The GILLMAN FOWLERS of Union County, South Carolina

The title of this article —The GILLMAN FOWLERS of Union County, South Carolina — is a little misleading.  While predominately written about the Union County Gillman Fowlers, it is not exclusively about them.

There are two Gilmer Fowlers, one Gilmore Fowler, and two Gillman Whites.  And not all of the Gillman and variations thereof lived in Union County.  They did have one thing in common: they were all descendants of the Union County Fowler family from whom I descend; they were all related, father and sons, cousins, uncles and nephews.

The first known “Gillman” Fowler — at least known to me — was Thomas Gillman Fowler (1798-1880), a son of Godfrey Fowler and the grandson of Henry Ellis Fowler.

I am not the first to wonder: where did the name Gillman originate in my Fowler family and what significance did the name carry to be used over and over again throughout the generations?

My great grandfather was named Thomas Gillman Fowler.  He is number five on the list below.  He was called, simply, Gil Fowler.

The list below does not contain all of the Gillman Fowlers, I am sure.  Gillman, Gilmer, Gilmore and perhaps other slightly different spellings were probably given to many more Fowler men than I suspect.  I’ve decided to start with the “ones I know” and expand the list as I discover more.

The ultimate goal would be finding out why the name became important to my family.

 

  1. THOMAS GILLMAN FOWLER (1798-1880)  Son of Godfrey Fowler and Nannie Kelly; married Susannah Hames
  2. GILLMAN H. FOWLER (1822-1861)  Son of Thomas Gillman Fowler and Susannah Hames
  3. GILLMAN FOWLER (1852-1924) Son of Bryant Fowler and Elizabeth Wright; married Julia Ann Wood and Carrie Guyton
  4. ISAAC GILMER FOWLER (1852-1938) Son of Thomas Fowler and Sarah Elender Hames; married Rebecca Trotter and Susan Katherine Wilson
  5. THOMAS GILLMAN FOWLER (1858-1944)   Son of Thomas Fowler and Mary Fowler; married Lura Mabry
  6. GILLMAN L. FOWLER (1862-1937)   Son of Thomas G. Fowler and Martha Owens; married Ida Petty
  7. GILLMAN FOWLER (1863-after 1930)   Son of William Fowler and Charity Fowler
  8. HUGH GILMORE FOWLER (1885-1964)   Son of Isaac Fowler and Susan Katherine Wilson; married Sunie Hood
  9. THOMAS GILLMAN FOWLER (1919-1996)   Son of John Henry Fowler and Delia Dempsey; married Martha Moss and Callie Ruth Brown
  10. THOMAS GILMER FOWLER (1922-2017)

FRANCIS GILLMAN WHITE 1869-1940

FRANCIS GILLMAN WHITE JR. 1903-1993

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more to come in the next few days

 

B. ELBERT FOWLER (1830-1882) Son of Ellis Fowler and Sarah Mabry

On Sunday, October 8, 1882, the old Hawkins iron bridge spanning the Little River in Cherokee County, Georgia collapsed from the weight of more than one hundred and fifty persons gathered to watch a baptism in the waters below.

Elbert Fowler was among the twenty five or so who were critically injured.  He was “badly mashed with a severe gash on the forehead; ribs broken…..will probably die.”

Did he die?  Was this “our” Elbert Fowler?  The time and place certainly fit.

B. Elbert Fowler was born circa 1830 in Union County, South Carolina, son of Ellis Fowler (1805-before 1840) and Sarah “Sallie” Mabry (1808-after 1850).  Ellis was the son of Ephraim Fowler and Nancy Moseley; and Ephraim Fowler was the son of Henry Ellis Fowler (1846-1808).

ELLIS FOWLER 1805-before 1840, son of Ephraim

Ellis and Sarah Mabry Fowler had four children before his early death:

  • Henry Richard Fowler 1825-1885
  • Julia Fowler 1828-1880
  • B. Elbert Fowler 1830- 1882
  • Mary Jane Fowler 1833- after 1850

Malinda Susannah Newbury (Newberry) was the daughter of Henry Newbury (1800- after 1880) and Malinda Millie Roberts (b. 1809).  The Henry Newbury family may have been living in Spartanburg County in 1830, and were in the Pinckneyville area of Union County by 1870.

B. Elbert Fowler — was “B” for Benjamin?  The name was passed on down the generations — married Malinda Susannah Newbury circa 1850/1851.  They had eight children during their marriage, four daughters, then four sons:

  • Mary Fowler 1852– before 1900
  • Texanna Jane Fowler 1856–1923
  • Susan Northa Fowler 1858– before 1900
  • Harriett Fowler 1861– before 1900
  • John Marion Fowler 1861–1909
  • Benjamin Fowler 1862–
  • Henry R Fowler 1870–1933
  • Calvin Fowler 1873– before 1900

B. Elbert Fowler and his three siblings (Henry Richard Fowler, Julia Fowler Sprouse, and Mary Jane Fowler) inherited their deceased father Ellis Fowler’s 1/8 share of the estate of Ephraim Fowler, father of Ellis.

Henry Richard Fowler bought the shares of his siblings in 1849, and shortly thereafter sold the shares to William Bevis.  This transactions took place in Union County, SC perhaps before the B. Elbert Fowler family moved to Cherokee County Georgia.  William Sprouse signed the document for his wife Julia.

The document proves beyond all doubt that these four persons were the children of Ellis Fowler, son of Ephraim Fowler.  For a detailed article regarding the estate settlement of Ephraim Fowler, I add this link: The Final Estate Settlement of EPHRAIM FOWLER: Darkas, Mahala, Dorcas, and Charlotte

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Transcribed:

 

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Elbert and his wife Susannah moved from Union County, South Carolina to Cherokee County, Georgia before the births of their children, who were all recorded as born in Georgia on the 1860 census.

The B. Elbert Fowler family lived beside another Fowler household in 1860, that of Rebecca Fowler and her children.  I am alone — and way out on a limb — when I state that this Rebecca Fowler was the widow of Mark Fowler, son of Big Mark Fowler (son of Henry Ellis Fowler) of Union County, SC and his wife Elizabeth Moseley.

Everyone else on the planet thinks that this Mark Fowler married to Rebecca in Cherokee Georgia was the son of Moses Fowler and Rebecca Carlton.  I’ve seen no documentation to support that theory.  Admittedly, I have no documentation either, but I do know that some of Big Mark Fowler and Elizabeth Mosely’s grandchildren were born in Georgia, and Rebecca Fowler was living next door to Elbert Fowler, a documented descendant of Henry Ellis Fowler.  Until I find definite proof, I will continue to keep Mark Fowler married to Rebecca in my family tree as a son of Big Mark Fowler, and a grandson of Henry Ellis Fowler.  I do not mind being alone in my speculation.

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1860 Cherokee County GA Census

  • Elbert Fowler 27
  • Susan Fowler 25
  • Mary Fowler 8
  • Texana Fowler 6
  • Susan Fowler  2                                                  
  •                                                                               
  • Rebecca Fowler  50
  • Toliver 22
  • Leland? 16
  • Martha 12
  • George 10
  • Mary 7

In 1870, Elbert Fowler and three of his children — Mary, Harriet, and Benjamin — are conspicuously missing from census records.

Susan Fowler and three children — Texanna, (Susan) Northa, and John Marion — were counted in Cherokee County, Georgia.

Where was Elbert Fowler and why was the family split in half in 1870?

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1870 Cherokee County, GA Census

 

Elbert Fowler was back with his family by 1880.  Two more sons had been born in the preceding decade — Henry R. Fowler circa 1870/1871, and Calvin circa 1873.

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1880 Cherokee County GA Census

Two years later, October 8, 1882, the Hawkins bridge collapsed, tossing an Elbert Fowler of Cherokee County, Georgia and dozens of other men, women, and children into the Little River below.  In 1888, Melinda Susannah Newbury Fowler married Benjamin Franklin Haskall in Harelson County, Georgia. Circumstantial evidence indicates that it was our B. Elbert Fowler who was thrown from the bridge.  I can find no other Elbert Fowler in Cherokee County Georgia in 1882.  (Elbert Leland Fowler, son of Mark Fowler and Rebecca died in 1873).    Susan Fowler was surely a widow when she married Mr. Haskall in 1888.

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Marriage License of B.F. Haskall and Mrs. M. S. Fowler

Malinda Susannah Newbury Fowler Haskall was a widow by 1900.  She lived with her son Henry R. Fowler and his wife Georgia in Calhoun County Alabama.  The census records indicate that she had given birth to eight children, and only four still were living.

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1900 Calhoun County Alabama Census

Malinda Susan Newbury Fowler Haskall died in Chattanooga Tennessee in April 1905, and was buried at Forest Hills Cemetery in Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee.

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Tennessee Death Records 1905

 

Now it is time to take a look at the eight children of B. Elbert Fowler and Malinda Susannah Newbury.

MARY FOWLER was born in 1852.  The only census record in which she was recorded was the 1860 census of Cherokee County, Georgia.  It is possible that she lived with her father Elbert Fowler in 1870 –the year he was missing from census records.  It is also possible that she had married and had a different surname in 1870, or that she had died before 1870.  Even though I am unsure of her fate, it is likely that Mary Fowler had died before 1900.  More research is needed and will be done.

TEXANNA JANE FOWLER was born in 1854.  Or 1855 or 1856.  Fortunately, there are several census records documenting her existence.  She married twice, to Joseph H. Jones and Charles C. Hoffman.  She had three children: Lillian Jones born 1877, Charlie Hoffman born 1893,  and one child whose name has not come across my research radar.

