“He sleeps his last sleep; he has fought his last battle.  No sound can awake him to glory again.”          Heath, Lyman, “Grave of Bonaparte” (1843). Historic Sheet Music Collection.

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W.G. Fowler died 14 March 1899 of grippe.  He was a member of Foster’s Chapel Methodist Church, where he was buried.  Bill and his son (just a lad) fought from the beginning of the Civil War until General Lee surrendered at Appomatox.  His oldest son, George, was also with him at the surrender.  They both belonged to Colonel I.G. McKissick’s Company.  He had been staying at his two sons the last 2 weeks of his life (being unable to do any hard labor).  His wife has been dead for several years.  He was buried at Foster’s Chapel.   (from the March 31, 1899 issue of the Union Times)

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By the time you get to the end of this article, you are going to realize that I know very little about William Goode Fowler — because I frankly do not know who he was, whence he came, or from what Fowler family he descends.  I do, however,  know much about the Bevis family that he married into and I hope that one day this knowledge will lead to a better understanding of William G. Fowler.

The life of William Bevis was interwoven with the Henry Ellis Fowler family in many ways.  I have analyzed historical records and documents over and over in order to determine the Fowler line from which William G. Fowler descends.  My theory places him in the Henry Ellis Fowler family, and speculation on my part that he may have been a son of Mark Fowler, son of John Fowler the Elder and Fannie.  He may also have been part of the Ephraim Fowler branch of the family. 

It must be pointed out that William G. Fowler was NOT the son of Thomas G. Fowler and his wife Susannah Hames.  I have seen this mistake in many family trees on-line.  I’m not sure where this error began but the Thomas Gillman Fowler Family Bible does not have a William G. Fowler recorded in the births, marriages or deaths of the family.  Other records and documents also do not give evidence of this relationship.

William G. Fowler was born circa 1825, and he married Salina Bevis  circa 1844.  Salena Bevis was the daughter of  William Bevis, born in 1807 in Union County, SC and the son of Zachariah Bevis and Phebe Perkinson (1781-1875).

William Bevis was married three times: first to Hannah Gault (1808-1826) on March 8, 1824; he wed second wife Zillah Hames (1812-1876) at the home of her father John Hames on May 5, 1829; and his third wife was Letta Spencer whom he married on March 8, 1877, and divorced before June 1880.

Hannah Gault gave birth to two daughters during her brief marriage to William BevisSalena Bevis was the first daughter born on June 24, 1824.  Her sister, Rebecca Bevis, was born December 13, 1825 and died a little less than two months later on February 3, 1826.  Hannah Gault Bevis followed her youngest daughter to the grave fifteen days later on February 18.

Zillah Hames was the daughter of John Hames and Sarah Fowler, daughter of Ephraim Fowler and Nancy Moseley.  William Bevis and Zillah had many children as well as a long life together until her death in 1876.

William G. Fowler and Salena Bevis had two sons and two daughters.  The naming pattern (George, Vesta Ann, Isaac, and Dora) does not offer any clues to the origins of William G. Fowler.  It will take yDNA testing to positively identify William G. Fowler’s paternal line.

In 1850, William G. Fowler, wife Salena, son George, and daughter Vesta Ann lived adjacent to the William Bevis family.  In addition to William, wife Zillah Hames and all of their Bevis children, William’s mother Phebe Perkinson Bevis Gault, a free black man named John Johnson, and a shoemaker named Henry Tucker were included in the household.

It should be noted that William Bevis owned a tanning yard, and John Johnson listed “tanner” as his occupation.

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1850 Union County SC Census

William G. Fowler and Salena Bevis had added two more children to their family before 1860: son George was now 12, daughter Vesta Ann was 10, son Isaac was 8, and an infant daughter, Dora, was 8 months.

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1860 Union County Census

Isaac Going McKissick (b. 1825 in Union County SC) was the son of Joseph and Rhoda Palmer McKissick.  Isaac McKissick enlisted on January 12, 1861, and rose through the ranks from private to Captain of his own Company D, Cavalry Battalion, Holcombe Legion to Lieutenant Colonel of the Holcombe Legion cavalry battalion  Company C, 7th Regiment of SC Cavalry.   Although wounded in May 1864 and sent back to Unionville to recover, Isaac McKissick had returned to the war in time for the surrender with his regiment on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Court House.  Isaac McKissick married at the end of the war, raised a family and became involved in politics.  He died in 1896 and was buried at the Old Presbyterian Cemetery in Union.

