enlistment expired. After a visit home, he reenlisted and was assigned to the cruiser U.S.S. Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Fleet. In October 1917, while the Pittsburgh was assigned to patrol duty between South America and Africa, he was promoted to Gunner [Radio].
Ensign Joseph Henry Gowan of the U. S. Navy showed his home town as Las Animas, Colorado, according to “Colora-do Soldiers in World War I.”
In January 1918, he was ordered to Paris, France for aviation duty, from where he was ordered to command a detachment constructing a naval air station at Gujan, France, [west of Bordeaux], where he later served as executive officer. In April 1918 he was ordered to the Naval Air Station at Arcachon, France where he received flight training in Navy flying boats. Joe stayed at NAS Arcachon as a flying boat pilot until the end of the war. With demobilization proceeding, Joe decided that he liked flying and decided to stay in the Navy and apply for regular commission. He may have considered flight pay, which in addition to regular pay, provided a handsome salary for a naval aviator. Returning to the United States in the spring of 1919, he was briefly stationed at NAS Akron, Ohio and then at NAS Pensacola, Florida where he completed Lighter Than Air [LTA] training in July 1919. He was designated a naval aviator, and then served as an LTA instructor. He was also promoted to ensign. In September 1919 he was married to Miss Ida Clarice Epp in Kansas City, Missouri. Two sons were born to them, myself in January 1922, in San Diego and Richard in August 1923, in Lakewood, New Jersey.
In 1920, Joe was transferred to San Diego where he was an LTA pilot until August, 1921 in support of fleet operations. Two noteworthy flights took place during this time. On September 30, 1920 he was assistant pilot of a C-type blimp with a crew of four which crashed in a canyon near Los Angles during foggy weather. He walked away unscathed. Then, on March 29, 1921, he was the pilot of a B-type blimp with a crew of three on a photographic mission for the fleet. On return to San Diego the engine stopped over La Jolla, and the blimp was rapidly being carried by prevailing winds to nearby mountains where it would have been wrecked. Joe and the crew traced the trouble to an inoperative fuel pump, and jury‑rigged a gravity‑fed gas line to the engine. They then siphoned gas from the main tank and hand carried it to the jury rigged gas line. They were able to keep the engines going until the airship returned to base safely. Joe received a letter of commendation for his action.
These two incidents must have made Joe think of his long‑term chances of survival in lighter‑than‑air, for he returned to flying airplanes in August, 1921 in San Diego. He received a few hours of instruction and was soon flying fighters and flying boats in support of fleet operations [i.e. spotting gunnery exercises by the Battle Fleet.] He was promoted to lieutenant j.g. in December 1922. In July, 1923, he was transferred to the NAS Lakehurst, New Jersey. where he tested aircraft. In October 1923, he was ordered to the U.S.S. Shenandoah, a large dirigible as radio communications officer for its commissioning and first flight.
He was detached from the Shenandoah in November and returned to test flying of aircraft. In January 1924, Joe was ordered to NAS Pensacola again for flight training. Although he was an experienced pilot he had not taken basic flight training for airplanes at NAS Pensacola and as told that if he wanted to continue his career as a naval aviator, he must take this training. He completed flight training and was then checked out in gunnery and bombing from navy fighters. I vaguely remember living in Pensacola. We rented a nice house on a little lake in the country. We had servants‑a naval aviator made a good salary.
Joe received orders to NAS North Island near San Diego in December 1924. At that time North Island was jointly used by the Army and Navy and was known as Rockwell Field. He flew VE‑7 and FB‑1 fighters and was assigned to Fighter Squadron VS‑2. After gunnery and bombing practice in January 1926, VS‑2 was assigned to the U.S.S. Langley, the first aircraft carrier in the United States Navy and participated in fleet exercises in the Pacific and Caribbean. While he was aboard, he assisted in the development of the carrier landing system during this tour and received a letter of commendation for his ideas. Joe was promoted to lieutenant in July 1926.
At that time written examinations were required, and sample questions were published several months in advance of the exam. A close personal friend of my parents told me that Joe was a whiz in navigation, and in spite of his limited education, could solve all of the problems. He was so well regarded that many Naval Academy graduates would request help from him with difficult problems. In July 1927, Joe was ordered to NAS Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii. He became commander of a torpedo plane squadron.
With the experience he acquired he was able to provide expert technical support for the development of the torpedo plane. The squadron flew patrol flights around Oahu and other Hawaiian islands and provided aviation support to fleet exercises. We enjoyed his tour immensely. We rented a house a few blocks from Waikiki Beach and went swimming there frequently. There I learned to swim and ride a surfboard.