Texanna is found in 1860 and 1870 in the household of her parents (1860) and of her mother (1870).  She married Joseph H. Jones on November 14, 1872 and was recorded with him in 1880 along with daughter Lillian Jones in Cobb County, Georgia.

The year 1900 finds her in the household with husband Charles Hoffman (b. 1865).  Mr. Hoffman immigrated from Denmark in 1880.  Their seven year old son Charlie is also in the household.  Texanna had been married to Charles Hoffman since 1882 and had given birth three times with three children still living.  It is apparent that she had two children with Joseph Jones, and the last child with Charles Hoffman.

In 1910, Texanna Fowler Jones Hoffman lived in Atlanta, Fulton County Georgia.

Texanna lived in the John H. Sprouse household in Atlanta in 1920.  John Henry Sprouse was the son of McSwain “Doc” Sprouse, son of William Sprouse and Julia Fowler, sister of B. Elbert Fowler. Julia Fowler Sprouse was Texanna’s aunt; Texanna and John H. Sprouse were first cousins once removed.

Texanna Fowler Jones Hoffman died in Chambers County Alabama in May 1923.  She is buried in Langdale, Alabama.

SUSAN NORTHA FOWLER was born circa 1858.  She was living with Elbert and Susan Fowler in 1860, and with Susan Fowler in 1870.  I do not know if she married but she probably died before 1900.  I can find nothing else about her life.

HARRIET FOWLER was born in 1861.  She must have been off somewhere with her father as she was not in the 1870 census record with her mother Susan Fowler.  Harriet was recorded in 1880 with Elbert and Susan Fowler and she was listed as a daughter, age 19.  Was she the twin sister of John Marion Fowler?  I have not found any further records and unsure if she married.  I believe that she died before 1900.

JOHN MARION FOWLER was born in 1861.  He was in the household with his mother Susan Fowler in 1870, and in the household with both parents in 1880.  He married Nora Louise Strozier in 1886.  They had twelve children.  John Marion Fowler was recorded in the 1900 census in Wilkinson County Georgia.  He died in 1909.

BENJAMIN FOWLER was born circa 1862.  He was one of the children missing in the 1870 census records and must have been with his father that year.  He was recorded in 1880 living in the household with both Elbert and Susan Fowler.  Benjamin may have married Sarah M. Nix in 1881.  He is currently at the top of my research list and more will be added very soon.

HENRY R. FOWLER is recorded in documentation as having been born on October 16, 1869.  He was not recorded with his mother Susan Fowler in the 1870 census and I have a difficult time believing that he was one of the children missing with Elbert Fowler that year.  I do believe that his date of birth may have been in 1870 or even 1871.

Henry R Fowler married Georgia Harris circa 1889.  They did not have children which is probably fortunate: they moved around a lot.

Henry was recorded in 1880 in Cherokee County Georgia with his parents.  He was in Alabama in 1900 with wife Georgia and his mother Malinda Susan.  He must have lived briefly in Chattanooga Tennessee for that is where his mother died in 1905.

Henry and Georgia, still childless, lived in Los Angeles California in 1910.  By 1920, they were back in Georgia…… Atlanta to be precise.  In 1930, they lived in Houston Texas.

Henry R. Fowler must have been a jack-of-all trades as well as having a dose of wander lust.  He died in Harris County Texas on February 3, 1933.

CALVIN FOWLER was the last child born to Elbert and Susan Fowler.  He was born circa 1873.  He was recorded in the 1880 census with his parents.  That is all I know.

  • Henry Ellis Fowler 1746-1808 m. Catherine Puckett
    • Ephraim Fowler 1765-1822 m. Nancy Moseley
      • Ellis Fowler 1805-before 1840 m. Sarah Mary
        • B. Elbert Fowler 1830-1882 m. Malinda Susannah Newbury 1833-1905
          • Mary Fowler 1852–
          • Texanna Jane Fowler 1856–1923 m. Joseph H. Jones; m. Charles Hoffman
            • Lillian Jones
            • unknown Jones
            • Charlie Hoffman
          • Susan Northa Fowler 1858–
          • Harriett Fowler 1861–
          • John Marion Fowler 1861–1909
          • Benjamin Fowler 1862–
          • Henry R Fowler 1870–1933
          • Calvin Fowler 1873- 

 

I leave for last, the newspaper articles from the Atlanta Constitution reporting the tragic collapse of the Hawkins bridge in 1882.  Elbert Fowler is mentioned in both articles.  Perhaps someday I will find the documentation to determine if this man was one and the same as B. Elbert Fowler, son of Ellis, son of Ephraim.

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The Atlanta Constitution October 10, 1882

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The Atlanta constitution October 11, 1882

Murder: The Mize Brothers and Their FOWLER Wives

Murder.  Is the propensity for taking the life of another embedded in the DNA of a man’s genetic code?  One could argue that environment or circumstance or just plain bad luck be reason enough to place a man in the position of making a split second decision to pull a trigger and end a life.

What follows is a tale of the two Mize brothers who chose the path leading to the murders of two men, and the story of the two Fowler women who married the Mize men.

Solomon Mize was born circa 1821 in Union County, South Carolina.  He married Nancy Dodd (b. 1832) and their first child, Mary Ann Mize, was born in 1848.  Four sons were to follow — Thomas Mize in 1850, John Mize in 1853, Elliot Mize in 1857, and James Monroe Mize in 1859.

Mary Ann Mize married Benson Petty; Thomas Mize married Mary Carolina Vandiver; and Elliot Mize died a young boy.  Their stories, their lives….. while filled with joyful events and  human suffering…… lend little to the telling of the lives of their brothers John and James Monroe Mize.

Brothers John Mize and James Monroe Mize had more in common than shared parents.  They both married Fowler women; they each pulled a trigger and were arrested for killing a man.

And as murder often goes, the two victims were related to their killers by marriage: John Mize ended the life of his wife’s cousin, and James Monroe Mize took the life of the man married to his daughter.

Enter Desdamona Fowler, the daughter of James Fowler and Caroline Hodge, both descended from the same Fowler family, endowing their daughter a double dose of Fowler DNA as well as a beautiful name.

James Fowler (1832–1862) was the son of William Fowler and Rhoda Moseley.  This particular William Fowler was most likely the son of John Fowler “the Elder” (d. 1818) and his wife Fannie.  Forthcoming DNA testing will confirm this, or not.

Caroline Hodge (1830-1912) was the daughter of John Jackson Hodge (1802-1882) and  Martha Patsy Fowler (1809-1872).  Womack Fowler (1785-1949) was the father of Martha Patsy Fowler, and of course, Henry Ellis Fowler (1746-1808) was the father of WomackMartha Patsy Fowler’s mother was Susannah Moseley (1792-1878).  DNA testing has already proven these relationships.

In 1860, six year old Desdamona Fowler lived in the household with her parents and two younger brothers.  Her paternal grandmother Rhoda Fowler lived in the household next door.

james Fowler Caroline Hodge

1860 Union County SC Census

 

Desdamona’s father, James Fowler, died before the 1870 census.  She still lived in the household with her mother and siblings.

caroline hodge 1870

1870 Union County SC Census

John Mize, age six, and his brother James Monroe Mize, age 4 months, lived in the household with parents Solomon Mize and Nancy Dodd in 1860.  Mary Ann, Thomas, and Eliot Mize were the other children of Soloman and Nancy.

john mize 1860

1860 Union County SC Census

 

The Solomon Mize household remained the same size in 1870.

john mise 1870

1870 Union County SC Census

 

Shortly after the 1870 census was taken — and shortly could mean  weeks or months or even a year or two — Desdamona Fowler, daughter of James, married John Mize, son of Solomon.  Their first child was born circa 1872.  Three more children followed in rapid succession.  Then, trouble struck — John Mize killed a man.

 

john mise shot john lipsey

The Intelligencer
Anderson, South Carolina
Thu, Nov 06, 1879 · Page 2

Who was this man, John Lipsey?

John Lipsey was born in 1841 in Union County, SC.  He was the son of Ricketson Lipsey (b. 1806) and Frances Fowler (b. 1815).  He was married to Mary Burgess (1843-1915) and the father of John (b. 1864), Anna (b. 1868), Sallie (b. 1872), Silas (b. 1873), and Bobby (b. 1875).  John Lipsey was also Desdamona Fowler’s second cousin.

John Lipsey’s mother Frances Fowler (b. 1815) was the daughter of Mark Fowler (1785-1862), son of John Fowler (d. 1818) and Fannie.

Desdamona Fowler’s father James Fowler was the son of William Fowler (17. -1800), son of John Fowler (d. 1818) and Fannie.

The spiderwebbed story of cousins and sons-in-law and murder gets way more complicated than this; but not to worry, there will be the familiar chart at the end of the article to help explain the twists and turns of this tale.

John Mize went to jail for the killing of John Lipsey.  Both the 1880 census and the  1880 schedule for Inhabitants in Prison bear this out.

In 1880, the Solomon Mize household included Solomon, wife Nancy, daughter-in-law Desda (Fowler), and the four children of Desda and her “missing” husband John Mize: Charles, Martha, John, and  baby Thomas.

Desdamona Fowler 1880

1880 Union County SC Census

 

John Mize was not in the 1880 census record with his wife and children, but he was found in the schedule below.  In the Union County Jail.  For murder.

john mize prison

 

John Mize was recorded in 1880 as one of three prisoners in the county jail.

