Transcript:Indiana, United States. Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties/B/Bowman, John


[Return to Surname Main Index]

John Bowman (p 583)

The banking institutions of a county or town indicate in a large degree the prosperity, thrift and business standing of the merchants and citizens of the locality, and when properly managed reflect credit upon the place. Wayne County is especially fortunate in the character of its banks and financiers, among the latter being numbered John Bowman, the popular cashier of the Commercial Bank, of Hagerstown.

Benjamin Bowman, the paternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, and four of his sons, including David, the father of our subject, were ministers of the German Baptist denomination. The family is of German origin, and for several generations has been represented in Pennsylvania, being noted for sterling qualities that have commanded the respect of everybody. David Bowman, born in Montgomery County, Ohio, March 26, 1812, removed with his parents, Benjamin and Elizabeth Bowman, to Indiana, when he was about five years of age. They located on a tract of government land, just north of Cambridge City, Wayne County, and a few years later the father removed to Delaware County, Indiana, where he resided until his death. He had numerous sons and daughters, of whom all but one lived to attain the ripe age of four-score years or more.

David Bowman was a man of much more than ordinary ability, and, considering his limited advantages for the acquisition of an education, his scholarship was truly remarkable. For several years he was successfully engaged in teaching in Wayne and Henry Counties, and for fifteen years, he served as a justice of the peace. At the same time, he conducted a farm in Jefferson Township, and ministered to the needs of the church with which he was identified. Politically he was a Whig and Republican, but would never accept an elective office. He was noted for the absolute uprightness and justness of his character, and he was not only looked up to and consulted by all his neighbors, but was called upon to settle a number of estates. His death occurred at his home near Hagerstown, in February 1893. He is survived by his wife, who was born in North Carolina, in 1814, and who was Miss Ruth Bell in her girlhood. Her father, Thomas Bell, a native of the same state, removed to the vicinity of New Albany, Indiana, at an early day, and later settled in Wayne County, where his death took place many years ago. Of the ten children born to Mr. and Mrs. Bowman, eight lived to mature years, and six survive at this writing. Benjamin, who is a resident of Hagerstown, served in the war of the Rebellion in the Fifty-seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and for a number of years has been an invalid, as the result of his arduous army experiences. Ithamar is a citizen of Jasper County, Missouri. Nancy is the wife of Rev. Lewis Teeter, of Hagerstown. Sanford, a teacher by profession, lives in Marion, Indiana. Mary A. is the wife of Hugh Allen, of Hagerstown. Elizabeth and Nehemiah died after having arrived at maturity.

John Bowman, of this sketch, was born in Liberty Township, Henry County, Indiana, August 2, 1841. His birthplace was but two miles west of Hagerstown, and in this immediate vicinity his entire life has been spent. He worked on the old homestead until he reached his majority, attending school during the winter season. Later he was a student in the high schools of Dublin and Hagerstown, and having obtained a certificate he then engaged in teaching in the local schools for ten successive winter terms. In 1876, he embarked in the grocery business in Hagerstown, and for three years was thus occupied. Since 1881 he has been the cashier of the Commercial Bank of Hagerstown, and has been largely instrumental in the maintenance of its high reputation for careful and systematic transaction of all business entrusted to its keeping.

On the 10th of September 1862, the marriage of Mr. Bowman and Miss Martha A. Mason was celebrated at the home of the bride's parents, Jacob and Louisa (Guinn) Mason, pioneers of this county. Mr. Mason is prominent in Jefferson Township, of which locality he was trustee for six years, and from 1880 to 1889, he served the people of Wayne County most acceptably as a commissioner. The only child of our subject and wife is Edward, born August 30, 1863, and at present a trusted employee of the Panhandle Railroad, at Anderson, Indiana. On Thanksgiving Day, 1885, Edward Bowman was united in marriage to Addie Mathews, daughter of Hannibal and Olive (Perry) Mathews, who are old residents of Hagerstown. To this union two children have been born, Edith and Rush, both bright and promising children.

Mr. and Mrs. Bowman are consist