William Gowen was one of four individuals, two fathers and two sons, of that name who appeared in the early days of Davidson and Rutherford Counties at the same. The researcher has to be careful in delineating between the four so that the activities of one are not improperly 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 named as a petit juror January 11, 1798. On the following day, “William Gowen, Allen Gowen and Joseph Gowen,” regarded as cousins of Lt. William Gowen, were called for jury duty in Davidson County. This is the first occasion that these three appeared in the legal records of Davidson County, suggesting that they had arrived shortly before from Greenville County, South Carolina. William Gowen was again summoned for jury duty January 15, 1799.
On July 8, 1799 William Gowen was summoned to serve on the grand jury, according to Davidson County court records.
William Gowen gave a deed to Francis Sanders and William Sanders which was proved in court my John Buchanan April 5, 1802.
On October 15, 1799 William Gowen was a member of a road venire instructed by the Davidson County Court to layout a road “from the mouth of McCutchen’s Creek to where John Cummins now lives.” On the following day, William Gowen, William Gowen, Jr. and John Gowen and four other men were named as veniremen to layoff a road “beginning at Taylor’s Trace by Gowen’s Station, thence to Mill Creek at Hague’s old ford, leaving Wright’s Plantation on the left, thence to intersect the road from Maj. Buchanan’s to Nashville. The group was reappointed to the project April 4, 1800.
William Gowen was named to Jury No. 5 on January 14, 1800, to Jury No. 14 on January 17, 1800 and to Jury No. 27 on April 19, 1800. “William Gowen, Sr.” was named a grandjuror October 13, 1800.
William Gowen was named a grandjuror October 3, 1801. On April 16, 1801 he was appointed to Jury No. 12 and to Jury No. 19 on April 18, 1801.
In the matter of Simon McClendon vs. William Gowen, appeal, the jury wrote its verdict April 18, 1801, “If the suit is for the [court?] costs, we find for the defendant. If the suit is for an assumpsit, we find for the plantiff $19.99.” Assumpsit, meaning “he has undertaken” in Latin, in English law was an obsolete form of action for the recovery of damages caused by a breach of contract.
William Gowen was listed as a purchaser at the estate sale of Thomas Martin, deceased reported to the Davidson County Court in its April 1802 term, according to Davidson County Will Book 1, page 236.
In 1803 Rutherford County was created from the southeastern portion of Davidson County, and William Gowen began to appear in the legal records of the new county.
On May 4, 1807 William Gowen deeded 150 acres on the West Fork of Stone’s River to John Lawrence for $450, according to Rutherford County Deed Book E, pages 430 and 505. The trade, which involved the land that he had purchased at the sheriff’s sale in 1795, was completed October 5, 1807.
William Gowen, along with his brother, John Gowen, was listed in a tax list of Davidson County in 1812, according to records of Davidson County Court. The two were shown in the company enumerated by Capt. Belk. William Gowen was listed as Householder 1686, according to Davidson County Minute Book, page 826, as abstracted in “Pioneers of Davidson County, Tennessee” by Edythe Rucker Whitley.
On March 1, 1816 “William Gowan” was shown to be indebted to the estate of Maj. John Strother, deceased. He had given Maj. Strother a bond, according to Davidson County Will Book 2, page 433.
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 was being implicated, who the mother was, and what the name of the child was. It has been suggested that the child was Samuel Thomas Beavers.
On March 20, 1818 Lt. William Gowen deeded 200 acres of land located on Mill Creek to his brother, John Gowen, according to Davidson County Deed Book M, page 338. This tract of land which was sold for $2,300, was located in the southeast section of the original pre-emption of his grandfather William Gowen and was described as:
“200 acres beginning at two post oaks marked as a corner between John Gowen and Daniel Vaulx, East with said Vaulx line 155 poles to a white oak marked as corner between David Vaulx and William Gowen, South 160 poles to a white oak being the Southeast corner of William Gowen’s preemption corner, West 200 poles with the South boundary line of said preemption to a stake in John Gowen’s East boundary line, North with said John Gowen line 160 poles to a stake, East 45 poles to the beginning.”
It is believed that William Gowen was married a third time, possibly to “Mrs. Beavers,” a widow, about 1819.
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 died prior to July 19, 1827 in Rutherford County for on that date Harriett Gowen and Samuel Thomas Beavers were listed as “minor heirs of William Gowen” in Rutherford County court records. At the of his death William Gowen owned 518 acres of land in Rutherford County.
Children born to William Gowen and his first wife are believed to include:
William Gowen, Jr. born about 1793
John S. Gowen born about 1795
One son was born to William Gowen and Martha Rains Gowen:
Alfred P. Gowen born about 1798
Children possibly born to William Gowen and his third wife include:
Samuel Thomas Beavers born about 1817
Harriett Gowen born about 1821
William Gowen, Jr. believed to be a son of William Gowen and his first wife, was born about 1793, probably in Davidson County. He was married March 30, 1814 to Mary “Polly” Crutchfield, daughter of Samuel Crutchfield and Sarah Shearin Crutchfield, according to the research of Robert L. Crutchfield of Montgomery, Texas. Mary “Polly” Crutchfield Gowen was born in North Carolina in 1792. Her family came from Warren County, North Carolina, and prior to that from Caroline County, Virginia.
On March 4, 2001 Robert Crutchfield wrote:
“Mary was the daughter of Samuel and Sarah Shearin Crutchfield of Warren County, North Carolina. While there is evidence that various Crutchfield families [e.g. John, James, William, and George] migrated to the middle Tennessee area as early as the 1780’s, I’m not aware of anyone who has “hard evidence” to prove and establish their exact relationship to each other.
As a matter of introduction, I offer the following infor-mation. Most Crutchfield researchers believe that Samuel Crutchfield was the son of Richard and Cath-erine Crutchfield who in 1752 settled in the area of Granville County, North Carolina that later became Bute and then Warren County [by division]. From tax, court, and property documents, it is known that Rich-ard Crutchfield had a son named William Crutchfield and one named Richard Crutchfield, Jr, but I know of no record that proves Samuel Crutchfield’s lineage to Richard Crutchfield other than by “absence” [i.e. no other Crutchfield’s mentioned in early local records other than Richard].
One of the early and well respected Crutchfield family researchers, Mr. James M. Cooper, theorized that Rich-ard Crutchfield ‘s son, William, may have been the William Crutchfield who traveled with the Donelson party. Through my own research I believe Mr. Coop-er’s theory has merit, but I am unaware of any “hard evidence” to substantiate it.
Richard Crutchfield, Sr. appears in numerous county records from 1752 until March 13, at which time he sold his property holdings to James Denby, according to Bute County, North Carolina Deed Book 6, Page 42. Richard Crutchfield had originally purchased this prop-erty, 320 acres from Robert Moody, Jr. May 8, 1753. The property is described as being located in Granville County, North Carolina lying on both sides of Jumping Run, north of the Tarr River and being one-half of the 640 acres granted to the said Moody by Lord Granville April 28, 1753, according to Granville County, Deed Book B, Page 298.
After Richard sold his property in 1775, I have been unable to find out exactly what happened to Richard Crutchfield, Sr. The surname “Moody” appears as a prominent given name in later Crutchfield generations. Given the timing of this transaction , 11 days after Moody was granted the land and the manner [i.e. split-ting in half] in which the property was divided, I be-lieve that Richard Crutchfield and Robert Moody, Jr. were closely related. I have not yet proven this.