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Desdamona was not the only woman who had moved back into a household with parents;  Mary Burgess Lipsey, now a widow, and her four fatherless children moved into her parents’ household, headed by her father Silas Burgess.

 

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1880 Union County SC Census

 

Poor dead John Lipsey was not forgotten.  He was listed in a schedule in 1880 as well:

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U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules

It’s difficult to read, but it states that 35 year old John Lipsey died in October 1879 of a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Good news for John Mize came in 1880.  He was found not guilty of the murder of John Lipsey.  The two articles below are somewhat conflicting in the reasons John Mize was set free.

 

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Union Times
Union, South Carolina
Fri, Jun 25, 1880 · Page 2

 

Did the jury return a verdict of not guilty or did they fail to agree upon a verdict?  Either way, John Mize was a free man.

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The Intelligencer
Anderson, South Carolina
Thu, Mar 18, 1880 · Page 2

 

What happened to John Mize after his return home from the county jail?  He and Desdamona had four more children: Monroe Mimms Mize (b. 1883), Albert Horace Mize (b. 1885), Virginia James Mize (b. 1885), and Mattie Mize (b. 1887).

It must be mentioned that Monroe Mimms Mize and Mattie Mize were absent in the 1900 census within the John Mize household.  Mattie Mize was named Mattie Smith on her marriage certificate.  I am not totally sure that these two children were, in fact, the biological children of John Mize and Desdamona Fowler.  Death certificates and other documents lend support that they were children of the couple, but I do suspect they may have been informally adopted from another family, even another Mize family.  Please note that this is mere speculation but I find that things do not add up.  More research is forthcoming.

Desdamona died or left the household, for John Mize married Margaret Anna Putnam (b. 1875) in 1891.  John and his new wife had four children: Annie (b. 1896), Christopher Columbus (b. 1898), Bessie (b. 1906), and Ruby Estelle (b. 1909).

The John Mize family were in Cooks, Fulton County Georgia in 1900, but later returned to South Carolina, living in Greenville in 1910; and old John Mize, dying there in 1912.

This article is titled Murder: The Mize Brothers and Their Fowler Wives for good reason.  I shall now take you down another path to murder with the younger Mize brother, James Monroe Mize.

Enter Harriet Fowler, daughter of Bryant Fowler and Elizabeth Wright.  Bryant was the son of Stephen Fowler and his first wife, Sarah.  Stephen was the son of Ephraim Fowler, son of Henry Ellis Fowler.

Harriet Fowler was a cousin to Desdamona Fowler two ways: through Henry Ellis Fowler, and John Fowler (d. 1818).   Harriet was also a cousin to John Lispey.

Harriet Fowler married James Monroe Mize, brother of John Mize and son of Solomon.  “Monroe” (as we shall now call him) and Harriet had two children: Logan Mize (b. 1881) and Viola Mize (b. 1884).

Logan Mize married Hattie Strain, daughter of John Strain, in 1902.  Logan’s sister Viola Mae married John Gore, exact date unknown.  John Gore and Viola were the parents of two living children, Jannie May (b. 1906), and John (b, 1908).  Two other children had not survived.

Monroe Mize was a fiddler of local renown.  His son-in-law John Gore played the banjo. Trouble was in the air when both men were invited to provide music for a dance to be held at the home place of William “Bill” Reynolds.  The night would end with one man dead, and the other in jail.  This tragic event took place December 12, 1908.

It is not mentioned in any of the press articles written about that dreadful night of how many patrons attended to watch Bill Reynolds dance.  It is known that Logan Mize was there and John Fowler,  son of Harriet Fowler Mize’s sister Emma Fowler Wilkins, was there playing a banjo, and very much involved in the events.   John proved to be a credible witness at the trial.

It is known that Monroe Mize, Logan Mize, and John Gore stopped by John Fowler’s house to have supper before the dance.  It has been reported that all but Monroe indulged in drink.  Afterwards, the four men made their way to the home of Bill Reynolds where they continued their drinking.

They eventually made their way into a pasture where they built a fire, danced, cursed and quarreled, and — no doubt — drank.  Things got out of hand as Saturday night rolled into Sunday morning.  John Gore produced a knife and proceeded to chase old dancing Bill Reynolds out of the pasture.  John Gore and Logan Mize got into a scuffle.  The party broke up, Monroe and Logan Mize going to the home of Bill Reynolds; John Gore and John Fowler going to the nearby home of John Fowler.

As John Fowler and John Gore were preparing for bed, they heard Monroe and Logan Mize outside in the yard.  The air must have been filled with rage for Logan Mize and John Fowler soon got into a fight.  The four men were in the house, out in the yard, in the house, out in the yard.  John Fowler’s wife, barefoot and in her night clothes, went into the yard, then back into the house.  Guns were flashed about, harsh words spoken.  It was chaos all around.

By the time the dust settled, Monroe Mize had fired three shots.  John Gore lay facedown –dead — on the ground.  John Fowler examined the body while the father and son Mize men departed the scene.  They went to the home of Emma Fowler Wilkins, a sister of Monroe’s wife Harriet.

There was much written in the newspapers of the time.  Both Monroe and Logan Mize were arrested.   The trial was held in 1910.  Logan Mize received thirty days on the county chaingang for carrying concealed weapons.  Monroe Mize was sentenced two years in the penitentiary for manslaughter.

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Gaffney, South Carolina
Tue, Dec 15, 1908 · Page 4
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The Gaffney Ledger
Gaffney, South Carolina
Fri, Jul 16, 1909 · Page 5

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Gaffney, South Carolina
Fri, Apr 07, 1911 · Page 1
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The Gaffney Ledger
Gaffney, South Carolina
Tue, Apr 18, 1911 · Page 2

 

Monroe Mize was — without a doubt — a popular man in his community.  I found many articles written about him ranging from stories about cock fighting to petitions trying to free him from the penitentiary.  Add a banjo and a very colorful character comes to mind.

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The Gaffney Ledger
Gaffney, South Carolina
Fri, Jan 19, 1912 · Page 2

 

Viola Mize Gore married Mr. Cook in 1910 and began another family.

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The Gaffney Ledger
Gaffney, South Carolina
Fri, May 03, 1912 · Page 4

James Monroe Mize died in 1926 of heart and renal failure combined with flu.

Logan Mize was married and working as a blacksmith in 1921 in Charleston, South Carolina.  It was reported that he had been making fun of the appearance of one James Slappey who took offense and shot Logan Mize in his legs.  The gunshot shattered the bones and his legs were amputated. The shock was too great.  

Logan Mize lived by the gun, and died by the gun.

 

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TEXANNA FOWLER b. 1860, Victim of the Pacolet River Flood of 1903

“Four angels now on high
They are hand in hand together
Four are linked now to bind us to them
Four fingers beckon us to come”

June 6, 1903.  The most catastrophic flood in recorded South Carolina history roared down the Pacolet River, destroying homes and mills, –the raging waters dragging dozens of men, women, and children downstream to their deaths.

Texanna Fowler was born in Union County, South Carolina in 1860.  Her father was William Earle Fowler, son of Mark Fowler, son of John Fowler the Elder and Fannie.

Texanna’s mother was Martha O’Neal, daughter of Nancy and her husband Barney O’Neal, immigrant from Ireland and, if one can believe what has been written about old Barney O’Neal, quite a character.

Martha O’Neal Fowler was dead by July 2, 1860 — the day census-taker T.J.Harris visited the household to count the family members within.  One month old and motherless, Texanna Fowler was surrounded by family — father William Earle Fowler, grandmother Nancy O’Neal, brother Belton Fowler, sisters Mary and Nancy Fowler, and aunt Elizabeth O’Neal.

Her grandfather Mark Fowler lived next door with his second wife, Mary Ann O’Neal (also a daughter of  Barney O’Neal), and their children.

texanna 1860.png
1860 Union County SC Census
  • Nancy O’Neal 80 (widow of Barney O’Neal; mother of Elizabeth, Mary & Martha)
  • Earl Fowler 26 (son of Mark Fowler & Nancy)
  • Elizabeth (O’Neal) 24 (daughter of Barney O’Neal & Nancy)
  • Belton Fowler 6 (son of William Earl Fowler & Martha O’Neal)
  • Nancy Fowler 4 (daughter of William Earl Fowler & Martha O’Neal)
  • MaryAn Fowler 3 (daughter of William Earl Fowler & Martha O’Neal)
  • Texanna Fowler 1 month (daughter of William Earl Fowler & Martha O’Neal)
  • Mark Fowler 73 (son of John Fowler the Elder & Fannie)
  • Mary Ann O’Neal Fowler 34 (daughter of Barney O’Neal & Nancy)
  • Christian Fowler 16 (daughter of Mark Fowler & Mary Ann O’Neal)
  • Harriet Fowler 13 (daughter of Mark Fowler & Mary Ann O’Neal)
  • Andy Fowler 9 (son of Mark Fowler & Mary Ann O’Neal)
  • Noah Fowler 5 (daughter of Mark Fowler & Mary Ann O’Neal)
  • Thomas Fowler 3 (son of Mark Fowler & Mary Ann O’Neal)

The years in-between 1860 to 1870 brought many changes to these families.  Mark Fowler died, leaving Mary Ann O’Neal a widow who lived with her son Noah Fowler in 1870.  Mary Ann O’Neal Fowler and Noah lived next door to her daughter Harriet Fowler who had married James Powell, and their two young children.

