Sections in this issue:
1) Gowens in the Battle of Buchanan’s Station in 1792;
2) John M. McClung, Historian, To Be Fulltime Researcher;
3) Levi Gowen Pensioned at Age 90 For SC Revolutionary Service;
4) Dear Cousins;
5) James Burns Gowen Rode With Andrew Jackson;
6) Foundation Library Holdings Continue to Increase;
7) From “Bound Out” to Nabisco . . . Pennsylvania Goan Orphans Work Their Way to Success.
All Gowen Manuscript Pages and Newsletters: https://goyengoinggowengoyneandgone.com/gowen-research-foundation-pages-and-info/
GOWEN RESEARCH FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER
Volume 9, No. 12 August 1998
1) Gowens in the Battle of Buchanan’s Station in 1792
By Cleve Weathers
315 Deaderick Street, Nashville, Tennessee, 37238
A William Goin/Gowen and a John Goin/Gowens, who were old enough to fight, were at the siege on Buchanan’s Station in Davidson County, Tennessee in September 1792. This was a famous battle at Maj. John Buchanan’s Station or Buchanan’s Fort occurring around midnight on September 30, 1792.
Word had gotten to the settlers of a large body of Indians coming from East Tennessee with apparent plans to attack them. About 15 families congregated in Buchanan’s Station for security. Most of the defenders can be identified as living to the east of Buchanan’s Station, such as the Shanes who lived about 5 miles to the east on Stones River. Widow Sarah Gowen’s house was about 1.5 miles southeast of Buchanan’s Station. Buchanan’s Station was one of the more substantial stations and was strategically located nearer to Ft. Nashboro, i.e. a place of comparative safety.
This John and William Goin were, without reasonable doubt, John and William Gowen, either sons or grandsons of William and Sarah Gowen. My 3rd great-grandfather, John Gowen, born in 1775, could have been the “John” referred to, or it could have been his father, John Gowen, born about 1745, as Arlee suggests. [Arlee and I are trying to come to a concensus whether the John, born in 1775, was a son or a grandson of William and Sarah Gowen.]
The eight-page narrative written by John Buchanan Todd, who was in the fort at the time of the attack and was about 10 years old, is a little known first-hand account of the battle. John Buchanan Todd was a nephew of the owner of the fort, Maj. John Buchanan, and the son of James Todd. “The Lyman Draper Papers,” Tennessee State Library & Archives, Manuscript Accession No. 29, series XX, Vol. 6, frame 68, state in part:
“The names of the defenders of the station were Maj. John Buchanan, commander, John McCrary, James Mulherrin, James Bryant, Wm Turbull [sic], Wetherell Lattimore, Robt. Castbolt, Thomas Kennedy, Abram Kennedy, Morris O’Shane, John Tony [?sp], Geo. Davidson, Thomas Wilcox, Jos. Crabtree, John Goin [sic], Wm Goin [sic] & James Todd.”
See another account of attack in J. G. M. Ramsey’s “Annals of Tennessee,” copyrighted 1853, pub. 1860, pp. 566-67.
“An Account of the 1792 Attack on Buchanan’s Station Knoxville Gazette
Knoxville, Wednesday, October 10
“On the 30th of September, about midnight, John Buchanan’s station, four miles south of Nashville [at which sundry families had collected, and fifteen gunmen] were attacked by a party of Creeks and Lower Cherokees, supposed to consist of three or four hundred.
Their approach was suspected by the running of cattle that had taken fright at them, and upon examination, they were found rapidly advancing within ten yards of the gate, and from this place and distance they received the first fire from the man who discovered them [John M’Rory]. They immediately returned the fire, and con-tinued a very heavy and constant firing upon the station [block-houses surrounded with a stockade] for an hour, and were repulsed with considerable loss, without injuring man, woman or child in the station.
During the whole time of the attack, the Indians were never more distant than ten yards from the Block House, and often in large numbers close round the lower walls, attempting to put fire to it. One ascended the roof with a torch, where he was shot, and falling to the ground, renewed his attempts to fire the bottom logs, and was killed. The Indians fired 30 balls through a port hole or the overjuting, which lodged in the roof in the circumstances of a hat, and those sticking in the walls on the outside are innumerable.
