Henry Richard Fowler was born in Union County, South Carolina in 1825.  He was the son of Ellis Fowler (1805-before 1840) and Sarah Mabry (1815-after 1850).

Henry Richard Fowler

Named after Henry Ellis Fowler, 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.  Sarah Mabry was no doubt descended from James Maybury (d. 1805) or his brother Jesse Maybury, both who moved to Union County, SC in the mid to late 1700s and sons of James Mabry (1727-1781).  The earliest known ancestor for this Mabry family is Francis Maybury, born 1650 in England and died 1714  in Virginia.

The Mabry genetics may account for the dark features of Henry Richard Fowler who did not have the blue eyes and fair colored hair of most other Henry Ellis Fowler descendants.

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

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.

  • 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

Sarah Mabry Fowler is absent from records after the 1850 census.  I do not know if she married again or died before the 1860 census was taken.

Henry Richard Fowler was a young man but obviously adept at buying and selling land as the following documents support:

In July 1849, Julia Fowler Sprouse, B. Elbert Fowler, and Mary Jane Fowler sold their interest of their grandfather Ephraim Fowler’s estate to their brother Henry Richard Fowler.  They each received ten dollars for their share.  Three months later, in October 1849, Henry Richard Fowler sold his interest in the estate to William Bevis for fifty dollars.  The sale included two slaves, Mahala and Dorcas Elenoir.

In 1850, Henry Richard Fowler and Tillman Millwood (son of Ephraim Fowler’s daughter Milly Fowler Millwood) sold 260 acres of land for $508.25 to Coleman Hames (son of Ephraim Fowler’s daughter Lydia Fowler Hames).

In 1851, Henry Richard Fowler and Tillman Millwood sold 260 acres of land for $925 to Edwin M. Gregory.  

Henry Richard Fowler served in and survived the Civil War.  He enlisted in Company E, South Carolina 7th Infantry Battalion.


Screen Shot 2019-07-13 at 11.33.37 AM.png
Nancy Ann Elizabeth Farr

Henry Richard Fowler married Nancy Ann Elizabeth Farr (1840-1923), daughter of Waitus Farr (1799-1864) and Nancy Gallman (1800-1888).   This marriage probably took place in 1860.

Nancy Fowler gave birth to ten children during her marriage to Henry Richard Fowler.




  • John Henry Fowler 1861-1914
  • 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 18780-1961
  • Nannie Mahala Fowler 1881-1973
  • Mary Ellen Darling Fowler 1885-1984


Screen Shot 2019-07-13 at 11.55.43 AM.png
Standing left to right: Louise, Sallie, Richard, and Al Hames the caretaker; Seated left to right: Nannie Mahala, Mary Darling, Nancy Farr Fowler, grandson Robert, and Aunt Margaret, the last of the Fowler slaves.

Screen Shot 2019-07-13 at 10.18.08 PM.png


Butler Brooks Going

Butler Brooks Going (1856-1931) was the son of William George Washington Going and Nancy Minverva Dupree.  He was married three times — to Tompie (last name unknown), Sarah Ethel Farr, and Beatrice Wilburn.

On December 25, 1885, a small group of men were gathered in Farr’s store-house owned by the son of David James “D.J.”  Farr.  The store was located on the plantation owned by D.J .Farr in Pea Ridge.  Henry Richard Fowler was there along with Mr. Farr, F.M. Adams. and James Haney.  Other men may have been present.

There were relationships by marriage between the principle players: Henry Richard Fowler was the brother-in-law of D.J. Farr, and Butler Brooks Going had been married to D.J. Farr’s niece.

Butler Brooks Going arrived at the store, and harsh words were spoken by Going and Fowler.  There had been a long history of bad blood between the two men that included a land deal gone wrong and threats of killing the other.

Henry Richard Fowler was a large man, and even at the advanced age of sixty, he had a toughness about him that intimidated men many years his junior.

The end result of the heated exchange between the two men — Butler Brooks Going pulled out a pistol and shot Henry Richard Fowler in his left shoulder.  Fowler exclaimed, “Dave, I am shot!”  and collapsed.

Butler Brooks Going shot and killed Henry Richard Fowler on Christmas Day.

At the coroner’s inquest later that day in the Henry Richard Fowler home, Dr. M.W. Culp examined the body and determined that the gunshot wound was the cause of death.

The testimony of the trial was reported in the Union Times on March 12, 1886.  It must have been a very long day in that courtroom as the list of the men testifying was long indeed:

Dr. M.W. Culp, D.J. Farr, F.M. Adams, John Arrowwood, Asa Hutson, T.W, Giles, F.R. Cudd, E.F. Vaughn, Dr. Robert Little, W.L. Askew, L.L. Sprouse, A.A. Gault, Robert Gregory, Jasper Acock, J.G. Long, J.E. Meng, Richard Askew, James Haney, Shelton Adis, Charles H. Kidd, Neil Palmer, G.W. Going, W.E. Ray, S.S, Cudd, James, Adams, John L. Young, Major B.H. Rice, Thomas J. Harris, Robert Lawson, Thomas N. Kelly, Newell Smith, A.G. Bently, William Gallman, William Koon, and the defendant Butler Brooks Going.

Not only was half of the Pea Ridge community on the stand that day, many of them were related through blood or marriage… or both.

Anyone who knew Butler Brooks Going knew that he was no angel.  He had fought with his brother, had another man arrested, treated his children badly, and made many threats around the community against the life of Henry Richard Fowler.

The problem was the reputation of Henry Richard Fowler.  Almost every man who testified that day seemed to be reading from the same script:

  • If Fowler hated a man, he would hate him with all his will”
    • “Fowler was not a peaceable man”
      • “Fowler had a vindictive spirit”
        • “Fowler was an overbearing man”
          • “Fowler was quarrelsome”
            • “Fowler pulled out Wiley Wood’s eye”
              • “Fowler was known as the Bully of Pea Ridge”

Even when his friends took the stand, it was the same: “Fowler was a peaceable man unless he was drinking, then …”

It did not help that Henry Richard Fowler had also gone around telling everyone that he, the BULLY OF PEA RIDGE, planned to kill Butler Brooks Going.

The jury began considering the evidence at 8 p.m. and returned a verdict of NOT GUILTY at half past eleven.  Butler Brooks Going was a free man and Henry Richard Fowler lay in his grave with no justice.  Nancy Ann Elizabeth Farr Fowler had children to raise alone, the youngest only eight months old when her father was murdered.

Henry Richard Fowler was buried at Foster’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Pea Ridge.

  • Henry Ellis Fowler 1746-1808 m. Catherine Puckett
    • Ephraim Fowler 1765-1822 m. Nancy Moseley
      • 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



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