William Earl Fowler had married Taylor Ann Harris and had begun a new family with her.  They had moved from the Kelton area to Gowdeysville north of the Pacolet River and what was later to become part of Cherokee County, SC.

Elizabeth O’Neal and Texanna Fowler are found in 1870 census records with Jack Willard, and a three year old Calvin WillardElizabeth and Texanna were recorded as Lizzie Willard and Texanna Willard.     

Elizabeth Fowler and Texanna Fowler were counted as mother and daughter in 1880 with an elderly John Willard and twelve year old Calvin Fowler.  Most likely, Elizabeth was raising Texanna as her own daughter after the death of Martha O’Neal Fowler, and Elizabeth had given birth to son Calvin, fathered by John Willard Calvin was always recorded in legal documents as Calvin H. Willard after the 1880 census.

Bradley Sevier Johnson (1866-1919) was the son of Noble Perry Johnson (1826-1883) and Malinda E. Israel (1840–1895).  Noble Perry Johnson was the son of Hugh Johnson (1793-1876) and Sarah Lane Bradley (1793-1868).

Noble Perry Johnson was born in Henderson County, North Carolina and lived most of his life there.  He was included in the 1880 census in that county.  Noble Perry Johnson moved from North Carolina to Spartanburg County, South Carolina after 1880,and he died there in 1883.  He is buried in the Liberty United Methodist Church cemetery along with many other Johnsons.

The paths of Texanna Fowler and Bradley Sevier Johnson crossed sometime between 1880 and 1890, for they married circa 1890 and began their family:

  • Oliver Johnson 1892–1903
  • Roscoe Johnson 1894–1903
  • Beulah Johnson 1895–1896
  • Maggie Johnson 1896–1903
  • Chester Johnson 1899–1900
  • Hugh Johnson 1901–1903

Their last child, Hugh, was likely named after Bradley Johnson’s father, Hugh Johnson.

BS Johnson 1900.png

Bradley Sevier Johnson was a merchant in 1900 who owned his home free and clear.

1900 general merchandise.png

While researching the Pacolet River Flood of 1903, I stumbled upon a partial list of victims from Clifton who had perished in the flood.  The list included Mrs. S.B Johnson and four children.  Was this Texanna Fowler Johnson, wife of Bradley Sevier Johnson?

I discovered another list of victims from The History of Pacolet, Volume II, by Willie Fleming:

1903 victims.png

Mrs. B.S. Johnson (Texanna Fowler) had four living children prior to the 1903 flood, and two of her sons were named Oliver and Roscoe Johnson.

I also read  that “Ben Johnson, a merchant of the settlement of Santuck, just below the No. 2 mill, drifted nine miles with his wife and two children, down to the raging Pacolet River on the roof of his house, only to see his family disappear of the Pacolet Mills dam in a swirling eddy.”

ben johnson.png

 from the article The Great Freshet of 1903 written by William M. Branham and published in the Sandlapper magazine Feb 1980.

Was this Bradley Sevier Johnson misidentified as Ben Johnson?

The following from 1904 Spartanburg Almanac, compiled by J.A. Gamewell and D.D.
Wallace, W.F. Barnes, Spartanburg 1904, pp. 7-15:

At Clifton No. 2 a large number of houses were built upon a beautiful plane on the right bank from ten to fifteen feet above the water and seventy-five yards in width. 400 yards lower down on the opposite side was another level plane that encircled by a sharp curve of the stream, where lay the section of the town known as Santuc. From these two flat places 60 houses were swept, and here occurred the great bulk of the fatalities. The drowned reaching the number of fifty. Here occurred some of the most pathetic scenes and some of the most thrilling escapes. Here, too, lived B. S. Johnson, who escaped from the raging flood after having been borne for several miles upon its bosom, but whose wife and five children were drowned. It was his little boy who floated on a piece of timber eight miles to Pacolet and disappeared in the waves fifteen feet high plunging over the dam and Shoals. 

There is no official or accurate death count from the great disaster of 1903, more than a few persons were reported dead even though they were alive and well, and many bodies were buried, mutilated and unidentified, many weeks later on the banks of the river where they had drifted miles and miles downstream.

I took all of this into account in determining the family of B.S. Johnson/S.B. Johnson/Ben Johnson and the four or five children swept to their early deaths along with their mother.  I also had the good luck to have found written records from family members who knew that Texanna Fowler had married Mr. Johnson, and that she and her children had died in the flood of 1903.

B. S. Johnson was Bradley Sevier Johnson.  Did he float down river with his family, or did he watch from the banks as they washed over the dam? It was reported that he watched as his family was tossed over the Clifton Dam to their deaths.

His wife was Texanna Fowler and the four children who drowned with her were  11 year old Oliver, 9 year old Roscoe, seven year old Maggie, and 2 year old Hugh.  The only body recovered was that of the youngest.  Hugh Johnson’s body was found ten miles downstream, washed ashore near Pacolet.

The two children who had died before the flood, one year old Beulah in 1896, and one year old Chester in 1900, had died far too young, but had escaped the horrendous death that their siblings would face in the rushing, muddy waters of 1903.

Beulah and Chester Johnson were buried at Liberty United Methodist Church near Spartanburg, SC in proximity of their grandfather Noble Perry Johnson.  From the inscriptions on their headstones, it is evident that they were very loved.

Beulah

 Dau. of B.S. and Texanna Johnson

Born Aug 26, 1895

Died Feb 3, 1896

Little bud of love

To bloom with God above

 

beulah johnson



 

Chester

Son of B.S. & T. Johnson

May 19, 1899

May 23, 1900

Our darling hath gone before

To greet us on the blissful shore

chester johnson


There is only one headstone that honors the memory of Texanna Fowler Johnson and her four children who perished in the flood of 1903.  That headstone marks the grave of two year old Hugh Johnson in the Clifton Cemetery near Spartanburg.  The names of his siblings whose bodies were never found, as well as his mother, are inscribed on the stone.

 

Hugh

Son of B.S. and Texanna Johnson,

Drowned in the great Pacolet flood,

June 6, 1903,

Together with his mother, Oliver, Roscoe and Maggie

None of the bodies except his were ever found, age 2 years.

Four angels now on high

They are hand in hand together

Four are linked now to bind us to them

Four fingers beckon us to come

 

1903 hugh.png


 

With the exception of Bradley Sevier Johnson, an entire family was wiped off the face of the earth in one horrendous day.  Mr. Johnson lost his wife and all four of his children.  One cannot imagine the sorrow he endured.   I wondered what became of this broken man………

Bradley Sevier Johnson married Ida Burma Dodd (1883-1985) circa 1905.  Ida was the daughter of Thomas Lewis Dodd (1855-1903) and Ida Susan Compton (1862-1943).

When I saw that Ida Burma Dodd’s father died in 1903, I had to pause a moment — did he also perish in the flood?  He did not.  Thomas Lewis Dodd died after suffering a long illness in Oconee County, South Carolina.

Bradley Sevier Johnson and his second wife, Ida Burna Dodd, had four daughters and one son:

  • Nita Bell Johnson 1906-2000
  • Isla Melinda Johnson 1908-2005
  • Irene Johnson 1908-
  • Sara Johnson 1914-2003
  • Bernard Samuel Johnson 1916-2009

Bradley Sevier Johnson died on May 29, 1919.  

There is little that I can add to what already has been written about the devastating Pacolet River Flood of 1903.  I am adding links below to several websites that well describe what happened that day and the weeks afterwards.

THOMAS W. “BUNKER” FOWLER (1834-1861)

“poor boy! I never knew you,                                                                                                         Yet I think I could not refuse this moment to die for you,                                                             if that would save you”

― Walt Whitman, Drum Taps

bunk fowler.png

Thomas W. “Bunker” Fowler

 

From the Union Daily Times, December 1960:

bunker hill.png

Transcribed:

Thomas W. (Bunker) Fowler was the son of Mrs. Katherine Fowler and was born near Jonesville on May 21, 1834.  During his childhood he attended the public schools taught on the outskirts of the present town limits of Jonesville and near Gilead Church, with William Meng his principle instructor.

He was the first soldier from the Union District to fall in the War Between the States, being killed at First Manassas.

Shortly after the secession of the state, he was employed in the store of D.B. Beardon as a clerk.

With the slow means of communication in those days, the climax came when it was learned on April 14, 1861 of the siege of Fort Sumter.  On that afternoon Capt. Clark, the conductor of the Southern train from Charleston to Spartanburg got off his train, waving a South Carolina flag and scattering circulars telling of Fort Sumter being fired upon and calling for volunteers.

“Bunk” Fowler was one of the first to determine to answer the call of his state and left the next day to join the Pea Ridge Company, 5th Regiment in Charleston.  This command remained on the coast for defense until the latter part of May when they returned home.  Upon arriving home, the group enlisted in the army of Virginia and were ordered to Virginia in June arriving at Manassas on the 20th of July.

On the morning of the 21st of July, 1861, he approached a cousin of his, John D. Long and told him that he had a presentment that he would be killed on that day and that he wished to give him his knife and the $30 in money he had brought with him in order that it might be returned to his mother.  So to satisfy the young man, Mr. Long took the possessions and on that day — July 21, 1861 — Thomas Fowler was killed in the First Battle of Manassas true to his presentment.  He died in the arms of Dr. Jim Long, who was a private in the same command.