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Isaac Going McKissick

William G. Fowler and his oldest son George enlisted in the Holcombe Legion Cavalry Battalion under the leadership of Lt. Col. Isaac G. McKissick.  They were with him at the beginning of the war as well as when the last shot of the Civil War was fired.  They had managed to stay alive on the battlefield until the very end, and they were at the Appomattox Court House surrender.  William G. Fowler was not a young man when the war started and surely felt his years when it was over.  George Fowler was not much more than a child when the war began; no doubt, he had become a man by its conclusion.

William Goode “Bill Good” Fowler fought at the The Battle of The Pineberry Battery April 29, 1862, in Charleston County, South Carolina.   I discovered a newspaper article written by J.L. Strain in the May 17, 1901 issue of the Union Times detailing the heroic actions of William G. Fowler.

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In 1870, William G. Fowler and Salena Bevis, in their mid-forties, had twenty-three year old George, eighteen-year old Isaac, and ten-year old Dora in the household.  Vesta Ann Fowler was also in the home,  known in 1870 as Vesty Porter, aged twenty.  During the last decade, she had married Jedithan P. “Gid” Porter, and given birth to sons John Little Porter (1866-1914) and William Edward Porter (1868-1900).

Who was Jedithan Porter?  He was born in 1813, a son of Hezekiah Porter (1775-1830) and Sarah Clark (1790-1865).  He was first married to Margaret McKissick (1819-1861), a daughter of Joseph McKissick and Rhoda Palmer.  If you have been paying attention, then you know that Margaret McKissick was a sister to Lt. Col Isaac Going McKissick, Civil War commander of William G. Fowler and George Fowler.

So… William G. Fowler’s daughter Vesta Ann Fowler married  Jedithan Porter, widower of Margaret McKissick, brother of Isaac McKissick., commander of William G. Fowler.  

In 1870, Vesta Ann Fowler Porter and her two sons were in the household with her parents William G. Fowler and Salena, but her husband was missing.  Was she a widow?  No.  In 1870, Jedithan Porter lived alone in a household adjacent to his son by his first wife,  Hezekiah Sylvanus Porter and family.

I remembered seeing a newspaper article about an attack on Jedithan Porter, but I cannot locate it.  I was able to find a deposition that J. P. Porter gave on March 25, 1870 in the case of Wallace vs Simpson which describes in great detail the attack on Jedithan Porter.

If you are up on your South Carolina history, you will remember that York County native Alexander S. Wallace successfully contested the South Carolina 1868 election of William D. Simpson to the 41st U.S. Congress.

The political atmosphere in South Carolina was  both violent and volatile.  The northern Republicans were trying to exert control over the political system of the southern Democrats and the Rebels were having none of it.  They were still fighting for their way of life.  The Civil War did not end the way they expected and they turned to the KKK in order to gain back what they had lost.

In the words of Jedithan P. Porter:

“I was appointed manager at the Going’s precinct. On the day previous to the election on November 3, 1868, I went to Union courthouse for the Republican tickets for the precinct.   I got the tickets and was preparing to start home when a man came up and asked to see the tickets.  He refused to give them back and walked away with them.

“My brother-in-law who was a Democrat came to me and advised me to leave, saying that if I did not leave I would be killed.  I then went round to the rear of a lot where some Freeman brought my horse and I started home accompanied by my brother. 

“I had gone near four miles when a crowd of eight Democrats came up rapidly, cursing me for being a radical and jerked me off my horse.   The fall bruised my face and cut it severely.  They kicked and beat me while I was on the ground until my face and clothes were covered with blood.  I then mounted my horse and started on home.

“Some of the crowds still followed me.   About nine miles from town they made another attack on me and pulled me off my horse saying they were going to kill me for being a radical.   They then kicked and knocked me down and beat me until I became unconscious and they left me for dead.   The last I recollect was one man saying, ‘Get out of the way and let me kill him with a rail’;  someone replied, ‘No, he is dead already.’