The earliest record I have found for Samuel Crutchfield is dated January 10, 1784. Samuel appears as a witness to the Will of John Duke written on this date, according to Warren County, North Carolina Will Book 4, Page 256. Samuel is also enumerated in the 1784-1787 North Carolina state census of Warren County. Samuel Crutchfield’s household is comprised of “1 white male 21-60 years, 3 white males under 21 or over 60 years, and 3 white females.” Samuel’s enumeration took place in Capt. Colclough’s District.
On the 1790 Federal census of Warren County, NC Samuel Crutchfield’s household was located in the Hal-ifax District and contained “2 white males over 16 years [including head of household], 4 white males less than 16 years and 2 white females.” Samuel appears on at least one other public document in the year 1793 before his will entered probate in November 1795.
Samuel Crutchfield wrote his will May 1, 1795, ac-cording to Warren County Will Book 8, Page 179. In his will, Samuel disposes of his property as follows:
Item 1, to son, Samuel, a young mare colt;
Item 2, to son, Charles, the mare with fold;
Item 3, to wife, Sarah, all the rest of my worldly goods and “…after her [Sarah’s] death to be equally divided among all my children…” indicating more children than just the two named sons. This point is later proven in Sarah Crutchfield’s will filed in Rutherford County, Tennessee.
While a marriage record for Samuel and Sarah has not been found, substantiation of Sarah’s lineage comes from the will of John Shearin, her father, probated dur-ing the November term of 1795 in which John Shearin names one of his daughter’s as “Sarah Crutchfield,” ac-cording to Warren County, Will Book 8, Page 172.
Sadly, Sarah Shearin Crutchfield experienced the death of both her husband and father during the November term of 1795.
From other public documents it is known that Samuel’s widow, Sarah, and the children remained in Warren County up through 1806. The 1800 Federal Census of Warren County, shows both Sarah Crutchfield and her son, John Crutchfield, as residents of the county. Sam-uel’s son, Charles Crutchfield was married to Sally Neal in Warren County, on December 25, 1802.
From Warren County, North Carolina and Davidson County, Tennessee public records, it can be established that this Crutchfield family migrated to Davidson County, sometime between 1806-1808. Samuel’s son, Charles Crutchfield appears as a buyer at the estate sale of Betsy Macon on May 24, 1808. Charles Crutchfield also appears on a listing of Captain Belk’s Militia Com-pany during the Davidson County Court July Session of 1812.
John Crutchfield is listed on Rutherford County, Ten-nessee tax records for the years 1812 and 1813. Fur-ther, a John Crutchfield shown as a resident of Ruther-ford County, Tennessee served as a private in Capt. William Smith’s Company of Col. Cheatham’s Militia from 28 January 1814 to 10 May 1814, according to War of 1812 Service Records.
On March 30, 1814, Mary “Polly” Crutchfield, daugh-ter of Samuel Crutchfield and Sarah Shearin Crutch-field, was married to William D. Gowen in Davidson County.
On July 18, 1816, Samuel Crutchfield’s widow, Sarah, granted her son, Charles Crutchfield, power of attorney to sell her property in Warren County, NC, according to Davidson County Deed Book L, Page 361. On April 23, 1817, Sarah Crutchfield “of Davidson County” pur-chased 100 acres in Rutherford County, Tennessee from Thomas Shute, according to Rutherford County Deed Book L, Page 453.
On February 8, 1818, John Crutchfield “of Rutherford County, Tennessee” purchased 135 acres in Rutherford County from Thomas Shute, according to Rutherford County Deed Book L, Page 96).
Sarah Shearin Crutchfield remained in Rutherford County until her death in late 1827-early 1828 [exact date unknown], but her sons, Charles Crutchfield and John Crutchfield migrated to Henry County, Tennes-see.
The household of Charles Crutchfield was enumerated on the 1820 Federal Census of Davidson County, but on December 12, 1820, Charles Crutchfield, “assignee of the heirs of Joseph Sharren [sic] by virtue of Certif-icate No. 148 entered 304 acres of land in the 12th Dis-trict, Range 4, Section 7” of Henry County, according to Henry County Land Entry Book A, Page 16]. Charles lived out the remainder of his life in Henry County and appeared on the 1850 Federal Census of Henry County. Charles Crutchfield died there in the 1850’s.
John Crutchfield, son of Sarah Crutchfield, sold his property in Rutherford County November 9, 1819. It is not known if he is the elder male member of the Char-les Crutchfield household shown on the 1820 Davidson County census, or if perhaps he and his family were al-ready traveling to Henry County for there is a John Crutchfield enumerated in Perry County, Tennessee whose age in 1820 matches that of John.
Both Charles Crutchfield and John Crutchfield, in addi-tion to a Benjamin Crutchfield, appear on the 1830 Federal Census of Henry County, TN. More research must be done to positively establish the relationship of Benjamin Crutchfield to Charles Crutchfield and John Crutchfield. After 1830, John Crutchfield becomes very difficult to trace. From my research, I believe John Crutchfield returned to the Rutherford-Davidson County area and died there.
Also not yet absolutely proven is the relationship of the Oliver M. Crutchfield, Elisha Crutchfield, Gideon Crutchfield and Luddy Crutchfield who appear in early Davidson, Rutherford, and Bedford County records. From my own, as well as others’ research, it is believed that these four individuals were most likely children of John Crutchfield’s and grandchildren of Samuel Crutchfield and Sarah Shearin Crutchfield, but no one has come up with that absolute proof. Elisha, Oliver M. and Luddy migrated to the Graves-Hickman County, Kentucky area from 1841 to 1850.
Gideon is believed to have died prior to 1850 in Bed-ford County, Tennessee. I have not been able to prove what the intitial “M” stood for in Oliver M. Crutch-field’s name. From the “Moody” connection in 1753 as well as Elisha Crutchfield’s son being named “Samuel Moody Crutchfield,” I regard the connection as prob-able.”
William Crutchfield was a member of the party of Col. John Donelson, according to the journal kept by Donelson. They departed from Ft. Patrick Henry December 22, 1779. A. W. Putnam, writing in “History of Middle Tennessee” stated, “William Crutchfield and David Guinne arrived with Col. John Donelson at Big Salt Lick April 24, 1780 on a journey from Ft. Patrick Henry on the Holston River to French Salt Springs on the Cumberland River.” William Crutchfield was one of four elders in the Methodist Church in Davidson County in 1804, according to “History of Davidson County, Tennessee” by Prof. W. W. Clayton.
John Crutchfield was killed in the settlement and defense of Nashville, and his heirs received a land grant of 640 acres. Charles Crutchfield was enumerated in 1812 in “Capt. Belk’s company,” along with William Gowen.
Other Crutchfield individuals who appeared in the early deed and tax records of Rutherford County include: John Crutchfield, 1811, Elisha Crutchfield, Gideon Crutchfield and Oliver Moody Crutchfield. Oliver Moody Crutchfield was security for the marriage of Jesse Sullivan to Susannah Howell July 25, 1829, according to Rutherford County marriage records.