The good life in Hawaii ended in May, 1931 when Joe was ordered to the U.S.S. Houston. This cruiser was sunk in March 1942, in Sundra Strait, Indonesia, attempting to evade a strong Japanese fleet and get to Australia. She was the flagship of the Asiatic fleet and carried four seaplanes which were launched by catapult, landed in the ocean, and were hoisted aboard by crane.
The whole family steamed from Honolulu aboard the Navy Transport Chaumant, and after a voyage of three weeks we disembarked in Manila. The Philippines were an American Colony. We rented a house in a nice section of the suburbs called Valhalla Court which was patrolled by Indian Sikh guards at night. There was no air conditioning, so housing was built with plenty of window space. At night we had mosquito nets over the beds because of malaria. Also, our house was supported by wood 4×4 piers which were set in moats of oil to keep out ants, centipedes and other insects. Dick and I were told to be careful of poisonous snakes when playing in the yard.
The depression had reached the Philippines, and labor was inexpensive. We had two servants, a general maid and a cook/gardener. Only wealthy people had automobiles. Taxicabs were unknown; one‑horse carriages took their place. The fleet made several cruises each year. It would go to the southern Philippine Island of Mindanao [which was never completely pacified], each December, return to Manila, and in early March would cruise to Hong Kong. After a stay of about a month, it would journey to Shanghai for a visit of a month, then to Tsingtao for a month, to the Chefoo, and on up to Tientsin for a shorter visit and finally to Chinwangtao to coal some of the older ships.
Many of the officers and men took leave when we were in Tientsin to visit Peking. Peking was a four hour trip by train from Tientsin. Then the trip south started, and the same ports were visited on the way down to allow arrival in Manila by about the first of November. With the world‑wide depression affecting the Far East, prices were very low for everything, and most dependents took advantage of this by traveling with the fleet, living in hotels, and securing passage in coastal steamers.
Children did not get much schooling. My brother and I attended the American school when we were in Manila. The student body was mostly children of Army and Navy personnel, and there were daily fights between Army and Navy children over which service was better. My mother hired a tutor when possible when we were in China, and although we were lacking in formal education, we made up for it in the experiences we received from traveling.
The British and French had some ships in China. In Shanghai I remember having a fist fight, in the courtyard of the hotel where we were staying, with the son of a British officer, over which fleet was better. I also remember swimming at Tsingtao with young British dependents accompanying their fleet. This was the time when the Japanese began their conquest of China. In February, 1932, when the fleet was in Manila, fighting spread to the mouth of the Yangtze River, and it was possible that it would affect American interests in Shanghai, so the U.S.S. Houston was ordered to proceed to the scene without delay.
The seaplanes had been undergoing overhaul at Cavite, the shore base, and were returned to the Houston on an expedited basis without having their armament, bomb racks and machine guns installed. Joe was now the senior aviator aboard the Houston, and the installation of the armament became his responsibility. This was completed in two days while the ship was underway. He flew observation flights during the fighting after the ship arrived in Shanghai and also commanded a detachment of 40 men from the U.S.S. Houston which was guarding American-owned Shanghai Power & Light Company. For all of this he received a letter of commendation.
Our tour was over in June, 1933, and Joe received orders to NAS Pensacola. After a return voyage aboard the U.S. Army transport Grant, we disembarked at San Francisco where the effects of the depression were quite evident. I remember seeing men selling apples in Union Square. The family bought a car and drove across country, and quite a few of the highways were dirt roads. We rented a house on the bay near the air station where there was lots of fishing, swimming, and boating. I entered Hallmark School in Pensacola in the sixth grade while Dick entered the fourth. Being new, we both found ourselves in fistfights on the second day of school. Luckily, we both won so we did not have any more trouble.
Joe was an instructor at Pensacola in seaplanes and torpedo bombers. In addition he transported personnel. He piloted the American ambassador to Cuba from Miami to Havana to Pensacola in January 1935. In June, 1935, Joe received orders to NAS San Diego. We make an uneventful automobile trip across the country, although the highways still left a lot to be desired. Shortly after Joe reported to his new duty station, Rockwell Field, which had been in joint use by the Army and Navy since World War I, was designated Naval Air Station, North Island and all of the Army left.
Joe was initially assigned to a utility squadron which provided support to the fleet during exercises and flew missions for the Naval Air Station. Promotions in the Navy as well as other branches of the Armed Forces had been very slow since the mid-1920s due to size limitation treaties with other nations made after WWI. However, following Japanese aggression in China and the start of WWII in Europe, expansion of the armed forces began and in late 1938 Joe was selected for promotion to Lieutenant Commander.
