Sections in this issue:
1) Foundation Places Electronic Library on Line;
2) Garrett Hubert Gowan Needed Elbowroom as He Moved West;
3) James E. Gowen Started Giant Philadelphia Financial Dynasty Continued from April Newsletter;
4) Dear Cousins.
All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters: https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/
GOWEN RESEARCH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER
Volume 2, No. 9 May 1991
1) Foundation Places Electronic
Library on Line
The Foundation’s Electronic Library, after two years of work and planning, will go on stream June 1 for its “shake-down cruise.” The Board of Directors in its annual meeting elected to open the files to family researchers universally. Some time may be required to copy all the files to the Electronic Library from the Foundation computer.
Any researcher with a modem installed on his computer can access the Foundation’s files to scan its holdings and to download data to his computer. Additionally the researcher can upload data to the Foundation.
This bulletin-board approach effectively allows sharing of all genealogical data with every member of the Foundation. Each will know what information has been assembled, and duplication of effort by the members will be avoided.
The Library will be divided into 14 sections:
Foundation Manuscript Index
Long Lost Cousins
Ancestor Charts and Tiny Tafels
“Dear Cousins” Letter Center
Foundation Press Releases
Rosters of Editorial Boards, Research Teams, etc.
Calendar of Events
Genealogical Research Know-how Articles
The Foundation manuscript will ultimately be composed of 64 sections of 100-page capacity and will be the only “closed stack” section of the Electronic Library. It will be limited to members only. All other files can be accessed by any computer user. The Foundation will be affiliated with the National Genealogical Conference through FidoNet, a network composed of over 160 genealogical electronic bulletin boards in the United States and overseas. Files can be exchanged on a daily basis between FidoNet members.
An Index of the Foundation manuscript will be “built in” to each document using Microsoft Word’s indexing features. The program utilizes a “floating page number” which automatically changes page numbers when a paragraph containing any proper name is moved to a new location within the manuscript.
Volunteers who wish to assist in indexing the manuscript and the Newsletter are invited to contact the Foundation. A serialized article in the Newsletter will be inserted in its entirety along with footnotes in first Newsletter to carry the series.
The name “Gowen” which means “Smith” in Gaelic, appears in at least 24 different spellings in American and European records. To make the search as complete as possible, the Library will hold data on at least 24 different spellings of the surname. Family lore will be indexed on Gawan, Gawen, Gawne, Goan, Goeing, Goen, Goin, Goines, Going, Gooing, Gowan, Gowen, Gowin, Gowine, Gowing, Goun, Gouwen, Goyen, Goyn, Goyne, Guynes, plus plurals, prefixes and other Soundex versions.
Researchers who are concerned about copyright protection of their research will be glad to know that ownership of their work remains with the author when he logs in on the network and registers the date, thus strengthening his protection under the U.S. Copyright Law of 1976 prior to publishing [and whether or not he ever publishes].
The Foundation’s Electronic Library is not the first family network to go online, but it is believed that it will be the most comprehensive in the nation. Ultimately, upward of 10,000 pages of Gowen Research Foundation files will be available.
This allows the dissemination of the manuscript to the members perhaps five years earlier than if they had to wait for the completion of the printing of a series of volumes.
Additionally, it circumvents an immediate need of a $25,000 book printing requirement for the series.
The Electronic Library will be “open” 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and available free to every researcher, according to Gene Mathis, Library Sysop [System Operator] who is operating and maintaining the Library at no charge to the Foundation. Library users should set their modems to Baud, 2400; Parity, none; Data Bits, 8; Stop Bits, 1; Duplex, full; Protocol, YModem; Terminal, Ansi. Call-in number is 806/796-7070. If technical assistance or equipment advice is needed, members may call the Sysop at
806/796-0456 or the Foundation at 806/795-8758 or 806/795-9694.
A modem makes it possible for even incompatible computers [i.e. IBM and Apple] to communicate with each other. Researchers who do not yet have a modem on their computer may exchange data by mail on either 5 1/4″ or 3 1/2″ diskettes. Hard copy print-outs will continue to be made available to researchers who do not yet use a computer to send Electronic Mail.
