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Entry No. 161, Nashville legal records, states that on August 13, 1790 “William Gowen sold to Frederick Stump one negro fellow supposed to be about one or two and 20 years of age” for 400 Spanish milled dollars.”
In 1776, the Continental Congress, on a proposal by Thomas Jefferson had adopted the Spanish dollar as the basic monetary unit for the fledgling nation. The dollar sign was taken from the pillars of the Spanish Imperial coat of arms with the motto “Plus Ultra” [and beyond; all this and more].
Capt. Frederick Stump had received Preemption Claim No. 1 calling for 640 acres on White Creek of the Cumberland River for services as a soldier of the Continental Line. Jacob Stump, believed to be a son of Capt. Frederick Stump, had received Preemption Claim No. 2 also calling for 640 acres of land on the Cumberland River. Jacob Stump was killed by Indians in November or December, 1780, according to Jane Thomas in her book, “Old Days of Nashville.” In the same incident “Capt. Frederick Stump, the old man, escaped after being chased three miles by the Indians.”
William Gowen was was shown to be a debtor of the Edwin Hickman estate July 17, 1791 for “ferriages and store accounts.”
William Gowen received a sheriff’s deed to 150 acres of land located on Stone’s River December 30, 1795, according to Davidson County Deed Book D, page 38. John Gowen received a deed on the same day to 50 acres on Stone’s River, according to Davidson County Deed Book D, page 40. Apparently the land, which was sold for delinquent taxes, lay in adjoining plots.
William Gowen was appointed administrator of the estate of his brother Allan Gowen who died about January 1800 in Davidson County.
On November 17, 1800 William Gowen, joined by his brother, Joseph Gowen, Jeremiah Moore and Frederick Foster, believ-ed to be brothers-in-law, each posted a $125 appearance bond for Thomas Plummer, probably a relative, according to David-son County court records.
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, unidentified, January 11, 1802, according to Davidson County Court Minute Book C, page 434.
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.
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.
On July 4, 1809 William Gowen purchased 150 acres of land in Rutherford County from his brother Joseph Gowen. On the following day he entered suit against Mark Mitchell and Robert H. Dyaer, and the jury awarded him $414 in a settlement. In 1809 “William Goins” paid a poll tax on “one adult male” and 47c tax on 150 acres of Rutherford County land. He again paid 47c tax on 150 acres and “one free poll” in 1810. He and Joseph Gowen were the only Gowens to appear in the county records in that year.
William Gowen in 1812 paid 51 cents in taxes on 275 acres located on Cripple Creek, according to the 1812 Rutherford County tax list. He also paid tax of 46 1/4 cents on 130 acres in 1812. William Gowen paid 46 cents tax on 150 acres and one free poll in 1813.
William Gowen on April 15, 1817 was appointed guardian for Joseph McFarland, “age 3 or 4 months, until he arrives at age 21,” according to Rutherford County Court Minute records. Francis Youree and Joseph Youree joined William Gowen as his bondsmen.
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].
William Gowen, appeared in the 1810 census of Rutherford County as a head of a household. The family was rendered as:
“Gowen, William white male 26-45
white female 26-45
white male 10-16
white male 0-10”
This individual and Joseph Gowen were the only Gowen householders to appear in this enumeration. Davey Crockett, who was immortalized at the Alamo in Texas 26 years later, also appeared in this census.
William Gowen appeared as a taxpayer in Rutherford County in 1812, paying 51.75c on 275 acres of land located on Cripple Creek and 46.5c on 130 acres of land located elsewhere in the county. In 1813 he paid 46c tax on 150 acres of land and bought a poll tax. On July 16 of that year he purchased from Joseph Gowen some land “on Cripple Creek, east from Stone’s River” for $100, according to Rutherford County Deed Book K, page 28. Charles Lowe and Francis Yourie were witnesses to the transaction which was completed April 11, 1814, ac-cording to Rutherford County Deed Book K, page 44.
“William Gowen” appeared as the head of a household in the 1820 census of Rutherford County, page 175. The family was rendered as:
Gowen, William white male over 45
white female over 45″
“William Gowen” was named a juror July 22, 1823, according to Rutherford County Court Minute Book E, page 16. Four times in 1823 William Gowen was summoned to serve on the grand jury. On February 26, 1827, he was appointed one of three commissioners to settle the estate of Walter “Watt” Lowe, deceased.
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