1990 – 03 March Newsletter – GRF

Sections in this issue:

1) James Burns Gowen Rode With Andrew Jackson;
2) David Douglas Gowan Believed Discoverer of Tonto Bridge;
4) Foundation Library Holdings Continue to Increase

All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters:   https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/

Gowen Research Foundation Newsletter
Volume 1, No. 7 March 1990

1)  James Burns Gowen Rode
With Andrew Jackson

James Burns Gowen, a pioneer settler of Bedford County,
Tennessee, volunteered to fight with Gen. Andrew Jackson on
every occasion that the Tennessee militia took to the field.
Following the massacre at Ft. Mimms, Alabama by the Creek
Indians, Jackson, a Nashville lawyer, called for volunteers to
rendezvous at Fayetteville, Tennessee. James Burns Gowen
and a couple of his Mulberry Creek neighbors by the names of
Davey Crockett and Sam Houston joined up September 24,
1813 in Capt. William Locke’s company with about 2,000
other Tennesseeans. Jackson arrived October 7 to take
command, his arm still in a sling from a wound he received a
month earlier in a pistol duel at Nashville.

He ordered the militia into Alabama to teach the Creeks, then
allied with the British, a lesson. They headed south, traversing
a primeval territory with no roads and no bridges. James
Burns Gowen recalled how he used his saddle to swim across
the Tennessee River. James Harvey Gowen, a son, retained
the saddle for many years later as a momento. They took on
the Creeks, the Seminoles and the Baton Rouge [Red Sticks]
and defeated them decisively at Tallushatchee and Talledega.
Concerning the Battle of Tallushatchee, Crockett related:

“We shot them like dogs as they retreated. Some
backed into their lodge, and we set it on fire. We
burned it with 46 warriors inside. The next morning
we found roasted potatoes in the cellar under the lodge.
We ate them because we were hungry as wolves even
though the oil of the Indians we burned had run down
on them, and they looked like they had been stewed
with bear meat.”

Jackson called his Tennesseeans together in the following
spring to finish the job. On March 28, 1814, the Creeks were
finally crushed in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. James Burns
Gowen related that in the battle, while he was squatting down
behind a tree, an Indian spied him and fired his musket. The
ball glanced off the tree, showering powdered bark into his
face. While blinded, Gowen raised his gun and fired. When
his eyes cleared, he found to his surprise, “another good
Indian” lying on the ground before him.

From Alabama the campaign moved to Pensacola to engage
the British. When they learned that the main objective of the
British was New Orleans, they marched overland to Louisiana,
arriving in time to participate in the battle January 8, 1815
where the Americans overwhelmingly defeated the British.
The “Eighth of January,” a ballad reciting the exploits of the
Americans under Jackson in the last battle of the war, was a
favorite of James Burns Gowen thereafter.

He was born November 22, 1785 near Lynchburg, Virginia,
according to his son-in-law William Floyd “in the summer of
1904 in his 84th year” in an interview with Charles E. Gowen,
a grandson who kept a journal of events in pioneer Tennessee.

Harold Ora Gowen, a great-great-grandson of Tarpon Springs,
Florida states that James Burns Gowen was the son of William
Gowen, Jr. William Gowen, Jr. was “killed by an axe in the
hands of a crazy man” who apparently regarded him as a Tory
“and slew him in the field.” His mother was “Miss Burns, first
cousin of the Scotch poet Robert Burns,” according to a letter
written August 26, 1959 by Thomas Kenneth Gowen, Jr, a
descendant of Fullerton, California. She is believed to have
moved into the household of a brother after the slaying.

Robert Burns was born January 25, 1759 in Ayrshire,
Scotland, traditional home of the Gowen family. He was the
eldest son of William Burness of Kincardineshire who died in
1784. Gilbert Burns, a brother of Robert Burns died July 21,
1796 at age 37.

After the slaying of their father James Burns Gowen and his
brother William Davis Gowen were “bound out” to an uncle.

It is believed that the Burns family removed to middle Tennessee
about 1800, and the Gowen brothers were taken along.
Shortly after arrival in Williamson County, James Burns
Gowen was set free at age 16 to make his own way. Shortly
afterward he contracted to split rails in payment for a pony.
Just when he had piled up enough rails to settle his account,
the pony died.