E-Mail is now making it possible to exchange information instantaneously–for less than the cost of postage and stationery. You don’t have to be a “computer nut,” but you may want to “take up” with one!
2) Garrett Hubert Gowan Needed
Elbowroom as He Moved West
Garrett Hubert Gowan, son of Richard Gowan and Susan Peacock Gowan, was born March 29, 1845 in Smith County, Mississippi. He was a student at Sylvarena Academy there at the outbreak of the Civil War, and at the age of 16 immediately volunteered in the first Confederate company raised in Smith County for the Sixteenth Mississippi Infantry Regiment.
His regiment quickly moved to Virginia and reported to Gen. Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson just in time to participate in the Battle of Cross Keys in June 1862.
This engagement was followed in quick succession by the Battle of Seven Days, and the desperate Battle of Malvern Hill. During the battle, Pvt. Gowan was ordered to the rear and handed a discharge–the army had become aware that he was underage.
Garrett Hubert Gowan was sent home where he stewed in impatience until his eighteenth birthday. On March 18, 1863 he re-enlisted, and because of the spirit of this eager young volunteer, he was allowed to return to Virginia to resume his place in his old company in the Sixteenth. Because of his youth, he was assigned to provost guard duty upon his return, but was finally allowed into combat in the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse. Here in May 1864 the armies of Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant grappled with each other for two weeks in hand-to-hand combat.
Young Gowan received a severe leg wound in the battle and was sent to the hospital. Six months later, after recovering from his wound, he was retreating with his regiment.
He was taken prisoner in North Carolina in a battle on the Weldon & Petersburg Railroad. He was confined in Pt. Lookout, Maryland where he was paroled and exchanged in the following winter.
Garrett Hubert Gowan returned home and was married May 16, 1866 to Mary Elizabeth Lyles, his classmate and childhood sweetheart. She was born June 6, 1849 to John Tharp Lyles and Julia A. Davis Lyles. John Tharp Lyles was an outstanding citizen, according to “History of North & West Texas,” published in 1906 by Capt. B. B. Paddock:
“He was a prominent merchant, farmer and man-of-affairs who served with distinction in the Twentyseventh Mississippi Infantry. He died in 1874 from the effects of a terrible wound in the neck received during the Vicksburg siege the day before the surrender. He had creditably filled public office in Noxobee and Smith Counties. His brother, Dr. W. D. Lyles was Surgeon General of the Confederate Army. Mrs. Julia A. Davis Lyles was noted not only for her attractive personality and numerous accomplishments, but was distinguished by her marked intellectuality, charm of manner and gifted conversational powers.”
Immediately, the young couple left for Texas, hoping to rid themselves of the oppression of the carpetbaggers who were flooding into Mississippi.
“Being of enterprising and adventurous disposition, they removed thither, and departed by rail for Vicksburg. Upon their arrival there, they boarded the Steamship “Madam Ruth” for Little Rock where they joined his sister and her husband for the difficult part of the journey to Texas. Mr. Gowan began his preparation for the overland trip by buying a good yoke of oxen and an old Illinois wagon.
Dressed in homespun but each with a belt of $20 gold pieces around the waist, they started bravely forth.”
He began ranching in Ellis County and Navarro County, Texas and drove his herds to New Orleans when ready for sale. Ranchers allowed their cattle to roam on the open range making them easy prey for rustlers and horsethieves in the lawless post-war period. To reduce his losses to theft, Garrett Hubert Gowan strung the first barbed-wire fences in Navarro County about 1872. Settlers began pouring into Navarro County and breaking out the land for cultivation. Feeling crowded, he removed to Eufala, Indian Territory and started over in ranching amidst the Choctaws and Cherokees.
The threat of Sooners and Oklahoma land rushes convinced him that his future lay farther west. In 1876, he resettled in Clay County, Texas near the site of old Camp Wichita, a post erected for the protection of settlers from the Indians. Here he acquired 8,000 acres of grassland.