The selection process divided the selectees into two classes, best qualified and qualified. Graduates of the Naval Academy and other colleges were considered best qualified and were promoted without a written examination, but all others were considered qualified and were required to take a written exam. Joe passed his exam and was promoted in January, 1939.
Upon his promotion, two things occurred. First, he joined the NAS North Island officers’ club. He had never before joined an officers’ club because of his enlisted service, and the general feeling among some of the senior officers was that it was not proper for him to do so. Second, he was transferred to the NAS North Island Operations Department where he became Assistant Operations officer with a lot of administrative duties, but he continued to fly. He began to fly sea and land transport planes more often, although he flew fighters and other types from time to time.
In April 1940, Joe became the Operations Officer of NAS North Island, but still continued flying. On January 3, 1941, he was the pilot of a transport plane which crashed into a mountain as it was returning to San Diego from Texas. Not much is known of the circumstances except that it was late on a foggy night, and the plane was on instruments. NAS North Island was transmitting a radio beam which apparently was deflected by mineral deposits in the mountains, and the plane was close enough to San Diego to have begun its descent. Eleven other naval personnel were killed in the crash.
He was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery, and his wife now rests with him. At the time of his death, he was one of the most experienced pilots in the U.S. Navy. A street at NAS North Island was later named for him.
Note: All information up to Joe’s enlistment is taken from “Gowen 1687‑1980,” a family history written by my uncle Frank Maxwell Gowan of Phoenix, Arizona.”
Children born to Joseph Henry Gowan and Ida Clarice Epp Gowan include:
Patrick William Gowan born January 10, 1922
Richard Leroy Gowan born August 17, 1923
Patrick William Gowan, [Joseph Henry11, William M.10, [William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of Joseph Henry Gowan and Ida Clarice Epp Gowan, was born January 10, 1922 in San Diego, California. He was graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1944. He was married February 6, 1965 to Mary Ellen O’Rielly who was born in Portland, Oregon April 30, 1933. He retired from naval service as a Lt. Commander in 1986. During his engineering career with the U.S. gov-ernment, he had overseas assignments in Taiwan, Australia and Japan. He was registered in the state of California.
During his naval career, he had service in the Pacific, participating Philippine and Okinawan campaigns. Aboard the U.S.S. Portland [CA-33] he took part in the Battle of Surigao Strait October 24-26, 1944 near Leyte Gulf. During the Koreau War he served off the east coast of Korea.
In 1974 he was a civil engineer living in San Diego, California and was active in genealogical research of the Gowen family. He, a member of Gowen Research Foundation, continued in San Diego in 1994, in 1996 and in 2001.
Children born to Patrick William Gowan and Mary Ellen O’Rielly Gowan include:
John Joseph Gowan born January 10, 1966
Patrick William Gowan, Jr. born April 26, 1967
Ann Marie Gowan born December 22, 1968
John Joseph Gowan, [Patrick William12, Joseph Henry11, William M.10, [William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1], son of Patrick William Gowan and Mary Ellen O’Reilly Gowan, was born January 10, 1966. He obtained a bachelors and a masters degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Davis. In 1994 he was employed by Boeing Corporation in Seattle and was a bachelor.
Patrick William Gowan, Jr, [Patrick William12, Joseph Henry11, William M.10, [William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1], son of Patrick William Gowan and Mary Ellen O’Reilly Gowan, was born April 26, 1967. He was graduated from the University of San Diego in 1991 with a BA degree. He was married about 1992 to Mary Elizabeth Smith of Redlands, California. In 1994 they continued in San Diego where he was employed by Frito Lay Corporation.
Ann Marie Gowan [Patrick William12, Joseph Henry11, William M.10, [William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1], daughter of Patrick William Gowan and Mary Ellen O’Reilly Gowan, was born December 22, 1968. She was graduated from San Diego State University with a BS degree in nutrition in 1991. In 1994 she was employed by Cook County Hospital in Chicago as a registered dietician.
Richard Leroy Gowan, [Joseph Henry11, William M.10, [William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of Joseph Henry Gowan and Ida Clarice Epp Gowan, was born August 17, 1923 at Lakewood, New Jersey. Following three years service in the U. S. Army during World War II he was married about 1946 to Carol Sigrid Amundsen who was born at Coronado, California in October 1925. In 1980 he was an civilian engineer living at Bonita, California with a 28-year tenure with the U. S. Navy.
Children born to Richard Leroy Gowan and Carol Sigrid Amundsen Gowan include:
Christine Ann Gowan born September 11, 1948
Kathleen Clarice Gowan born October 4, 1949
Joseph Henry Gowan born December 8, 1953
Mathew Richard Gowan born September 30, 1955
Margaret Sigrid Gowan born February 23, 1957
Sean Thomas Gowan born November 13, 1965
Christina Ann Gowan, [Richard Leroy12, Joseph Henry11, William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] daughter of Richard Leroy Gowan and Carol Sigrid Amundsen Gowan, was born September 11, 1948 in San Diego, California. She was graduated from San Diego State University with a BS degree about 1968. In 1980 she was employed by San Diego County Welfare Department.
