1803 William W. Gowen son of William Keating Gowen and Mary Harrison Gowen in Beaufort Dist, SC

William W. Gowen born 1803 son of William Keating Gowen and Mary Harrison Gowen in Beaufort Dist, SC

Parents:

Children:

Children born to William W. Gowen and Rebecca Townsend Greene Gowen include:

  • William Washington Gowen                           born May 15, 1829
  • Ann Elizabeth Gowen                                     born Dec. 29, 1831
  • Mary Rebecca Gowen                                     born April 15, 1833
  • James Glenn “Buck” Gowen                          born Nov. 18, 1835
  • Barney Glenn Gowen                                     born Sept. 1, 1837
  • Andrew Greene Gowen                                  born Feb. 13, 1839
  • Barney James Gowen                                      born Dec. 4, 1840
  • Elizabeth Jane Gowen                                     born Mar. 22, 1844
  • Rebecca Glenn Gowen                                    born July 17, 1846

Children born to William W. Gowen and Elizabeth Chevalier Gowen include:

  • Madison Amanda Reed Gowen                    born June 17, 1851

Children born to William W. Gowen and Emily Nungeyser Strickland Gowen include:

  • Secession “Cess” Gowen                               born about 1862
  • Magruder “Buck” Gowen                              born about 1863
  • Mintie “Sue” Gowen                                      born about 1864
  • Oregon Ruth Gowen                                      born about 1867
  • Charity Gowen                                                born about 1868

Siblings:

  • William Washington Gowen (1829 – 1916)
  • Barney James Gowen (1840 – 1919)
  • Elizabeth Jane Gowen Readdick (1844 – 1921)
  • Madison Amanda Gowen Readdick (1851 – 1909)

FACTS:

(Find a Grave on son William Washington Gowen): http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=137407698
William Washington Gowan was the son of William Keating Gowen and Mary Harrison Gowen, and was born in 1803 at Combahee Ferry, SC.

He married 3 times:
1. abt 1828 to Rebecca Townsend Greene
2. bout 1850 to Elizabeth Chevalier
3. to Emily Nungeyser

According to “The Gowen Manuscript”, William W. Gowen 1803-1898 died at the home of William Benjamin Godley in Camden County, Georgia. He was buried in Union Church Cemetery near Colesburg, Georgia at the side of his brother, Barney B. Gowen.

Children:
William Washington Gowen (1829 – 1916)*
Barney James Gowen (1840 – 1919)*
Elizabeth Jane Gowen Readdick (1844 – 1921)*
Madison Amanda Gowen Readdick (1851 – 1909)*
Madison Amanda Gowen (1851 – 1909)*

*Calculated relationship

Burial:
Old Union Church Cemetery
Camden County
Georgia, USA

Created by: Robin Knowles Miner
Record added: Oct 18, 2014
Find A Grave Memorial# 137407698

Info from THE GOWEN MANUSCRIPT:

William W.[ashington?] Gowen, [William Keating6, James5, William4, William3, Thomas2, Mihil1] son of William Keating Gowen and Mary Harrison Gowen was born in 1803 at Combahee Ferry.  Because he and his sister, Ann Gowen had almost reached adulthood when their parents died in 1820, they were thrust out on their own resources early in life.  About 1828 William W. Gowen was married to Rebecca Townsend Greene, daughter of James Willow Greene and Mary Larisey Greene of Colleton District, South Carolina.  She was one of 11 children.

In 1819 James Willow Greene was the owner of a 5,000-acre tract granted to him as a Revolutionary soldier.  In that year a 94-acre tract was surveyed for him.  This property was con­veyed to William W. Gowen in 1843.

Gertrude Godley Durden observed in a letter written April 14, 1961 that William W. Gowen named his first son William Washington Gowen and that his sister, Ann Elizabeth Gowen Godley named one of her sons Thomas Washington Godley.