Thirty years after he arrived in Clay County, Garrett Hubert Gowan found himself again surrounded by “sodbusters.” His 8,000 acres had become an oasis of grass surrounded on all sides by sod and settlers, and he again felt the pressures of civilization. At that time his family convinced him that a 63-year-old cowboy had no business in moving and starting over again farther west. They prevailed up him to buy a home in Ft. Worth and become a “city dude.” The women in his family enjoyed the cultural advantages that “Cowtown,” a metropolitan city with 27,000 inhabitants, streetcars and an opera house could provide.
Garrett Hubert Gowan stewed and longed for the open range.
In 1912, when he could stand it no more, he bought a three-section ranch in Gaines County, Texas, on the New Mexico line for $12,000 cash. Garrett Hubert Gowan and Mary Elizabeth Liles Gowan were influenced by their children to return to Ft. Worth frequently. They observed their golden wedding anniversary there in 1916 and came back again in 1924 for their 58th wedding anniversary.
In 1918, Garrett Hubert Gowan became a pioneer again. He applied for a federal land grant on New Mexico ranchland. After four years of “proving up” on his claim, Pres. Woodrow Wilson signed a land patent in 1922 to the 76-year-old settler. Through all the years, Garrett Hubert Gowan had retained a small ranch just south of Henrietta, the county seat of Clay County. Whenever he began to feel “hemmed in,” he could recapture the pioneering spirit by returning to Henrietta.
He died there May 10, 1930, according to Clay County Death Book 2, page 23. He was buried in Bellevue Cemetery, according to “Cemeteries of Clay County, Texas” by Walter Speakman. His widow died in the same year and was buried beside her husband.
Children born to them include:
Terrie Eudora “Teedo” Gowan born January 17, 1868
Robert Sherwood Gowan born August 8, 1869
Edward Elexandria Gowan born March 9, 1871
Richard Tharp Gowan born December 2, 1873
Maggie Julia Gowan born January 1, 1876
Susan Maude Gowan born March 18, 1878
Mary Eolian Gowan born October 8, 1881
Garrett Hubert Gowan, Jr. born September 13, 1893
3) James E. Gowen Started Giant
Philadelphia Financial Dynasty
Continued from April Newsletter
James E. Gowen, an Irish emigrant, landed in Philadelphia at the age of
15 and by enterprise and dedication, became eminently successful. He
guided his nine children into successful businesses and successful
marriages. Each generation in turn, built on the financial foundation,
creating an empire.
His descandants became bankers, lawyers, railroad presidents, coal mine
owners, steel mill owners, manufacturers, financiers, career diplomats,
politicians and philantrropists. Thier marrieages were to some of the
most successful “main line” families in the Philadelphia social
register including Innis, du Pont, Disston, Firestone, Drexel, Coleman,
Goodyear and others. The Gowen family of Philadelphia generally
admired and envied, became financially the most successful branch of
the family in America.
Mariana Winder Gowen, great-granddaughter of James E. Gowen, was
married to George Dawson Coleman, president of Ebensburg Coal
Company. When he died about 1959, the “Lebanon Daily News” carried an
article on his probate:
“The widow and two sons of G. D. Coleman, late of Lebanon
and Philadelphia, banker-industrialist, will share his two million
dollar estate, it was disclosed by his will which was filed for
probate at Media yesterday.
He was chairman of the board of Ebensburg Coal Company and
Coleman, Inc, both Philadelphia firms, and had been chairman of the
board of the First National Bank of Lebanon since 1942. Mrs.