James Burns Gowen was married February 19, 1808 to Annie
Price who was born June 22, 1788 to Matthew Price and Elizabeth
Eskridge Price. Matthew Price was born in Halifax
County, Virginia and had married Elizabeth Eskridge in
Caswell County, North Carolina in 1786. The Eskridge family
were guardians of Gen. George Washington’s mother, according
to Nancy Waddle, Eskridge family historian of Oklahoma

The young couple moved in 1809 to Bedford County, Tennessee
in 1809 where he built a log cabin “near the county
line,” the first residence in the county. The first item purchased
for their household was a cast iron washpot bought in
Nashville “when the town had one store,” according to a son,
Joseph F. Gowen.

On July 4, 1816 James Burns Gowen completed a permanent
home–so permanent that it is still standing in 1990. In 1904,
it was remodeled and enlarged. In 1960 the residence was declared
a historical landmark by the State of Tennessee. At that
time the home was occupied by Miss Grace Mullins, a
granddaughter of the builder.

James Burns Gowen was enumerated as the head of a house-
hold of six in the 1820 census of Lincoln County, page 33.

Eight members composed the family in the 1830 census, this
time recorded in Bedford County. Annie Price Gowen died
October 28, 1839 and was probably buried in the “old Price
graveyard” located nearby on her father’s farm.

The household in the 1840 census, page 96 consisted of James
Burns Gowen and three children, along with Rachel, a slave
and her two children. Shortly afterward he swapped a slave
named Nat Berry for Ishmael, the husband of Rachel, to reunite
the slave family. In the trade he received “$200 to boot,”
according to William Floyd.

James Burns Gowen, at age 56, was remarried April 28, 1841
to Lucy Emory, age 23, a sister to his daughter-in-law. They
were enumerated in the 1850 census of Bedford County, as:

“Gowen, James B. 65, born in Virginia, farmer
Lucy 32, born in Tennessee, wife
Thomas 22, born in Tennessee, son
Ann 8, born in Tennessee, daughter
Tempa 6, born in Tennessee, daughter
James 2, born in Tennessee, son
Isabell 8/12, born in Tennessee, daughter
Gowen, Matthew 36, born TN, son, widower
James 14, born in Tennessee, grandson
Mary 4, born in TN, granddaughter”

The 1860 enumeration of his household reported 10 members
of the family, and the 1870 report showed seven. Lucy Emory
Gowen died September 14, 1878.

James Burns Gowen died May 14, 1880 at his home. The
“Lynchburg Sentinel” carried a 21-inch obituary written by
George E. Gowen in its May 21, 1880 edition. “The Lynchburg
Falcon” reprinted the obituary some 21 years later in its
July 26, 1901 edition. It was reprinted September 1, 1958 “at
the request of George Grady Clark of Taft, one of three surviving

Children born to James Burns Gowen and Annie Price Gowen

Elizabeth Gowen born December 11, 1808
Shadrach Gowen born February 2, 1810
Harriet Gowen born November 13, 1811
Matthew Price Gowen born May 14, 1814
Annie Gowen born December 26, 1817
Sarah R. Gowen born May 22, 1823
William Price Gowen born November 22, 1824
Thomas R. Gowen born September 17, 1828

Children born to James Burns Gowen and Lucy Emory Gowen

Annie Gowen [second] born February 26, 1842
Temperance Gowen born February 4, 1844
James Harvey Gowen born December 28, 1847
Matilda Isbell Gowen born April 12, 1850
Isham Burns Gowen born May 8, 1852
Joseph F. Gowen born October 22, 1854
Franklin Gowen born in 1855
Frances Gowen born November 29, 1856
Laura Katherine Gowen born May 28, 1858
Benjamin Emory Gowen born March 14, 1860

2)  David Douglas Gowan Believed
Discoverer of Tonto Bridge

David Douglas Gowan, born into a fisherman’s family in Kincardineshire,
Scotland in 1843, would be the last man you
would expect to find living in the wilderness of Arizona Territory.

The adventurous wanderer ran the risk of co-existing
with the treacherous Apache to mine silver in the Tonto region.
He is credited by some as the discoverer of the Tonto
Natural Bridge early in his Arizona residence which lasted for
49 years before his death in 1926.

Marjorie A. Templeton, Foundation member of Payson, Arizona
became interested in his colorful exploits and provided
the research for this article. She found separating fact from
fiction about Gowan somewhat difficult, as did Jerrell G.
Johnson who in 1970 traced his life in “The Arizona Scotsman”
and Alan Thurber who wrote about him in “The Arizona
Republic” February 21, 1988.