“Abraham Beavers, Executor” filed suit November 19, 1828 against “John Crutchfield et al,” according to Rutherford County Deed Book V, page 337. Beavers later reported to the court that “plaintiff intends no further to prosecute his suit against defendants upon payment of costs by defendants.” John Crutchfield and Charles Crutchfield, a brother-in-law to William Gowen, were enumerated in the 1850 and 1880 census returns of Rutherford County. Charles Crutchfield was married December 25, 1802 to Sally Neal in Warren County, North Carolina. They removed to Henderson County in 1820 and appeared there in the 1850 census
William Gowen was named as a juror in Rutherford County Court Minute Book S on July 22, 1823 [page 16], October 20, 1823 [page 113], October 21, 1823 [page 114], October 23, 1823 [page 131] and October 24, 1823 [page 133].
Sarah Shearin Crutchfield wrote her will May 5, 1826, leaving all her property to two grandchildren. The will read:
“In the name of God Amen.
I, Sarah Crutchfield, knowing that it is appointed for all persons once to die, Do make and publish this my last will and Testament, In manner and form following, Viz;
In the first place I will and bequeath to my Grandson Samuel Thomas Beavers one half of the tract of land whereon I now live and the other half of Said Land I give and bequeath to my Granddaughter Harriet Gowen to be equally divided between them by my Executors on east and west lines.
2nd. It is my desire that my Grandson Samuel Thos. Beavers heretofore named shall have one Gray mare and her colt, also one yearling colt, a sorrel. I also give to my Grandson Samuel Thomas Beavers Four head of cattle, it being all of my stock, furthermore I do give the said Samuel my stock of hogs. It is further my Desire that my Daughter Delila Beavers be permitted to live on and have possession of the whole of my Land until my grandson Samuel Thomas Beavers arrives to the age of Twenty one, Then the Division to take place between him and Harriet Gowen.
3rdly. I will and bequeath to my Daughter Polly Gowen one dollar to be paid by my Executors after my Decease.
4thly. To my son John Crutchfield I give one dollar to be paid by my Executors after my decease.
5thly. To my son Charles Crutchfield I give one dollar to be also paid by my Executors.
Lastly I do make ordain constitute and appoint Abram Beavers, and Robert Burnett my Executors of this my last will and Testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this fifth day of May in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight hundred and twenty-six, acknowledged to in presence of . . .”
Two days later, May 7, 1826, Sarah Shearin Crutchfield had an afterthought and added a codicil to her will providing that “my grandson Samuel Thomas Beavers to receive all my stock of horses, cattle and hogs, and I direct that the above be left in the care of Abram and Delila Beavers for their own use until their son arrives at age 21.”
Abraham Beavers had been appointed guardian “pendente lite” [pending litigation] for Samuel Thomas Beavers and Harriett Gowen, “minor heirs of Abram Beavers and William Gowen,” July 19, 1827, according to Rutherford County Court Minute Book V, page 22.
William Gowen, Jr. and Mary “Polly” Crutchfield Gowen questioned the will of Sarah Shearin Crutchfield, deceased, by filing suit in the Rutherford Circuit Court July 20, 1827. They were joined in the suit against Abraham Beavers and Delila “Dilly” Crutchfield Beavers by John Crutchfield and Charles Crutchfield. When the case came up for trial on July 23, 1827 it was “postponed to next term.” At that time the court appointed four men, Henry Ridley, James R. Ross, Carey Phelps and John Hill to arbitrate the matter, with the provision that if they could not reach a decision, they were to select a fifth man to umpire the decision.
On October 16, 1827 they agreed to binding arbitration, according to court records. It is believed that they were successful in modifying the will of Sarah Crutchfield in the arbitration process which was conducted by the Rutherford County men because in 1848 “Mary Gowen and Samuel T. Beavers” were joint defendants in a judgment suit which was decided against them in Rutherford Circuit Court. Since the two were jointly sued, it is assumed that Mary “Polly” Crutchfield Gowen had received some form of life estate in the property of her mother which probably passed in fee simple to Samuel Thomas Beavers, her nephew. It is suggested that Harriett Gowen had disposed of her interest or had died prior to this date since she was not a defendant in the suit. Harriet Gowen died August 14, 1839, according to Robert L. Crutchfield.
Charles Crutchfield was married November 25, 1845 to Mary Eastwood, according to Rutherford County marriage records.
William Gowen died between 1836 and 1840, and Mary “Polly” Crutchfield Gowen rented a house from her brother-in-law, Abraham Beavers. A rent receipt retained by John Gowen showed “Mary Gowen, Rent $15.75 paid to A. Beavers for the year 1840.”
The household of Mary “Polly” Crutchfield Gowen appeared in the 1840 census of Rutherford County, page 8, adjoining the farm of Abraham Beavers, as:
“Gowen, Mary white female 40-50″
white male 20-30
white male 15-20
white female 0-15
white male 5-10
white female 0-5”
Three members of the family were employed in a trade. Two adult members of the family could not read nor write. In the family of Abraham Beavers two male members of the household were engaged in agriculture. This family was rendered as:
“Beavers, Abraham white male 50-60
white female 50-60
white male 10-15
white female 60-70”
Abraham Beavers was married to Delila “Dilly” Crutchfield November 21, 1823, according to Rutherford County marriage records. B. Clark was bondsman for the marriage.
Apparently Mary “Polly” Crutchfield Gowen was sued in the Rutherford County Court in 1848, and her son John Gowen went to the courthouse to pay the judgment for her. The receipt read, “Received of Mary Gowen, by the hand of John Gowen, $6.15 in part of a judgment against her and Samuel T. Beavers on our Rutherford County Circuit Term of 1848. W. Morrow, Deputy Sheriff.”
The household of Mary “Polly” Crutchfield Gowen reappeared in the 1850 census of Rutherford County. On November 2, 1850 the family was enumerated in the May District, post office at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, page 212, as:
“Gowen, Mary 58, born in NC, illiterate
G. W. 21, born in TN, farmer,
Caroline 16, born in TN, attending
James 14, born in TN
Minerva 23, born in TN”
Another item retained by John Gowen was an 1853 double tax receipt, one section to “Mary Gowen, District 3 for 70c” and one section to “John Gowen, District 3, for 70c.” The receipts were consecutive entries, not cut apart, indicating that John Gowen paid her taxes at the same time he paid his.
It is believed that Mary “Polly” Crutchfield Gowen died about 1854 at a probable age of 62. It is believed that children born to William Gowen, Jr. and Mary “Polly” Crutchfield Gowen include:
John Gowen born Sept. 29, 1816
Eliza Gowen born about 1818
William Benjamin Gowen born May 4, 1821
Minerva J. Gowen born in 1827
George Washington Gowen born in 1829
Caroline M. Gowen born in 1834
James Gowen born in 1836
John Gowen, believed to be a son of William Gowen, Jr. and Mary “Polly” Crutchfield Gowen, was born September 29, 1816 in Davidson County, according to “Old Cemetery Records of Rutherford County, Tennessee” Volume I. He began paying taxes in Davidson County in 1833, at age 17, and remained on the county’s tax rolls until about 1858. He lived on land where the Central Tennessee State Hospital was located in 1974, according to Thomas Mason Gowen, a grandson who also reported that the ancestors of John Gowen also owned land where the Metropolitan Nashville Airport was later built near the hospital. In 1838 he was employed by a contractor who was building the Nashville-Chattanooga Railroad.
John Gowen is one of the catalysts of the Gowen family in middle Tennessee in the middle 1800s. He was a meticulous record keeper and, fortunately for descendants researching the family history, he retained receipts, bills, notes–and even grocery lists. It is through these scraps of paper that researchers have determined relationships between various members of the Gowen family. These scraps of paper have been carefully preserved by Thomas Mason Gowen.
