Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, 1912

Bowie Family Biography

John Bowie, the first of his name in the annals of Maryland, came from Scotland, according to family tradition, about the year 1705-06, at the invitation of his maternal uncle, John Smith, who preceding him many years had settled on the Patuxent river, a few miles above the present village of Nottingham. John Bowie settled in what was then Calvert, now Prince Georges county, Maryland. It was one of the most fertile portions of the state, the principal industry being the raising and shipment of tobacco by means of slave labor. The first mention of John Bowie is in the will of John Smith, bearing date September 23, 1707, in which the testator devised to "My nephew John Bowie my house and lot in Nottingham town a tract of land called "Brookewood," etc., including five hundred and twenty-five acres of land and a large amount of personal property consisting of slaves, stock and four "white indentured servants," John Bowie made his home at "Brookewood " where he built a large house which remained standing a century and a half. It is not known whether any members of John Bowie 's family accompanied him to Maryland, but no one spelling the name Bowie is mentioned in any of the old court or land records of the province prior to 1730. He was very young when he left Scotland. His testimony before a boundary commission in 1751 shows him to have been born in 1688, and he was therefore not of age when his uncle made him his principal legatee. His name constantly appears on the land records of Prince George's county until his death, showing many purchases of property and indicating that at one time he owned five thousand acres of land, much stock, and many slaves. It is not known that he held any public office, but old letters and papers show he was held in high esteem and was a man of importance. His will, executed March 14, 1759, proved April 23, of the same year, began: "1, John Bowie, of the Province of Maryland, gentleman." He is buried with his wife and several of his children at the family estate "Brookewood." In his last illness he was attended by Dr. Richard Brooke, whose bill was fifty dollars.

John Bowie married Mary, daughter of James Mulliken, who lived upon his plantation in Prince George's county, called "The Level." He is said to have emigrated from Scotland about 1650. He died in 1715. Children of John Bowie: 1. John (2), of whom further. 2. Eleanor, born 1709, married (first) Benjamin Brooke, (second) Edward Claggett, (third) a Mr. Skinner. 3. James, born 1714; he received a tract of land from his father called "Craycroft's Right," adjoining Mount Calvert Manor; he died September, 1744; his will, witnessed by his parents and Richard Keene, is the first Bowie will recorded in Maryland; he married Martha. -. 4. Allan, born 1719, married Mrs. Finch, (second) Susan Fraser. 5. William, born 1721, died 1791; married Margaret Sprigg. 6. Thomas, born 1723, married (first) Esther Sprigg, (second) Hannah Lee. 7. Mary, born 1726, died 1790; married William Beans.

(II) John (2) eldest son of John (1) and Mary (Mulliken) Bowie, was born at "Brookewood," in Nottingham district, Prince George's county, Maryland, about 1708. In 1729 he married, receiving lands with his wife, and in 1730 the father entailed upon him the plantation called "Thorpland," land left his mother by her father's uncle, John Smith, that is yet owned by descendants. He also received by his second wife a plantation in Queen Anne parish. In 1747 he still further increased his large real estate holdings by the purchase of a plantation called "The Hermitage," lying about twelve miles north of the present city of Washington, D. C., in Frederick, now Montgomery county, a property yet owned by his descendants. On November 29, 1752, he executed a will in which he refers to himself as being "in a low and languid state of health, but of sound mind." This will was probated February, 1753. He did not mention his eldest son by first wife or the entailed property "Thorpland." His son Allen was given "The Hermitage," and his other two sons, James and John, land in Prince George's county, called "Pine Thicket" and "Pine Thicket enlarged." Personal property was left his daughter, and a small provision was made for an expected child then unborn. He is said to have been buried at "Thorpland."

He married (first) in 1729, Mary, died 1733, daughter of George Beall, (second) December 18, 1735, Elizabeth, born 1717, died 1755, daughter of Dr. Robert and Anne (Evans) Pottinger, who were married in 1716. His second wife survived him and married (second) Thomas Cramphin, of Frederick county, Maryland, whose first wife had been Mary Jackson, who bore him a son Thomas and a daughter, Ruth Cramphin, born August 30, 1742, who became the wife of her stepbrother Allen Bowie (of whom further). By her second marriage Elizabeth Pottinger (Bowie) Cramphin had three sons: Robert, born 1757; Basil, 1759; and Richard, 1760, all died young, although Basil lived to serve in the revolutionary war. Children of John (2) Bowie and his first wife, Mary Beall; 1. William, born 1730, died 1753; married Rachel Pottinger. 2. Mary, born 1732; married James Magruder (2). Children by second wife, Elizabeth Pottinger: 3. Allen, of whom further. 4. James, born about 1739; he was living in 1760, when he received his property under his father's will; it is said he settled in South Carolina, married, and left a son Rezin, who was father of Colonel James Bowie, the hero of the Alamo, or rather one of the many heroes. 5. Rev. John, born about 1744; married Margaret Dallas. 6. A posthumous child, died in infancy.