Early in his manhood David Douglas Gowan sailed out of
Bervie Harbor destined for London and the excitement of the
hub of the empire. On the waterfront of the Thames he became
intoxicated with tales of exotic ports of call of the
British Navy and signed on as a seaman aboard an English
man-of-war. On the cruise past Spain into the South Atlantic,
Gowan became bored with the tedium of the British navy at
sea and jumped ship at a port in west Africa. Knowing the
penalty for desertion, Gowan signed on with the first outbound
ship to sail. This happened be a stench-ridden slave ship on its
way to the Carolinas with its unfortunate human cargo. Upon
arrival, in its first day in port, Gowen again jumped ship and
began to sample life in America.

After a brief period of service on coastal vessels, the Civil
War broke out, and David Douglas Gowan enlisted in the U.S.
Navy, according to “The Arizona Scotsman.” After the war,
he returned to being a merchant mariner and signed on for a
voyage around Cape Horn to California. Upon arrival, he
again left the ship and employed himself up and down the
California coast. In time he owned his own boat and returned
to fishing, the profession of his fathers back in Scotland. It all
ended quickly when his boat capsized in a Pacific storm, and
he barely escaped with his life.

Having had his fill of the sea, he left it, never to return. Venturing
inland he arrived in Arizona in 1874 at age 31. Observing
its wide-open expanse with land for the taking and
hearing reports of men becoming rich with its gold and silver
and its cattle and sheep, Gowan determined to settle in the
Territory. He returned to California, obtained a herd of sheep
and with a companion drove them back to Arizona.

When he learned, the hard way, that sheep were not suited to
that area, he turned to prospecting for silver. It was then that
he ran into the Apaches. He related that it was in 1877, once
while the Indians were pursuing him, intent on removing his
scalp that he discovered the Tonto Natural Bridge. While
fleeing from the Apaches down Pine Creek Canyon, he came
upon a vast stone arch towering over a tunnel. He climbed up
the vertical rocky wall of the canyon and hid on a ledge just
below the crest of the arch. After three days, the Indians gave
up the search, and Gowan began to survey his safe haven.

What he had stumbled onto was the world’s largest natural
travertine arch with five acres of fertile soil on its top. The
bridge was 183 feet above the canyon floor; the tunnel underneath
was 400 feet long and 150 feet wide. Thus was the
bridge discovered, according to the legend.

David Douglas Gowan recognized the value of the vicinity
and homesteaded there. He built a shack on top of the arch
and claimed the land below as well. Additionally he filed
mining claims up and down the canyon and took enough silver
from them to keep him in beans and bacon.

He also recognized the potential of the arch to be developed as
an attraction. With this in mind, he contacted his nephew and
namesake, David Gowan Goodfellow in England and interested
him in removing his family to Arizona to undertake
the development of the arch. Goodfellow arrived in 1893 with
his wife and three children. They came by ship to New York
and then by train to Flagstaff. Gowan met them at the depot
with a wagon, and six days later had them on the site of their
new home.

Little by little, they developed the site. They built a house,
hauling the lumber in on pack mules. Six years were spent in
building a road with picks and shovels. Later they began to
add tourist cabins.

As the visitors began to come, David Douglas Gowan began to
spend more and more time working his mining claim and
prospecting in the wilderness. Finally, when civilization began
to encroach upon his solitude, he withdrew completely.

He gave the Tonto Natural Bridge to his nephew and moved
up the canyon to the seclusion of a cabin.

Goodfellow began the construction of a four-story lodge with
wide porches and a tremendous diningroom. They dug out a
swimming pool with “four horses and a Fresno.” With all the
building activity, the Goodfellow family did not maintain
close contact with their uncle. On a cold December night, a
passerby looked in on Gowan’s cabin and found no fire in the
fireplace and no sign of the occupant. He alerted the family
and neighbors. The next morning, they found the body of
David Douglas Gowan on the trail, seated in the snow and
leaning against a boulder. It was obvious that his heart had
just given out, and that he died quietly January 1, 1926 in his
83rd year.

The Goodfellow family went on to complete their uncle’s
dream. The lodge was completed the following year, and the
resort began to operate in earnest. It has enjoyed success intermittently
from that time to the present. From the time
David Douglas Gowan staked his claim there, the arch and the
resort have been on private property. On summer weekends
1,200 to 1,500 people come down the steep road to view the
arch, but few use the lodge. A quarter million dollars have
been spent recently to rebuild the lodge and tourist accomodations.

Now, Tonto Lodge is again open for business.
As for Tonto Natural Bridge, it’s been there all along.