Among the papers of John Gowen was a grocery list signed “Ursula Gowen.” The note read, “Get me a loaf of shuger, a bits worth of pensels, get 25c of celseigen magneibha [calcium magnesium], 25c Pels horehound candy, 25c of honey, 25c of indigo, get some paper [pepper?], get some selry [celery]. Ursula Gowen.”
This note suggests a relationship between Ursula Rains Gowen who married Wilford Burleson Gowen July 27, 1826 at Nashville and John Gowen. Since Ursula Rains Gowen died July 28, 1844 the note would have been handed to John Gowen while he was still a resident of Davidson County and perhaps a neighbor of Wilford Burleson Gowen.
One receipt indicates a relationship between John Gowen and Mary “Polly” Crutchfield Gowen, a widow, believed to be his mother, who appeared in Rutherford County before John Gowen moved there. The receipt reads, “Received of Mary Gowen, by the hand of John Gowen $6.15 in part of a judgment rendered against her and Samuel T. Beavers on our Rutherford County Circuit Term of 1848. W. Morrow, Deputy Sheriff.”
On January 22, 1848 he made some purchases from J. McNichol, clothier of Nashville, of some fancy wedding clothes, according to a receipt he meticulously retained. The bill reads:
“Mr. John Gowen
1848 In a/c with McNichol
1/22 for self 1 Blue-Blk Coat, 12/19/47 11.00
1/22 for self 2 3/4 yds. Blk Cassimere 1.50 4.13
1/22 for self Trimmings for Pants 0.37
1/22 for self 1 Pr. Boots 3.00
1/22 for self 1 Blk Cravat 1.25
1/22 for self 1 Silk Hndkf. 1.25
1/22 for self 1 Satin Vest 5.00
1/31 for self 1 Pr. White Silk Gloves 1.00
He was married February 3, 1848 in Davidson County to Martha Rebecca Ferguson who was born November 19, 1831 in Virginia and was reportedly related to President Andrew Jackson. Her family came to Tennessee sometime after 1841.
John Gowen added to his charge account with J. McNichol through the year with the following purchases:
“2/26 for self 2 Tins of Tobacco @.35 0.70
2/26 for self 9 Yds Homespun @ .125 1.13
5/5 for self 6 Twists of Tobacco @.35 2.10
5/5 for self 10 Yds Muslin @.30 3.00
5/5 for self 1 Pr Shoes 1.00
6/14 self & lady 8 Yds M Calico @ .18 1.44
6/14 self & lady 8 Yds Domestic @ .125 1.00
6/14 self & lady 1.5 Yds Irish Linen @ 1.00 1.50
6/14 self & lady 1.5 Doz. Pearl Buttons, .10 0.15
6/26 Mrs. Quimby 1.5 Yds. Irish Linen, .90 1.35
6/26 Mrs. Quimby 6 Yds. Unblchd Dom. @.10 0.60
Total $ 40.97
Dec. 15 Cr 22 Bu. Corn @1.00 -22.00
Amount due 27 Dec, 1848 $ 18.97”
John Gowen retained a tax receipt in the amount of 55c for the year 1849.
A promissory note dated January 25, 1849 indicated that John Gowen had borrowed money from John H. Gowen, unidentified. On January 14, 1850 John H. Gowen assigned the note to Charles Hays.
John Gowen was enumerated as the head of Household 272, Civil District 5, in the 1850 census of Davidson County:
“Gowen, John 32, born in TN, carpenter
Rebecca 19, born in VA
John 6/12, born in TN
Ferguson, Susan 52, born in VA
Jesse 14, born in VA
William 9, born in VA”
“Susan” Ferguson was the mother of Martha Rebecca Ferguson Gowen, and the two sons in the census enumeration were her brothers, Jesse Ferguson and William Blount Ferguson.
William Gowen, living nearby, was recorded as the head of Household No. 300-300 in Civil District 5. No Gowen householders were shown as residing within Nashville, but some were found in outlying Davidson County.
“Susan” Ferguson’s name was really Sarah Jane Waldrep Ferguson, according to Samuel Emmett Gowen. He cited an interview in 1958 with Aurelia [Amelia?] Price as his authority. His notes also made reference to Mrs. P. H. Rush, 801 Palmetto Street, Spartanburg, South Carolina. He reported that she was married in Virginia about 1828 to William Ferguson who turned out to be a philanderer. Six children were born to them before she left him. She received an inheritance from England and removed to Nashville in 1841 where she opened a grocery store on Fourth Street with the legacy. Her home was on Fifth Avenue “in front of Elm Street Church.” Apparently other members of the Waldrep family had preceded her to Nashville.
Children born to William Ferguson and Sarah Jane Waldrep Ferguson include:
Martha Rebecca Ferguson born Nov. 19, 1831
Selena Ferguson born about 1833
Amanda Ferguson born about 1834
Sarah Jane Ferguson born about 1835
Jesse Ferguson born in 1836
William Blount Ferguson born in 1841
Sarah Jane Ferguson was married about 1853, husband’s name Price, and became the mother of Amelia Price, Joseph Price and Henry Levi Price.
Jesse Ferguson was later married, divorced and then returned to live with the family of John Gowen.
William Blount Ferguson, only six months old when his mother removed to Nashville, spent his life in Davidson County. He was married about 1862 to Kate Nunnelly. The brother of Kate Nunnelly was “a mighty man,” according to Samuel Emmett Gowen:
“He would eat six goose eggs for breakfast. One time he got into a fight in a Nashville tavern and knocked two men’s heads together so hard that they both died; he was back on the mountain the next morning in time for breakfast. He would swing an oat sack full of corn, 300 to 400 pounds, over his shoulder and carry it to the mill.”
Another item retained by John Gowen was a receipt for $15 from C. C. Anderson dated January 20, 1851. Apparently John Gowen found the $15 on Mill Creek Turnpike in Davidson County, and when he determined that Anderson was the likely owner, he required Anderson to sign a legal affidavit that he had lost the money and that he had received it back from John Gowen. Thus John Gowen sought to protect himself against another claimant who might turn up for the money.
On March 10, 1851 John Gowen gave a note to Charles Hays, believed to be a cousin, to purchase the use of a slave boy. The note read:
“On or before the 25th of Dec. I promise to pay Charles Hays the sum of Sixty Dollars for the hire of a negro boy and to give him two summer and one winter suits, one blanket and hat. Witness my hand and seal this the 10th day of March, 1851.”
The note further identified Charles Hays as “Trustee for Venus Burnett,” apparently the owner of the slave. It was also noted “Peter [the slave?] quit the 1st September, 1851.”
According to Thomas Mason Gowen, John Gowen was “caught in a compromising position with his old gray mare” and was laughed out of the community. It is reported by descendants that John Gowen, a wheelwright, removed from the vicinity of Nashville to La Vergne, Tennessee about 1852 to land that in 1971 was owned by his grandson, Samuel Emmett Gowen.
Another item retained by John Gowen is an 1853 double tax receipt, one section to “Mary Gowen, District 3 for 70c” and one section to “John Gowen, District 3 for 70c.” The receipts were consecutive entries, not cut apart, indicating that John Gowen paid her taxes at the same time he paid his.