(II) Allen, third child of John (2) Bowie and eldest son by his second wife, Elizabeth Pottinger, was born near Upper Marlborough, Maryland, 1736-37. He received from his father "The Hermitage," in Lower Frederick county, Maryland, and bought his brother's interest in the estate called "The Thicket and the Thicket enlarged," in the upper part of Prince George's county. When his mother became the second wife of Thomas Cramphin, he moved to Lower Frederick county, and later made his home at "The Hermitage." He was always known as "Allen Bowie, Junior," to distinguish him from his uncle Allen Bowie, Senior, of Prince George's county. In 1772 he entered suit jointly with his nephew, William Bowie (3), against their uncles Allen and William Bowie, Senior, for possession of land willed to John (1) Bowie by John Smith in 1707, and won the suit. During the revolution Allen Bowie, Junior, was one of the leading citizens of his county, and with his stepbrother, Thomas (2) Cramphin, was very active in his effort to raise troops and place the province in a condition of defense. In 1774 the citizens of Frederick held a meeting to protest against the blockading of Boston harbor, and Allen Bowie was one of the committee selected to convey the protest. On June 22 of the same year he was sent as a delegate to a convention held at Annapolis for the purpose of protesting against the stamp act, and to devise means of resistance. In January, 1775, he and his stepbrother represented their company at a similar meeting at Annapolis. The Maryland Archives state that on May 14, 1776, the council of safety met at Annapolis, and among papers read before the assembly was a letter "from Sims," dated February 16, 1776, notifying the council that a military company organized in Lower Frederick county had been enrolled in the 29th Battalion, and that said company had elected Allen Bowie, Junior, as its captain. Thereupon, it is stated, the council issued a commission to the said Allen Bowie. In 1777 he was appointed one of the first justices for the new county of Montgomery. He is also mentioned as a member of the committee appointed to select a site for the court house and jail. The Archives of Maryland show that the legislature, after the war was over, appropriated a certain number of pounds of tobacco, for the purpose of reimbursing "Col. Allen Bowie, of Montgomery county, for expenses he incurred in providing for the wants of his regiment." This indicates that he was also at a later date commissioned colonel of militia. For a number of years he lived on the heights overlooking Georgetown, where he died May 28, 1803, and wife August 14, 1812; both are buried in Rockville cemetery.
He married, December 28, 1766, his stepsister Ruth, daughter of Thomas (1) Cramphin by his first wife, Mary Jackson. Children: 1. Col. Thomas, born December, 1767; member of state legislature, and prominent in business; died while upon his knees in a Washington church, July 27, 1873; married Margaret Belt. 2. Dr. John, of whom further. 3. Elizabeth, born September 11, 1772; married, 1799, Thomas Davis. 4. Mary, born October 27, 1774; died unmarried, January 2, 1800. 5. Washington, born August 12, 1776. It is said that General Washington, while passing through, visited Allen Bowie, and while there a clergyman was sent for and the General stood sponsor for the little one, who was christened Washington in his honor. He was a wealthy merchant of the firm Bowie & Kurtz, and in 1810 is spoken of as "Col. Washington Bowie, one of the wealthiest and most public spirited men of Georgetown." He sustained heavy losses in a financial crisis, but gave up all his large possessions to the satisfaction of his creditors and retired to private life without a stain. He married Mrs. Thomas John Chew (Margaret Crabb Johns), widow of Rev. Thomas Chew, and eldest daughter of Col. Thomas Johns, a revolutionary officer. 6. Allen, died in childhood. 7. Hannah, died in infancy. 8. Richard, died aged eighteen years.