Kathleen Clarice Gowan, [Richard Leroy12, Joseph Henry11, William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] daughter of Richard Leroy Gowan and Carol Sigrid Amundsen Gowan, was born October 4, 1949 in San Diego, California. She was graduated from San Diego State University with a BS degree about 1970. She was married April 24, 1976 to Charles Holoway and in 1980 was employed as a registered technologist.
Joseph Henry Gowan, [Richard Leroy12, Joseph Henry11, William M.10, [William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of Richard Leroy Gowan and Carol Sigrid Amundsen Gowan, was born December 8, 1953 in San Diego, California. He was graduated from Shasta California College and in 1980 was employed as a Range Conservationist Technician for U. S. Forest Service.
Mathew Richard Gowan, [Richard Leroy12, Joseph Henry11, William M.10, [William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of Richard Leroy Gowan and Carol Sigrid Amundsen Gowan, was born September 30, 1955 in San Diego. In 1980 he, a graduate of Southwestern College, continued to live in San Diego where he was employed as an automobile mechanic.
Margaret Sigrid Gowan, [Richard Leroy12, Joseph Henry11, William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] daughter of Richard Leroy Gowan and Carol Sigrid Amundsen Gowan, was born February 23, 1957 in San Diego. She was married March 1, 1975 to Mark Kunde.
Sean Thomas Gowan, [Richard Leroy12, Joseph Henry11, William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of Richard Leroy Gowan and Carol Sigrid Amundsen Gowan, was born November 13, 1965 in San Diego. In 1980 he was a student living in the home of his parents.
Anna Bell Gowen, William M.10, [William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] daughter of William M. Gowen and Laura Maxwell Gowen, was born November 13, 1899 at Lead Hill, Arkansas. She was graduated from Mountain Home College and taught school prior to her marriage about 1917 in Harrison, Arkansas to Jack C. Nash, a dispatcher for Missouri & North Arkansas Railroad.
In 1918 they removed to Arizona where he became a train dispatcher in Phoenix, Arizona. In 1975 she, a widow, was living with her son in Tucson, Arizona. She died in Tucson January 4, 1976. One son was born to them:
James Nash born October 18, 1918
William Thomas Gowan, William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of William M. Gowen and Laura Maxwell Gowen, was born April 16, 1892 at Lead Hill, Arkansas. Because of the influence of his brother Joseph Henry Gowan he spelled his name with an “a,” and he enrolled in Santa Fe Railroad school of telegraphy in Topeka, Kansas about 1911.
Following graduation he continued with the Santa Fe in eastern Colorado until 1913 when he enlisted in the U. S. Army, serving three years in the Philippines. In 1916 he was stationed at Ft. Bliss, El Paso, Texas and participated in the incursion in pursuit of Pancho Villa. In 1917 he served in France as sergeant of Battery D, Fifth Field Artillery, First Division in World War I. He returned to the United States in September 1919 and was discharged in February 1920.
About 1923 he returned to Santa Fe Railroad and was assigned to Post, Texas. On August 4, 1925 he was married there to Billie Elizabeth Pitman, according to Garza County Marriage Book 1, page 388.
William Thomas Gowan developed a brain tumor while employed by Santa Fe Railroad at Post about 1944. The sympathetic company transferred him to an easier job at Longworth, Texas, but his condition continued to worsen, and he retired from the railroad.
He moved to El Paso, Texas where he was a patient at Beaumont Veterans Hospital. He was sent to Sawtell Veterans Hospital in Los Angeles, California for surgery. He died November 10, 1945, the day following his surgery, and was buried at Post.
Billie Elizabeth Pitman Gowen continued to live in El Paso. On June 5, 1948 she joined Thomas John Gowan and George William Gowan, her sons, and Laura Loraine Gowan Quijano, her daughter, in deeding their property in Post to Leland F. Long, according to Garza County Deed Book 53, page 232. The property was located just outside the eastern city limits on Clairmont Road.
Billie Elizabeth Pitman Gowan died in El Paso April 29, 1958, according to Texas BVS File 21110. Her tombstone in Terrace Cemetery, Post, Texas is engraved, “Billy E. Gowan, born 1906, died 1958.”