”When I became conscious they all had gone and I do not know how long I lay there. A man came along the road and helped me to get on my horse and went home with me.  For twelve days I was not able to move without help, and my life was despaired of by my physician.

“These parties had no cause of offense with me whatever, except that I was a Republican. One of them was a brother-in-law.”

I believe that this disposition gives us a clue as to why Jed Porter and Vesta Ann lived apart: he was a Republican and she came from a family of Democrats.  George W. Fowler and Isaac Fowler were her brothers.   Which brother told Jed Porter to leave or risk certain death, and which brother beat him and left him for dead?

Vesta Ann and Jedithan Porter had another son, Landrum Vernon Porter, born in 1872.  Jedithan Porter died in 1874.

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1870 Union County SC Census

Union County was to come under heavy-handed penal recriminations for the participation in KKK activity.  It appears that even the elder William G. Fowler was arrested.  United States Federal Marshals picketed the towns of the county and made arrests for the lynching of prisoners who had been held in the Union County jail.

John M. Bevis was the son of William Bevis and Zillah Hames.  He was arrested in. November 1871 along with many of his Klan comrades and held in the local jail until the prisoners could be transported by train to Charleston, SC to stand trial.  The accused were held without warrant or bond and not even told why they had been rounded up for arrest.  The highly esteemed attorney,  Joseph F. Gist (son of Nathaniel Gist and nephew of the former Governor William Gist) had also been arrested along with many of the upstanding citizens of Union County.

Most of the accused did not serve time and were eventually released.  I find no evidence that William G. Fowler and his grandson John M. Bevis were found guilty of Klan activities, although Marion Fowler (son of Stephen Fowler) was sent to prison in Albany, New York.

With the 1874 death of Jedithan Porter, Vesta Ann Fowler Porter was truly a widow.  She was free to marry again; and so she did.  Vesta Ann Fowler Porter married her mother’s half-brother, John M. Bevis (1845- 1883), son of William Bevis and Zillah Hames John . Bevis was Vesta’s half-uncle.    

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John M. Bevis had been married before — to Eliza Disor Holcombe (b. 1842).  Eliza had given birth to two sons, Charles Bevis (1867-1900) and Joseph Crawford Bevis (1869-1958). Eliza died young, perhaps in childbirth.  Her two sons would be raised by Vesta Ann.

John M. Bevis and Vesta Ann had three children together: James E. Bevis (1876-1900), Anderson Bell Bevis (1878-1900), and Nora B. Bevis (1879-1904).

In 1880, Vesta Ann Fowler Porter Bevis and second husband (and half-uncle) John M. Bevis were living a Brady Bunch existence.  Although everyone in the household was assigned the surname of Bevis, three of the children were fathered by Jedithan Porter, five were fathered by John Bevis, two were the children of Eliza Holcombe, and six were the children of Vesta Ann Fowler.  

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  • John M. Bevis 34
  • Vesta Ann Fowler Porter Bevis 30
  • John Little Porter 14 (son of Jedithan Porter and Vesta Ann Fowler)
  • Charles Bevis 12 (son of John M. Bevis and Eliza Holcombe)
  • William Edward Porter 11 (son of Jedithan Porter and Vesta Ann Fowler)
  • Joseph Crawford Bevis 10 (son of John M. Bevis and Eliza Holcombe)
  • Landrum Vernon Porter 9 (son of Jedithan Porter and Vesta Ann Fowler)
  • James E. Bevis 5 (son of John M. Bevis and Vesta Ann Fowler)
  • Anderson Bell Bevis 3 (son of John M. Bevis and Vesta Ann Fowler)
  • Nora B. Bevis 8 months (daughter of John M. Bevis and Vesta Ann Fowler)

John Bevis died from consumption at his residence a a few miles from Union on August 30, 1883.  He was only 42 years old.  His obituary was published in the Weekly Union Times on September 7, 1883.  Vesta Ann Fowler Porter Bevis was a widow and free to marry again.