The household of William W. Gowen appeared in the 1830 census of Beaufort District, page 289 as:

“Gowen,          William                      white male          20-30
white female        20-30
white male              0-5”

His was the only Gowen family in the 1830 enumeration of Beaufort District.

On February 4, 1836 “William Gowan” gave a bill of sale to William B. Warren “for a slave named Joe,” according to Beaufort District deed records.

The family reappeared in the 1840 census of Beaufort District, St. Helen’s William Parish, page 247:

“Gowen,          William                      white male          30-40
white female       20-30
white female         5-10
white male            5-10
white male              0-5
white female           0-5
male slave           24-36
female slave        24-36
male slave              0-10
female slave          0-10”

Four households away was enumerated the household of Ben­jamin Godley.

William W. Gowen was a slave owner, according to a sheriff’s bill of sale dated February 8, 1842 in the possession of Ger-trude Godley Durden, a great granddaughter.  The document read:

“The State of South Carolina, Colleton District,
Sheriff’s office

Collins & Burbridge vs. Joel W. Greene

Know all men by these presents, that by virtue of the above writ of fieri facias [writ of execution to satisfy a debt] to me directed, as Sheriff of Colleton District, in the State aforesaid, and regularly lodged in my office, the property of the defendant was levied on and taken under execution; afterwards the property so levied on, was legally advertised for sale in the District aforesaid and on the seventh day of June 1841, it being the first Monday in said month, between the hours of eleven in the forenoon, and three in the afternoon, on said day a certain Negro Slave named Frank was sold on account of the above execution being part of the property so lev-ied on, was disposed of at public auction to William Gowen for the sum of Six Hundred and Fifty Dollars, he, at that price or sum, being the highest and last bidder for the same, according to the Custom and usage of ven­due.

Now be it known, That I have received from the said William Gowen the aforesaid sum of Two Hundred and Fifty Dollar in pursuance hereof, I have delivered to him, the said William Gowen, the aforesaid slave ac­cording to the usage and custom in such cases, in the State aforesaid.

Signed, Sealed and Delivered in the presence of James Smith.

H. W. Rice [seal]
Sheriff, Colleton District

Identity of “Joel W. Greene, defendant” is unknown, but it is believed that he was a relative of Rebecca Townsend Greene Gowen and that William W. Gowen was salvaging some of his wife’s family’s property.

Rebecca Townsend Greene Gowen died about 1846, and William W. Gowen was remarried about 1850 to Elizabeth Chevalier, apparently a widow of Beaufort District.  Fol­lowing the birth of one child, Madison Amanda “Pinkie” Gowen on June 27, 1851, the second wife died, probably in the winter of 1851.

William W. Gowen removed from South Carolina to Georgia about 1853 with his children, [Adeline Evans “Addie” Wynn suggests ten and Mary A. “Mollie” Gowen Wingfield says seven.]  The move was influenced by the fact that his grand­mother Elizabeth Harrison owned Oatwell Plantation there.  She and her husband John Harrison had removed from Beau-fort District to Glynn County about 1788.  When her daughter and son-in-law died in 1820, she brought the two younger children, Barney B. Gowen and James Gowen to live with her on the plantation.  His location on the Georgia seaboard was very near that of his brother James Gowen who had preceded him to Georgia by some 35 years.

Julia Catherine “Katie” Gowen Casey wrote January 2, 1967:

“My grandfather, with his seven children, settled first in Camden County.  Exactly where I have not learned, but I do know that he had what my father called their “sum-mer home” on the sand hills in the Burnt Fort area.  In 1858 he settled on a place west of Corn House Creek in Charlton County.”

James Vernon Gowen, a grandson, still owned the 1,200-acre tract in 1932.  Initially William W. Gowen “did tutoring and carried the mail from St. Marys to Centervillage,” according to Julia Catherine “Katie” Gowen Casey.