(IV) Dr. John Bowie, son of Allen and Mary (Cramphin) Bowie, was born at the "Hermitage," Montgomery county, Maryland, September 11, 1769. He was a graduate in medicine, and resided at "The Hermitage," which he inherited from his father. He was the owner of many slaves whom, on account of his conscientious convictions, he freed from bondage. June 7, 1808, he was appointed by the governor a surgeon to "Captain B. M. Perrie 's military company, Extra Battalion, Montgomery Guards." In 1810 he was conspicuous in his efforts to organize the planters, and at a meeting held at the Union Hotel in Georgetown, D. C., he assisted in forming the Columbian Society for the Promotion of Agricuiture. He participated in the war of 1812, was elected to the state legislature, and nominated for United States senator. He died February 17, 1825. He married Ann Calvert, a descendant of Lord Baltimore, who survived him and with her children moved to Chester, Pennsylvania, thence to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, where the children were educated. They then lived in Runiney, West Virginia; later all moved to Uniontown, Pennsylvania, where the mother died about 1845, and the sons became honored and useful citizens. Children: 1. Lucien P., married Margaret Graham. He was engaged in the drug business in Uniontown for thirty years, and died aged ninety-two years, and left a family of five. 2. Theophilus, of whom further. 3. John R., engaged in the tinning business in Uniontown, until his death; he married and left two sons. 4. Lucretia, married John Wray in Uniontown; moved to Quincy, Illinois, where they died. 5. George, deceased; educated at Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; studied law under General Joshua B. Howell, of Uniontown, and was admitted to the Fayette county bar. He enlisted to serve in the Mexican war, was with his regiment at Burlington, Iowa, and while there helped to frame a constitution for the territory then applying for admission as the state of Iowa. He served all through the Mexican war with honor. In 1848 he went to California with the "gold seekers," engaged in mining, and became very wealthy, then established a law practice in San Francisco. He served in the civil war as colonel of the Fifth Regiment California Infantry, and rose to the rank of brevet brigadier-general, and was a personal friend of General Grant, who after becoming President offered him a foreign appointment to one of the courts of Europe, but he declined as his legal business and business interests in San Francisco were too important to be sacrificed. 5. Lucretia, married M. Wray. 6. Louisa, married Dr. Hart, of Winona, Pennsylvania. Two others died in infancy.

(V) Theophilus, son of Dr. John and Ann (Calvert) Bowie, was born at "The Hermitage" Montgomery county, Maryland, and died in Uniontown, February 22, 1888, aged seventy-four years. He remained at the homestead until after the death of his father, then with his mother and the other. children made several moves, receiving his education in the public schools. At about age twenty-one he came to Uniontown, where the other members of the family came and where the mother died in 1845, after a long struggle to keep her family together and educate them, which she did. Theophilus Bowie learned the trade of coppersmith and tinner. He started a plant in Uniontown for the manufacture of copper stills and worms used in the many distilleries of Western Pennsylvania at that time, also brass finishings, kettles, etc. His business became very large and important. He also established a foundry at New Geneva, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, and carried on a very prosperous business for half a century. In the earlier days he kept many teams on the National Pike, hauling lumber and other Uniontown products to eastern markets and returning loaded with copper, tin, brass, etc., for his mill and foundry. He was a strong Whig, later a Republican, and a member of the Episcopal church, as the Bowies had ever been. He married Mary Jane Smith, who died December 25, 1893. She had brothers, William and Joseph, Children of Theophilus Bowie: 1. Virginia, married James C. Whaley, a printer of Uniontown. 2. George W., a veteran of the civil war, serving in 14th Regiment Pennsylvania Cavalry, running away from home to enlist; now a painter of Uniontown; unmarried. 3. Allen C., a commercial traveler, living in Pittsburgh; married Ella Smith. 4. Elizabeth, married Levi Crawford, and resides in Columbus, Ohio. 5. Mary, married John Schick, a tobacconist of Uniontown. 6. Frank M. of whom further. 7. Louisa, now residing in Uniontown. 8. Caroline, now residing in Uniontown. 9. Theophilus (2), a painter of Uniontown; married Mary, daughter of Dr. John Fuller. 10. Ida, now living in Uniontown.

(VI) Frank M., sixth child of Theophilus and Mary Jane (Smith) Bowie, was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, April 6, 1857. He attended the public schools until sixteen years of age, then became clerk in the grocery store of Lewis & Bowie, his brother, Allen C. Bowie, being a partner in that business. He continued there three years, when the firm sold out. He then became manager of the general store of O. P. Markle, continuing two years. For the next three years he was in the employ of the grocery firm of W. & J. K. Beeson. In 1893 he took a position as traveling salesman with G. W. Huston, wholesale grocer of Pittsburgh, and for sixteen years continued "on the road" as a grocery salesman. In 1909 he changed his line and began traveling for the McCrum-Howell Company of Uniontown, manufacturers of radiators, vacuum cleaners and bathroom fixtures. He is still connected with that firm, and is rated, as he has always been, a successful, reliable salesman. He is a Republican in politics, a member of the Episcopal church, the Royal Arcanum and the Modern Woodmen of America.
He married, June 30, 1888, Mary M. Hickman, and resides at No. 27 Lincoln street, where he built a home in 1895. Mrs. Bowie is the daughter of Rev. William Way Hickman and Mary McKoun Hickman -he a minister of the Baptist church, son of Jacob and Elsie Way Hickman, who was a Scotch Quakeress, born in Virginia (see Hickman ). Child: Janet Way, born June 5, 1895, now a student in Uniontown high school.

Source: Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, John W. Jordan, Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1912.

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