The following is complicated so I am repeating information previously stated in this article.  Vesta Ann Fowler was the granddaughter of William Bevis.  (Her mother was the daughter of William Bevis and his first wife Hannah Gault). Wiliam Bevis had married Zillah Hames after the death of his first wife, and Vesta Ann had married their son (her uncle) John Bevis.  After the death of his second wife Zillah, William Bevis married Lettie Gregory.  It was a third marriage for both William Bevis and Lettie Gregory.

Lettie Gregory (1821-1902) was the daughter of John Wesley Gregory (1780-1843).  She had married Joseph George Lyles (1792-1869) and they were the parents of Mary Lyles (1839), John Lyles (1841), Ben Lyles (1845), Nancy Lyles (1859), and William Lyles (1861).

After the death of Joseph George Lyles, Lettie married James Spencer.  The 1870 census listed James Spencer, Lettie, and his two children from a previous marriage, James and Martha Spencer.  Eight year old William Lyles was recorded as Bill Spencer in the census.

The William Bevis family bible has recorded March 8, 1877 as the date that he married the widow Lettie Spencer.  It was a short-lived marriage; in 1880, William Bevis lived with his daughter Eliza Bevis McNease and her family;  Lettie Spencer lived with her son William Lyles and her granddaughter Sally Edwards (daughter of Mary Lyles Edwards).

Vesta Ann Fowler Porter Bevis chose the much-younger-than-her William Lyles to be her next husband.  Never mind that he was the son of her grandfather’s third wife.  From the photograph that we have of Vesta Ann, she was a beautiful woman with light-colored eyes and evidently the men of her day thought so too.

She and William Lyles had a daughter, Bessie Olivia Lyles (1886-1929) who married Bowden Hodge (1882-1947).  

In legal documents, Vesta Ann was recorded as Vestian Bevis in November 1886, and Vestian Lyles in October 1889.  Her daughter Bessie was born in 1886, although I have also seen 1885.  The line is blurred on the actual date of marriage.  Since there were no marriage certificates in South Carolina until 1915, it is difficult to say for sure when she married.

Vesta Ann Fowler Porter Bevis Lyles was badly burned in December 1895 and soon after died from her injuries.  Her obituary from the Jan 17, 1896 issue of the Union Times:

Mrs. William Lyles got burnt just before Christmas so bad that she died last Tuesday AM (7 Jan) & was buried at Bethlehem last week (8 Jan)”

William Lyles wasted little time.  He married his step-daughter, Nora B. Bevis, daughter of Vesta Ann Fowler Porter Bevis Lyles and John Bevis

Will Lyles of Brown’s Creek and his step-daughter, Miss Bevis, were married last week.  Mr. Lyle’s wife, the mother of Miss Bevis, died since Christmas.   (From the March 13, 1896 issue of the Union times)

William Lyles and Nora Bevis had sons:

  • Benjamin Anderson Lyles 1897–1923
  • John William Lyles 1899–1967
  • Laberto Vestarius Lyles 1901–1997
  • Egbert A. Lyles 1902–1904

Nora B. Bevis Lyles died in 1904.  Her obituary from the Feb 24, 1904 issue of the Progress;

Mrs. William Lyles, after a continued illness, died at her home in South Union Saturday night (18 Feb) & her remains were interred at the City cemetery on Sunday. She was only about 25 years of age, was Miss Nora Beavers before her marriage, & had been living in Union for 5 years, where her husband is employed at the Excelsior Knitting Mills. He with 4 children survive.

William Lyles married a third time, to Mattie Nodine (1883-1964).  They had no children together but she raised the children that he had with Nora Bevis.   Willliam and Mattie Lyles are buried at Mount Vernon Church Cemetery in Union County SC.

You can see in the 1880 census clip below that William G. Fowler and Salena Bevis lived next door to son George Fowler and his family, and next door to Caroline Bevis (half sister of Salena) and her three children.

George Fowler, son of William G. Fowler, was a young man when he crossed paths with KKK leader William Faucett of Union County.  Faucett was well into his 60’s but he was a large man with a reputation of violent behavior and he ran with a rowdy crowd.  Faucett was a character with many facets to his life, the women with whom he fathered children, and there could be much written about him.  I have noticed that there were two William Faucetts in the area around the same time and many amateur researchers have confused the two.  I have researched this man fairly extensively as he was involved with one of my Fowlers, but I am not inclined to write an article about him unless one is requested.