“Upon viewing the ground next morning, it appeared, that the fellow who was shot from the roof, was a Cherokee halfbreed, of the Running Water, known by the whites by the name of Tom Turnbridge’s step son, the son of a French woman by an Indian; and there was much blood, and sign that many dead had been dragged off, and litters having been made to carry the wounded to their horses which they had left a mile from the station.
Near the block house were found, several swords, hatchets, pipes, kettles, and budgets of different Indian articles; one of the swords was a fine Spanish blade, and richly mounted in the Spanish fashion. In the morning previous to the attack, Jonathan Gee and Savard[?] Clayton were sent out as spies; and on the ground, among other articles left by the Indians, were found a handkerchief and a moccasin, known one to belong to Gee and the other to Clayton, hence it sup-posed they are killed.
Undoubted advices have been received that as early as the 18th of September, as many as five hundred Creeks passed the Tennessee, at the lower Cherokee towns, and below, on their way as they declared, to make war on Cumberland, and that they were joined by about one hundred Cherokees of those towns. This may have been the party that attacked Buchanan’s Station. Dreadful havoc was expected, but it is now hoped that the check they have received, will induce them to return without making further attempts upon that settlement.”
2) John M. McClung, Historian, To Be Fulltime Researcher
John Mark McClung, native of Bakersfield, California and 1996 history graduate of Pepperdine University, joins the Foundation as a full-time researcher. Previously he was em-ployed by KBAK Channel 29 News and as a teacher at Kern County High School.
In addition to researching the heritage of the families of inter-est to Foundation members, his responsibilities will include bringing the Foundation’s files into Y2K compliance. His first undertaking is to install a new mailing list to replace the Foundation’s program which was written in 1980. His responsibilities also include maintaining the mailing list and building up the membership to make the Foundation self-sustaining.
He will be implementing the 1999 membership campaign which begins in September annually. He will be contacting all present and former members with the urgent task that now faces the Foundation. More funds will be required in 1999 to pay for the necessary expansions of the Foundation if it is to continue and grow. All members are requested to give serious consideration to his solicitation for additional funding.
Additionally he will be responsible for updating, enlarging and improving the Foundation Website with the technical as-sistance of Ron Monroe and John Ward. He will do the file transfers from the office Foundation Manuscript to the Web-site. He will be maintaining the 10,000+ page Manuscript gathered for the past 57 years, “Melungia, Home of the Melungeons,” “Dear Cousins,” Foundation Newsletter and the Electronic Newsletter on the Website.
Continued from July . . .
3) Levi Gowen Pensioned at Age 90 For SC Revolutionary Service
Levi Gowen, Mulatto/Melungeon son of Daniel Gowen and Rebecca Gowen, was born in Fairfield County, South Carolina in June 1762. He is identified as the grandson of Alexander Gowen of Stafford County, Virginia and Orange and Rutherford Counties, North Carolina and the great-grandson of William Gowen and Catherine Gowen of Stafford County.
When his father died as a soldier in the South Carolina militia during the Revolutionary War, Levi Gowen signed up, perhaps to avenge his father’s death. “Levi Goines” enlisted “about the time of the fall of Charleston” [May 12, 1780] at age 17 from Fairfield County “where he lived” as a Revolutionary soldier in the South Carolina line, according to his pension application. His statement continues:
“He recollects the names of many officers and soldiers with whom he served, but does not know many regu-lars. The following are some of them: Maj. John Pear-son, William W. Morey, James Steel, Joseph Kennedy, John Greggs, Lt. Andrew Gray and Samuel Croslin [the latter was a Regular]. He knows of no person living whose testimony he can procure who can testify to his Service having removed from the State of South Carolina to North Carolina, Moore County soon after the close of the Revolutionary War where he has resided ever since.
He has never been positive until recently that he was entitled to a Pension. Several years since a Gentlemen informed him that he was entitled and he would pro-cure a pension for him, but as nothing was done, he concluded that he was not entitled to anything and made no further effort until now.
He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pen-sion except the present and declares that his name is not on the Pension Roll of the agency of any State.
Sworn to and Subscribed the day and year aforesaid in open Court.
