Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Richard Henry Bowen family

Richard Henry "Dick" Bowen was the son of William Bowen and Rebecca Wesson.  In some family trees, you may find him as the son of William Bowen and Martha Overby, but this is not true.  You can read more about Rebecca and Martha at one of my earlier posts to this blog.

R. H. Bowen has been in my thoughts lately because I've been slugging through the transcription of his father William's (my GGGG grandfather) probate records, provided courtesy of Marilyn Dickson.   William died intestate (without a will) in April 1888 at the age of 89, and his youngest son Richard H. Bowen was appointed administrator of the estate.  Richard also was appointed as guardian for his mother, Rebecca, who was adjudged to be mentally incapable of handling her financial and personal affairs (she was 85 years old).   Rebecca herself died before her husband's estate was settled which wasn't until October 1891.  My GG grandmother, Martha Bowen Clayton, received a grand 1/8th share of $14.25; she and her siblings were entitled to a share in their grandfather's estate due to the death of their father in 1881. 

Marilyn Dickson and Mary Spivey shared the photograph of Richard H. Bowen and his family, pictured in front of the store that R. H. Bowen operated.  The probate proceedings indicated that R. H. Bowen Store extended credit to William Bowen for the purchase of lumber, blacksmith tools and other items prior to William's death.    Then, at William's death, R. H. Bowen "sold" to the estate, items to prepare the coffin (velvet, lawn material, tacks, etc) and to prepare the body (cologne, handkerchief, neck tie).
The invoice header indicates Tremont, Miss. as the location for the store, however, I believe  that the store was located southwest of Tremont, just east of what is known as the Nita Lake Road.  Records show that in 1873, R. H. Bowen was given permission to build a mill on Curtis Creek (now, known as Lick Skillet Creek, a branch of Bull Mountain).  Another possibility for the store would be due south of Tremont, along or near Hwy 23; records show that R. H. Bowen and Benjamin Webb started a mercantile business together in the early 1880's in the community of Whitney which was located below Tremont near and/or along James Creek.   R. H. Bowen secured a post office for his store in 1887, the post office operating for two years under the name Zoyd.   Another post office was established by R. H. Bowen, in 1889, named Bowen, with Mary R. Bowen (Richard's oldest daughter) as the first postmaster and Robert Bowen (Richard's oldest son) serving as a postmaster 1894-1895.   If anyone has information on the definite location of this store, please let me know.  There may have been more than one location.

Signature of Richard Henry Bowen
Richard Henry Bowen was married to Martha Adeline Webb, daughter of William Jefferson "Billy" Webb and Antoinette Reich.  They had eleven children:  Mary (married to Harold P. Maxey), Sarah (married first to William Maxey, then to Willie Mattox), Robert H. (married Margaret Celesta Henderson, moved to Florida, died there in 1951), James William (married first to Lorraine J. Miller, then Vona Mattox), Edgar Trannie (married to Narocia Stone), Nora Lee (married to Ira Dalton Henderson, died young), Sumpter Richard (married Ellie D. Moore), Callie E. (married Roy Wax), Leta (never married, died at age 97 in 1995), John Allen (moved to Greenville, MS and probably died there c1950), Neely (moved to Memphis, died there in 1969).   All eleven children appear to be pictured in the photograph.

Richard died in 1923, either in Itawamba County or Monroe County.  He and Martha were living in Amory, next door to their son James William Bowen, in the 1920 census, and Richard's will is dated 1921 in Amory.   He and Martha are buried in Fulton Cemetery however.

For more information about the Richard Henry Bowen-Martha Adeline Webb family, you can visit this website by David Webb.

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