In 1858 William W. Gowen participated in what is believed to be the largest hanging party ever assembled in Georgia.  An extra 100 feet of rope was tied to the trip line on the gallows, and 107 men took hold of the rope and, all pulling simultane­ously, dropped two negro murderers to their deaths.  The pris­oners had confessed to the murder of a white man.  To avoid being branded a lynch mob, according to the “History of Charlton County, Georgia,” the group who hung the negroes wrote a declaration to justify their action:

“To the Public—

The undersigned citizens of Charlton County and surrounding country, being about to resume for a moment their delegated rights and do execution upon two acknowledged murderers, publish to a candid world their reasons for the same.

Whereas, in the month of April last an atrocious murder was committed upon one Henry Jones, a white man, by two ne-groes named Peter and George, slaves of Dr. C. E. Ballard in this county, and said negroes on being arrested did voluntarily confess the same and pointed out the place of their victim’s burial, disinter his body and acknowledge all the circum-stances of his death, thus leaving no doubt in the mind of any one of those present of their guilt.  And, whereas, they have since their arrest broken from two prisons and have been re-captured after great trouble and much expense and are now in our hands under guard.

Now, therefore, we, after quiet mature deliberation, resolve that to give peace and quiet to an excited neighborhood and do an act of justice which none can condemn and which involves the principle that self preservation is the first law of nature, we do therefore condemn the said Peter and George to be hung by the neck until they are dead, and the execution shall be at Trader’s Hill between the hours of 12 and 1 p.m. on Wednes-day next.

Witness our hands and seals, September 6, 1858.”

The 107 signatures included that of William W. Gowen.

In 1932 Alex S. McQueen, the writer of “History of Charlton County, Georgia,” wrote:

“The writer, upon examining this old paper, became curious about the large number of signers and went to interview three old men yet living in the county who remember quite dis-tinctly the hanging of the two slaves.  It was found that this bold statement ‘to a candid world’ was signed by nearly every adult male in the entire county, and it was also revealed, ac-tually participated in the hanging later.

This information was gleaned by interviews with Messrs. Jes-se Grooms and John Vickery, the only two ex-Confederate soldiers now living in Charlton County and from James Rob-inson, who was a large boy at the time of this incident and who remembers it well.

A gallows was erected at Traders Hill; both negroes were placed on the scaffold at the same time, and a noose around the neck of each one was tied by Daniel R. Dodge, ex-sheriff, who was also a member of the vigilance court; a long rope was then procured and fastened to the ‘trigger’ and every man of the 107 who had condemned the negroes to death placed a hand on the rope, and, at a given signal, pulled the rope, springing the trap that plunged the murderers to their death.”

William W. Gowen was married for the third time about 1860 to Mrs. Emily Nungeyser Strickland, widow of Julius Strick-land.  She was some 27 years his junior.  The Gowen family strongly disapproved of this marriage and did not associate with the offspring of this union, according to Barney Alexan-der Gowen.  The widow already had at least one child by a previous marriage, according to a letter written April 14, 1961 by Gertrude Godley Durden.

On July 5, 1860 he was enumerated in the federal census of Charlton County residing in Centervillage District as House-hold 195-178, page 28:

“Gowen,               William           57,          born in SC farmer
Emily               30,          born in GA
Barney             17,          born in SC
Eliza J.            15,          born in SC
Madison A.       8,          born in SC”

A slave, Donas Gowen was included in the household of William Washington Gowen at approximately this time.  Donas Gowen was born March 4, 1832 and died May 5, 1915, according to the inscription on his tombstone in a cemetery about five miles north of Folkston, Georgia, as copied by Barney Alexander Gowen.  Donas Gowen is suggested as a son of William Washington Gowen by a family researcher.