Children born to William Thomas Gowan and Billie Elizabeth Pitman Gowan include:
Laura Loraine Gowan born September 7, 1926
Thomas John Gowan born July 2, 1928
George William Gowan born November 12, 1935
Laura Loraine Gowan, [William Thomas13, Richard Leroy12, Joseph Henry11, William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] daughter of William Thomas Gowan and Billie Elizabeth Pitman Gowan, was born September 7, 1926 at Post, Texas, according to Garza County Birth Book 3, page 22. She was graduated from Roby, Texas high school about 1944 and was employed by Western Union as a telegraph operator.
She was married February 10, 1947 to Adolfo Quijano, according to El Paso County Marriage Book 46, page 14845. He was a professional boxer who was born in El Paso May 7, 1921. She joined her mother and her brothers in transferring the family’s home in Post Texas to Leland F. Long for $3,750 in 1948, according to Garza County deed records. She was appointed guardian of her brothers June 7, 1948. The couple was divorced about 1955. In 1980 Adolfo Quijano was a CETA employee working with Tigua Indians.
Laura Loraine Gowan Quijano was remarried about 1960 in Los Angeles, California, husband’s name Bloomer. She died in Los Angeles in 1975.
Children born to Adolfo Quijano and Laura Loraine Gowan Quijano include:
Adolfo Quijano, Jr. born April 14, 1948
Vickie Quijano born May 5, 1952
Children born to Laura Loraine Gowan Quijano Bloomer include:
Eddie Bloomer born March 8, 1962
Thomas John Gowan, [William Thomas13, Richard Leroy12, Joseph Henry11, William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of William Thomas Gowan and Billie Elizabeth Pitman Gowen, was born at Post, Texas, July 2, 1928. He was graduated from Sweetwater, Texas High School in 1945. He appeared in El Paso, Texas June 7, 1948 when his sister was appointed his guardian. On that date he received $1,250 as his inheritance. He was graduated from University of Texas with a BA degree about 1952. He was married about 1953, wife’s name unknown.
He was remarried June 17, 1964 to Sarah Louise Bennett, according to El Paso County Marriage Book 82, page 184. She was born in El Paso October 16, 1943. He, an engineer-fireman for Southern Pacific Railroad, and his wife appeared in the 1971 and the 1975 editions of the El Paso city directory living at 8513 Basil Court. They continued to live in El Paso in 1980. She was employed by Ysleta Independent School District as supervisor of special education.
Children born to Thomas John Gowan and his first wife include:
(infant) born June 12, 1955
Thomas John Gowan, Jr. born December 12, 1958
Children born to Thomas John Gowan and Sarah Louise Bennett Gowen include:
Lisa Elaine Gowan born June 6, 1965
Gregory Lamar Gowan born May 3, 1969
Debbie Lynn Gowan born March 5, 1971
Thomas John Gowan was the father of an infant born in El Paso County June 12, 1955, according to Texas BVS File 93313. Of this individual nothing more is known.
Thomas John Gowan, Jr, [Thomas John14, William Thomas13, Richard Leroy12, Joseph Henry11, William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of Thomas John Gowan, was born December 12, 1958 in El Paso County, according to Texas BVS File 226348. In 1980 he was a student at Texas A&M University Bio-Medical School.
Lisa Elaine Gowan, [Thomas John14, William Thomas13, Richard Leroy12, Joseph Henry11, William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] daughter of Thomas John Gowan and Sarah Louise Bennett Gowan, was born June 6, 1965 in El Paso, Texas. In 1980 she was a freshman at McArthur High School in El Paso.
Gregory Lamar Gowan, [Thomas John14, William Thomas13, Richard Leroy12, Joseph Henry11, William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of Thomas John Gowan and Sarah Louise Bennett Gowan, was born May 3, 1969 in El Paso, Texas. In 1980 he was a grade school student.
Debbie Lynn Gowan, [Thomas John14, William Thomas13, Richard Leroy12, Joseph Henry11, William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] daughter of Thomas John Gowan and Sarah Louise Bennett Gowen, was born March 5, 1971 in El Paso.
George William Gowan, [William Thomas13, Richard Leroy12, Joseph Henry11, William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of William Thomas Gowan and Billie Elizabeth Pitman Gowan, was born November 12, 1935 at Post, Texas, according to Texas BVS File No. 1306036. He appeared as a minor, age 12, in the estate settlement of his father in El Paso County, Texas June 7, 1948. His share of the sale of the family home was $1,250.
He was graduated about 1954 from El Paso Technical Institute. He was married about 1963 to Judy Hermann who was born in Wichita, Kansas December 8, 1942. In 1980 the couple was separated. At that time he was service manager for Olivetti Typewriter Company, St. Louis, Missouri.