Among the papers of John Gowen was found a deed to him from H. W. Carroll. The deed, dated August 7, 1857, conveyed to John Gowen “the north one-half of Lot 1, Section 10, fronting on Washington Street, Tullahoma, Tennessee in Coffee County.” Witnesses to the transaction were William Price Gowen and D. E. Pearson, believed to be his cousins from Bedford County, Tennessee.
On July 3, 1858 John Gowen received a bill from a schoolmaster for the education of his son John Jones Gowen. The statement read:
“ For schooling son 7 mos. @ $1.00 per mo. 7.00
Fuel for school room .10
The statement was marked “Paid in full, October 15, 1858.”
Among the papers is a voucher for $28.35 of fodder delivered to Confederate cavalrymen by John Gowen. In 1863 John Gowen, at age 27, took an oath of non-combatant during the Civil War, according to a copy of the affidavit issued by the Union Army and retained by him. In the collection of papers is a permit dated September 8, 1863 from the Union army allowing John Gowen “to buy goods in Nashville and transport same to Rutherford County within the Federal lines.” One of the receipts records that during this period John Gowen purchased supplies totaling $13.75 from John Kirkman Hardware in Nashville.
Included in the collection is a receipt for a registered letter addressed to his brother, James Gowen of Jonesboro, Arkansas, dated December 7, 1871. Along with it is a letter dated December 30 [probably 1876] addressed to “Dear Mandy, Mary and Mallie,” identified as children of John Gowen. The letter was signed by “M. Gowen,” probably Minerva J. Gowen, sister to John Gowen.
An unattached postscript read, “P.S. I will send you the “Jonesboro Times” every week.” Yours, Ben.” Another brother, George Washington Gowen, had also moved from Rutherford County to Craighead County, Arkansas.
The household of John Gowen appeared in the 1880 census of Rutherford County, Enumeration District 191, Third Civil District, page 11 as:
“Gowen, John 64, born in TN, *father
born in VA, *mother
born in VA, farmer,
Martha R. 49, born in VA, father
born in VA, mother
born in VA, wife
John J. 30, born in TN, father born
in TN, mother born VA,
Amanda V. 25, born in TN, father born
in TN mother born in
Mary S. 22, born in TN, father born
in TN mother born in
Malvina 17, born in TN, father born
in TN, mother born in
James P. 11, born in TN, father born
in TN, mother born VA,
George W. 6, born in TN, father
born in TN, mother
born VA, son
[*believed to be an error.]
John Gowen died November 11, 1885 and was buried on his farm at La Vergne, Tennessee, near Jefferson Pike. His epitaph reads, “An honest man is the noblest work of God.”
Martha Rebecca Ferguson Gowen died December 18, 1910 at the age of 79 years, one month” and was buried beside her husband. The family cemetery, composed of 13 graves marked with tombstones, when visited in October 1981 by Arlee Claud Gowen and Thomas Mason Gowen, was in total neglect and very difficult to locate. Parcels of frontage property had been sold off from the family farm for residential lots, placing the cemetery in more remote access. Thomas Mason Gowen remarked that the cemetery also included at least two unmarked graves.
Also buried in the Gowen family cemetery was “Frank Vern Quimby, son of R. B. & C. M. Quimby, born April 21, 1885, died October 4, 1887.” It was also reported by Samuel Emmett Gowen that “Francis Quimby” [unidentified] was buried in the Gowen cemetery. Perhaps the two are the same individual.
Tulah Gentry Reddick stated in an interview with Sally Gentry Johnston that she had cousins by the name of Mary Quimby, Cynthia Quimby and Liza Quimby.
Children born to John Gowen and Martha Rebecca Ferguson Gowen include:
John Jones Gowen born Dec. 18, 1849
Amanda Virginia Gowen born July 18, 1855
Mary Susan Gowen born April 16, 1858
William Blair Gowen born July 11, 1860
Malvina “Mallie” Gowen born Dec. 20, 1862
Fannie Rebecca Gowen born Jan. 11, 1866
James Parmer Gowen born Jan. 6, 1869
George Washington Gowen born Feb. 8, 1874
John Jones Gowen, son of John Gowen and Martha Rebecca Ferguson Gowen, was born December 18, 1849 in Davidson County. He appeared as a six-month-old in his father’s household in the 1850 census of Davidson County. He was a namesake of his grandfather and perhaps his great-grandfather and father as well.
Writing of his uncle, Samuel Emmett Gowen stated,
“John, the oldest, was a fine gentlemen. He raised his own brothers and sisters after the death of their parents, and then the Luster children, children of one of his sisters whose husband was no ‘count, moved in, and he raised them. He always had a fine horse and would ride past the home of his sweetheart, Emma Carter every evening, but they never married.”
John Jones Gowen was enumerated in the 1920 census of Rutherford County in the home of his brother, George Washington Gowen as “age 70.”
He died unmarried at age 79, April 25, 1929, while feeding his livestock. Tennessee BVS Death Certificate states that his cause of death was “chronic valvular heart disease” and was signed by W. J. English, M.D. He was survived by two brothers, five nieces and five nephews. He was buried in the cemetery on the Gowen farm near La Vergne.
Newspaper obituaries of the death of John Jones Gowen were clipped by Rev. William Alexander Provine. His papers were collected and microfilmed and are available for research at Tennessee State Library & Archives in the “Rev. William Alexander Provine, 1867-1935” papers. Researcher Debbie Cox of Nashville found the clipping from unidentified newspapers:
“Lavernge, Tenn., April 27.–(Special) Funeral services for John J. Gowen, who died suddenly at his home one mile east of Lavergne, were held Saturday afternoon, conducted by, Elder John O. Hutchinson of Nashville, pastor of Lavergne Church of Christ. Mr. Gowen had been in failing health, for several months, but had recently made very satisfactory improvement, and his passing was a shock because of its suddenness. Mr. Gowen, who was 79 years old, was born, reared and lived his long life in Rutherford county, living and dying in the community in which he was born. He was the eldest son of John J. and Rebecca Ferguson Gowen, early settlers in this section. Although Mr.Gowen was a retired farmer, he continued in the truck garden industry until his death. He has been a member of the Church of Christ since boyhood.
He is survived by two brothers, James Gowen and George Gowen, both of Lavergne, and by five neices, Mrs. Davis Goodman, Mrs. Robert Fuqua, Mrs. Roy Flemming, of Nashville, Mrs. Neal Probey of Lavergne, and Mrs. Hugh Goodman of Nashville and the following nephews, Emmett Gowen of New York City, Dayton D. Gowen of Birmingham, Ala. and Thomas Mason Gowen of Lavergne.”
GOWEN–Saturday afternoon, April 25, 1929, at 5 o’clock at his home, Lavergne, Tenn., Mr. John Jones Gowen, in his 80th year. Survived by two brothers, J. P. Gowen and G. W.Gowen of Lavergne: five neices and five nephews.
Funeral from the home Saturday afternoon, April 27, 1929, at two o’clock, services conducted by Brother Hutcherson.
The following will serve as pallbearers: Joe Hill, W. B. Merritt, Joe B. Pope, J. T. Merritt, N. W. Carter and Claude Goodman.” Interment at the Gowen cemetery. W. H. King, funeral director.”
Amanda Virginia Gowen, daughter of John Gowen and Martha Rebecca Ferguson Gowen, was born July 18, 1855 in Rutherford County. In 1900 she was married to John Tyler Fergus as his second wife. He was born in Rutherford County in 1841, according to “Tennessee Confederate Widows and Their Families” abstracted by Edna Weifering.