Coleman and her brother, James E. Gowen are named executors and
trustees. The late G. Dawson Coleman was a son of B. Dawson
Coleman, banker and coal mine operator, who left an estate of
Martha Winder Gowen Coleman died February 28, 1975. Her obituary in
the “Lebanon Daily News” read:
“Mrs. G. Dawson Coleman, the former Mariana Winder Gowen, and Philadelphia
area civic leader, died Friday after a long illness. She
was a member of the board of the Home of the Merciful Savior for
Crippled Children in Philadelphia for 51 years. She was a former
chairman of the board of managers of the Church Farm School in
Paoli; a former life trustee of the Foxcroft School, Middleburg,
Virginia and board member of the old Women’s Hospital in West
Philadelphia. She was also a former chairman of the Devon County
Fair; a former board member of the Harriton Association, an
historicalrestoration group and a former board member of the YWCA in
Bertram Dawson Coleman, Jr, son of Mariana Winder Gowen Coleman,
served in the U.S. Navy. during World War II as commanding officer of
a mine sweeper in the North Atlantic. Later he was executive
officer aboard the U.S.S. Fulham, a destroyer in the South Pacific
where he was awarded the Bronze Star. He was married in 1949 to
He was president of Ebensburg Coal Company from 1950 to 1957. From
1958 to 1965 he was a partner in Drexel & Company. In 1966, he became
president of Drexel, Harriman, Ripley, Inc. In 1971, he was chairman
of Drexel, Firestone, Inc, retiring in 1972. He was a director of
Western Savings Bank of Philadelphia, Griet Realty Trust, Rockower
Bros, Inc. and Abitibi Paper & Power Co, The Wyomissing Corp, Susan
Thomas, Inc, Greenfield Investment Realty Trust, the Philadelphia
Museum of Art, Home of the Merciful Savior and Agnes Irwin School. He
was a member of the Sons of the War of 1812.
Francis Innes Gowen Coleman, son of Mariana Winder Gowen Coleman, was
a career diplomat with the U. S. State Department. In 1976 he was
vice-consul at Marseille, France.
Franklin Benjamin Gowen, son of James E. Gowen, in 1870 was elected
president of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, for which he had
been counsel since 1864. He was nominated for U.S. Senate January 14,
In December 1889 while in Washington, D. C. to appear before the
Interstate Commerce Commission in behalf of one of his clients, he
committed suicide in his room at a hotel, by firing a bullet into his
No satisfactory explanation could be found for his act, according
to Scribner’s “Dictionary of American Biography,” Volume VII. “He was
in good health, at the height of his mental powers, well-to-do and
enjoying the respect of his contemporaries.”
His obituary appeared December 16, 1889 in the “Philadelphia
Public Ledger,” the “Philadelphia North American,” and the
“Baltimore Sun.” In its edition of December 15, 1889 the “New York
Times” carried as its front page banner story an account of the
“Gowen, Ruler of the Reading–The Life of Franklin B. Gowen, 1836-1889”
was published in 1947. Marvin W. Schegel was the author of the 308-
Morris Wickersham Gowen, grandson of James E. Gowen, in 1895 lived
in Florence, Italy where he was posted in diplomatic service.
Franklin Crosbie Gowen, son of Morris Wickersham Gowen, was born in
there December 16, 1895. He became a foreign service officer with the
U.S. State Department in 1925. He was appointed Vice Consul in Genoa,
Italy in 1926. He was consul in Rome from 1926 to 1930. He was
consul in Naples in 1930 and 1931, and in Palermo in 1931. In 1932
he was transferred to London where he remained for the next ten years.
He served as secretary of the London embassy from 1939 to 1941. He
handled diplomatic relations with Poland, Norway, Belgium, The
Netherlands, and Yu-goslavia, governments in exile in London during
World War II.
In 1941 and 1942, he worked in European Affairs Section in
Washington. From 1942 to 1944, he was assistant to Myron C.
Taylor, personal representative of the president to Pope Pius, a
position he held for many years, according to “Who’s Who in America.”
He was a member of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the American
4) Dear Cousins
Thank you for the back issues of the Newsletter. I have enjoyed reading them.
My earliest ancestor, Thomas Goin [bc1750 VA] was also of mixed blood. I have not been able to connect him with the Melungeons, but I know definitely that he was of mixed blood from an 1853 slander case in Claiborne County, Tennessee [Elijah Goin vs Sterling Mayse] which was won by his grandson. I am enclosing a copy of the transcript of the trial.
I am also enclosing my family charts and the first of a series of articles I wrote on the Goin family for the “Reflection Quarterly” of the Claiborne County Historical Society.
