1991 – 02 Feb Newsletter – GRF

Sections in this issue:

1) Texas Gave John Steel Gowen A Second Chance;

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

Volume 2, No. 6 February 1991

1)  Texas Gave John Steel Gowen
A Second Chance

The sheriff of Ft. Bend County knew that John Steel Gowen
was a member of an outlaw gang that roamed through the area
in the turbulent days that followed the Civil War and sought
an opportunity to arrest him. He had fled to Texas riding a
horse stolen in Arkansas and with the knowledge that he had
killed a man there. In a Fulshear saloon, he quickly joined up
with the bushwhackers. While still in his teens, Gowen was
labeled a horsethief, a cattle rustler and a desperado. He lived
the life of a nightrider with the lawless group for six years,
robbing and stealing–and did it successfully, according to
some. He was never caught.

Then came word from Arkansas that he was not a murderer,
that the victim, his uncle, had survived and that he was not
charged with any crime–either in Arkansas or in Texas!.

Just as quickly as he had turned to a life of crime, he became
respectable and law-abiding. He moved to Houston, got a job
with a large grocery concern and became a model member of
the community, at the age of 21.

John Steel Gowen was born in a room in Kellum’s Hotel in
Searcy, Arkansas in August 1859, according to Glen Atmar
Gowen, a grandson of Houston. Having been abandoned by
his father, they were enumerated there alone in the hotel in the
1860 census of White County:

“Gowen, Mrs. M. 25, born in Arkansas, female
J. 1/12, born in Arkansas, male”

They were the only members of the Gowen family to appear in
White County in 1860. The father, name unknown, born in
Ireland, was orphaned and worked as a cabinboy to pay for his
passage to the United States. Faced with the responsibility of
a new baby and a sickly wife, he “went west.” When his
mother died, a reluctant uncle took John Steel Gowen in and
loaded him with farm chores “to make a man out of him.”

At 15, in an argument with the overbearing uncle, Gowen
struck him on the temple with a large rock and left him in a
pool of blood. Convinced that he had killed his uncle
instantly, he stole a horse from the lot and lit out for Texas, in
his mind a fugitive from justice. There he fell in with other
desperadoes and became proficient in a life of crime, until it
became apparent that he could quit and start over with a
second chance.

“John S. Gowen,” was listed in the 1881 city directory of
Houston as a salesman for J. A. McKee Company which
advertised “drygoods, groceries and beer.” He became a
model citizen and lived in a respectable part of town “on the
west side of Brewster Street, two blocks north of Sewell
Street.” He was married in 1883 to Marion Jane Johnston,
age 14, born in Texas in August 1869. In the 1890 city
directory John Steel Gowen was a representative of Browne &
Bollfross, Grocers and lived at 30 Spruce Street.

In 1891, John Steel Gowen went into business with William F.
Ludtke as “Ludtke & Gowen, Butchers, on the west side of
Liberty Street between Chestnut & Chapman.” He owned a
home “at the northeast corner of Donley & Gregg Streets.” In
1897, he removed his family to nearby Wharton County.

John Steel Gowen appeared as the head of the household in
the 1900 census of Wharton County, Enumeration District 58,
page 7, precinct 4:

“Gowen, John 40, born in Arkansas in August 1859
Marion 30, born in Texas in August 1869
Marie L. 15, born in Texas in October 1884
Mattie 13, born in Texas October 1886
John 9, born in Texas in November 1890
Ed 2, born in Texas in August 1897
Irene 10/12, born in Texas in July 1899”

In 1902, they lived at Halletsville, Texas. In 1913 they again
lived in Houston. Until his death May 31, 1919 in Harris
County, John Steel Gowen was engaged in farming and
stockraising. Marion Jane Johnston Gowen died October 12,
1926 and was buried at Eagle Lake, Texas.

Children born to John Steel Gowen and Marion Jane Johnston
Gowen include:

May Belle Gowen born about 1883
Marie L. Gowen born in October 1884
Mattie Gowen born in October 1886
John Linder Gowen born in November 1890
Eddie Steel Gowen born August 22, 1897
Irene Redding Gowen born in July 1899
Jesse Eugene Gowen born January 31, 1902
Florence Adella Gowen born May 5, 1905


The Cornish Research Team is now doing a recap of the
data that we have collected from researchers in England,
Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. To
facilitate the data exchange, our team chairman, Robert J.
Goyen of Australia has a suggestion for researchers in the
United States and Canada with Cornish Gowen/Goyen/Goin
ancestors. They are invited to forward a copy of their research
in manuscripts, on charts, computer diskettes or other forms to
this address. I will compile all the material, compare it with
what we already have, eliminate duplicates, and forward to
Robert what is needed to update his computer files. In view of
the distance and postage involved, we believe this channeling
procedure will be more efficient for the researchers and the
Foundation. Billie June Salmond, 530 E. Woodland Lane,
Bountiful, UT, 84010, 801/822-6457.

