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James Gowen Elected Representative To General Court of Massachusetts
James Gowen, [William3, Nicholas2, William Alexander1] son of William Gowen and Mary Davis Chick Gowen, was born in Kittery, Maine February 18, 1754. He was a great-grandson of William Alexander Gowen, Scottish soldier who was deported to New England in 1650 by Oliver Cromwell.
He was married in Falmouth, Massachusetts [later called Portland, Maine] May 5, 1778 to Edna Knight, daughter of Moses Knight and Hannah Akers Knight. She was born there January 7, 1756. Her grandson, Nathan Goold described her as “a smart and capable woman.” James Gowen was a big man physically and a “gentleman of character and influence,” according to “The History of Cumberland County, Maine.”
James Gowen was a member of the Society of Friends when he arrived in Falmouth, but changed churches after his marriage. On November 10, 1778 he received a deed to 20 acres on the north side of Falmouth from Joshua Lowell for oe50. Four years later he purchased 42 adjoining acres from James Merrill for oe133:6:8. The home which he built on this property was still standing two centuries later. At the rear of his residence he constructed a barn, a carriage house, a blacksmith shop, a summer kitchen, a woodshed and an icehouse. In connection with his residence he built a tavern with sleeping accommodations for teamsters and travellers.
In 1810 he was chosen as Falmouth’s representative to the General Court of Massachusetts. In 1814 Westbrook, Maine was incorporated with land taken from Falmouth, and James Gowen found himself in the new town. Edna Knight Gowen died August 17, 1814 at the age of 58, and James Gowen was remarried in 1815 to Mrs. Lucy Staples Leighton, widow of Hatevil Leighton of Falmouth. She was born November 3, 1760.
She, a very congenial woman, was well-respected by her step-children, according to Nathan Goold.
James Gowen died in Westbrook, Maine July 26, 1822. He was the central subject in “Ancestors and Descendants of James Gowen” written by Edna Marion Marion Nye Gowen of Westbrook, Maine. Lucy Staples Leighton Gowen survived him for another 16 years. She died December 10, 1838 and was also buried in the Gowen family cemetery.
Children born to James Gowen and Edna Knight Gowen include:
Mary “Molly” Gowen born March 22, 1779
Betsey Gowen born May 15, 1781
William Gowen born March 24, 1783
James Gowen, Jr. born June 2, 1785
Hannah Gowen born October 24, 1787
Levi Gowen born June 28, 1790
Moses Gowen born May 29, 1792
Stephen Gowen born April 15, 1794
[daughter] born May 29, 1795
Peter Gowen born January 3, 1802