Test. Aron A. F. Leavell Levi [X] Goines”
Duncan Murchison attached an affidavit to the pension application of Levi Gowen:
“State of North Carolina
On this 19th day of February AD1852 personally ap-peared before me, a Justice of the Peace within and for the County and State aforesaid, Duncan Murchison, be-ing duly sworn according to law declared that he has been acquainted with Levi Goins for forty-five years, during which time he has resided in the county and state aforesaid, that when he came to this county, he understood and believed that he came from the State of South Carolina.
He is a man of good character whose oath can be relied upon. He is reputed to have been a soldier in the Revo-lutionary War while living in South Carolina of which there is no doubt.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 19th day of February AD1852.
John C. Jackson, J. P.”
Gen. W. D. David provided a corroborating affidavit to accompany the pension application to the Pension Department:
“State of North Carolina
On this 28th day of June AD1852 personally appeared before me, a Justice of the Peace within and for the county and state aforesaid Gen. W. D. David who being duly sworn according to law declared that he is well acquainted with Levi Goines of said county and from his general character has no hesitation in saying that he is entitled to full credit upon his oath, that he has recently been requested to examine said Goines relative to his Services as a Soldier in the Revolutionary War, that he has examined and conversed with him on that subject at various times and with great particularity and has no doubt that said Goines volunteered in the State of South Carolina for and during the War and continued in actual service in the Revolutionary War for nearly or quite two years, that he has inquired of said Goines when he entered the service.
Said that he could not tell, but it was about the time the British took Charleston, that he inquired what was his age now, he said he was Ninety Years this month, that he then discovered he must have been under twenty-one years when Charleston was surrendered to the British.
That without making a single intimation to said Goines of that fact [nor can he read a single word of history] that he inquired how old he was when he volunteered, to which he replied that he was about Nineteen years old, that he then referred to the History of the Revolu-tion and found that the time Charleston was surren-dered [May 12, 1780]. Said Goines was about Nine-teen years old [actually 17].
That he then inquired what general officers he knew. He said ‘Green, Sumter, Wynn, Lee.’ That he then in-quired what battles he was in. He said that he was in but one, which was at the Congaree Fort. That he again referred to the history and finds that this fort was called Moultree, near the confluence of Congaree and Santee Rivers. Gen. Lee was dispatched to this place. That from these facts, together with many other incidents of said war related by said Goines, the conclusion was irresistible that said Goines is one of those Veterans who stood up for his country in the hour of danger and has never yet received a pension.
That said Goines with his aged companion are living along in a very humble condition in life, barely able to afford themselves the comforts which their advanced age require. That it is the universal opinion of all who converse with him that he was a faithful soldier in the Revolutionary War.
W. D. David”
“By reference to history, I find that the Battle of Kings Mountain was fought October 7, 1780 after which Lord Cornwallis left Charlotte and fell back to Winnsboro, the very place and year that Mr. Goines mentions in his declaration. –W. C. Thagard.”.
W. C. Thagard provided an affidavit to accompany the pension application:
“State of North Carolina
Pension Office Department
The declaration of Levi Goines, a Revolutionary Sol-dier with proof of his Services, hereunto annexed, is respectfully submitted for your Consideration. It is be-lieved, that under the Several Acts of Congress, he is entitled to a Pension for life from the 4th of March 1831, to back pay since that time and to Bounty Lands, having volunteered during the War and served, as he believes, until its close or until discharged by his Offi-cers, which several claims he respectfully asks the De-partment to allow him.
He has no living nor documentary evidence of his Ser-vices, but has transmitted a correct statement, under oath, showing as near as frail memory will allow, the time, place and manner of his Services, the Officers un-der whom he served and with whom he was acquainted.
He also produces the Certificates of three of the most respectable and intelligent men in his County who establish beyond doubt his good character and general reputation as a Soldier, and I imagine there are but few of those Veterans who have been mercifully spared un-til this day that would swear falsely.
This proof I trust will be sufficient to establish his claim. Time has so reduced the number of these Veter-ans and of the witnesses of their services and sufferings that to require of them positive proof, independently of their own statement, would be to deprive them of the benefit of the Acts. An early investigation of this claim is respectfully Solicited, if consistent with the Regula-tions of the Department.
His humble condition in life and very feeble health re-quire it. All of which is respectfully submitted. My address is Carthage, N. C.