We visited Tonto Natural Bridge last summer when my nephew
William A. Gowan of New York came for a visit. The
bridge is located about 17 miles northwest of here. I do not
have a Gowan ancestry, but mv sister married George B.
Gowan of Sayre, PA. That’s where I first saw the Gowen
Newsletter and learned of the Foundation. I had read about
the Melungeons at our local genealogy library and the Gowen
connection to them fascinated me. I am enjoying very much
my membership in the Foundation. Thanks for adopting me.
Marjorie A. Templeton, 204 S. Bentley St, Payson, AZ,

==Dear Cousins==

I am a member of the Lebanon Historical Society and the
Cornwall Furnace Associates of Cornwall, PA. The Cornwall
Furnaces were owned by the Coleman family from 1776 until
1946 when the property was turned over to the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as an Historical Landmark.

Mariana Winder Gowen married George Dawson Coleman
November 2, 1918. She was a daughter of Francis Innes
Gowen and Alice Robinson Gowen of Philadelphia. She had a
sister, Alice Robinson Gowen and a brother, James Emmett

I am interested in obtaining genealogical information concerning
Mariana Winder Gowen Coleman as she was instrumental
in getting family support for turning over Coleman
Memorial Park to Lebanon. In this, the 350th anniversary of
the founding of Lebanon, we wish to honor the family for its
contribution. Martha E. Sorenson, 320 Maple Avenue,
Journey’s End, Manheim, PA, 17545.

==Dear Cousins==

I can’t thank you enough for putting me in touch with Rubie Harris, Dilly Anderson and Beverly Smith who turned outto be 4th and 5th cousins of mine! I know that they have
already sent you information on their families, so I am now
taking my turn. Enclosed is information and ancestor charts on
my branch of the family; I am descended from Pleasant Harris,
son of Gowen Harris, [South Carolinian? who died in 1837 in
Texas] who we all believe is a Gowen, but just haven’t figured
out how yet. I am enclosing a check covering my membership
and one for my sister in Texas. Steven M. Harris, 13823
Rampart Court, Baton Rouge, LA, 70810, 504/291-6395.

==Dear Cousins==

In the December issue of “Cornwall Family History
Society Journal” there was a report on your research project
and a note regarding the Gaelic word “Gowen” meaning
“smith.” In Welsh the word for “smith” is “gof,” pronounced
“gove.” Our surname is Cornish and is “An-gof,” i.e. “the
smith.” I have considerable notes on the Angove family,
variously spelt and some on the Goffe family which is from
the same root. I am therefore interested in your research and
would like further details. Mrs. Wendy Angove, 21, Bryn
Siriol, Ty Isaf Estate, Caerphilly, Mid Glam, CF8 2A4,
United Kingdom.

==Dear Cousins==

I am the g-g-g-grandson of Elizabeth Ellen Gowens,
granddaughter of Charles Gowens [Sharpshooter, January
Newsletter, and I am thankful for the proof copy of the
manuscript which you sent to me. I was given your address by
Olen R. Gowens of Ladoga, IN. I didn’t know about the
existence of the will of Charles Gowens which identifies most
of his children nor many of the interesting facts the mms
contains. I have much data on this family which does not
appear in your manuscript, and I will send all that I have to
help. Greg A. Bennatt, Box 1716, Newport, OR, 97365.

==Dear Cousins==

Thank you for publishing a Gowen newsletter so
interesting and so worthwhile. Your efforts are very much
appreciated in this corner of southeast Georgia where so many
descendants of William W. Gowen [Hangman, February
Newsletter] live. They are corrections, however, that need to
be made in your account before it is published in book form.
Rebecca Greene Gowen was NOT a granddaughter of Gen.
Nathanael Greene. Gen. Greene had only two sons–George
W. who drowned as a youth and Nathanael R. who moved
from Camden County back to Rhode Island early in the 1800s
taking his children with him. Rebecca was one of 11 children
of James Willow Greene and Mary Larisey Greene of Colleton
District, SC. In addition to the enclosed corrections in the
names of his children, the date of death for William W.
Gowen should be changed to read January 5, 1891. This date
is documented in his probate records. Eloise Yancey Bailey,
Box 398, St. Marys, GA, 31558.

==Dear Cousins==

It was with great interest that I read of your research of the
Melungeons. My ancestors came off Newman’s Ridge in the
1830s. Surrell Nichols and Mary “Polly” Gibson Nichols
were the parents of my gggf Alford Nichols [1814-1909]. His
dark complexion and black hair has carried down to many
descendants. During the past two summers I have made trips
to Hancock and Hawkins Counties. The minute my son and I
stopped at Cumberland Gap National Park to ask for directions
to Mulberry Gap, TN, they pegged us for Melungeons. This
was repeated at the courthouse [where I found very little data;
it was destroyed in the 1930s.] Rosemarie Springer, 421 N.
State, Sullivan, IN, 47882.