Other family members enumerated as heads of households were recorded  in the 1860 census of Camden County:

Name                                                            Family No.                     District
Lewis Godley                                                  61                                        Brown’s
William Gowen                                              34                                        Bailey’s
Ann Gowen                                                    272                              Clark’s
E. E. Gowen                                                   271                              Clark’s
George H. Gowen                                          271                               Clark’s
Joseph H. Gowen                                           271                              Clark’s
L. W. Gowen                                                  272                              Clark’s
M. A. Gowen                                                  272                              Clark’s
M. E. Gowen                                                  272                              Clark’s
W. H. Gowen                                                  272                              Clark’s

William Washington Gowen received a grant of land in Cam­den County, Georgia of 73 acres in 1869.  He died January 5, 1891, according to a letter written March 8, 1990 by Eloise Yancey Bailey citing his probate records.

William Washington Gowen was enumerated in the 1870 census of Charlton County, Household 198-185, page 46:

“Gowen,               William W.                      67,
Emily                               40,
Secession                           7
McGruder                          6
Bell B.                               5
Oregan                               3”

The 1870 census was begun on 1 June 1870. The enumeration was to be completed within five months.
The 1870 census form called for dwelling houses to be num-bered in the order of visitation; families numbered in order of visitation; and the name of every person whose place of abode on the first day of June 1870 was with the family. The census further asked the age of each individual at the last birthday. If a child was under one year of age, months of age were to be stated in fractions, such as 1/12. Additionally, the census ask-ed the sex, color, profession, and occupation or trade of every male and female. There were also columns for disclosure of value of real estate and personal property. The 1870 census asked for the place of birth, specifically in which state or ter-ritory of the United States, or in which country if foreign born (including the province if born in Germany). The schedule provided space to indicate whether or not the father and the mother of the individual was foreign born, and if an individual was born or married within the year, the month in which the event occurred was to be entered. The census also asked for those who had attended school within the year; those who could not read; those who could not write; and the deaf and dumb, blind, insane and the “idiotic” to be identified. Finally, the schedules had space to identify any male citizen of the United States of age twenty-one and older, and any male cit-izen of the United States age twenty-one and older whose right to vote was denied or abridged on grounds other than rebellion or other crime.
The 1870 census may identify survivors of the Civil War, thus suggesting that military records may be found.  Conversely, if an individual does not appear in the 1870 census as expected, it may be a clue that the person was a casualty of the war. In the absence of so many other records from the South for this era, information from the 1870 census can be especially im-portant.
The 1870 census is the first census in which parents of foreign birth are indicated—a real boon in identifying immigrant an-cestors. Immigrants who were naturalized and eligible to vote are identified, suggesting follow-up in court and naturalization sources. Indications of a person’s color that were intended to be more precise—white(W), black (B), Chinese (C), Indian (I), mulatto (M)—may be helpful in determining individuals’ origins.
Agnes Dean Gowen, a great granddaughter reported in a letter dated May 10, 1961 that William W. Gowen died at the home of William Benjamin Godley in Camden County, Georgia.  He was buried in Union Church Cemetery near Colesburg, Geor-gia at the side of his brother, Barney B. Gowen.

It is believed that 14 children were born to William W. Gowen and his three wives.

Children born to William W. Gowen and Rebecca Townsend Greene Gowen include:

William Washington Gowen                           born May 15, 1829
Ann Elizabeth Gowen                                     born Dec. 29, 1831
Mary Rebecca Gowen                                     born April 15, 1833
James Glenn “Buck” Gowen                          born Nov. 18, 1835
Barney Glenn Gowen                                     born Sept. 1, 1837
Andrew Greene Gowen                                  born Feb. 13, 1839
Barney James Gowen                                      born Dec. 4, 1840
Elizabeth Jane Gowen                                     born Mar. 22, 1844
Rebecca Glenn Gowen                                    born July 17, 1846

Children born to William W. Gowen and Elizabeth Chevalier Gowen include:

Madison Amanda Reed Gowen                    born June 17, 1851

Children born to William W. Gowen and Emily Nungeyser Strickland Gowen include:

Secession “Cess” Gowen                               born about 1862
Magruder “Buck” Gowen                              born about 1863
Mintie “Sue” Gowen                                      born about 1864
Oregon Ruth Gowen                                      born about 1867
Charity Gowen                                                born about 1868

Secession “Cess” Gowen may have been a daughter of Emily Nungeyser Strickland and her first husband, Julius Strickland.

