Monday, September 12, 2011

William Bowen Estate

William Bowen moved to Itawamba County around 1848 or so.  He is listed in the 1850 census of Itawamba County with his "second" family, while his wife Martha and children of his "first" family are still living in Cleveland County, North Carolina.   You will have to read an earlier post of the Rebecca-Martha story to catch up with this family if you haven't already done so.

Martha Bowen died in 1854, and she was buried in her church cemetery, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, in Cleveland County.  After Martha's death,  her children, with the exception of daughter Lavinia ("Vaney") who never left North Carolina, moved to Itawamba County.  Her children were Emily "Millie" Bowen Wesson, John Henderson Bowen (my GGG grandfather), Lavinia "Vaney" Bowen Wear, William Darden Shelton Bowen, and James Young Bowen.

I've got some more digging to do in the courthouse to come up with the early land deed records for William Bowen, but early census records seem to indicate that he lived northwest of Fulton.  The 1860 census shows a post office address of Pleasanton, and neighbors in the 1850 census (Alfred Dulaney and others) support the theory that William initially lived a bit further north than his residence when he died.

William died in 1888 without a will, and his son Richard administered the estate.   Probate records show that William owned the Southeast Quarter of Section 12, Township 10, Range 10 East as well as about 60 acres across the northern part of the Northeast Quarter of Section 13, Township 10, Range 10 East.  I've drawn off the approximate location of William's land on a topography map of Itawamba County, and as you can see, it was located just east of Nita Lake and encompassed part of today's four-lane Highway 78 where it crosses over Nita Lake Road.   Mt. Pisgah Church, where so many of the Bowen families worshiped, is located south of the location of William's land, although this was not the original location of Mt. Pisgah Church.   The above map shows Old Mt. Pisgah Cemetery located west of Nita Lake - does anyone know anything about this cemetery?

William's land was sold at public auction, in order to equitably divide his estate among his heirs, and the two tracts of land were sold to John Roberts ($450 for the larger tract) and O. B. Cowden ($100 for the 60 acre tract).

There is no record of where William (or Rebecca) was buried.  Could they be buried at the Old Mt. Pisgah Cemetery?  Or where they buried in the Bowen Cemetery that was tragically bulldozed over several years ago?

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