It is believed that John Tyler Fergus and Amanda Virginia Gowen Fergus continued to make their home in Rutherford County. After his death in 1925 she kept house for her brothers, John Jones Gowen and James Parmer Gowen. She filed an application for Confederate Widow’s Pension No. 8953 and was successful. She died about 1930 and was buried in the family cemetery in an unmarked grave. Samuel Emmett Gowen wrote, “Willy Fergus was a professional baseball player at Little Rock.”
Mary Susan Gowen, daughter of John Gowen and Martha Rebecca Ferguson Gowen, was born April 16, 1858 in Rutherford County. She died unmarried in September 1890 and was buried in the family cemetery.
William Blair Gowen, son of John Gowen and Martha Rebecca Ferguson Gowen, was born July 11, 1860 in Rutherford County. He died unmarried at age 19, November 23, 1879 and was buried in the family cemetery. “That’s my drinking uncle,” Samuel Emmett Gowen wrote of him.
Malvina “Mallie” Gowen, daughter of John Gowen and Martha Rebecca Ferguson Gowen, was born December 20, 1862 at La Vergne. About 1885 she was married to John Boyd Luster in Davidson County. He was a road builder. Malvina “Mallie” Gowen Luster died March 19, 1902 and was buried at La Vergne in the family cemetery. John Boyd Luster was remarried January 20, 1909 to Hallie Buchanan. He died December 16, 1938 and was buried in the city cemetery in Nashville.
Children born to John Boyd Luster and Malvina “Mallie” Gowen Luster include:
Mary Lou Luster born September 14, 1886
Mallie Virginia Luster born December 17, 1888
Thomas Morton Luster born September 15, 1890
Willie Rebecca Luster born about 1893
Anna Beatrice Luster born July 13, 1896
Emma Carter Luster born March 13, 1902
Mary Lou Luster, daughter of John Boyd Luster and Malvina “Mallie” Gowen Luster, was born September 14, 1886 at Una, Tennessee in Davidson County. She was married December 12, 1910 to Hugh Goodman at Nashville. They lived at La Vergne where he was employed for 48 years by Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railroad as a conductor. He died June 17, 1947 and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Nashville. In January 1972 Mary Lou Luster Goodman lived at Lakeshore Convalescent Home at Nashville. She died in 1980.
Mallie Virginia Luster, daughter of John Boyd Luster and Malvina “Mallie” Gowen Luster, was born December 17, 1888 at Una. She was married December 26, 1906 to Davis Goodman, brother to Hugh Goodman who was also employed by Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railroad as a conductor. It is believed that Hugh Goodman died during the 1940s and was buried at La Vergne. In January 1972 Mallie Virginia Luster Goodman lived at 415 East Iris Drive, Nashville.
Children born to Davis Goodman and Mallie Virginia Luster Goodman include:
Hugh Marion Goodman born April 17, 1908
Wilma Louise Goodman born July 2, 1910
Mallie Aline Goodman born August 28, 1912
William Albert Goodman born May 6, 1915
Harry Noel Goodman born February 28, 1924
Hugh Marion Goodman, son of Davis Goodman and Mallie Virginia Luster Goodman, was born April 17, 1908 at La Vergne. In 1972 he was living in Chattanooga, Tennessee where he was employed by DuPont Corporation.
Wilma Louise Goodman, daughter of Davis Goodman and Mallie Virginia Luster Goodman, was born July 2, 1910 at La Vergne. About 1930 she was married to Carl Brower Kuhn. In January 1972 they lived in Nashville where he was employed as a pharmacist.
Mallie Aline Goodman, daughter of Davis Goodman and Mallie Virginia Luster Goodman, was born August 28, 1912 at La Vergne. About 1932 she was married to William Rufus Gleason. In January 1972 they were living in Nashville where he was employed as an accountant.
William Albert Goodman, son of Davis Goodman and Mallie Virginia Luster Goodman, was born May 6, 1915 at La Vergne. Of this individual nothing more is known.
Harry Noel Goodman, son of Davis Goodman and Mallie Virginia Luster Goodman, was born February 28, 1924. He was killed during World War II.
Thomas Morton Luster, son of John Boyd Luster and Malvina “Mallie” Gowen Luster, was born September 15, 1890 at Una. He was married July 3, 1910 to Lillie Mae Vaughn. They both died about 1960.
Willie Rebecca Luster, daughter of John Boyd Luster and Malvina “Mallie” Gowen Luster, was born about 1893. About 1913 she was married to Robert Fergus, son of John Fergus. He was a building contractor of Nashville.
Children born to Robert Fergus and Willie Rebecca Luster Fergus include:
Sarah Rebecca Fergus born about 1915
Nellie Roberts Fergus born about 1917
Anna Beatrice Luster, daughter of John Boyd Luster and Malvina “Mallie” Gowen Luster, was born July 13, 1896 at Una. She was married January 2, 1916 to Roy Dowell Fleming, a bridge builder.
Children born to Roy Dowell Fleming and Anna Beatrice Luster Fleming include:
Myra Luster Fleming born June 29, 1917
Roy Dowell Fleming, Jr. born Nov. 4, 1919
Mary Frances Fleming born January 8, 1921
John Boyd Fleming born July 20, 1923
Ralph Morton Fleming born July 26, 1925
Myra Luster Fleming, daughter of Roy Dowell Fleming and Anna Beatrice Luster Fleming, was born June 29, 1917. She was married about 1938, husband’s name Gardner. In 1972, she was employed as office manager of Dairymen, Inc. at Nashville.
On March 20, 1972, she wrote:
It was such a pleasure to meet you and your mother when you came for a visit at my aunt’s home. You were asking about Ben Gowen of Jonesboro, Arkansas, and I have gathered some additional information for you on him.
As my aunt in the nursing home remembered it, Ben Gowen was the son of Jim Gowen, and Jim Gowen was a brother of Uncle Wash Gowen and Aunt Minerva Gowen, his sister. After Ben’s parents died when Ben was small, Minerva went to Arkansas to live with her brother Wash Gowen and to help care for Ben.
Many years later after Ben was grown, he came to Rutherford County with the intent of placing a stone on the grave of Aunt Minerva in appreciation of her raising him. When he arrived at the front gate of the Gowen home, he told Uncle John J. Gowen why he had come. Uncle John replied that Minerva didn’t need a stone yet–that’s her settin’ there on the porch.
That’s the last she recalls of seeing or hearing anything about Ben Gowen. I asked her if he went back to Arkansas, and she supposes that he did.
Emma Carter Luster, daughter of John Boyd Luster and Malvina “Mallie” Gowen Luster, was born March 13, 1902 in Davidson County. She was named by her uncle John Jones Gowen for his sweetheart. About 1922 she was married to Neil Proby from whom she was later divorced. Later she was remarried to Robert McGuire, and in 1972 they were living in Nashville.
Children born to Neil Proby and Emma Carter Luster Proby include:
Sarah Lee Proby born about 1924
Mary Neal Proby born about 1926
Jane Proby born about 1929
Fannie Rebecca Gowen, daughter of John Gowen and Martha Rebecca Ferguson Gowen, was born January 11, 1866 in Rutherford County. She died February 13, 1869 at age three and was buried in the family cemetery.