“Bunk” came from a family long renown for bravery, being a great nephew of the famous Sergeant Jasper of Revolutionary fame.

He was buried temporarily on the battlefield by members of his company.  Later his remains were brought home and on November 30, 1861, the funeral was conducted at his mother’s home in Jonesville by Rev. A.A. James.  He was buried in Gilead Cemetery, in the presence of an old comrade who had assisted in his first burial — Elias Mitchell.  Although on crutches he again assisted in the burial.

After the war a stone was erected over his grave by members of his company with the following inscription

“Thomas Fowler, 27 years old                                                                                                            Killed July 21, 1861 at Manassas                                                                                                Member Pea Ridge Company, 5th Regiment                                                                                This is a tribute to his bravery and soldiery qualities                                                              from his comrades in battle”

headstone bunker fowler.png

Headstone of Thomas W. Fowler

 

Not withstanding the bravery of Thomas W. Fowler during the midst of battle, we learn three very important bits of information from the above newspaper article above regarding the ancestry of this fallen soldier.

  1.  Thomas W. Fowler was son of Mrs. Katherine Fowler. 
  2.  Thomas W. Fowler was employed in the store of D.B. Bearden.
  3.  Thomas W. Fowler was a great nephew of Sergeant William Jasper.

There is no mention of his father in the newspaper article, but there is little doubt that Thomas was the grandson of Mark Fowler and Elizabeth Moseley.  The following facts will lend support to this statement.

Thomas W. Fowler’s mother was Katherine Fowler.  Was she a daughter or daughter-in-law of Mark Fowler and Elizabeth Moseley?

Why was Thomas Fowler’s father not mentioned in the article written about his death in the War between the States?  Was it because Katherine Fowler was unmarried?

It is stated that Thomas Fowler was a great nephew of Sergeant Jasper, a Revolutionary War hero.  Sergeant Jasper was William Jasper, born circa 1750 and died in 1779 during the Siege of Savannah.  It is thought that he was a son of John Jasper of Virginia, a blacksmith who moved to Union County, SC in the early 1770s.

Elizabeth Moseley was the daughter of James Moseley and Nancy Anna Jasper, daughter of John Jasper and sister to Sergeant William Jasper.

It is known that Mark Fowler and Elizabeth Moseley’s granddaughter Alpha Ethel Fowler Garner Crawford (daughter of Walter Gaines Fowler) attended the unveiling of the William Jasper monument in Savannah, Georgia in 1888.  She was escorted by her cousin Gideon Long, a grandson of Womack Fowler (brother of Mark Fowler).

jasper monument.png

Sgt. William Jasper Monument

Thomas W. Fowler would be a great nephew of Sergeant William Jasper if his mother were indeed Katherine Fowler, daughter of Mark Fowler and Elizabeth Moseley.

The 1850 Union County Census lends another layer of proof in surmising that Thomas W. Fowler was the grandson of Mark Fowler.  A breakdown of the record below:

mark fowler census 1850.png

1850 Union County Census

 

  • Mark Fowler age 70
  • Elizabeth Moseley Fowler age 67
  • Walter Gaines Fowler age 22
  • Catherine Fowler age 45
  • Orry Fowler age 44
  • Mary Fowler age 42
  • Huldah Fowler Leonard age 35
  • Selina Fowler age 30
  • William Leonard age 9 (son of Huldah Fowler)
  • James Leonard age 6 (son of Huldah Fowler)
  • George Leonard age 5 (son of Huldah Fowler)
  • Michael Leonard age 2 (son of Huldah Fowler)
  • Thomas Fowler age 16 (son of Catherine Fowler)

Knowing that Katherine Fowler was the mother of Thomas W. Fowler, the presence of Catherine Fowler and Thomas Fowler within the household of Mark Fowler is circumstantial proof of the relationship.

It should be mentioned that Huldah Fowler (1815-1853)  married Alex Leonard (1810-1870) in Jonesville, SC in 1836.  They had four sons who are incorrectly recorded in the 1850 census with the surname of Fowler:

  • WIlliam R. Leonard b. 1840
  • James Hood Leonard b. 1842
  • George V. Leonard b. 1845
  • Robert Norris Leonard b. 1847

Was  Huldah’s husband Alex Leonard also known as Michael Leonard?  In 1840, there was a household headed by Michael Leonard adjacent to the Mark Fowler household.  It included the following:

  • 1 male 20-29   (Michael/Alex Leonard?)
  • 1 female 20-29   (Huldah Fowler Leonard?)
  • 1 male < 5    (William R. Leonard?)

Was two year old Michael in the Mark Fowler household of 1850 named after his father Michael/Alex Leonard?  If so, was his name later changed to Robert Norris Leonard?

In 1860, there were several Thomas Fowlers in the Union County census who could have been Thomas W. Fowler.  I eliminated several of them but could never be entirely sure which one may have been young Bunker.

Benjamin Dixon “Berry” Bearden was born circa 1827, a son of James Bearden and Cassandra Meaders.  He was a postmaster for the town of Jonesville, SC and opened a store there in 1857.  He died in 1864, leaving a widow, Sarah, and five young children.

…… “Shortly after the secession of the state, Thomas W. Fowler was employed in the store of D.B. Beardon as a clerk.” 

The bell in my head clanged loudly as I remembered twenty-six year old Thomas Fowler, clerk, in the 1860 household of B.D. Bearden.   Was this Thomas W. Bunker Fowler?  Yes.  No doubt.  Yes!

The household next door was that of Catherine Fowler (aged 36 but probably should read 56) and Robert aged 12 and Leonard aged 10.  Was this Catherine, daughter of Mark and mother of Thomas W. Fowler raising the two younger sons of her deceased sister Huldah Fowler Leonard?  Probably.  A careless census taker perhaps wrote down the incorrect age for Catherine and  was perhaps confused over the names of George and Robert Leonard.

bunker 1860.png

1860 Union County Census

Thomas W. Fowler’s name was added to the Union County census on July 25, 1860.  Less than one year later –July 21, 1861 — this brave soldier was shot through his body by a round ball on a battlefield in Virginia.  Thomas W. Fowler crossed the eternal river an hour later.

Thomas W. Bunker Fowler was a son of Union County, and it is there where he was laid to rest one hundred and fifty-seven years ago.  He will not be forgotten.

“Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.”

Last words of Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson

ELLIS FOWLER 1805-before 1840, son of Ephraim

Named after his grandfather, Ellis Fowler was the last son born to Ephraim and Nancy Moseley Fowler.  He was born circa 1805 in Union County, SC and died before 1840.

Ellis and his sister Betty were still living in his father’s household in 1822 when Ephraim’s will was probated.  How do I know this?  From Ephraim’s will of 1822:

Ellis and Betty remain with their mother.png

“Ellis and Betty remain with their mother”

 

Sometime after 1822 and before 1825, Ellis married Sarah “Sallie” Mabry.  An analysis of census records indicates that Ellis, his wife Sarah, two young sons, and a young daughter lived in the home of his widowed mother Nancy Fowler in 1830.

How do I know that Nancy Fowler’s household of 1830 included Ellis and his young family, and not that of Betty and her family?  If I may turn aside from Ellis for a moment, I will explain my train of thought…………….

 

Ephraim left his daughter Betty a negro girl named Jane, a feather bed, a cow and calf.

to betty.png

“I will and bequeath to my Daughter Betty…”

Betty married Richardson Bentley between 1822 and 1830.  The 1830 Union County census reflects the following household:

  • Randall R. Bentley age 20-29 (Richardson……Randall…….a census taker’s mistake when recording the name of the head of household?)
  • a female age 15-19  (right age for Betty)
  • a female slave age 10-23 (“one negro girl named Jane“)

Richardson Bentley and Betty Fowler began their family with the birth of son Lemuel Bentley in 1831.  They may have had more children born in Union County before moving to Blount County, Alabama where some of their children were born.

The Bentley family was counted in the 1840 census for Blount County.  Richardson Bentley died in 1843.  Betty Fowler Bentley was included in Blount County census records in 1850 and 1860.  She was summoned to Union County SC in 1866 for the settlement of her brother Stephen Fowler’s estate settlement.

If the 1830 household of Randall S. Bentley was indeed the Richardson and Betty Fowler Bentley household — the 1830 household of Nancy Fowler could only include her son Ellis, his wife Sarah, and their three young children:

  • Nancy Fowler: female 50-59
  • Ellis Fowler: male 20-29
  • Sarah Mabry Fowler: female 20-29
  • Henry Richard Fowler: male <5
  • Julia Fowler: female <5
  • B. Elbert Fowler: m<5

(daughter Mary Jane Fowler was born after 1830)

Ellis and Sarah had four children prior to his untimely death before 1840.  Was his  death caused by an accident or illness?  Was he laid to rest in the graveyard on the old Fowler place?  His early demise meant that he would never be head of household in any census records.  Instead, his widow, Sarah Mabry Fowler was counted in 1840.

sarah mabry 1840.png

1840 Union County SC Census

  • Sarah Fowler: age 30-39
  • Julia Fowler: age 10-14
  • Mary Jane Fowler: age 5-9

Were twelve year old Henry Richard and seven year old Elbert sent to live with relatives?

sarah mabry 1850.png

1850 Union County SC Census

In the 1850 census, Sarah Fowler was living with her eldest son, Henry Richard Fowler.