W. C. Thagard”
An additional certificate was provided by Duncan M. R. McIntosh, Esquire:
“State of North Carolina
On this 16th day of July AD1852 personally appeared before me, a Justice of the Peace within and for the county and State aforesaid Duncan M. R. McIntosh, Esq. who being duly sworn according to law declares that he has been acquainted with Levi Goines for about Twenty-five years, that he is a man of good character for truth and veracity. There are but few men more to be relied upon, on their oath, than he is.
He is reputed to have served as a Soldier in the Revolu-tionary War in the State of South Carolina, that he has no doubt of that fact. He is a man of about Ninety years of age.
D. M. R. McIntosh
Sworn to and Subscribed before me the day and year above written.
Wm. Barrett, J. P.”
Alexander C. Curry, clerk of Moore County Court attached his own certificate:
“State of North Carolina
I, Alexander C. Curry, Clerk of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions in an for the County and State afore-said, do hereby certify that the declaration of Levi Goines hereunto annexed was duly executed and sworn to in open court by the identical Levi Goines named in said declaration who is reputed and believed to have been a Revolutionary soldier.
I further certify that Duncan Murchison, Esq, D. M. R. McIntosh, Esq. and Gen’l W. D. David whose names appear to the annexed certificates are citizens of said county of high standing whose regard for truth cannot be doubted. Said Murchison is a Prominent Elder in the Presbyterian Church, and each of them has been promoted to distinguished places of trust in their county and state. Said signatures being in their own proper hand writing.
(To be Continued)
4) Dear Cousins
I am trying to find more information about Hugh Gowen [& spelling variations], bc1787 NC. He is mentioned in the will of his father, Daniel Gowens in 1818 in Fairfield County, SC. He appeared in the following census returns: 1820, Fair-field Co, SC; 1830 Butts Co, GA; 1840 Butts Co, GA; 1850 Sumter Co, GA and 1860 Pike Co, AL. His wife was Nancy Fogg, and they had the following children: Eliza, Nancy, Daniel, William A, Martha, Wyatt, Mary, Margaret Jane and Robert W. I am interested in contacting other descendants of this family and learning more. Sheila Casper, 544 Sand-piper, Fairbanks, AK, 99709, 907/479-2083, casperfamily@ mosquitonet.com
William Gowans was born March 19, 1835 at Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland. He was married about 1854 to Is-abelle Dick who was also born in Bathgate January 11, 1836. Shortly afterward they removed to Selkirk where all of their children were born. In 1901, they accompanied a son-in-law in removing to Washington state. William Gowans died there in 1918, and Isabelle Dick Gowans died there in 1923. Chil-dren: Isabelle Gowans, bc1856; John Gowans, bc1859 and Annie Jane Aurther Gowans, b1862. I would be glad to hear from anyone with information on this family. Colleen Slater, Box 107, Vaughn, WA, 98394, firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have gotten back to the census of 1850 of Lawrence County, AR and have been unable to get back any farther. According to the census, Pleasant Goins was born in MS [age 31] md. Mary Smith, bTN [age 28]. Children enumerated: Sarah Jane, 5; Precillia Emerica, 4 and James, 2, all born in AR. Also enumerated: Ellender Smith, 13, assumed to be Mary’s sister. We have determined three more children: James Harvey Goings, b1850; William Zachariah Goings, b1854 and Pleasant Goings, b1857, all in AR. Can anyone assist? Shirley A. Goings Lindsey, 6933 Galemeadow Circle, Dallas, TX, 75214, 214/826-6933, email@example.com
GOWEN RESEARCH FOUNDATION ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTER
Volume 1, No. 8 August 30, 1998
5) 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 be-
cause 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 In-
dian” 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 Eliz-
abeth 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, ac-
cording to Nancy Waddle, Eskridge family historian of Okla-
The young couple moved in 1809 to Bedford County, Ten-
nessee 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.
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 de-
clared 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 Lynch-
burg 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 sur-
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
David Douglas Gowan Believed
Discoverer of Tonto Bridge
David Douglas Gowan, born into a fisherman’s family in Kin-
cardineshire, Scotland in 1843, would be the last man you
would expect to find living in the wilderness of Arizona Ter-
ritory. 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, Ari-
zona 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. Ven-
turing inland he arrived in Arizona in 1874 at age 31. Ob-
serving 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 under-
neath 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 devel-
opment 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
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
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 neigh-
bors. 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 in-
termittently 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.