James Parmer Gowen, son of John Gowen and Martha Rebecca Ferguson Gowen, was born January 6, 1869. In 1891 an entry appeared in the Nashville City Directory, “James P. Gowen, carpenter, boards at 413 Broad.” James Parmer Gowen contracted a virulent form of venereal disease in a visit to a Nashville brothel, according to Thomas Mason Gowen and as a result suffered a mild paralysis in his arms and legs for the remainder of his life.
He reappeared in 1895 as “James P. Gowen, clerk, W. G. Bush Company, boards at 620 Woodland.” In 1897 he was listed as “James P. Gowen, works at 224 North Market, boards at 1401 North Market.” Later he was employed by Gray-Dudley Hardware Company in Nashville.
Some time after 1900 James Parmer Gowen removed to La Vergne and brought his aunt, Minerva J. Gowen back from Jonesboro, Arkansas to keep house for him after the death of her brother, George Washington Gowen. James Parmer Gowen did not marry. He died about 1939 and was buried at La Vergne in the family cemetery.
George Washington Gowen, son of John Gowen and Martha Rebecca Ferguson Gowen and namesake of his uncle, George Washington Gowen, was born February 8, 1874 in Rutherford County. About 1899 he was married to Nona Elizabeth Duffell who was born at La Vergne May 12, 1875, the daughter of Benjamin Franklin Duffell who was born March 10, 1847 and died January 7, 1925.
In 1900 and until 1912 George Washington Gowen lived in Nashville and was listed in the Nashville City Directory as an “installer, Cumberland Telephone and Telegraph Company, home 1816 Boscobel.” In 1908 they returned to La Vergne and operated the family farm for a time and then moved there permanently in 1917.
George Washington Gowen was enumerated as the head of a household in the 1920 census of Rutherford County, Enumeration District 3, Household 403:
“Gowan, George W. 47, born in TN
Nona 44, born in TN
Samuel E. 17, born in TN, single
Dayton 16, born in TN, single
Clarence F. 14
Tom M. 2 1/4
Gowan, John 60, Single”
It was reported that the father of Martha Rebecca Ferguson Gowen was “about to die” in a letter written by Samuel Emmett Gowen April 25, 1924. On March 1, 1925, he wrote that he was “unable to come to Uncle Ben’s funeral.”
She died March 22, 1939, and he died at St. Thomas Hospital, Nashville April 14, 1941 at age 67 following an automobile accident in which he received a compound fracture of his right leg. They were buried in the family cemetery.
Children born to George Washington Gowen and Nona Elizabeth Duffell Gowen include:
James Clifton Gowen born Nov. 30, 1900
Samuel Emmett Gowen born Sept. 10, 1902
George Dayton Gowen born Feb. 7, 1904
Clarence Francis “Bill” Gowen born Oct. 13, 1905
Thomas Mason Gowen born Sept. 18, 1917
James Clifton Gowen, son of George Washington Gowen and Nona Elizabeth Duffell Gowen, was born November 30, 1900 at Nashville. He died July 2, 1901 and was buried in the cemetery on the Gowen farm at La Vergne.
Samuel Emmett Gowen, son of George Washington Gowen and Nona Elizabeth Duffell Gowen, was born September 10, 1902 in Nashville.
Some biographical material concerning Samuel Emmett Gowen is contained in “History of Rutherford County, Tennessee:”
“He was brought to Rutherford County to live on a farm there in 1908. He and three brothers helped chop, plow and haul. He went to a small country school and often worked as a laborer for 25c per day. He became a sharecropper and made only a scanty living. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in November 1919 and after two years returned to Charleston, South Carolina where he and a group of Marines became involved in an armed sortie against the Charleston police for which he was sentenced to five years in the naval prison at Paris Island. He served two years during which time he educated himself in the prison library.
“After his discharge in 1923 he wrote a book on his prison experiences entitled ‘Two Years.’ Later he worked as a newspaperman for various newspapers in Memphis, New Orleans, Nashville and New York. From 1923 to 1925 he worked on the ‘Memphis News-Scimitar’ and the ‘Memphis Commercial-Appeal’ from which he was fired in a dispute with an editor. In the summer of 1925 he worked on the ‘New Orleans Times-Picayune.’ In 1925 he was field secretary of the Florida Lumber and Millwork Association in Gainesville, Florida. He was a reporter on the ‘Bronx Home News’ in New York in 1926. In 1927 he was editor of the ‘Fourth Estate.’ From 1927 to 1929 he was publicity director of New York City.”
“His novels were about mountain people and have some of the flavor of ‘Tobacco Road.’ His newspaper articles revealed him to a be a labor union man. He often worked voluntarily as a labor organizer. He has been an ardent admirer of Russia. And he wrote in 1937, ‘I have a yearning to go to the Soviet Union and see with my own eyes the tremendous advance that is taking place there.'”
He was married to Mabel Owen, date unknown. This marriage ended in divorce May 12, 1941.
He was a member of the Communist Party, according to Thomas Mason Gowen. Once he taught creative writing at left-wing Commonwealth College, Mena, Arkansas.
About 1930 he became a novelist. In 1930 he wrote “A True Expose of Racketeers and Their Methods.” In 1932 he wrote “Mountain Born.” In 1933 “Dark Moon of March” was published. In 1937 he wrote “Old Hell.” In the late 1930s he lived at 251 East 45th Street, New York. There he met Claire Loeb who was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1907 and who was employed by International Nickel Company in New York in 1940. Following his divorce, they were married about 1941 in Rutherford County.
Samuel Emmett Gowen and Claire Loeb Gowen were mentioned in an article in the “Nashville Tennesseean” May 27, 1956. In 1971 they made their home at the Gowen family farm where his grandfather settled when he first moved to the La Vergne area. He died there July 3, 1973 and was buried in the family cemetery. In June 1982 Claire Loeb Gowen made her home in Largo, Florida with a sister. No children were born to them.
George Dayton Gowen, son of George Washington Gowen and Nona Elizabeth Duffell Gowen, was born February 7, 1904 in Nashville. In 1908 his family removed to the family farm in Rutherford County. He was graduated from La Vergne High School. Through the efforts of Samuel Emmett Gowen he obtained a job with a telephone line construction crew about 1922 and remained in the communications industry for the rest of his life.
He was married about 1928, wife’s name unknown. He was remarried May 11, 1946 at Birmingham, Alabama, wife’s name, Sue B. In 1961 and in 1971 George Dayton Gowen and his wife resided at Decatur, Alabama where he was employed by Southern Bell Telephone Company as a district plant manager. In 1973 George Dayton Gowen and Sue B. Gowen lived in Maitland, Florida. He died about 1978 and was buried in Birmingham.
Children born to George Dayton Gowen include:
Elizabeth Ann Gowen born January 22, 1930
Adrian Dayton Gowen born August 11, 1932
Adrian Dayton Gowen, son of George Dayton Gowen, was born August 11, 1932. In October 1981 he lived in Athens, Alabama where he was employed by Southern Bell Telephone Company.
Clarence Francis “Bill” Gowen, son of George Washington Gowen and Nona Elizabeth Duffell Gowen, was born October 13, 1905. His family removed to La Vergne in 1908, and he was graduated from high school there. About 1925 he was married to Thelma Sanders who was born January 4, 1904. In 1971 they lived in La Vergne where he was an interior decorator. He died in Donelson Hospital, Nashville October 17, 1972 and was buried in the family cemetery. Thelma Sanders Gowen in October 1981 continued to live on the family farm.