  • Sarah Fowler: age 42
  • Henry Fowler: age 24

Julia Fowler had married William Sprouse and was counted in his household in 1850.  Mary Jane Fowler was living with her favorite aunt, Mary Fowler White (sister of Ellis Fowler), and B. Elbert Fowler was not to be found although he was soon to marry Malinda Susannah Newbury and move to Cherokee County, Georgia.

Sarah Mabry Fowler is absent from records after the 1850 census.  Did she marry again, or perhaps follow her dearly departed husband Ellis Fowler into the afterlife?  I still continue to search for her, and hope to someday have more answers.

Children of Ellis Fowler and Sarah Mabry

  • Henry Richard Fowler b. 1825
  • Julia Fowler b. 1828
  • B. Elbert Fowler b. 1830
  • Mary Jane Fowler b. 1833

 

 

  • Ellis Fowler 1805-before 1840 m. Sarah (Sallie) Mabry 1808–after 1850
    • Henry Richard Fowler 1825–1885 m. Nancy Ann Elizabeth Farr 1840–1923
      • John Henry Fowler 1861–1914 m.  Eunice Lawson 1869–1919
        • Henry Richard Fowler 1889–1917
        • Robert K Fowler 1891–1917
        • Mamie Fowler 1893–1951 m. William Oscar Horne 1892–1966
          • Robert Horne 1918–
          • Gladys Horne 1921–
          • James Cecil Horne 1921–1953 m. Alta Jones
          • William Fowler “Billy” Horne 1923–2005
          • Peggy Horne 1927–2003
          • Sarah Ann Horne 1930–
        • Carrie Fowler 1895–1975 m. James F Faulkner 1891–
          • James Fowler Faulkner 1924–2000
          • Hugh Grier Faulkner 1927–1993
          • Rachel Faulkner 1929–
          • John Wilson Faulkner 1932–1989
        • Vera Fowler 1897–1977
        • William Fred Fowler 1900–1968
        • Mary Fowler 1903–1995
        • John Wilson Fowler 1906–1975
        • James Glenn Fowler 1909–1968
      • William Gist Fowler 1863–1923
      • David Nicholas Fowler 1866–1950
      • Sarah Catherine Fowler 1867–1950
      • James Thomas Fowler 1871–1954
      • Louise Fowler 1873–1953
      • Lucy Caroline Fowler 1876–1963
      • Richard Franklin Fowler 1878–1961 m. Mamie Aycock 1886–1972
        • Richard States Rights Fowler 1910–1962
        • Norris Rogers “Buddy” Fowler 1912–1997
        • Harold C Fowler 1914–1988 m.  Carolyn Eugenia Brown 1917–2006
          • Julian Harold Fowler 1944–2006
        • Rowland Franklin Fowler 1915–1917
        • Thesis Fowler 1916–1989
        • Julian Campbell Fowler 1918–1937
      • Nannie Mahala Fowler 1881–1973
      • Mary Ellen Darling Fowler 1885–1974
    • Julia Fowler 1828–1880 m. William Sprouse 1822–1870
      • Mary Jane Sprouse 1848–1910 m. Andrew Jackson Foster 1834–
        • Emma Foster 1866–
        • William D. Foster 1873–
        • Elizabeth Foster 1876–
        • Lizzie Foster 1885–
        • Texanna Foster 1886–
      • John H Sprouse 1850–1910
      • James Calvin Sprouse 1853–1929
      • Sallie Sprouse 1854–1880
      • McSwain “Doc” Sprouse 1856–1936
      • Caroline Sprouse 1859–1880
      • LouElla Sprouse 1865–1939
      • Len Newton “Jesse” Sprouse 1868–1952 m Syphrone  Fowler 1870–1953
        • Willie C Sprouse 1889–1975
        • Clara M Sprouse 1892–
        • Cea L Sprouse 1897–
        • Eula Sprouse 1901–
        • Clarance Sprouse 1905–
        • Effie Sprouse 1908–
        • Lin Newton Sprouse 1909–1930
    • B. Elbert Fowler 1830–1900 m.  Malinda Susannah Newberry 1833–1905
      • Mary Fowler 1852–
      • Texanna Jane Fowler 1856–1923 m. Joseph H. Jones 1839–; m. Charles Hoffman 1865–
        • Lillie Jones 1877–1949 m.  Joseph Benjamin Garner 1875–1950
          • Hubert Lee Garner 1894–1943
          • Oco Lydia Garner 1896–
          • Anna Beatrice Garner 1899–
          • Murdie Garner 1902–
          • Marion Garner 1909–
          • Willie Garner 1913–
          • Ida Garner 1919–
        • Charlie Hoffman 1893–
      • Susan Northa Fowler 1858–
      • Harriett Fowler 1861–
      • John Marion Fowler 1861–1909  m. Nora Louise Strozier 1871–1935
        • Bennie L Fowler 1888–1963
        • Wilson S Fowler 1893–1968
        • Herbert F Fowler 1895–1915
        • Annie L Fowler 1897–1909
        • Walter Godard Fowler 1899–1984 m. Leila Jane Hencely 1914
          • Walter Godard Fowler Jr. 1939–1999
        • John L Fowler 1901–1965
        • James E Fowler 1903–1978
        • Edward Jefferson Fowler 1904–1967 m. Rena Mae Davis 1906–1984
          • Jefferson Edward Fowler 1941–2007
      • Benjamin Fowler 1862–
      • Henry R Fowler 1869–1933 m. Georgia P Harris 1871–1949
      • Calvin Fowler 1873–
    • Mary Jane Fowler 1833– m. Newton Lipsey
Link

STEPHEN FOWLER 1800-1866, son of Ephraim

 

On April 12, 1861, the first shot of the American Civil War was fired just before sunrise at Fort Sumter, South Carolina.  Eight days later, Professor Thaddeus Lowe left Cincinnati Ohio in his hot air balloon, the Enterprise, bound for Washington, D.C.   After traveling nine hours and eight hundred miles, he landed “slightly” off course in the Kelton farmlands of Union County, South Carolina.

enterprise

The Enterprise

There has been much written about Professor Lowe’s balloon landing on April 20, 1861.  The locals erected a historical marker, and more than one hundred and fifty years after the landing, an occasional newspaper article recalling the event makes its way into print.

There was no photographer present to preserve Professor Lowe’s arrival.  Instead, we are fortunate to have a visual “snapshot”—his observations of the locals: the gun toting men who met him in the field with mostly reddish long hair and beards…their rotund stomachs covered with blue jean clothing and their heads with slouch hats.

While many of the men cowered behind bushes, two brave women, Theresa Hames and Susie Palmer, took hold of the rope that Professor Lowe dropped to the earth, and pulled him out of the sky.  Once he had convinced the frightened spectators who had witnessed the balloon’s descent that he was neither a Yankee spy nor the devil, he and his hot air balloon were loaded upon a large, lumbering wagon pulled by six mules and driven by Stephen Fowler to Unionville.

Stephen Fowler was the third son born to Ephraim Fowler and Nancy Moseley. His year of birth fell around 1798 to 1800, and his place of birth was Union County, South Carolina.  He was married twice–his first wife being Sarah and his second, Letticia.

One of the rope-pulling women, Susie Palmer, was a daughter of Stephen Fowler and his first wife SarahMary Susan Fowler was born c. 1834, married Jackson Palmer, and died June 30, 1918.  She was buried in the Haney graveyard in Kelton, not so very far from the site of the balloon landing.

Theresa Hames, the other rope-pulling woman, was the daughter of Stephen’s sister, Lydia Fowler Hames and Charles Hames.   Theresa Hames was recorded in the 1860 Union County census living at Mount Joy……the present site of the Balloon Landing historical marker.

In my search for records of Stephen Fowler, his mention in the Balloon Landing saga is an extraordinary glimpse into a day in his life.  It is most fortunate for us that he and the two brave female members of his family were involved with the events on April 20, 1861, and even more so that their names were recorded for posterity.

There is another document that I am extremely grateful to have found–the estate settlement petition made by his second wife, Letticia.  This document gives us the first names of his two wives, and the names of his sons and daughters.

                                      

     

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 6.30.05 PM

” The petition of Letticia Fowler, widow of Stephen Fowler, late of the District and State aforesaid, dec’d, would respectfully show unto your court that Stephen Fowler, late of the District and State aforesaid, deceased as before mentioned, departed this life intestate on or about the 13th day of June 1866, leaving heirs surviving, his heirs at law, the following persons, viz, your Petitioner his widow, Marion Fowler and Louisa Fowler, children of your Petitioner, Moorman Fowler, Henry Fowler, Shelton Fowler, Cansady Wright, Susan Palmer, and Briant Fowler, children of Sarah Fowler, dec’d former wife of intestate;”

From the above document, we learn that Stephen Fowler was married first to Sarah, and they had sons Moorman, Henry, Shelton, and Bryant; and daughters (Mary) Susan (married to Jackson Palmer), and Cansady (married to Henry Wright).

Stephen’s second wife was Letticia who petitioned the court to settle the estate after his death in 1866.  Stephen and Letticia had son Marion, and daughter Louisa.

Census records seem to indicate that Stephen and Sarah may have had more children not mentioned in the estate settlement.  There is circumstantial evidence that there may have been a daughter (or daughter-in-law) named Caroline and a son (or son-in-law) named Jack Fowler.

What else do we know about Stephen Fowler?

  • In 1832, he mortgaged 100 acres located on Fannins Creek to William Gault for a $26 debt.  This property adjoined land owned by William Gault, James Millwood, Mark Wood, William Fowler, and other land owned by himself.
  • Previous to October 1, 1849, he sold his one-eighth share of his father’s estate to James Farr.

