His grave lay undisturbed for one hundred and fifty-seven years. The headstone marking the final resting place of Lemuel Holter Fowler was buried in the ground — not as deeply as the bones over which it stood guard — but deep enough that it had perhaps been unseen by decades of descendants.

Lemuel Fowler

John H. Fowler was born in the latter part of the eighteenth century, probably between the years of 1775 to 1780. His father was likely Henry Ellis Fowler (1746-1808) but this still has not been determined beyond all reasonable doubt.

John H. Fowler was a hatter and a trapper. He may have been married to a woman named Sarah, but like the uncertainty surrounding his actual date of birth and his ancestral beginnings, the name of his wife is also unknown to us.

John H. Fowler, the Hatter, penned his will in 1832, and he was in his grave by 1833. His estate settlement included payments to two doctors — Dr. William B. Nott and Dr. Thomas Hancock. Both were practicing physicians in Union County, South Carolina in the 1830s, and both undoubtably tried — and failed — to save the life of John H. Fowler.

John H. Fowler left a family behind. His Last Will and Testament did not include the name of a wife, but it did give us the name of a son, and daughters, and their husbands.

Lemuel Holter Fowler was the only son of John Fowler the Hatter — at least, the only son who survived to adulthood. John Fowler fathered four daughters (Delila, Desina, Catherine, and Omey), and Lemuel. There may have been more children counted in census records, but they remain nameless to us.

Lemuel Fowler was born circa 1808 in Union County, South Carolina. In, or around, 1833, he married Permilly Mitchell who was born around 1811. Milly was the daughter of Elias Mitchell and Hannah Smith. Elias Mitchell was the son of the Reverend Elias Mitchell of whom much has been written.

Lemuel and Milly had two sons, followed by two daughters. There were fairly large gaps in between the births of some of these children, so it is likely that there were others born who did not survive infancy. Such were the times before the nature of disease was understood.

It is doubtful that Lemuel H. Fowler served in the Civil War because of his advanced age in the 1860s. The lack of any military records seems to support the possibility that Lemuel stayed home during the war. He sent his two sons to war– one returned home; one did not.

Lemuel H. Fowler died on May 23, 1865. His estate was probated on December 20, 1865. His widow Milly Mitchell Fowler and her father Elias Mitchell were mentioned in the estate documents.

Lemuel H. Fowler was laid to rest in a small family graveyard. Elias and Hannah Smith Mitchell would be buried nearby in years to follow. There are Smith, Mitchell, Faucett, and Fowler souls, all related by blood and marriage, in the graveyard. Some are marked by engraved headstones, and some by simple field stones.

The graveyard has been taken over by nature, and has returned almost entirely to its original state. Only the recent, dedicated work by two researchers have revealed the grave and headstone of Lemuel H. Fowler. More work will follow and more discoveries are yet to be made. A part of the past that has been hidden from sight for many, many years has come to light, and the memory of Lemuel H. Fowler and his family will continue to live in our hearts.

  • Lemuel Holter Fowler (1808-1865) m. Permilly “Milly” Mitchell (1811– after 1880 )
    • Ebenezer Fowler (1834–1863) m. Miriam Sharp (1835–1876)
      • Knight Edward “K.E.N.” Fowler (1857–1935)
      • Julius Noah Fowler (1859–1945)
      • Ida Fowler (1860–1870)
    • Elias Fowler (1836–1908)
    • Frances Fowler (1840–)
    • Sarah Fowler (1846–)

3 thoughts on “LEMUEL HOLTER FOWLER (1808-1865) Son of John Fowler, Hatter

  1. Deb: Good luck today at the graveyard. I’m excited for you! I read this post with great interest. I didn’t know that Ebenezer’s father was Lemuel. Ebenezer’s sons Knight and Julius were always close friends to my family. In fact, Julius’ son Arthur dated my grandmother pretty seriously. I have pictures of him from her collection. Have you ever heard that the “N” in Knight’s name stood for Nimrod? And do you have any documentation of Julius’ middle name being Noah? I’ve seen “Nolen” as his middle name. Trying to tie that down. Knight and Julius were stepsons of my g-g-g-uncle Drury Dobbins Going (1815-78) whose third wife was Miriam. Best, Fredrick

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  2. Exciting that his stone has been found! Thanks for this. Lemuel Holter Fowler was my 4th great grandfather.

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  3. Hi Frederick, We have postponed the work at the graveyard until tomorrow, pending weather. It is just too cold and rainy outside today. I did go to the graveyard a couple of days after Mike and Tammy uncovered the headstone.  I was on my way home from the airport — stopped by to see my dad in Jonesville on the way home — and made a detour to the graveyard.  I had to see Lemuel’s headstone. I had looked for it for a long time.  It was an exciting find! Lemuel H. Fowler and Milly Mitchell had two sons, Ebenezer and Elias. I am sure that Elias was named after his grandfather and great grandfather (Elias Mitchell and the Rev. Elias Mitchell) I suspect that Ebenezer’s middle name was Noah, although I have no proof of that.  This is the only reason for my suspicions — the death certificate of Julius N. Fowler with his father listed as Noah.

    Lemuel’s middle name was Holter, and his father John H. Fowler (Hatter) may have been John Holter Fowler.  Again, no proof of John’s middle name. I have K.E. N. Fowler’s name as Knight Edward Nimrod. He was a shoe maker, (and the sheriff of the county for a while, I believe).  I have a wonderful photograph of him working in his cobbler shop sent to me by a descendant. Julious Noah (or Nolen): I have seen his middle name as both.  I have seen it more often recorded as Noah, including his obituary. 

    So, I don’t really know for certain if it was Nolen or Noah, but I went with Noah because I saw it written more often…….. Julius N. Fowler had a son named Ebenezer N. Fowler. If his middle name was Noah, I would call it a day. I have found very few living directly descended men from Lemuel H. Fowler.  Actually, I have found only three.  I need to yDNA test someone. If you know of a male willing, please let me know. This is important because I have not tied this Fowler line into a definite family. I love your family connections to Knight, Julius, and Arthur! Deb

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