In early 1872, a fight began between George Fowler and William Faucett inside a bar owned by Andrew McNease (father of James McNease married to Eliza Bevis, daughter of William Bevis).  The fight escalated as the larger of the two, Faucett, beat the smaller Fowler.  Eventually the men ended outside, and George Fowler pulled a knife out of his pocket and stabbed William Faucett six times.  George Fowler was arrested and awaited trial.  The charge was upgraded to murder when Faucett died a few days later.

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George W. Fowler had fought in the Civil War with his father, and had murdered a bully ten years later, and  had been pardoned within eight months.  He also married his cousin during the decade between 1870 and 1880 — Ida Johnson (b. 1860), a daughter of William Johnson (b. 1834) and Frances Fowler (b. 1840).

William Johnson was a son of Wyatt Johnson, and a grandson of the William and Lois Johnson clan whose descendants intermarried often with the Henry Ellis Fowler descendants.

Frances Fowler was the daughter of Lemuel H. Fowler (1808-1865) and Milly Mitchell, a descendant of the Rev. Elias Mitchell.  Lemuel H. Fowler was the son of John Fowler the Hatter (d. 1833).

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1880 Union County SC Census

George Fowler and Ida Johnson had five children:

  • Hessie Fowler 1879–1901
  • Urphie Bell Fowler 1884–1979
  • William Audry Fowler 1888–1979
  • George Leonard Fowler 1891–1933
  • Anthony Wade Fowler 1895–1950

Hessie Fowler married her cousin Robert Newton O’Shields (1881–1950).  Robert was the son of William Franklin O’Shields (1857-1935) and Jannie Dunnaway (1862-1911).  Jannie was the daughter of Abraham Dunnaway (1830-1864) and Mary Hames (1836-1908).  Mary was the daughter of Lydia Fowler (d. after 1850) and Charles HamesLydia was the daughter of Ephraim Fowler (1765-1822), son of Patriarch Henry Ellis Fowler (1746-1808).

As did many women of that era, Hessie Fowler died shortly after childbirth, leaving husband Robert O’Shields with a babe in arms.  I do not know if the child survived.  Hessie’s obituary was reported in the local newspapers:

Mrs. Robert O’Shields died at her home on factory hill last Sunday (21 April 1901).  The remains were interred at Foster’s Chapel Monday. (from the April 26, 1901 Union Times)

Mrs. Hessie O’Shields, daughter of George Fowler and wife of Robert O’Shields, died Sunday, 21 April 1901.  She leaves a little babe one week old, a husband, father, mother, sisters and brothers.  (from the April 24, 1901 issue of the Progress)

After the death of Hessie, Robert O’Shields married Mattie Sims (1886-1932), and they had three sons.  Mattie was related to the Charles Sims family which had many ties to the Henry Ellis Fowler family.  Sadly, Mattie was committed to the South Carolina State Hospital for the Insane in 1929, and died there in 1932.

Urphie Bell Fowler was the second daughter of George Fowler and Ida Johnson.  She married twice — first to Henry Harrison “Hal” Hicks (1883–1915); they had a son, Herman, and daughters Louise Imogene, Vera, and Evelyn.  After the death of Hal, Urphie Bell married Fred Samuel Miller (1901–1970).  Fred Samuel Miller Jr. (1928–2015) was born from this second union.

William Audrey Fowler (1888-1979) married Jennie May Waldrip (1892–1974) and the couple had two sons:  Elliott Earl Fowler Sr (1916–1999) and Donald Audry Fowler (1932–2009).

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Donald A. Fowler

Named after his father George, George Leonard Fowler married a distant cousin —Ella Lane Kelly (1894–1982).  Ella was the daughter of Abraham Silas Kelly (1859-1911) and Leila Fowler (1862-1947), a daughter of Gazzaway Fowler (1825-1887) and Elmira Smith (1839-1911).  Gazzaway Fowler was a son of Thomas Gillman Fowler (1798-1880), son of Godfrey Fowler (1773-1850), son of Henry Ellis Fowler (1746-1808).