Stephen Fowler died June 13, 1866; his possessions were appraised in September, and put up for auction on November 30, 1866.  His widow Letticia purchased most of the estate, buying 30 pounds of cotton, 12 bushels of corn, 1 bed and furniture, 1 cupboard, a spinning wheel, a slab and a box, a table and 3 chairs, 2 jars and some nails, a lot of irons, and a plow, a vase, 3 earthen plates, 3 hogs, and a mule.

Son Morman Fowler purchased 2 iron wedges, fodder, and a mule.  Son Marion Fowler bought a lot of irons, some hoops, farming tools, and “truck” wheels.

Dr. Robert Little walked away with some old irons, 3 hogs, and a wagon that sold for $30.25……perhaps the very wagon that Stephen Fowler used to transport Professor Lowe’s hot air balloon to Unionville in 1861!

The land that Stephen Fowler owned was 85 acres, more or less, bounded by land owned by David Gallman, the estate of A.F. Haney, and Thomas Whitesides.  Widow Letticia Fowler purchased the land at auction on November 4, 1867 for $110.

William Bevis was the executor of the estate.  He was a neighbor but also had other connections to the Fowler family.  William Bevis had married three times, the second wife being Zilla Hames, daughter of Ephraim Fowler’s daughter Sarah Fowler Hames.  His daughter Selena Bevis married William G. Fowler, and his son John M. Bevis married his niece Vesta Fowler (daughter of Selena Bevis and William G. Fowler).

William Bevis had been deeply involved with the final settlement of Ephraim Fowler’s estate during the years 1846 to 1899.   His ties to the Fowler family were many and complicated.

1830 

stephen fowler 1830

1830 Union County SC Census

The Union County census of 1830 is the first in which Stephen Fowler was listed as head of household.  It was a rather large household and may have included his wife Sarah’s mother and two or more of Sarah’s brothers.  Below is fact combined with a little speculation of the persons living in the household:

  1. Stephen Fowler:   male 30-39
  2. Sarah Fowler:    female 20-29
  3. Henry Fowler:    male 10-15
  4. Shelton Fowler:    male 10-15
  5. Cansady Fowler:    female 5-10
  6. Bryant Fowler:    male 5-10
  7. male 5-10
  8. Morman Fowler:    male <5
  9. male <5
  10. female <5
  11. Sarah’s mother:   female 50-59
  12. Sarah’s brother:   male 20-29
  13. Sarah’s brother:   male 15-20

 

1840

stephen fowler 1840

1840 Union County SC Census

There were fewer persons living in the Stephen Fowler household of 1840.  His wife in 1840 could have been either Sarah or Letticia.  At one time, I believed that Sarah was the female listed as age 30-39.  At this present time, I speculate that Sarah had died before 1840, Stephen had married Letticia, and their daughter Louisa was the female >5 recorded in the census of 1840.

  1. Stephen Fowler:   male 40-49
  2. Letticia Fowler:   female 30-39
  3. Bryant Fowler:   male 15-20
  4. male 15-20
  5. Morman Fowler:   male 10-15
  6. Caroline ? Fowler:   female 5-10
  7. Susan Fowler:   female 5-10
  8. Louisa ? Fowler:   female <5

 

 

1850

stephen fowler 1850

1850 Union County SC Census

The 1850 census defines the Stephen Fowler household with the names of all persons living within.  I only question the presence of Caroline.  Was she a daughter, or a daughter-in law?  Caroline and Jack Fowler were the future parents of Clementine Fowler, born in 1870.  If Caroline was a daughter, why was she not mentioned in the Stephen Fowler estate settlement of 1866?  And why was Jack missing in census records in 1850?

  1. Stephen Fowler: 50
  2. Letticia Fowler: 29
  3. Caroline Fowler: 17
  4. Susan Fowler: 15
  5. Louisa Fowler: 10
  6. Marion Fowler: 3

 

1860

steven 1860.png

1860 Union County SC Census

Stephen Fowler and his family were recorded in the 1860 census.  The upcoming decade would bring many changes to the family.  The Civil War began the next year, Stephen would meet his death six years later, leaving Letticia a widow, and son Marion would become involved in the KKK post war, and would eventually serve prison time in upstate New York for his Klan activities.

  1. Stephen Fowler: 62
  2. Letticia Fowler: 47
  3. Louisa Fowler: 19
  4. Marion Fowler: 15

 

1870

letticia 1870

1870 Union County SC Census

Stephen Fowler died in 1866, and his widow Lettica was head of household in 1870.  Son Marion Fowler had married and was head of his own household.  Daughter Louisa Fowler still lived with her mother.  There were three young girls in the home—Mary, Etta, and Clementine Clementine was the daughter of Jack and Caroline Fowler.  Were Mary and Etta also the children of this couple, or the daughters of Louisa?

  1. Letticia Fowler: 61
  2. Louisa Fowler: 26
  3. Mary Fowler: 10
  4. Etta Fowler: 5
  5. Clementine Fowler: 8 months

 

1880

bentley letticia

1880 Union County SC Census

The 1880 census raises more questions than it answers.  It perhaps gives us a hint of Letticia’s origins.  She was recorded as Tishie Fowler, age 71 and disabled with paralysis, in the household of William Bentley in 1880.  Was Letticia a “Bentley” before she married Stephen Fowler?  Eleven year old Clementine Fowler was also living in the household with the William Bentley family.   Was Clementine the (step)granddaughter of Letticia?  This conclusion depends on Caroline Fowler or Jack Fowler being a child of Stephen Fowler and Sarah.

Etta Fowler, age 14, was living in the Shelton Addis household next door.  Shelton Addis had married Eliza BentleyEliza’s sister Josephine Bentley was also living in the home.

Why were Letticia, Clementine, and Etta Fowler in these households?

All told, there were four households containing Bentley family members next to each other in 1880.  The first three contained extended family members, and the fourth consisted of a single female…..Lettie Bentley  (named after her aunt Letticia Fowler??)

Clementine Fowler was connected to the Stephen Fowler family.  The big question is how?  Was Caroline a daughter of Stephen, or was Jack a son?

It may be of some importance and must be mentioned that there was a Jackson Fowler in Cobb County, Georgia in 1870 with possible ties to the Ephraim Fowler family. As it often is in genealogy, the path is twisted and takes many turns, but please bear with me.  The conclusion is worth the journey.

Ephraim Fowler’s son, Ellis Fowler, had a daughter named Julia Fowler, born circa 1828.  Julia married William Sprouse and the couple moved from Union County, SC to Georgia in the years between 1850 to 1860.

Ephraim Fowler’s daughter Milly Fowler married James Millwood.  They had a son named Tillman Millwood born in 1827.  Tillman married a woman named Mary, and a daughter was born to them in 1858.  The daughter was named Rameth Millwood.

Three years later, on November 22, 1862, Tillman Millwood was killed while on picket post duty during the Civil War.

Fast forward to 1870.  Cobb County, Georgia.  Julia Fowler Sprouse and her family are living in this county adjacent to Jackson Fowler, wife Mary, daughter Emily, and Rameth Millwood, daughter of the deceased Tillman Millwood.

Bottom line: Ephraim Fowler’s great-granddaughter Rameth Millwood was living in the household of Jackson Fowler in 1870 next to Ephraim Fowler’s granddaughter Julia Fowler Sprouse.

So…..who was this Jackson Fowler and how was he connected to the Ephraim Fowler family?  Was he the “Jack” Fowler, father of Clementine Fowler?  Was he a son of Ephraim’s son Stephen?  Was he a Fowler cousin who married Stephen’s daughter Caroline?

And MaryTillman Millwood was married to Mary.  So was Jackson Fowler.  Was this the same Mary?  There is an age discrepancy in census records so I am not sure about this.  It is possible but more research is needed.

From the book, Philippi and Its People – 1888-1988 – The First Hundred Years by Anne Lawson Patrick:

clem fowler

L. Clementine Fowler

 

“Clementine Cudd, a daughter of Jack and Caroline Fowler, was born in Union County, SC on December 11, 1870. Orphaned as a small child, she was raised by Bill and Nancy Ann Bentley of the Adamsburg section of Union County. Mrs. Bentley taught her many skills, for which Mrs. Cudd became well-known: knitting, quilting, weaving, spinning, and tatting.

Clementine married Lemuel C. Cudd (1860-1917), who was called “Chud.” Making their home first below Kelton and later in Union, the Cudds raised ten children: Mary Susan; Mae Bell; Ben Tillman; Pearler; Rodney; Winifred Winthrop; Alice Elizabeth; Aileen Lucille; Pauline; and Madora. Mrs. Cudd died on May 26, 1947, and was buried in Rosemont Cemetery in Union.”