Children born to George William Gowan and Judy Hermann Gowan include:
William Thomas Gowan born March 8, 1965
Richard Gowan born February 24, 1969
William Thomas Gowan, [George William14, [William Thomas13, Richard Leroy12, Joseph Henry11, William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of George William Gowan and Judy Hermann Gowan, was born March 8, 1965 at Webster Grove, Missouri. In 1980 he was a freshman at Webster Grove High School.
Richard Gowan, [George William14, [William Thomas13, Richard Leroy12, Joseph Henry11, William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] on of George William Gowan and Judy Hermann Gowan, was born February 24, 1969 at Webster Grove. In 1980 he attended grammar school in Webster Grove.
Martha Carolee Gowen, William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] daughter of William M. Gowen and Laura Maxwell Gowen, was born April 2, 1897 at Lead Hill, Arkansas. She was graduated from high school at Harrison, Arkansas in 1917 and became a schoolteacher. On July 19, 1919 she was married to Crayton Rowlett. They removed to Oil Hill, Kansas where he was employed by Empire Gas and Fuel Company. Crayton Rowlett established a trucking business in 1923 and removed to Madison, Kansas operating there through 1929. After a short time in McPherson, Kansas about 1935 the business was moved to Great Bend, Kansas. He was killed in an automobile accident October 24, 1944. Martha Carolee Gowen Rowlett continued to live in Great Bend in 1980.
Children born to Crayton Rowlett and Martha Carolee Gowen Rowlett include:
Jack Gowen Rowlett born June 6, 1921
Mary Lou Rowlett born January 15, 1927
Charles William Rowlett born March 6, 1929
Frank Maxwell Gowan, William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of William M. Gowen and Laura Maxwell Gowen, was born September 22, 1901 at Lead Hill, Arkansas. He attended the one-room Fairview School until his family removed to Harrison, Arkansas in 1914. In 1920 while on a visit to Phoenix, Arizona he obtained a job with Arizona Eastern Railroad at age 18 which influenced him to continue with railroads in his early professional career.
In July 1924 he was employed by Santa Fe Railroad and was based at Slaton, Texas. In 1925 he worked a short time for Southern Pacific Railway in Yuma, Arizona, and in 1926 he was located at Hayden Junction, Arizona with the Southern Pacific.
In 1928 he became a fireman with Southern Pacific operating from Phoenix. He was married June 30, 1931 to Anna S. Butler who was born in Phoenix September 22, 1911. In 1936 he received an appointment as boiler fireman at the Phoenix Post Office. He transferred to General Services Admin-istration in 1939. He retired October 1, 1971 after 35 years in Civil Service.
In his retirement Frank Maxwell Gowan began to research the history of the Gowen family, making trips to Tennessee, Illinois, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia to gather data. In 1980 he published “Gowen 1687-1980,” perhaps the first manuscript ever published which dealt exclusively with the history of the Gowen family. Because of his prolific correspondence and contagious enthusiasm for genealogy, he intersted others in the pursuit, and the Gowen family has greatly benefitted from his efforts. Many of the details of the family contained in this section were included through the courtesy of Frank Maxwell Gowan
Anna S. Butler Gowan died May 20, 1998 at the age of 87 as the result of injuries received in an automobile accident in Phoenix. She was survived by three daughters, nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Children born to Frank Maxwell Gowan and Anna S. Butler Gowan include:
Mary Jo Gowan born June 1, 1932
Helen May Gowan born May 5, 1938
Martha Ann Gowan born November 5, 1944
Mary Jo Gowan, [Frank Maxwell11, William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] daughter of Frank Maxwell Gowan and Anna S. Butler Gowan, was born in Phoenix June 1, 1932. She was graduated from Phoenix Union High School in 1950 and was employed by Mountain Bell Telephone Company at that time. She was married in Phoenix March 1, 1952 to Freeman M. Bray who was born in Oswego, Kansas July 29, 1928. In 1980 both were employed by Mountain Bell Telephone Company.
Children born to Freeman M. Bray and Mary Jo Gowan Bray include:
John Christopher Bray born January 13, 1956
Laurie Ann Bray born February 26, 1964
Helen May Gowan, [Frank Maxwell11, William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] daughter of Frank Maxwell Gowan and Anna S. Butler Gowan, was born May 5, 1938 in Phoenix. She was graduated from Arizona State University in 1960 with a degree in home economics. She was married July 16, 1960 to Fred W. Southard. In 1980 they continued in Phoenix where he was general manager of Slurry Seal Coating Company.