George Leonard Fowler and Ella Lane Kelly had a son, George Harold Fowler 1917–1943.

Anthony Wade Fowler (1895–1950) was the last child born to George and Ida Johnson Fowler.  He was in the military, and did not have a family.  He died in Dade County Florida on May 18, 1950.

George, son of William G. Fowler and Salena Bevis died in 1913.  HIs obituary below:

George Fowler died at 6 o’clock PM, 16 June, 1913.  He leaves a wife and several children.  He was a native of Union county, having been born in 1847.  He was a soldier in the Confederate Army, and was buried at Foster’s chapel Wednesday.  He was a son of William G. Fowler.  (from the June 20, 1913 issue of the Union Times)


  • William G. Fowler (1825-1899) m. Salena Bevis (1824–1897)
    • George A. Fowler (1845–1926)  m. Ida Johnson (1860- after 1930)
      • Hessie Fowler (1879-1901) m. Robert Newton O’Shields (1881–1950)
      • Urphie Bell Fowler (1884-1979) m. Henry Harrison “Hal” Hicks (1883–1915); m. Fred Samuel Miller (1901-1970)
        • Herman Hicks (1904–1904)
        • Louise Imogene Hicks (1905–1985) m. Obie F. Hill (1899–1975)
          • Evelyn Imogene Hill (1922–1983)
          • Frances Hill  (b. 1924)
        • Vera Hicks (1908–1985) m. Walter Jackson Surrett (1906–1964)
          • Walter Jackson Surrett Jr. (1926–1927)
        • Evelyn Hicks (1910–1915)
        • Fred Samuel Miller Jr. (1928–2015) 
      • William Audrie Fowler (b. 1888) m. Jennie May Waldrip (1892–1974)
        • Elliott Earl Fowler Sr (1916–1998) m. Gertrude Mary Ann Oshenska (1920–2009)
        • Donald Audry Fowler (1932–2009) m Janie Sue Stepp (1939–2012)
      • George Leonard Fowler (1891–1933) m. Ella Lane Kelly (1894–1982)
          • George Harold Fowler (1917–1943) m. Eva Lee Owens (1918–2008)
      • Anthony Wade Fowler (1895–1950)
    • Vesta Ann Fowler (b. 1849) m. Jedithan P. “Gid” Porter (1813–1874;) m. John M. Bevis (1845- 1883); m. William Lyles
      • John Little Porter (1866–aft 1930) m. Missouri Elizabeth Moore (1869–1937); married Dora Haneline Houtz
        • James Vernon Porter (1890–1966) m. Bessie Gertrude Ringstaff (1892–1928); m.Vera Otheda Spivey (1908-1998)
          • Frank Edward Porter (1908–1984)
          • Edna Carolyn Porter (1912–2009)
          • John Vernon Porter (1914–1972)
          • Fred Stanley Porter (1930–1955)
          • Glenn Porter (1935–1984)
      • William Edward “Eddie” Porter (1868–1900) m. Mary Della Knox (1868–1900)
        • Betty Lee “Bessie” Porter (1888–1970)
        • Jesse Thomas Porter (1894–1979)
        • Hester Mae “Hessie” Porter (Stevens) (1898–1974)
      • Landrum Vernon Porter (1872–1950) m. Ida Virginia Smith (1875–1967)
        • George L Porter (b. 1902)
        • Ada P Porter (b. 1904)
        • Vernon Smith Porter (1907–1973)
      • James E. Bevis (1876–1900)
      • Anderson Bell Bevis (1878–1900) m. Cynthia Brewington (1880–1904)
      • Nora B. Bevis (1879–1904) m. William Lyles (1862–1937)
        • Benjamin Anderson Lyles (1897–1923) m. Lena Boozer Simpson 1898–1936
          • Nora Beatrice Lyles (1920–1995)
        • John William Lyles (1899-1967) m. Josephine M Vaccaro 1901–1995
          • John W Lyles Jr (1932–1999)
          • Joan Marie Lyles (1935–2010)
          • son Lyles (b. 1938)
        • Laberto Vestarius Lyles (1901–1997) m. Mary Alice Jones 1902–1992
          • Thomas Laberto Lyles 1940–2005
        • Egbert A. Lyles (1904–1905)
      • Bessie Olivia Lyles 1886–1929 m. Bowden Hodge 1882–1947
        • Rosalee Hodge 1905–1987
        • Dorothy Hodge 1919–2013
        • Betsy Hodge 1929–2015
    • Isaac Fowler (1852– after 1880)
    • Dora Gilliam Fowler (1859–1885) m. John Robert Gault (1852–1928)
      • Ora Anna Gault (1880–1943) m. William Logan Gibbs (1868–1949)
        • Willie Eugene Gibbs (1905–1967)
      • Walter Gillam Gault (1881–1966) m. Sallie Leona Willard (1882–1961)
        • Conway Jackson Gault (1904–1978)
        • Evelyn Gault (1908–1991)
        • Paul Cleon Gault (1912–1975)
        • Ruby Lucille Gault (1916–2006)
      • Conway Jackson Gault Sr (1883–1960) m. Mary Dovie Buff (1888–1982)
        • Annie Louise Gault (1907–2000)
        • Boyce Haywood Gault Sr (1909–1984)
        • Conway Jackson Gault Jr. (1911–1995)
        • Mary Elizabeth Gault (1915–2016)
        • Virginia Helen Gault (1917–1975)
        • Wilma Nelline Gault 1(920–1991)
        • Robert Eugene Gault (1924–2001)
        • Wilburn Vaughn Gault (1927–1987)