Hangman for a day . . .
William W. Gowen Plunges
Two Murderers to Eternity

When William W. Gowen settled in Charlton County, Georgia in 1853, little did he dream that the community would request him to participate in a hanging. But it did, and he and 106 other men willingly pulled the trip rope that dropped two condemned murderers to death. Family members later reported that he regretted the necessity of the execution of two renegade slaves, but suffered no remorse for his part in the grisly affair.

William W. Gowen, son of William Keating Gowen and Mary Harrison Gowen was born in 1803 in Beaufort District, South Carolina at Combahee Ferry. In 1820, when he was 17, his
parents died both on the same day!

About 1828 William W. Gowen was married to Rebecca Townsend Greene, granddaughter of Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene, [1742 1786] a Quaker and a Revolutionary War commander
who badgered the British in the South. Gen. Greene, from Rhode Island, became enamored with the land of his military successes, and after the war, settled there. He died of a sunstroke at Mulberry Grove, his estate located some 14 miles north of Savannah. It was at Mulberry Grove that Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin.

The household of William W. Gowen appeared in the 1830 census of Beaufort District, page 289. The family reappeared in the 1840 census of Beaufort District. Prince William Parish,
page 247. In the following year, William W. Gowen was the high bidder at $650 for “Frank, a slave for life” in a sale held June 7, 1841 by the sheriff of Colleton District, according to
the bill of sale retained in 1960 by Gertrude Godley Durden, a great granddaughter.

Rebecca Townsend Greene Gowen died about 1846 after the birth of her ninth child, and William W. Gowen was remarried about 1850 to Elizabeth Chevalier, a widow of Beaufort
District. Following the birth of one child, the second wife died, probably in the winter of 1851.

William W. Gowen removed to Charlton County and located near his brother, James Gowen who had preceded him to Georgia by some 35 years. James Vernon Gowen, a grandson, still owned his 1,200 acre tract in 1932.

It was in 1858 that William W. Gowen participated in Georgia’s largest hanging party. An extra 100 feet of rope was tied to the trip line on the gallows, and 107 men took hold of
the rope and, all pulling simultaneously, carried out their execution. Alex S. McQueen described the event in “History of Charlton County, Georgia.” To avoid being branded a
Iynch mob, they wrote a declaration to justify their action:

“To the Public: The undersigned citizens of Charlton County and surrounding country, being about to resume for a moment their delegated rights and do execution upon two
acknowledged murderers, publish to a candid world their reasons for the same.

Whereas, in the month of April last an atrocious murder was committed upon one Henry Jones, a white man, by two negroes named Peter and George, slaves of Dr. C. E. Ballard in this county, and said negroes on being arrested did voluntarily confess the same and pointed out the place of their victim’s burial, disinter his body and acknowledge all the
circumstances of his death, thus leaving no doubt in the mind of any one of those present of their guilt. And whereas, they have since their arrest broken from two prisons and have been recaptured after great trouble and much expense and are now in our hands under guard.

Now, therefore, we, after quiet mature deliberation, resolve that to give peace and quiet to an excited neighborhood and do an act of justice which none can condemn and which involves the principle that self preservation is the first law of nature, we do therefore condemn the said Peter and George to be hung by the neck until they are dead, and the execution shall be at Trader’s Hill between the hours of 12 and 1 p.m. on Wednesday next.”

The document, dated September 6, 1858 had 107 signatures, including William W. Gowen’s. In 1932 McQueen, interviewed eye witnesses of the event and recorded his findings:

“The writer, upon examining this old paper, became curious about the large number of signers and went to interview three old men yet living in the county who remember quite
distinctly the hanging of the two slaves. It was found that this bold statement ‘to a candid world’ was signed by nearly every adult male in the entire county, and it was also revealed,
actually participated in the hanging later. This information was gleaned by interviews with Jesse Grooms and John Vickery, the only two ex Confederate soldiers now living in Charlton County and from James Robinson, a boy at the time of this incident, but who remembers it well.