Children born to Fred W. Southard and Helen May Gowan Southard include:
Shari Lynn Southard born April 22, 1961
Brenda Sue Southard born June 26, 1962
Anna Marie Southard born March 11, 1964
Martha Ann Gowan, [Frank Maxwell11, William M.10, William9, Joseph8, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] daughter of Frank Maxwell Gowan and Anna S. Butler Gowan, was born November 5, 1944 in Phoenix. She was graduated from Carl Hayden High School in 1961. She was married in Phoenix August 24, 1963 to Carl Lyle Cathcart who was born in Phoenix November 19, 1940. In 1980 Carl Lyle Cathcart, an Arizona State Livestock Inspector, was stationed at Camp Verde, Arizona.
Children born to Carl Lyle Cathcart and Martha Ann Gowan Cathcart include:
William Lyle Cathcart born June 30, 1964
Kelly Sue Cathcart born October 31, 1966
Joann Cathcart born May 10, 1972
James Gowen, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of Allen Gowen, was born about 1777 in Greenville County, South Carolina. It is believed that he was brought to Davidson County in 1796 by his father. He purchased a horse for $79.25 at his father’s estate sale held in May 1800.
On December 18, 1806 he witnessed a land transaction between Elisha Prewitt and John Gowen in Rutherford County. On April 6, 1807 he was a witness to a deed involving Elisha Prewitt and David Howell for 263 acres of land “which adjoins Joseph Gowen’s northeast corner.”
Of James Gowen nothing more is known.
Allen Gowen, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of Allen Gowen, was born about 1778 in Greenville County.
Rhody Gowen, Allen7, Joseph6, William5, John4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] daughter of Allen Gowen, was born about 1779 in Greenville County. She was married August 22, 1799 to David Crouch, Jr. in Nashville. He was born April 14, 1775 in Ipswich, Massachusetts in Essex County, according to Anna Haller, a descendant of Michigan. His parents were David Crouch, born about 1750 and Rosalie Chapman Crouch.
David Crouch appeared on a jury panel in the January 1800 session of the Davidson County Court.
David Crouch purchased 30 of the 70 lots offered at the auction of the estate of Allen Gowen for a total of $135.62½. Apparently the young couple was in the process of setting up housekeeping and bought many of the sale offerings. Proceeds of the auction totaled $604.02.
Children born to David Crouch, Jr. and Rhoda Gowen Crouch include:
Obadiah [Berry?] Crouch born February 14, 1807
Rhoda Crouch born about 1815
[child] born about 1819
Obadiah [Berry?] Crouch, son of David Crouch, Jr. and Rhoda Gowen Crouch, was born February 14, 1807 in Warren County, Kentucky. He was married May 13, 1828 in Henry County, Tennessee to Annis Swor. He was remarried there 32 years later to Nancy J. Valentine November 4, 1860.
Obadiah Crouch died February 17, 1886 at Buchanan, Tennessee in Henry County. He was buried there in the Crouch Cemetery.
Children born to Obadiah Crouch and Annis Swor Crouch include:
Francis Marion Crouch born September 2, 1829
Abner Dixon Crouch born May 23, 1831
William Riley Crouch February 20, 1833
Louise Milinda Crouch born February 20, 1834
Thomas Jefferson Crouch born June 7, 1836
Martin Van Buren Crouch born November 30, 1837
Martha Ann Crouch born August 27, 1839
Franklin Jackson Crouch born March 25, 1841
David Clark Crouch born May 28, 1843
Sarah Elizabeth Crouch born March 30, 1846
Margaret Crouch born January 11, 1849
Rhoda Jane Crouch born August 14, 1850
Fannie Crouch born March 23, 1852
Andrew Jackson Crouch born August 25, 1853
Children born to Obadiah Crouch and Nancy J. Valentine Crouch include:
Albert Sidney Crouch born December 29, 1861
Francis Marion Crouch, son of Obadiah Crouch and Annis Swor Crouch, was born September 2, 1829 in Tennssee. He was married about 1852, wife’s name Jennie Laurie. He died June 6, 1908 and was buried in New Bethel Cemetery at Buchanan, Tennessee.
Abner Dixon Crouch, son of Obadiah Crouch and Annis Swor Crouch, was born May 23, 1831, according to Anna, a great-granddaughter. He was married in July 1859 to Adaline Ray in Henry County. She was buried in West Fork Cemetery at Stella, Kentucky in Calloway County.
Children born to Abner Dixon Crouch and Adaline Ray Crouch include:
Alexander John Crouch born about 1864
Alexander John Crouch, son of Abner Dixon Crouch and Adaline Ray Crouch, was born about 1864. He was married about 1887 to Marina Josephine Sturdivant. She died in 1936, and he died in 1944, according to his granddaughter, Anna who was born in 1937.
William Riley Crouch, son of Obadiah Crouch and Annis Swor Crouch, was born February 20, 1833.