17 thoughts on “WILLIAM G. FOWLER (1825-1899) married to Salena Bevis

    1. Good question… but… John Fowler the Hatter only had one son — Lemuel H. Fowler (b. 1808). Lemuel Fowler had two sons, Ebenezer Fowler (b. 1834) and Elias Fowler (b. 1836). I do have a list of all of the Fowler Heads of Household in Union County in 1830 with male children born around 1825. Hopefully one day I will find evidence that will tie into the census records and confirm the parentage of William G. Fowler.
      Thanks so much for your comment!


  1. Enjoyed your information, where did you get the information on Jed. P. Porter known as Gid? Did you find his family Bible somewhere along the way.? I am searching for any of the older Porter Bibles of Union Co. and would love to see Jedithan Porter and Rhoda Palmer Porter’s Bible.


    1. Thanks so much for your comment! I have several sources for the information I used, but the family bible was not one of them. I do have a friend who collects old bibles, and I will ask him if he has any idea about the location of the Porter bible. I do have more information about Jed Porter and his first wife and family, I also have information about the time he was beaten almost to death because of his political leanings after the Civil War. I’ll look for that and email to you if you would like. Thanks again for reading my article and your comment!


  2. I so enjoyed your article! I am the great granddaughter of Landrum Vernon Porter. Vesty Ann Fowler is my great great grandmother. In fact, searching for Landrum’s parents is what started my interest in genealogy. I just learned that Vesty married William Lyles after John Bevis died. William Lyles married Vesty and John Bevis’ daughter, Nora right after Vesty died from burns she got while doing the laundry. What a mess! Can’t wait to read your story of William Lyles’ mother and William Bevis. Until next time.


    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for your comments and the new information!! I have found the 1896 obituary for Vesta Ann Fowler Porter Bevis Lyles, and I see that she and William Lyles had a daughter together in 1886. You have filled in more of the blanks for me and I will edit my article to reflect this. Thank you! I have also been looking for something I found a while back and can not locate: Jed Porter was beaten badly by some of his neighbors after the Civil War. I have tracked down direct male descendants but I’ve not gotten anyone to yDNA test yet which would confirm the origins of William Goode Fowler.


      1. I do want to let you know that I had my father, George Vernon Porter Y-DNA67 done. His kit number is 182891. I would love to read Vesty’s obituary.