6) 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. Editorial credit
will be given to every contributor.
7) From “Bound Out” to Nabisco . . . Pennsylvania Goan Orphans Work Their Way to Success
Four Goan children are believed to have been orphaned in
Somerset County, Pennsylvania about 1837, according to the
research of Caroline Reece Kimsey of Franklin, North Carolina.
She reports that families by the name of Gohn, Goin and Goon
were enumerated in the 1840 census of Somerset County, but there
is no evidence to relate the orphans to any of these households
The orphans are identified as:
Andrew Goan born about 1826
Peter Goan born January 22, 1832
Emmanuel Goan born about 1834
Ella Goan born about 1836
Andrew Goan was born about 1826, probably in Somerset
County. He was probably “bound out” by the Somerset County
Court about 1837 to serve an apprenticeship. He was married
by 1859, wife’s name, Jane L.
Andrew Goan was listed as the head of a household enumerated
in the 1880 census of Henry County, Iowa, Enumeration
District 95, page 18, Center Township, living on White Street
in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa:
“Goan, Andrew 53, born in Pennsylvania
Jane L. 48, born in Pennsylvania
Lola M. 20, born in Iowa
Rushton 14, born in Iowa
Belmont J. 10, born in Iowa
John T. 5, born in Iowa
Blanch 3, born in Iowa”
Of Andrew Goan, Jane L. Goan and their descendants nothing
more is known.
Peter Goan, second of the orphans, was born January 22, 1832
in Somerset County, according to an article written by a son,
Orrin Sylvester Goan describing the family’s trip to California
in 1864. The article, retained by Caroline Reese Kimzey,
mentions that Peter Goan was accompanied on the trip by a
brother “Emmanuel Goan” and a younger sister, “Ella Goan”
who died during the trek. The obituary of Peter Goan identifies
him as “an orphan while still a young child and that he served
an apprenticeship of nine years.”
At the age of 22, in 1854, Peter Goan removed from Somerset
County to Chicago, Illinois. After a brief stay, he arrived in
Dubuque County, Iowa in April 1855. He was married there
November 1, 1855 to Emily Jane Cain who was born April 16,
1835 in Lafayette, Indiana. She was the daughter of Paul Cain
and Anna Maria Price Cain who had also moved to Dubuque.
In 1860, Peter Goan appeared in the Dubuque city directory
and in the federal census of Dubuque County with two children
In the 1860s Peter Goan was superintendent of woodworking
shops and railroad repair shops in the Dubuque area. In 1864,
perhaps at the instance of a younger brother, Peter Goan was
influenced to make a trip to California. He was saddened by
the unfortunate events on the trek to California and soon
returned to Dubuque.
His family reappeared in the 1870 census of Dubuque, and
Peter Goan was the subject of a biographical sketch in
“History of Dubuque County, Iowa” published in 1880.
Peter Goan was listed as the head of a household in the 1880
census of Dubuque County, Enumeration District 176, page 11,
Julian Township, living on Race Street in Dubuque, Iowa:
“Goan, Peter 47, born in Pennsylvania
Emla 44, born in Ohio
Sylvester 21, born in Iowa
Lola 18, born in Iowa
Walter 12, born in Iowa
Nettie 9, born in Iowa
Mabel 4, born in Iowa
Harry 1, born in Iowa”
About 1887, Peter Goan removed to LaGrange, Illinois and
built a home there that was still occupied in 1990, according to
Caroline Reece Kimsey. In 1887, he was employed by Kennedy
Biscuit Works. The firm was a forerunner of National Biscuit
Company. He retired from the firm in 1902. The couple
observed their 50th wedding anniversary in 1905 “with an
elegant affair at their home,” according to a newspaper account
of the occasion. Peter Goan died August 22, 1911 and was
buried in Bronswood Cemetery in Oak Brook, Illinois. Emily
Jane Cain Goan died there December 16, 1921 and was buried
beside her husband.
