Background notes on the young man who married Clarissa Williams on November 11, 1852, fathered three children, and died November 29, 1857.  He is buried in a solitary plot at Old Union Cemetery in Lawrence County in the midst of the Kerns/Williams gravesite--the ancestors of Clarissa.  The gravesite is southeast of the Old Union Church Building.  There are no other Bowman grave-sites of that or earlier years to be found in Lawrence County.

The only Pleasant Bowman of an age comparable to Clarissa as listed in the 1850 FEDERAL CENSUS is found in adjoining Washington County, Indiana.    (1850 census was the first Federal Census to list names of all individuals in a household.)

    “Pleasant Bowman, age 21, occupation farmer “ is listed in the household of John Bowman, age 35 , a farmer with real estate holdings valued at $1000.

    Also listed as living in that household in Washington County on July 1, 1850 were:
        Catherine,    age 53   ??
        Mary,          age 23
        Napoleon,   age 13

    The follow are excerpts from a book entitled Washington County, Indiana History, page 660.  (A copy is in the library at Bedford, Indiana)

    “    The late Hon. John A Bowman who was a leading farmer and businessman of Polk township, and one of the most prominent citizens of Washington county, Indiana, was born in Blount county, Tennessee, on April 7, 1818, he being the next eldest of eleven (11) children born to a John and Catherine Bowman, natives of Virginia and Pennsylvania, respectively, and who came in 1830 to Walnut Ridge, later moving to Monroe Township, where the elder (John) Bowman died.

    John A. Bowman received his education in the common schools of his native county and in the schools of Monroe township, Washington county, after which he worked with his father on the home farm until at the age of eighteen years, he started for Louisiana, making the trip down the Mississippi river on a flat board.  After two years in Louisiana, Mr. Bowman returned to Washington county, Indiana, and purchased a farm near that of his parents, he later, after the death of his father, placing his mother and her two children on the farm, while he engaged in the business of a stock dealer, his field of operation being between Washington county and the city of New Orleans.  Mr. Bowman continued in his business as a stockman until the outbreak of the Civil War, and then following the close of the war, he re-engaged in his business for a short time after which he returned to his farm, near Farrabee, a place where he cultivated as a general farmer for the remainder of his active life.  Mr. Bowman at the time of his death being the owner of nine hundred and twenty-four acres of well cultivated land in Washington County.  On January 17, 1881, John A. Bowman was married to Mary Jane (Davis) Howell, who was born near South Boston, Franklin Township, Washington County, the daughter of Henry and Lydia (Tash) Davis.


The following information comes from Theresa Koehler who has an extensive web page on the Internet listing her family history research and sources:

John A. BOWMAN (Sr.)
    BIRTH: C1790, VA
    Franklin Township Cemeteries, Washington Co, IN 1987
        S.C. 1880 Census (per Carol Brown records, Mesa, AZ)
    DEATH: BEF 1843, Walnut Ridge,Monroe Twp,Wash Co, IN
    TITLE: Sr.
        Father: William Harrison BOWMAN
        Mother: Sarah BOWMAN
Family:  with Catherine BOWERMAN
    MARRIED: 29 JUN 1812, Maryville, Blount Co., TN
      1.  Louisa BOWMAN
      2.  John A. BOWMAN
      3.  William J. BOWMAN
      4.  Sarah Elvira BOWMAN
      5.  Papina BOWMAN
      6.  Male BOWMAN
      7.  Lycurgus BOWMAN
      8.  Mary BOWMAN
      9.  Pleasant BOWMAN
    10.  Michael Dill BOWMAN
    11.  Elisha BOWMAN
    12.  Napolean Bonaparte BOWMAN

Additional information on this web page verifies the dates and ages given in the history and the 1850 census records.  Unlike most of the other siblings, NO INFORMATION is given regarding the death and burial site of Pleasant.    (All of the other sibling lived and died in Washington County.  County and cemetery records would verify their death and burial.)

Garrett Williams (Clarissa’s father) and several of his brothers were successful grain and livestock farmers in Lawrence County, Ind.  Garrett’s brother Dr. Elkanah Williams’ letters,--as recorded in the Dixon book on Captain Isaac Williams,  talk of their extensive livestock dealings.  Thus is it highly possible that there would have been direct contact between the William families and the livestock trader John A. Bowman-- and his little brother Pleasant -- of adjoining Washington County.

I believe this is the Pleasant Bowman who was Clarissa’s first husband and the father of Jackson Bowman.

 Other Bowman’s listed in the 1850 Federal census for Indiana are as follows:

Absoleom Bowman , age 47, farmer in Shawswick Twp from North Carolina
            Susan          age 16
            Agnus         age 15
            Lannina, ?   age 13
            Polly           age12
            Betsy          age 11
            Isaac          age 9
            William       age 7    
            James ?      age 5
            John           age 1  (note the absence of a mother)

    MARTIN COUNTY:,  BROWN TWP  (between present Burn City and Trinity Springs)

        William Bowman,     age 30, Farmer, from TENNESSEE?
        Jullian Bowman,       age 31        
            Mary                   age 9
            Sarah                   age 8
            Pleasant,              age 7  (This Pleasant is listed in civil war records)
            John                    age 5
            Amanda              age 2
            James                 age 1

        PLEASANT BOWMAN,     Age 44?,    Farmer    from TENNESSEE
        Sarah Bowman        Age 42            from Tennessee
            Richard               age 19
            Mary Anne         age 15
            ???                     age 13   (female)
            John                   age 11
            Susan                 age 9
            Jane                   age 9
            Margaret            age 4

        This Pleasant is noted as one of three persons on deed of land purchased for site of Burn City Christian Church in 1831.)

        Land patents (original deeds)  are noted in 1838 and 1940 for this Pleasant Bowman.

        A Septima Bowman received a land patent in Martin County in 1937 but is not listed in the 1850 census.  This grant was adjacent to one of the grants given to Pleasant  Bowman in Baker Twp.

    A check of the 1850 census in Vermilion County Illinois, the county where Pleasant and Clarissa’s son Jackson was born in 1852 also reveals only a George Bowman age 27, married with children.  

    There are no Pleasant Bowman’s of the right age listed in any of the census records for either 1860 or 1870 for Washington, Lawrence, or Martin Counties.  There are census record entries, and other records for George Pleasant, George P. and G. Pleasant Bowman in various documents but the ages do not match.  I did NOT find a Pleasant Bowman in the 1860 Federal Census anywhere in Indiana.

    A. George P., age 16, is listed in the household of Williams Bowman (the brother of Pleasant) of Washington Co. in the 1860 census and as the 26 year old head of a household in the 1970 census of Washington County.

    A single military style gravestone in the cemetery located just northeast of Little York in northeastern Washington County is listed as “P Bowman” in some Washington County historical Society Documents.  HOWEVER, close examination of the marker indicates the remnants of the letter “G” in front of the inscription.  Without the “G.” the inscription is “Off-center” on the military marker.  A search of civil war military records –including those of Washington County’s Historical Society—only reveals the enlistment of 8/19/1862 and discharge of George P. Bowman of Little York, Indiana.  The George P Bowman listed in the household of William Bowman in 1860 would have been 18 years of age in 1862 and thus of age for military service.

    Thus, having ruled out other possibilities, it can be deducted that the Pleasant Bowman listed in the 1850 census of Washington County and the one who married Clarissa Williams are in fact “one and the same.”

November 2000

Grand daughter of Pleasant Bowman

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