Louise Milinda Crouch, daughter of Obadiah Crouch and Annis Swor Crouch, was born February 20, 1834. She died March 7, 1901.
Thomas Jefferson Crouch, son of Obadiah Crouch and Annis Swor Crouch, was born June 8, 1836. He died August 24, 1861.
Martin Van Buren Crouch, son of Obadiah Crouch and Annis Swor Crouch, was born November 30, 1837. He died March 26, 1863 at Shelbyville, Tennessee as a Confederate soldier.
Martha Ann Crouch, daughter of Obadiah Crouch and Annis Swor Crouch, was born August 27, 1839. She died November 27, 1876.
Franklin Jackson Crouch, son of Obadiah Crouch and Annis Swor Crouch, was born March 25, 1841 in Henry County. He died June 12, 1932 in Sumner County, Tennessee.
David Clark Crouch, son of Obadiah Crouch and Annis Swor Crouch, was born May 28, 1843 “at New Beaver Dam,” according to to Anna. He died August 24, 1921.
Sarah Elizabeth Crouch, daughter of Obadiah Crouch and Annis Swor Crouch, was born March 30, 1846. She was married about 1863 to Robert Jackson. She died February 4, 1866.
Margaret Crouch, daughter of Obadiah Crouch and Annis Swor Crouch, was born January 11, 1849. She died September 15, 1888.
Rhoda Jane Crouch, daughter of Obadiah Crouch and Annis Swor Crouch, was born August 14, 1850. She died March 15, 1834.
Fannie Crouch, daughter of Obadiah Crouch and Annis Swor Crouch, was born March 23, 1952. She was married October 14, 1874 to Henry Dubuque in Marshall County, Kentucky.
Andrew Jackson Crouch, son of Obadiah Crouch and Annis Swor Crouch, was born August 25, 1853 in Henry County. He died May 9, 1940 in Paducah, Kentucky.
Albert Sidney Crouch, son of Obadiah Crouch and Nancy J. Valentine Crouch, was born December 29, 1861
Rhoda Crouch, daughter of David Crouch, Jr. and Rhoda Gowen Crouch, was born in 1815, place unknown. She was married about 1833 to Nicholas Hale. She died in 1860, about age 45 in Mayfield, Kentucky in Graves County.
Another child, name unknown, was born to David Crouch, Jr. and Rhoda Gowen Crouch about 1819.
Gowen Research Foundation Phone:806/795-8758, 795-9694
5708 Gary Avenue E-mail: email@example.com
Lubbock, Texas, 79413-4822 GOWENMS.006, 08/03/02
Mary Jo Gowan Bray, 5719 E. Aster, Scottsdale, AZ, 85254, 602/948-6554
Jack Harold Goins, 270 Holston View Dr, Rogersville, TN, 37857, 615/272-7297,
Dr. Virginia Easley DeMarce, 5635 North 25th Road, Arlington, VA, 22207
Chan Edmondson, 4051 Buena Vista St, Dallas, TX, 75214, 214/522-7559,
Patrick William Gowan, 707 Orange Ave, #A-1, Coronado, CA, 92112,
Arlee Gowen, 5708 Gary Ave, Lubbock, TX, 79413, 806/795-8758, firstname.lastname@example.org
M. Ruth Johnson, 3705 Bloomingdale Rd, Kingsport, TN, 37660,
Donna Gowin Johnston, 1513 Westridge Terraee, Casper, WY, 82604,
Shari Lynn Southard, 5240 W. Las Palmaritas, Glendale, AZ, 85302
Elizabeth Elaine Goynes Walleck, email@example.com
Cleve Weathers, 315 Deaderick St, Nashville, TN, 615/844-5432, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gowen Research Foundation 806/795-8758 or 795-9694
5708 Gary Avenue E-mail: email@example.com
Lubbock, Texas, 79413
NOTE: The above information produced by the Gowen Research Foundation (GRF), and parts of the “Gowen Manuscript” they worked on producing. It has tons of information – much of it is correct, but be careful, some of it is not correct – so check their sources and logic. I’ve copied some of their information in the past researching my own family, only to find out there were some clear mistakes. So be sure to check the information to verify if it is right before citing the source and believing the person who researched it before was 100% correct. Most of the information I found there seems to be correct, but some is not.
Their website is: Internet: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~gowenrf
There does not seem to be anyone “manning the ship” at the Gowen Research Foundation, or Gowen Manuscript site any longer, and there is no way to contact anyone about any errors. The pages themselves don’t have a mechanism to leave a note for others to see any “new information” that you may have that shows when you find info that shows something is wrong, or when something has been verified.
Feel free to leave messages about any new information found, or errors in these pages, or information that has been verified that those who wrote these pages may not have known about.