Children born to Peter Goan and Emily Jane Cain Goan in-
Emma F. Goan born in 1856
Orrin Sylvester Goan born April 15, 1859
Lola E. Goan born August 24, 1861
Walter U. Goan born about 1867
Nettie M. Goan born in 1871
Mabel M. Goan born about 1875
Harry Goan born in 1879
Emma G. Goan, daughter of Peter Goan and Emily Jane Cain
Goan, was born in 1856 in Dubuque. She was married Septem-
ber 12, 1878 to George T. Garth.
Orrin Sylvester Goan, son of Peter Goan and Emily Jane Cain
Goan, was born April 15, 1859. He was recorded in the 1880
census as a 21-year-old in his father’s household. He was mar-
ried December 17, 1884 to Annabell Adams. Children born to
Orrin Sylvester Goan and Annabell Adams Goan are unknown.
Lola E. Goan, daughter of Peter Goan and Emily Jane Cain
Goan, was born August 24, 1861 in Dubuque. She appeared at
age 18 in the 1880 census. She was married November 24,
1880 to James Joseph Lee who was born December 25, 1853.
He was a son of Charles Carrolton Lee and Evaline Atwell
Merrill Lee. He died in Dubuque February 19, 1934, and she
died there February 16, 1946.
Children born to them include:
Norman Leslie Lee born November 3, 1892
Norman Leslie Lee, son of James Joseph Lee and Lola E. Goan
Lee, was born November 3, 1892 in Dubuque. He was married
there June 5, 1918 to Mary Elizabeth “Mayme” Winner who
was born May 4, 1895 in Jackson County, Iowa. She was the
daughter of Charles Edgar Winner and Ellen “Ella” Belknap
Winner. Mary Elizabeth “Mayme” Winner Lee died May 15,
1926 in Lancaster, Wisconsin. Norman Leslie Lee died in
Davenport, Iowa December 16, 1952.
Children born to them include:
Lorraine Anita Lee born May 7, 1919
Lorraine Anita Lee, daughter of Norman Leslie Lee and Mary
Elizabeth “Mayme” Winner Lee, was born May 7, 1919. She
was married December 26, 1934 in Dubuque to Thomas Grady
Reece who was born September 5, 1903 in Macon County,
Children born to them include:
Caroline Reece born April 18, 1937
Caroline Reece, daughter of Thomas Grady Reece and Lorraine
Anita Lee Reece, was born April 18, 1937. She was married
about 1958, husband’s name Kimsey.
Walter U. Goan, son of Peter Goan and Emily Jane Cain Goan,
was born about 1867 in Dubuque. He appeared as a 12-year-
old in the 1880 census of his father’s household. He removed to
New York City and died there of pneumonia November 14,
Nettie M. Goan, daughter of Peter Goan and Emily Jane Cain
Goan, was born in 1871. She was accidentally killed Septem-
ber 16, 1885 and was buried in Dubuque. Later the body was
exhumed and reburied in Bronswood Cemetery at Oak Brook,
Mabel M. Goan, daughter of Peter Goan and Emily Jane Cain
Goan, was born in 1875. She appeared as a four-year-old in the
1880 census. She died March 31, 1894 and was buried in
Bronswood Cemetery as well.
Harry Goan, son of Peter Goan and Emily Jane Cain Goan, was
born in Dubuque in 1879. He was married about 1904 in
Chicago, wife’s name Blanche. He became an executive with
National Biscuit Company. It is believed that Nabisco
Public Relations Department might supply biographical in-
formation on him. Children born to Harry Goan and Blanche
Goan are unknown.
Emmanuel Goan, one of the orphans, was born about 1834,
probably in Somerset County. He was married before 1859. In
1864 they made a trip to California and apparently remained
there when his brother returned to Dubuque. He remained in
California until about 1872 when he removed to Oregon.
“E. Goan,” a widower, suggested as Emmanuel Goan, was enu-
merated as the head of a household in the 1880 census of Linn
County, Oregon, Enumeration District 70, page 24 in East Al-
“Goan, E. 45, born in Pennsylvania
Mary 20, born in Illinois, daughter
A. W. 19, born in Illinois, son
Ida 12, born in California, daughter
H. C. 10, born in California, son
L. S. 8, born in California, son”
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.