The Descendants of Stephen Fowler

Steven Fowler 1800-1866 m. Sarah d. before 1840; m. Letticia

  • Henry Fowler 1816–1880 m. Lucinda Wright 1821–
    • Sarah Ann Fowler 1840–1919 m. George Alexander Goforth 1832–1876
      • Sarah Jane Goforth 1859–1864
      • Nancy Georgianna “Nannie” Goforth 1861–1938 m Joseph Edward Johnson Foster 1865–1933
        • Sallie Ann Foster 1882–1960
        • Lilly Elizabeth Foster 1885–
        • George Washington Foster 1888–1964 m. Hettie Belle Garner 1891–1961
          • Jessy Foster 1909–
        • Margaret Jane Foster 1890–1963
        • Mildred Lucendie Foster 1892–1954
        • Mamie Eva Foster 1895–1993
        • Willie Blanche Foster 1898–1984
        • Mary Musgrave Foster 1900–
        • Harry Goodin Foster 1903–
        • John Boyce Foster 1905–1959
      • J. Wesley Goforth 1862–1864
      • Alexander Goforth 1865–1865
      • Susan Edwina Mills Goforth 1866–1947
      • Elizabeth Malicy “Lizzie” Goforth 1867–1962
      • Angeline Goforth 1875–1907
      • Mary Helen Goforth
    • John Fowler 1843–
    • Newton Fowler 1846–
    • Wesley Fowler 1859–
    • Mary J. Fowler 1864–
    • James Edward Fowler 1866–1950 m. Sallie Owensby 1875–1958
      • Charles Henry Fowler 1898–1966
      • Lula Fowler 1900–1995
      • Joel Glenn Fowler 1902–1918
      • Mary Lee Fowler 1910–1994
      • Gladys Fowler 1915–1971
  •  Shelton Fowler 1818–1880
  • Cansady Fowler 1824–1870 m. Henry Wright 1820–
    • Amanda Jane Wright 1846–
    • Augusta Canzada Wright 1847–1919
    • Gadbery (G.B.) Wright 1850–1918
    • Joseph Wright 1852–
    • Gassaway Wright 1855–
    • Wade Wright 1859–
  • Bryant Fowler 1824–1906 m.  Elizabeth Wright 1824–1914
    • Gillman Fowler 1852–1924 m. Julia Ann Wood 1859–1913; m. Carrie Guyton 1877-1968
      • John Wesley Fowler 1873–1943 m. Hester Bridges 1889–1951
        • Dewey Fowler 1905–
        • Broadus S. Fowler 1909–1972
        • Ruth Fowler 1914–
        • Paul Kenneth Switzer Fowler 1920–2005
        • Vera Fowler 1922–
        • Daniel Fowler 1924–
        • Clara B Fowler 1928–
        • Nellie Fowler 1929–
        • Charles Fowler 1930–
      • Mary Elizabeth Fowler 1876–1958
      • Nancy A. Fowler 1880–
      • William Thompson Fowler 1882–1962
      • Katie Fowler 1884–
      • Asalee Olivia Fowler 1888– m. Joe Bascomb Rineheart 1882–1959
        • Letha Rhienheart 1914–2012
        • Carl H. Rhinehart 1916–1985
      • Lara Fowler 1895–
      • Benjamin Fowler 1897–1954
      • Sallie Fowler 1909–
      • Samuel Fowler 1910–
      • Noah Fowler 1911–1975
      • Estell Fowler 1914–
      • Cole L Fowler 1917–1949
    • Isaac Fowler 1859–1924 m. Mary Emaline “Molly” Blackwood 1863–1932
      • Hettie Rodoxxa Fowler 1877–
      • Stewart Isaac Fowler 1887–1968 m. Lindy Horn 1885–1962
        • Johnnie Mallory Fowler 1906–1989 m. Dewitt C. Cudd 1898–1977
          • Virginia Evelyn Cudd 1927– m. Francis Monroe Froelich
          • Samuel Jackson Cudd 1928– m. Delores Irene Watts
        • Sammie Fowler 1909–
      • Lillie Fowler 1888–1960 m. Thomas Blackwell
        • John Earl Blackwell 1910–
        • Charlie Blackwell 1913–
        • Paul Blackwell 1916-
        • Mimie L Blackwell 1919–
      • Maganola Balm “Maggie” Fowler 1890–
      • Mamie Fowler 1894–
      • Nannie Rogenia Fowler 1894–1976 m. James Benjamin Harris 1890–1948
        • Jessie Mae Harris 1912–1985
        • Robert Harris 1917–1997
        • Carrie Harris 1920–1966
        • Berdie Harris 1922–
        • Francis Benjamin Harris 1924–2008
        • Auther Harris 1927–
        • Margaret Katherine Harris 1930–2004
        • Juanita “Cricket” Harris 1933–2013
      • Willie Fowler 1897–
      • Carrie Fowler 1902–1962 m. Thomas J. Jett Sr 1901–1971
      • Edward Fowler 1904–
    • Emma Fowler 1860–1927 m. H Clem Mabry 1859–1921; m. Goodman Wilkins 1859-1916
      • John Bryant Fowler 1882–1947 m. Ina Jane Street 1878–
        • Zennie Fowler 1903–1985
        • Lulu Fowler 1907–
        • Virgil Fowler 1910–
        • George Fowler 1915–
        • Onie Fowler
      • Steadman Lee “Steady” Fowler 1884–1971 m. Lydia Mae Kinsey 1896–1960
        • Clyde Fowler 1908–1983
        • Thomas Bryant Fowler 1914–2001
        • Albert Dewey Fowler 1917–1997
        • Stead Lee “S.L.” Fowler Jr. 1924–2009
        • Roy Fowler
        • Ruth Fowler
      •  Eva A Wilkins 1888–1970 m. William Edward Osteen 1878–1943
        • Grady Lee Osteen 1909–
        • Ray Osteen 1912–
        • Sina E Osteen 1915–
        • Marion Osteen 1918–
        • Pierce Osteen 1918–
        • Virginia Osteen 1922–
        • Solomon Osteen 1928–
        • Herman Osteen 1930–
        • Harold Osteen 1930-
      • Bessie G Wilkins 1890–
      • Albert Horace Wilkins 1896–1947
    • Harriet Fowler 1861– m. James Monroe Mize 1859–1926
      • Logan Mize 1881–1921
      • Ola Mize1884–
    • Joseph Fowler 1865–1930
  • Morman Fowler 1829-after 1870
    • Thomas Fowler 1853-1937 m. Sarah Sallie Moore 1869–1960
      • Fowler 1889–1900
      • Clyde Thomas Fowler 1896–1989 m. Clara Austin 1902–1985
        • Curtis Ross Fowler 1921–2004 m. Dorothy Marie “Dot” Vaughan 1928–2015
        • Marie Fowler 1925–1994 m. Carl William Gregory Sr  1922–2010
      • Jessie M Fowler 1897–1986 m. Wallace Thomas Alexander 1897–1958
        • Albert Alexander 1919–
        • Melvin Alexander 1919–1981
        • Francis Alexander 1922–2007
        • Madeline Alexander 1925–1991
        • Thomas Alexander 1931–
        • Rosanell Alexander 1936–
        • Carrol Alexander 1940–
      • Rose Mae Fowler 1908–
  • Caroline Fowler 1833– m. Jack Fowler
    • L. Clementine Fowler 1870-1947  m. Lemuel Cyrus Cudd
  • Mary Susan Fowler 1836–1918 m. Jackson P Palmer 1836–1907
    • Edward Palmer 1856–
    • Elizabeth “Lizzie” Palmer 1857–1931
    • Robert P. Palmer 1859–1926
    • Isaac P “Ike” Palmer 1860–1933
    • Joseph “Joe” Palmer 1866–1937
  • Louisa Fowler 1840–
    • Mary Fowler 1860-
    • Etta Fowler 1865-
  • Marion Fowler 1847–1900 m. Frances Horne 1845–1928
    • Hattie Fowler 1870–1923
    • Annie L Fowler 1872–
    • William Fowler 1879–1934 m. Leona James 1877–
      • William F Fowler Jr. 1903–1973 m. Annie G. 1902–1988
      • Fred Fowler 1925–
      • Marie Fowler 1904–1983 m. Rexford Blalock 1905–1977
      • Fred (Boots) Fowler 1907–1986 m. Margaret Bishop 1911–1986Jennie Lee Fowler 1934–
      • Ruby Belle Fowler 1912–1979 m. Fred Carline Mahaffey 1907–
    • Lola Fowler 1882–1966 m.  Fernando Fowler 1870–1931
      • Jesse Peter Fowler 1898–1973 m. Estelle Johnson 1901–1955
        • Walter Lee “Pete” Fowler 1919–1988
      • Lillie Mae Fowler 1904–1991 m. James Walter Brown 1898–1986
        • Beulah Mae Brown 1920–1996
        • Dorothy Elizabeth Brown 1927–1992
        • Charles Walter Brown 1935–2002
      • Clarence Fowler 1909–1963 m. Daisy Belle Cannon 1906–1983
        • Helen Marie Fowler 1927–2006
        • Ted Fowler 1930–2000
        • Clyde Julian Fowler 1932–2002
        • Bobby Dean Fowler 1940–1994
      • Franklin Fowler 1910–1966 m. Ida May Johnson 1911–
        • Margaret Louise Fowler 1928–1991
        • William Fowler 1934–
      • Ruby Fowler 1913–1984
      • Jack Fowler 1915–
      • George Fowler 1916–1997 m. Lillie Bell Revels; m. Margaret 1917-2005
        • Evelyn Fowler 1931–2006
        • Carroll Fowler
        • Johnny Fowler
      • Nellie Fowler 1918–2001 m. Cecil E Willis; m. James Garfield Allen 1920-1994
        • James Edward Willis 1935–1994
      • Ruth Fowler 1920–2015 m. Jim Dean Gilbert
      • John Arthur Fowler  1922–2007 m. Virginia Ruth Burch 1923–2012
    • Addie Fowler 1885–
    • Lela Fowler 1887–