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Patrick Gowen, Jr, Cordwainer, Became Wealthy Man at Berwick, Maine
Patrick Gowen, Jr, [Patrick3, Nicholas2, William Alexander1] son of Patrick Gowen and Miriam Shackley Gowen, was born December 21, 1745 at Berwick. He was the second child of that name to be born to his parents; an earlier Patrick Gowen, Jr. died in infancy. He was also a great-grandson of William Alexander Gowen, the Scottish soldier who was captured in the Battle of Dunbar and deported to New England by Oliver Cromwell.
He was married January 1, 1771 to 16-year-old Abigail Woodsum of Berwick, according to “Saco Valley Families” by Ridlow. She was born at Berwick December 23, 1754, the oldest child of John Woodsum and Mary Brackett Woodsum. She was baptized May 18, 1755 in the First Church of Berwick. Patrick Gowen, Jr. removed from Berwick to Lebanon, some 15 miles north about 1782. There he became a cordwainer, a colonial term used to describe a leather worker and a shoemaker. The word orignally designated a man who worked with Cordovan leather which was developed in Cordova, Spain. Later the definition was broadened to include any leather worker, including tanners.
Additionally he operated a tanyard and was a partner in a sawmill located at Salmon Falls. John Libbey, one of the apprentices who was bound to him to learn the tanner’s trade, became a son-in-law.
His household appeared in the 1790 census at Lebanon, York County, Massachusetts [later Maine] as “Gowen, Patrick, 6 white males over 16 and 5 white females.”
Patrick Gowen, Jr. died April 12, 1804 at Lebanon, Maine. He was buried on the farm of Jeremiah Libbey at Little River Falls. Abigail Woodsum Gowen was appointed administratrix of his estate:
“At a court of Probate, holden at Waterborough August 27, 1804:
Abigail Gowen makes oath that the foregoing inventory contains all the estate of her said Intestate that has come to her hand, possession or knowledge, and that if any thing hereafter appears, not named therein, she will render an additional inventory thereof into this court.
Edw’d. Cutts, Judge
An Inventory of the Estate of Patrick Gowen, late of Lebanon in the County of York, Cordwainer, deceased, appraised upon oath by us, the subscribers duly appointed to that service by the Hon’ble Edward Cutts, Esq, Judge of the Probate of Wills for said county:
Real Estate: The Homestead of said deceased situate in said Lebanon [York] County, 100 acres with the buildings thereon, $600; 25 Acres of land in said Lebanon, being one-half of Lot No. 6, Range 4 & 3rd Division, $100; 6¼ Acres of land lying in Baker Grant, so called, in Shapleigh in said county with the Lumber thereon, $21; 1/24 part of a Saw Mill and Mill Privileges standing on Salmon Falls on Little River in said Lebanon distinguished by the name of the Lower Mill, $25.00; 1 Pew, No. 22 in the Baptist Meeting house at Little River Falls in said Lebanon $25. Total, $771.
Personal Estate: Muse Saddle & bridle, $25; 1 yoke oxen, $40: 6 Cows, $50; 1 two-year-old steer, $8; 1 year-old heifer, $4; 10 Sheep, @$1; 1 Plough, $4; 1 Harrow, $3.58; 4 Chains @$1.50; Sundry other implements of Husbandry, $5.25; 1 Handsaw, $1; 1/2 Mill Saw, $4; Sleigh Irons, $1; Sundry Mechanical Tools, $2; 1 Flute, 25c; Deceased’s Wearing Apparel & cloth, 5.35; 2 Beds, bedspreads, cards & bedding, 23.67; 1 Chest & drawers, $2, 1 case, 25c; 2 Looking glasses, $1; 6 Kitchen chairs, $3; 3 tables, $1, 1 Warming pan, $2; Andirons, shovel & tongs, $1.75; 1 pr. steelyards, 25c; Pewter, $3.25; Pot iron, $4, Sundry small articles, 25c; 3 Sides upper leather, 4.50; 8 Calves skins, $3.00; Loom & Spinning wheels, 3.00; 3 Swine, $8 and Sow leather, $4.45. Total $223.78; grand total $1,004.78.
Lebanon, June 20th AD 1804
John Libbey, Daniel Woods, Isaac Hanscom, Appraisers.”
Abigail Woodsum Gowen died 32 years later, June 2, 1836.
According to the bible records of Rhoda Butler, a granddaughter, children born to Patrick Gowen, Jr. and Abigail Woodsum Gowen include:
Mary “Molly” Gowen born September 8, 1771
James Gowen born October 24, 1774
Samuel Gowen born April 23, 1777
Sarah Gowen born April 21, 1779
Abigail Gowen born September 12, 1781
James Gowen born March 5, 1784
John Gowen born June 23, 1787
Johanna Gowen born June 25, 1789
Draxey Gowen born October 9, 1791
Miriam Gowen born September 5, 1793
Benjamin Gowen born December 2, 1798