A gallows was erected at Traders Hill, both negroes were placed on the scaffold at the same time, and a noose around the neck of each one was tied by Daniel R. Dedge, ex sheriff, who was also a member of the vigilance court; a long rope was then procured and fastened to the ‘trigger’ and every man of the 107 who had condemned the negroes to death placed a
hand on the rope, and, at a given signal pulled the rope, springing the trap that plunged the murderers to their death.”

William W. Gowen was married for the third time about 1860 to Mrs. Emily Nunguyer, a widow some 27 years his junior.

On July 5, 1860 he was enumerated in the federal census of Charlton County residing in Centrovillage District as Household 195 178, page 28. A slave, Donas Gowen was included in the household. He was born March 4, 1832 and died May 5, 1915, according to the inscription on his tombstone as copied by Barney Alexander Gowen of Woodbine, Georgia, now 87, grandson of William W. Gowen.

Agnes Dean Gowen, a great granddaughter reported in a letter dated May 10, 1961 that William W. Gowen died at age 95 in 1898. He was buried in Union Church Cemetery near
Colesburg, Georgia at the side of his brother, Barney B. Gowen.

There were perhaps 14 children born to William W. Gowen and his three wives, but only 12 have been identified to date:

William Washington Gowen born May 15, 1829
Ann Elizabeth Gowen born Dec. 29, 1831
Mary R. Gowen born April 15, 1833
James Glenn “Buck” Gowen born Nov. 18, 1835
Barney Glenn Gowen born September 1, 1837
Andrew Greene Gowen born February 13, 1839
Barney James Gowen born December 4, 1841
Elizabeth Jane Gowen born March 22, 1844
Rebecca Glenn Gowen born July 17, 1846
Madison Amanda Reed Gowen born June 27, 1851
Secession “Cess” Gowen born about 1861
Mintie Gowen born about 1863

From GRF Newsletter July 1998:

Hangman for a day . . . William W. Gowen Plunges Two Murderers to Eternity

When William W. Gowen settled in Charlton County, Georgia
in 1853, little did he dream that the community would request
him to participate in a hanging. But it did, and he and 106
other men willingly pulled the trip-rope that dropped two
condemned murderers to death. Family members later reported
that he regretted the necessity of the execution of two renegade
slaves, but suffered no remorse for his part in the grisly affair.

William W. Gowen, son of William Keating Gowen and Mary
Harrison Gowen was born in 1803 in Beaufort District, South
Carolina at Combahee Ferry. In 1820, when he was 17, his
parents died–both on the same day!

About 1828 William W. Gowen was married to Rebecca
Townsend Greene. The household of William W. Gowen appeared
in the 1830 census of Beaufort District, page 289. The family
reappeared in the 1840 census of Beaufort District, Prince
William Parish, page 247. In the following year, William W.
Gowen was the high bidder at $650 for “Frank, a slave for life”
in a sale held June 7, 1841 by the sheriff of Colleton District,
according to the bill of sale retained in 1960 by Gertrude Godley
Durden, a great-granddaughter.

Rebecca Townsend Greene Gowen died about 1846 after the
birth of her ninth child, and William W. Gowen was remarried
about 1850 to Elizabeth Chevalier, a widow of Beaufort
District. Following the birth of one child, the second wife died,
probably in the winter of 1851.

William W. Gowen removed to Charlton County and located
near his brother, James Gowen who had preceded him to
Georgia by some 35 years. James Vernon Gowen, a grandson,
still owned his 1,200-acre tract in 1932.