==Dear Cousins==

Thank you for taking care of the gift subscription for my
sister, Doris Reeves of Paragould, Arkansas even though my
check went astray. This, to me, speaks well of the honesty and
integrity of the “Goins/Gowen/Goen etc. family.

I know that my sister will enjoy the Newsletter. Every
time I receive an issue, I put everything aside while I look to
see if there, perhaps, is another relative uncovered in the
Newsletter! What an interesting research you are engaged in
and what a dynamic family “we” were and are! Keep up the
good work. Lydia Goins Brown, 106 Yarmouth Lane,
Media, PA, 19063.

==Dear Cousins==

I am looking for information on Pleasant Gowin/Gooing, born
in 1798 in Tennessee and died in Alabama about 1864. The
name was pronounced “Go-in,” and he changed the spelling to
Gooing. He was married to Temperance Cooper in November
1821 in Dallas County, Alabama. Three sons were born to
them– Andrew Martin Gooing, David Gooing and William
Gooing. Andrew Martin Gooing was married to Araminta
Barnett November 30, 1848 in Perry County, Alabama. They
had eight children, including Pleasant Thomas Fillmore
Gooing, born April 16, 1854 at Marion, Louisiana. He died
February 3, 1932 at Parma, Idaho.

I would appreciate anything pertaining to the Gowin,
Gooing and Cooper lines. Barbara Bigelow Gooing, 3950
Homedale Road, #78, Klamath Falls, OR, 97603.

==Dear Cousins==

I am so proud of our cousin, Donna Gowin Johnston who
is doing such an outstanding job in digging so far back into
our family’s history. Her research published in the Newsletter
confirms what I have long suspected–that due to illiteracy and
unconcern on the part of county clerks–our name has been
spelled haphazardly, every whichaway. I look forward to her

I am in doubt that I can complete the Atomic Veterans
Memorial Garden at Craggie Hope due to my health. If possible,
I would like to have the Foundation’s Preservation Team
to take over this project at “the end of my journey.” If you can
entertain the idea, I will make you a deed before I depart.

I would like to invite all of my “cousins” to visit this
beautiful Atomic Veterans Memorial Garden among the
beautiful crags of Craggie Hope, the hallowed ground that I
returned to from the jaws of death and the pits of hell out of
Hiroshima, Japan. James M. Gowin, the First Atomic
Veteran, Box 1075, Lovers Leap Road, Kingston Springs,
TN, 37082. Thanks, Jimmy, for your very kind offer and
invitation. Dirk Calvin, head of the Foundation’s
Preservation Team has been asked to visit with you about
carrying out your wishes.

==Dear Cousins==

I am the daughter of Flora Estelle Gowen Copeland who
was the daughter of Andrew Greene Gowen and Laura Pierce
Denmark. She was the sister of Julia Catherine “Katie”
Gowen Casey who corresponded with you in years past. After
Mother’s death in May, Julia Casey Watson called and sent me
a copy of “our” section of the Gowen manuscript. After a
number of telephone calls, I went to Kingsland, and Julia and I
went over our research. We are in the process of making
corrections and additions which we shall have completed and
mailed to you sometime in March.

My Mother past away May 12, 1990, 97 years of age. Her
mind was clear, and she was alert and interested in the family
history. At Christmas 1989, one of her grandsons asked her
some questions about her life at Trader’s Hill and the Swamp.
This was the beginning of several sessions of taped interviews
which I will transcribe or copy for the grandchildren [and the
Foundation Library] one of these days.

While at Julia’s, we went to South Carolina to several
points of genealogical interest and to Shelton Church where
Mary “Polly” Keating Gowen is buried. We are planning a
research trip to Beaufort, Charleston, Columbia and Raleigh in
the spring and hope to turn up more information on the family
which we will forward to the Foundation. I am enthusiastic
about the goals of the Foundation and am enclosing my
Contributing Membership. Louise C. Herring, Box 457,
Greenville, GA, 30222.

==Dear Cousins==

I have enjoyed the Newsletter very much and hope that
thru it I can contact a researcher who can identify the parents
of my Matilda Gowen, 1/4 Indian, born June 10, 1808 in KY.

She came with her parents to Lawrence County, IL “as a
grown woman,” according to her obituary. She was married
there in 1831 to John William Miller. They deeded land there
in 1835 to Thomas Gowen, a native of Rowan County, NC,
whom I regard as her brother. Thomas Gowen was married
there to Susan Smith January 11, 1834.

John William Miller moved to Iowa in 1865, then to Case
County, MO for three years and finally to Crawford County,
KS where he died in 1876. Matilda Gowen Miller died there
in 1901 at age 92. At least 12 children were born to them, including:
Nancy J, William Thomas, Tobetha Jane, Patsey,
Elizabeth, Alexander, James Hamilton, Alecy C. and John
Harvey. Should anyone have information about Matilda and
her parents, I would be most grateful for a response. Leva
Joy Brantley, Route 1, Box 1440, Fletcher, OK, 73541.

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

Gowen Research Foundation Phone: 806/795-8758 or
5708 Gary Avenue E-mail:gowen@llano.net
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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