==Dear Cousins==

I am researching Emily J. Goins, born 1836 or 1838 who
married James D. King, born 1826 or 1831. He was a farmer
in Gordon County, GA. Both are buried in Methodist Church
Cemetery, Calhoun, GA. Julia P. Hughes, 7950 Jefferson
Hwy. #201, Baton Rouge, LA, 70809.

==Dear Cousins==

Who was Pvt. Elijah Going and what did he do to win the
Confederate Medal of Honor? Pvt. Elijah Going, Co. B, 6th &
7th Arkansas Consolidated Infantry Regiment was elected by
his fellow infantrymen to receive the medal. His name was
published in the Roll of Honor that was read in the first dress
parade that followed in every regiment of the Confederacy.
The award was published at Richmond, Virginia August 10,
1864, according to “War Department Reports,” Series I,
Volume 30, part 2. Mary Gowin Trostle, 4515 48th Street,
Lubbock, Texas, 79414.

==Dear Cousins==

Baptism of Samuel Goyne, blacksmith of Morval,
Cornwall sought. He m2 m1765 Elizabeth Tragvighan, St.
Germans, m1782 Sarah Web, Morval. He d1790 Morval.
Suspect him to be a son of Samuel Goyne & Mary Stout
Goyne of Jacobstow, Cornwall. Edna Reynolds, 54 Parkhill
Road, Boxley, Kent, DA5 1HY, England.

==Dear Cousins==

Would appreciate any information on James B.
Goin/Going, b1818 SC and his wife Mary Vaughn Goin,
b1814 SC. Is he descended from Drury Going and Sarah
Baxter Going? Hoyt Goin, 2506 W. 2nd St, Russellville,
AR, 72801.

==Dear Cousins==

I am researching Emily J. Goins, born 1836 or 1838 who
married James D. King, born 1826 or 1831. He was a farmer
in Gordon County, GA. Both are buried in Methodist Church
Cemetery, Calhoun, GA. Julia P. Hughes, 7950 Jefferson
Hwy. #201, Baton Rouge, LA, 70809.

4)  Foundation Library Holdings
Continue to Increase

Family researchers are encouraged to continue to deposit
copies of their research in the Foundation Library. Holdings
of the Library will not be limited to books and publications.

Members are invited to forward copies of manuscripts, ancestor
charts, newspaper clippings, bible records, reports of
anniversaries, reunions, vital statistics, obituaries, citations,
census reports, military records, pension applications and every
scrap of data that will help to tell the story of the family.

When the material is published in a proposed series of volumes,
credit will be given to every contributor.

The Foundation Newsletter is mailed only to members who
have purchased memberships, plus the historical and genealogical
libraries on our mailing list. Additionally sample
copies will be mailed to prospective members upon request.

If you wish to participate in the Foundation, you may Clip [or
reproduce] the membership coupon below. Indicate the type of
membership you prefer, and Linda McNiel, Foundation
secretary, will issue your 1990 Membership Card.
The form below may also be used to request gift memberships
for members of your family. The Foundation will send Gift
Cards acknowledging your thoughtfulness, both to you and the

Gowen Research Foundation Newsletter
Arlee Gowen, Editor
Linda McNiel, Circulation

Gowen Research Foundation
Phone: 806/795-8758 or 795-9694
5708 Gary Avenue
Lubbock, Texas, 79413
Fax: 806/795-9694
Internet: http://www.llano.net/gowen


NOTE:  The above information produced by the Gowen Research Foundation (GRF), and parts of the “Gowen Manuscript” they worked on producing.  It has tons of information – much of it is correct, but be careful, some of it is not correct – so check their sources and logic.  I’ve copied some of their information in the past researching my own family, only to find out there were some clear mistakes.   So be sure to check the information to verify if it is right before citing the source and believing the person who researched it before was 100% correct.  Most of the information I found there seems to be correct, but some is not.

Their website is:  Internet: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~gowenrf

There does not seem to be anyone “manning the ship” at the Gowen Research Foundation, or Gowen Manuscript site any longer, and there is no way to contact anyone about any errors.   The pages themselves don’t have a mechanism to leave a note for others to see any “new information” that you may have that shows when you find info that shows something is wrong, or when something has been verified.

Feel free to leave messages about any new information found, or errors in these pages, or information that has been verified that those who wrote these pages may not have known about.

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