It was in 1858 that William W. Gowen participated in
Georgia’s largest hanging party. An extra 100 feet of rope was
tied to the trip line on the gallows, and 107 men took hold of
the rope and, all pulling simultaneously, carried out their
execution. Alex S. McQueen described the event in “History
of Charlton County, Georgia.” To avoid being branded a
lynch mob, they wrote a declaration to justify their action:

“To the Public: The undersigned citizens of Charlton
County and surrounding country, being about to resume
for a moment their delegated rights and do execution
upon two acknowledged murderers, publish to a candid
world their reasons for the same.

Whereas, in the month of April last an atrocious
murder was committed upon one Henry Jones, a white
man by two negroes named Peter and George, slaves of
Dr. C. E. Ballard in this county, and said negroes on
being arrested did voluntarily confess the same and
pointed out the place of their victim’s burial, disinter his
body and acknowledge all the circumstances of his
death, thus leaving no doubt in the mind of any one of
those present of their guilt. And whereas, they have
since their arrest broken from two prisons and have been
recaptured after great trouble and much expense and are
now in our hands under guard.

Now, therefore, we, after quiet mature deliberation,
resolve that to give peace and quiet to an excited
neighborhood and do an act of justice which none can
condemn and which involves the principle that self
preservation is the first law of nature, we do therefore
condemn the said Peter and George to be hung by the
neck until they are dead, and the execution shall be at
Trader’s Hill between the hours of 12 and 1 p.m. on
Wednesday next.”

The document, dated September 6, 1858 had 107 signatures,
including William W. Gowen’s. In 1932 McQueen, interviewed
eye witnesses of the event and recorded his findings:

“The writer, upon examining this old paper, became
curious about the large number of signers and went to
interview three old men yet living in the county who
remember quite distinctly the hanging of the two slaves.
It was found that this bold statement ‘to a candid world’
was signed by nearly every adult male in the entire
county, and it was also revealed, actually participated in
the hanging later. This information was gleaned by
interviews with Jesse Grooms and John Vickery, the
only two ex-Confederate soldiers now living in Charlton
County and from James Robinson, a boy at the time of
this incident, but who remembers it well.

A gallows was erected at Traders Hill, both negroes
were placed on the scaffold at the same time, and a
noose around the neck of each one was tied by Daniel R.
Dedge, ex-sheriff, who was also a member of the
vigilance court; a long rope was then procured and
fastened to the ‘trigger’ and every man of the 107 who
had condemned the negroes to death placed a hand on
the rope, and, at a given signal pulled the rope,
springing the trap that plunged the murderers to their
death.”

William W. Gowen was married for the third time about 1860
to Mrs. Emily Nunguyer, a widow some 27 years his junior. On
July 5, 1860 he was enumerated in the federal census of
Charlton County residing in Centrovillage District as House-
hold 195-178, page 28. A slave, Donas Gowen was included in
the household. He was born March 4, 1832 and died May 5,
1915, according to the inscription on his tombstone as copied
by Barney Alexander Gowen of Woodbine, Georgia, grandson of
William W. Gowen.

Agnes Dean Gowen, a great granddaughter reported in a letter
dated May 10, 1961 that William W. Gowen died at age 95 in
1898. He was buried in Union Church Cemetery near
Colesburg, Georgia at the side of his brother, Barney B.
Gowen.

There were perhaps 14 children born to William W. Gowen
and his three wives, but only 12 have been identified to date:

William Washington Gowen born May 15, 1829
Ann Elizabeth Gowen born Dec. 29, 1831
Mary R. Gowen born April 15, 1833
James Glenn “Buck” Gowen born Nov. 18, 1835
Barney Glenn Gowen born September 1, 1837
Andrew Greene Gowen born February 13, 1839
Barney James Gowen born December 4, 1841
Elizabeth Jane Gowen born March 22, 1844
Rebecca Glenn Gowen born July 17, 1846
Madison Amanda Reed Gowen born June 27, 1851
Secession “Cess” Gowen born about 1861
Mintie Gowen born about 1863

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