      2. Mrs. William Lyles got burnt just before Christmas so bad that she died last Tuesday AM (7 Jan) & was buried at Bethlehem last week (8 Jan). from the Jan 17, 1896 issue of the Union Times)

        Mrs. William Lyles, after a continued illness, died at her home in South Union Saturday night (18 Feb) & her remains were interred at the City cemetery on Sunday. She was only about 25 years of age, was Miss Nora Beavers before her marriage, & had been living in Union for 5 years, where her husband is employed at the Excelsior Knitting Mills. He with 4 children survive. (from the Feb 24, 1904 issue of the Progress)

        The first death notice is for Vesta Ann, and the second for Nora. I have questions for you Lisa! Would you please email me at debfowler@aol.com?

        I also found more information — I found the transcripts from the attack on Jed Porter, and I also found information previously unknown to me: George W. Fowler (son of William G. Fowler and Salena Bevis) killed a man. I have lots of updating to do on my article!


      3. Good day Fowler, my name is Michael Perry and am a descendant of Jeditan ‘Gid’ and Vestian Porter who are my grt, grt grandparents through William Edward ‘W.E.’ and Mary Della (Knox )Porter my grandmother was/is Hester ‘Hessie Porter Stevens, her sister and bro were Bessie Lee Porter Pipkin and Jesse Thomas Porter. Would love to find pics of their parents and info on doing y DNA my email is mperry09252016@gmail.com


  3. Really enjoyed reading all of this!

    Thought you may like to know that William Lyles and wife Mattie are buried at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church in Union County, not Clinton, SC.

    Also, I found a marriage record for John Little Porter in 1920 in Walla Walla, Washington, listing his parents as “Jedith Porter” and “Visty Fowler.” His second wife was Dora Houtz. So he was not dead at age 48, as his son James Vernon Porter (by first wife Missouri E. Moore) said. I did some searching and found John L. Porter on the 1910, 1920, and 1930 censuses. I cannot find a death record or obituary for him, though.


    1. Thanks so much for your corrections and comments! I’ll revise the information on the cemetery for William and Mattie Lyles, and also correct the death info for John L. Porter. I do see his marriage to Dora (Haneline) Houtz in 1920. I also saw her listed as a survivor in her father’s obituary in 1929 using her married name of Houtz and she was living back in Illinois. The marriage must have not been a success. I also see the 1920 census record for John L. Porter, but I cannot find the one for 1930. Was he still in Washington state? I cannot find a death record for him either. Do you know of a living direct male descendant of the William G. Fowler line? I am looking to yDNA test in order to define the origins of this Fowler line. I believe it to be the Henry Ellis Fowler line but I have no proof and it will take DNA testing to confirm. Thank you for reading the article!!


      1. I believe that the John Porter, age 64, born SC, parents born SC, a resident of Ewa, Honolulu County, Hawaii, on the 1930 census is John Little Porter. A death record would prove it, but there are scant Hawaii death records online. He seems to have been unlucky in relationships for it’s evident he abandoned his first wife and son.

        Do you have any verification of the death of his brother William Edward Porter ?

        Sorry that I do not know of a male descendant of the Wm. G. Fowler line.

        I’ll answer your direct email later this morning.


  4. Hello Tucker, my name is Michael Perry my Great grandfather and mother were/are William Edward ‘W.E.’ and Mary Della (Knox) Porter.
    Both died in 1900 William 21 May, Della died in November. They left 3 children Bessie ‘Betty’ Porter Pipkin the oldest, Jesse Thomas, and last Hessie ‘Hester Mae’Porter Stevens Rogers, (my grand mother).
    When William died Della made arrangements before she died to have the 3 children sent to Connie Maxwell Orphanage in Greenwood,S.C. my grandmother was adopted by Belton and Eunice (Still) Stevens, Bessie worked in the infirmary, and Jesse ran away before being adopted.
    I do hope this helps.


    1. Michael Perry,
      Thanks so much for answering my query. Where are W. E. and Della K. Porter buried? Did you find his death date from a tombstone or Bible record?
      Fredrick Tucker


      1. Hello Fredrick, I got the information in the information that the Connie Maxwell Orphanage in Greenwood South Carolina concerning William Edward, Mary Della his wife, my grandmother Hester ‘Hessie’, her sister Bessie and bro Jesse. From what have been able to find a lot of people died in Spartanburg, South Carolina where they lived and have not been able to find burial information for them. The 3 children were not able to be looked after by Mary Della’s family fore they were paupers.


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