Children born to Clarence Francis “Bill” Gowen and Thelma Sanders Gowen include:
Iris Justine Gowen born October 15, 1931
Nona Frances Gowen born December 21, 1932
Nelwynn Jeanene Gowen born May 25, 1934
Travis Doyle Gowen born April 14, 1936
Lola Sandra Gowen born about 1939
Karen Vivian Gowen born in 1942
Coleman Hudson Gowen born about 1945
Iris Justine Gowen, daughter of Clarence Francis “Bill” Gowen and Thelma Sanders Gowen, was born October 15, 1931 at La Vergne. She was a roommate of Jo McCall at college. In August 1960 she was a stewardess for Braniff Airlines living in Houston, Texas. She was married about 1961, husband’s name Stanley, and in 1972 lived in La Vergne. In 1995 she lived at Smyrna, Tennessee.
Nona Frances Gowen, daughter of Clarence Francis “Bill” Gowen and Thelma Sanders Gowen, was born December 21, 1932 at La Vergne. She was married about 1952, husband’s name Stephens. In 1972 they lived in Nashville.
Nelwynn Jeanene Gowen, daughter of Clarence Francis “Bill” Gowen and Thelma Sanders Gowen, was born May 25, 1934 in La Vergne. On November 14, 1958 she was married to William Alfred Calvin in Nashville and continued there in 1972. In 1991 she lived in Nashville
Children born to William Alfred Calvin and Nelwyn Jeanene Gowen Calvin include:
William Dirk Calvin born about 1961
William Dirk Calvin, son of William Alfred Calvin and Nelwyn Jeanene Gowen Calvin, was born about 1961 in Nashville. In 1991, a financial broker, lived in Brentwood, Tennessee. He took the lead in restoring the family cemetery at La Vergne. Under his direction a steel fence was installed around the property, and the road approaching was paved.
William Dirk Calvin, a member of Gowen Research Foundation, in 1991 served as chairman of the Foundation’s Preservation Team.
Travis Doyle Gowen, son of Clarence Francis “Bill” Gowen and Thelma Sanders Gowen, was born March 14, 1936 at La Vergne. In 1962 he moved to Titusville, Florida. In 1972 and in 1991, he continued there.
Children born to him include:
Darrell L. Gowen born about 1959
Darrell L. Gowen, son of Travis Doyle Gowen, was born about 1959 in LaVergne. In 1991 he lived in Tampa, Florida when he wrote a letter to Arlee Claud Gowen.
Lola Sandra Gowen, daughter of Clarence Francis “Bill” Gowen and Thelma Sanders Gowen, was born about 1939 at La Vergne. She was married about 1959, husband’s name Epps. In 1972 they lived at La Vergne.
Vivian Karen Gowen, daughter of Clarence Francis “Bill” Gowen and Thelma Sanders Gowen, was born in 1942 at La Vergne. In 1965 she lived at 1809 19th Street in Nashville. On September 1, 1965 she was married to Thomas Wayne Newman of Nashville. In 1972 they continued to live in Nashville.
Coleman Hudson Gowen, son of Clarence Francis “Bill” Gowen and Thelma Sanders Gowen was born about 1945 at La Vergne. In 1972 he lived in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Thomas Mason Gowen, son of George Washington Gowen and Nona Elizabeth Duffell Gowen was born at La Vergne September 18, 1917. He was graduated from high school there about 1935. On December 25, 1940 he was married to Claudia Florence Gilley in Rutherford County. In 1971 they made their home at Manchester, Tennessee where he operated a dairy farm. In 1994 and in 2001 they continued there in retirement.
Thomas Mason Gowen became interested in the Gowen family history and spent several years in researching the family. He was a charter member of Gowen Research Foundation.
One son was born to Thomas Mason Gowen and Claudia Florence Gilley Gowen:
Alton Lynn Gowen born October 15, 1941
Alton Lynn Gowen, son of Thomas Mason Gowen and Claudia Florence Gilley Gowen, was born October 15, 1941 at La Vergne. In 1960 he attended University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In December 1971 he was living at Crownsville, Maryland. He developed an interest in family history and was in contact with a Gowen in Laurel, Maryland who was interested in genealogy.
He was married about 1971 to Florence Ann Gresham. He was graduated from University of Maryland with a degree in political science. In October 1981 the couple was divorced. In 1991 he lived in Potomac, Maryland and she in California.
Children born to Alton Lynn Gowen and Florence Ann Gresham Gowen include:
Kristen Nicole Gowen born December 19, 1974
Michael Ryan Gowen born April 8, 1978
Eliza Gowen, daughter of William Gowen, Jr. and Mary “Polly” Crutchfield, was born about 1818 in Rutherford County. She was married there October 17, 1837 to a first cousin once-removed, John R[ains?] Quimby. He was born about 1811 to Burwell B. Quimby and Susannah Rains Quimby. She was a daughter of Capt. John Rains and Christianna Gowen Rains. William Matthews was surety for the marriage, according to “Marriage Records of Rutherford County, Tennessee, 1804-1872” by Edythe Rucker Whitley.
John R. Quimby was enumerated in Davidson County in 1840. They continued there in 1842 and in 1847. In 1848 “Mrs. Quimby” received some cloth from J. McNichol, merchant of Nashville purchased for her by her brother, John Gowen.
In 1850 they were recorded in Haywood County, Tennessee. In Haywood County they lived near his mother, Susannah Rains Quimby and his brothers, Caswell R. Quimby, Hance Quimby, William Quimby and Jonas Quimby. William Quimby and Jonas Quimby died in Haywood County in the 1850s. Hance Quimby had removed to Texas about 1850. Caswell Quimby removed to Bradley County, Arkansas by 1851.
The genealogy of the Quimby family was writtem by Joy Quimby Stearns of Mt. Olive, Alabama and published in 1989 in “The History of Haywood County, Tennessee.”
By the 1860 census John R. Quimby had returned to Davidson County. They were enumerated in 1870 in Marshall County, Tennessee.
John R. Quimby died December 26, 1882 in Nashville and was buried in an unmarked grave, No. 143, Section 3, SGR3, Mt. Olivet Cemetery, according to the research of Mrs. Joy Quimby Stearns of Mt. Olive, Alabama. He died at age 71 “of consumption,” according to the burial records of Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
Children born to John R. Quimby and Eliza Gowen Quimby include;
Mary Quimby born about 1842
John Quimby born about 1847
Cynthia Quimby born about 1851
Robert Quimby born about 1854
James Quimby born about 1858
Buried in the Gowen family cemetery was “Frank Vern Quimby, son of R. B. & C. M. Quimby, born April 21, 1885, died October 4, 1887.” It was also reported by Samuel Emmett Gowen that “Francis Quimby” [unidentified] was buried in the Gowen cemetery. Perhaps the two are the same individual.
Tulah Gentry Reddick stated in an interview with Sally Gentry Johnston that she had cousins by the name of “Mary Quimby, Cynthia Quimby and Liza Quimby.”
Mary Quimby, daughter of John R. Quimby and Eliza Gowen Quimby, was born about 1842 in Rutherford County. She was married January 16, 1862 to Robert Hamlett.
Gowen Research Foundation Phone:806/795-8758, 795-9694
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Lubbock, Texas, 79413-4822 GOWENMS.024, 09/15/03
William Dirk Calvin, Box 58143, Nashville, TN, 37205, 615/646-5398
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Lubbock, Texas, 79413
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