1812 John B. H. Gowen b. 1812 desc fr Spartanburgh, SC, living in Hopkinsville, KY

From GRF Newsletter Dec 1992:

Capt. John B. H. Gowen
Defended Hopkinsvilles

Prepared from research developed
By Peggy A. White
Editorial Board Member
109 Underwood Drive, Hopkinsville, KY, 42240

John B. H. Gowen, regarded as a son of John B. Gowen and
Mary Benson Gowen and grandson of Maj. John “Buck”
Gowen of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, was born
there July 16, 1812, according to his tombstone.

On February 10, 1841, at age 29, he was married to Fannie
Williamson Ellis at Hopkinsville, Kentucky, according to
Christian County, Kentucky marriage records. She was born
in Pittsylvania County, Virginia July 23, 1822 the second child
[of eight] of Nicholas Mason Ellis and Mary “Polly” Gunn
Ellis, according to “Ancestors and Descendants of Nicholas
Mason Ellis” by Thomas Ellis of Miami, Florida.

Nicholas Mason Ellis removed from Pittsylvania County to
Christian County in 1831 and died there in 1848. He was a
son of Ira Ellis who wrote his will August 5, 1838, according
to Christian County Will Book L, page 81. Mary “Polly”
Gunn Ellis who was born in 1800 in North Carolina continued
to live in Christian County in 1874.

John B. H. Gowen is credited in “Christian County History”
by William Henry Perrin of Louisville for reorganizing in
1844 the Methodist Sunday school in Hopkinsville. The
Sunday school had been originally organized in Hopkinsville
about 1825, but had died out. “Mr. Gowen was perhaps at that
time the most prominent, zealous and active layman in the
county,” according to Perrin.

In the 1850 census of Christian County, District 2, he was
enumerated as the head of Household No. 992-992:

“Gowen, John B. 38, born in SC, merchant, $1,300 real estate
Fanny W. 27, born in Virginia
Emma Elizabeth 9, born in Kentucky
Mary L. 7, born in Kentucky”

In May 1851 he was named a grand juror in Christian County.
A Republican, he was elected sheriff of the county and served
from 1857 through 1860. On January 5, 1857 he came into
Christian County Court, took the oath of office and posted
bond. He appointed his brother-in-law Joseph McCarroll as
one of his three deputies. The sheriff of the county also served
as county tax collector at that time.

Joseph McCarroll who was married to Elvira Ann Ellis, sister
to Fannie Williamson Ellis Gowen, served as Christian County
Sheriff in 1864, 1865 and 1866. Another brother-in-law,
Democrat James O. Ellis who served as John B. H. Gowen’s
deputy, was elected sheriff in 1868 and county judge in 1870
for a four-year tenure.

John B. H. Gowen was marshall of the Christian County Fair
in 1858 which had been organized in 1856 under a charter
granted by the Kentucky State Legislature. “Family Histories,
Christian County, Kentucky, 1797-1986” recognizes him as
one of the early merchants of Hopkinsville and “one of the
most popular men who ever lived here.”

He was enumerated as the head of Household 286-286 in the
1860 census of Christian County:

“Gowan, John B. 48, sheriff, born in SC
Fanny 38, born in VA
Emma 18, born in KY
Lou 16, born in KY
James 3, born in KY”

Although he was 49 years old when the Civil War broke out,
he joined the militia and was elected a captain in the home
guard. His forces were active in the defense of Hopkinsville
against the raids of Confederate Gen. Adam Johnson. Late in
the war, Johnson’s cavalry had knifed through western
Kentucky and threatened the Ohio River valley.

John B. H. Gowen wrote a letter to Maj-Gen. Burbridge,
commander of Western Kentucky which was reproduced in
“The War of the Rebellion” series:

“Hopkinsville, Kentucky, August 27, 1864

To: Major General Burbridge:

Your order to the 52nd Kentucky to go to Lexington is
received. Adam Johnson’s force is scattered, but there are still
hundreds of them all around us. We beg you to reconsider
your order and allow them [the 52nd Kentucky] to remain.
The citizens have aided in repelling the rebels and will now be
left to their mercy.

S. M. Starling, John P. Potter, John B. Gowen”

Of John B. H. Gowen Perrin wrote in 1884, “During the war
he withdrew from the church and has not since rejoined it.”

When the City of Hopkinsville was chartered March 5, 1870,
the city limits line “passed through the lands of John B.
Gowan,” on the south side of the town, according to the city
charter. John B. H. Gowen was postmaster of Hopkinsville in
his later years, according to “Ancestors and Descendants of
Nicholas Mason Ellis.”

His household, No. 127-131, was enumerated in the 1880
census of Christian County, Enumeration District 10, page 15

“Gowan, J. B. 67, born in SC
Fanny W. 57, born in VA, wife
Coleman, Emma 39, born in KY, daughter
Fanny 16, born in KY, granddaughter
Robert 10, born in MO, grandson
Emma M. 6, born in MO, granddaughter
Milton 8/12, born in KY, grandson
Foster, Alice 17, born in KY, [boarder?]
Harry 11/12, born in KY, [boarder?]
Gowen, J. E. 22, born in KY, son”

In 1882 John B. H. Gowen was elected a county
commissioner. Fannie Williamson Ellis Gowen died
December 10, 1886 and was buried in Riverside Cemetery in
Hopkinsville. He died one month later, January 8, 1887 and
was buried beside his wife.

Four children were born to John B. H. Gowen and Fannie
Williamson Ellis Gowen:

Emma Elizabeth Gowen born November 11, 1841
Mary Louise Gowen born October 4, 1843
William B. Gowen born January 11, 1856
James Ellis Gowen born August 20, 1857

Emma Elizabeth Gowen, daughter of John B. H. Gowen and
Fannie Williamson Ellis Gowen, was born in Kentucky
November 11, 1841. She was married at her father’s home
July 27, 1863 to Lt. Milton Jones Coleman, U.S. Army,
according to “Marriage Records, 1851-90, Christian County,
Kentucky” by Cordelia C. Gary. Lt. Coleman died about
1879, and in 1880 she, a widow and her children were living
in the household of her father.

Mary Louise Gowen, daughter of John B. H. Gowen and
Fannie Williamson Ellis Gowen, was born October 4, 1843.

She was married June 9, 1868 to Walter Evans. He was born
in Barren County, Kentucky September 18, 1842. During the
Civil War he served in the Twenty-fifth Kentucky Infantry
Regiment and rose to the rank of colonel. In 1871 he was
elected as a state representative and in 1873 to the Kentucky
State Senate from Christian County on the Republican ticket.

In 1895 he was elected to Congress and served in Washington
in that capacity until 1899 when he became a district judge.

William B. Gowen, son of John B. H. Gowen and Fannie
Williamson Ellis Gowen, was born in Hopkinsville January
11, 1856. He died October 17, 1857 and was buried in
Riverside Cemetery at Hopkinsville

James Ellis Gowen, son of John B. H. Gowen and Fannie
Williamson Ellis Gowen, was born August 20, 1857 in
Hopkinsville. In 1930, Thomas Ellis wrote of him, “He was
never married, but has been a valued employee of a large
manufacturing establishment at Columbus, Indiana for many