I am seeking ancestors and additional information on my Thomas Goin/Goins/Goen/Going/Gowen. He was probably in East Tennessee as early as 1781. After 1801 he lived in Claiborne County and died there in 1838. The assistance of other researchers who might have additional information is solicited. Carol Ledford, Rt. 1, Box 16, Leicester, NC, 28748
My grandmother was Edaline Gowin, daughter of William H. Gowin [b1838] and Frances Ann Whitaker.
He was the son of Thomas Gowin [bc1818 Madison Co, KY] and Lucy Whitlock. He was the son of William Gowin [bc1788 Bedford Co, VA] and Elizabeth Tatum. Can anyone help? Christine S. Agee, 416 Newby Road, Richmond, KY, 40475.
Enclosed are family charts on my family line. I am greatly enjoying the Foundation Newsletters. My lineage has been traced to Is[a]iah Going, b1795 NC who married Minta whom we believe was Indian, bc1800, according to the 1850 census. Most descendants live in Hancock, Hawkins and Sullivan Counties in TN. Other related groups live in IN and ID.
Recently I heard of an unrelated line described in “The Strongs-Goings-Deans-Campbells-Metcalfs and Other Families in Shelby County, Texas” by Marjorie Johnson of Dallas, Texas. Please let me know if the Foundation Library does not have this book. Jon Goins, 9404 Hunters Trace, Austin, Texas, 78758.
Stratham Gowen Reunion
Scheduled For July 6
The 29th annual Gowen Reunion of Stratham, New Hampshire is arranged for Saturday, July 6 in Stratham Hill Park at the Dairy Barn, according to Barbara Clements, reunion chairman of North Hampton. Hosts for the occasion are the descendants of George Edward Gowen and Mary Anne Smith Gowen who settled in Stratham in 1877. All Gowens and descendants are invited for day, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The event annually attracts Gowens and descendants from Washington, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Lawn chairs and picnic lunches are requested.
For additional information contact Barbara Clements, 38 Pine Road, North Hampton, NH, 03862, 603/964-8892 or call Margaret Tate, 603/772-3278 or Helen Chase, 603/772-5527.
Goins Family Gathers June 15
For Bridgeport, TX Reunion
Family history will be the theme of the July 15 reunion in Bridgeport, Texas of the descendants of Jeremiah Goins who was born in Choctaw Nation [Mississippi] in 1798. At least 12 children were born to him and Sharofina Drake Goins in Louisiana and Mexico [later Texas].
The reunion committee, headed by Linda Rapp, Rt. 1, Red Oak, Oklahoma, is seeking to contact descendants of every branch of the family headed by their 12 children: Henry Goins, Ransom Goins, Eveline Goins Padier, Caroline Goins Morris, Robert C. Goins, James W. Goins, Raborn A. Goins, Adeline Goins Mulkey, Reuben Goins, Emily Goins Nevels Perez, Jeremiah Goins, Jr. and Mary Goins Southward.
The group will convene at Harwood Park Pavilion at noon for a picnic lunch and an afternoon of reminiscence and recording of family history. Members of the family recently organized a Choctaw Research Team for the Foundation under the chairmanship of Pamela Dillard of Amarillo, Texas.
Each family is requested to bring picnic food and lawn chairs. Arrangements for this first reunion of the family are being directed by Linda Rapp, Rt. 1, Box 121, Red Oak, OK, 74563, 918/754-2694; Pamela Dillard, Box 50742, Amarillo, TX, 79159, 806/355-7505; Dan Gabehart, 5320 Blanco, #1811, San Antonio, TX, 78216 and Howard “Tommy” Goins, 109 E. Church Ave, Mena, AR, 71953, 501/394-4470.
Your Participation is Invited . . .
The Foundation Newsletter is mailed only to members who have current memberships, plus 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 in 1991, you may clip or reproduce the membership form below. Indicate the type of membership you prefer and Linda McNiel, Foundation Secretary, will issue your 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 recipients.
Gowen Research Foundation Newsletter
Arlee Gowen, Editor
Linda McNiel, Circulation
Gowen Research Foundation Phone: 806/795-8758 or 795-9694
5708 Gary Avenue E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Lubbock, Texas, 79413 Fax: 806/795-9694
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.