The first things I noticed the first time I visited Foster’s Chapel United Methodist Church were the old stone foundation and the old brickwork. Unlike many of the churches nearby whose original structures built of wood burned and were replaced over the years, this church looked old and true.

I later discovered that Foster’s Chapel was built on six acres of land donated to the church in 1878 by William McNease (1838-1898). The old bricks were made there, and the field stones in the foundation likely came from the farmlands and woodlands that surrounded the building site of the future house of worship.

Much of the money used to build the the brick church was donated by Josiah Singleton Foster (1806- 1891). He was also a major force behind the idea of uniting the congregations of Flat Rock Methodist Church (formerly the old Flat Rock Meeting House) and Bethlehem Methodist Church; thus, the church was named after him.

Josiah Foster’s grave is marked by a prominent headstone in the cemetery. His wife Sibbie Spears (1807-1881) lies nearby. The final resting places of the Fosters are enclosed within a beautiful wrought iron fence.

Josiah Foster (1806-1891)

Early members of Foster’s Chapel Church included my Fowler family, and many of the families of which they married into — Farr, Gallman, Gault, Hart, Holcombe, Kelly, Lawson, Sprouse, Willard, and Wood.

One of the Henry Ellis Fowler descendants who was a member of Foster’s Chapel — James T. Fowler — became a Methodist minister.

The Fowler family lines of whom rest in eternity in Foster’s Chapel cemetery, their names in red —-

Henry Richard Fowler was born in Union County, SC in 1825. He was the son of Ellis Fowler and Sarah Mabry. Ellis Fowler was the son of Ephraim Fowler (1765-1822), and Ephraim was the son of Henry Ellis Fowler (1746-1808).

Henry Richard Fowler married Nancy Ann Farr (1840-1923) and was the father of ten children, many of whom are buried in the Fowler Family Plot at Foster’s Chapel.

The headstone of Henry Richard Fowler, his Confederate States of America marker, his photograph, and the cabin in which he lived at least part of his early life are shown below:

Nancy Ann Elizabeth Farr (1840-1923) was the wife of Henry Richard Fowler and the mother of his children.

Henry Richard Fowler and Nancy Ann Elizabeth Farr had three daughters who remained unmarried, lived their lives together, and were laid to rest side by side.

Louise, Nannie Mahala, and Mary Ellen “Darling” Fowler were beautiful young women, devoted to family and to each other.

David Nicholas Fowler (1866-1950) was a son of Henry Richard Fowler and Nancy Ann Elizabeth Farr. He married Annie Bentley (1877-1951).

Henry Richard Fowler was the father of beautiful Sarah Catherine Fowler (1869-1950) who married Henry Adams Dunbar (1868-1930). Both husband and wife are buried at Foster’s Chapel cemetery.

Richard Franklin Fowler was a son of Henry Richard Fowler. He married Mamie Aycock, and they raised a large family together on Pea Ridge.

The sons of Richard Franklin Fowler: top row left to right — Rowland Franklin Fowler, States Richard Fowler, and Julian Campbell Fowler;

Bottom row, left to right — son Harold C. Fowler, his wife Carolyn Eugenia “Gene” Brown, and their son Julian Harold Fowler.

Dr. Wade Fowler (1820-1881) was the son of James Fowler, and the grandson of Godfrey Fowler. He married Elizabeth A. Carothers.

Sarah Ross “Sallie” Fowler was born in 1861, a daughter of Dr. Wade Fowler and his wife Elizabeth. Sallie was mentioned in her father’s Last Will and Testament penned in 1878.

John C. Fowler (1851-1884) lies between the graves of his father, Dr. Wade Fowler, and his sister, Sallie R. Fowler. His headstone is identical and was made by the same stone mason.

Womack Fowler had a son — James Hervey Fowler. James was the father of Harrison David Fowler.

Harrison David Fowler was the father of James David Fowler (1893-1971) who married Amanda Jones (1895–1981).

James David Fowler and his wife Amanda Jones share a headstone with their son, James William “Dick” Fowler (1916 -1972).

Another of Womack Fowler’s descendants was laid to rest at Foster’s Chapel cemetery. Womack’s daughter Martha Patsey Fowler married John Jackson Hodge. Their oldest daughter Jane Hodge married Ellis Fowler, son of Mark Fowler, son of Henry Ellis Fowler.

Jane Hodge and Ellis Fowler had a son named Ellis Jackson Fowler. It is Robert Smith Fowler, son of Ellis Jackson Fowler who was buried at Foster’s Chapel.

Robert Smith Fowler’s wife Ida Garner and their daughter Mahala Fowler Bevis (1905-1940) are also buried there.

I found no headstones for Robert Smith Fowler and wife Ida. I am aware that there is a headstone for their daughter but I neglected to photograph it. Next trip.

John Fowler the Hatter (d. 1833) has a descendant buried at Foster’s Chapel as well. His great, great, great great grandson Otis Keith Fowler was buried there in. Otis Fowler’s wife Jeannette Horne Fowler, and their two children Michael Meldon Fowler and Doris Lynn Fowler Canupp are also buried there.

I could find no grave marker for Otis, but those of his wife, son, and daughter are below:

The graves of John Clark Fowler and his wife Mary Henley Fowler are only a stone’s throw from the graves of Dr. Wade Fowler, Sallie Fowler, and John C. Fowler. The headstones of the latter are tall and stately, but yet unlike those of the former.

The naming pattern of the children of John Clark Fowler and his wife Mary Henley are NOT indicative of descent from the Henry Ellis Fowler/Godfrey Fowler family line:

  • Edith Victoria
  • Blanche Ophelia
  • Keller Lake
  • Lewis
  • Marie
  • John Herbert
  • Vera

Lewis, son of John Clark Fowler was born and died in October 1890. Daughter Marie was born in 1891 and died in 1894. The headstones of the two children are near the graves of their father and mother.

John T. Fowler (1911-1994) was the son of Jonas S. Fowler (1884-1972). Jonas Fowler was the son of John Tipton Fowler (1842-1922).

John Tipton Fowler may have been the son of William Tip (Washington??)
, son of John Fowler, son of Ephraim Fowler, but there is no documented proof of this. Paper research seems to support this line of descent, but the very limited yDNA evidence has been questionable. More directly descended men from this line are needed for testing in order to prove this Fowler line.

John T. Fowler, son of Jonas and grandson of John Tipton Fowler, lies at Foster’s Chapel.

William Goode Fowler (1825-1899) and his son George W. Fowler (1847-1913) are buried at Foster’s Chapel Cemetery. There are no engraved headstones for father or son, and there is little evidence of where they were laid to rest other than their obituaries in the local paper at the time of their deaths.

Was the Martha Fowler — wife of W.G. FowlerMartha Selena Bevis Fowler? Maybe. Probably. Maybe.

Martha Fowler

The Israel Fowler line is a totally different family line from the Henry Ellis Fowler line. The two Fowler lines did live in Union County SC at the same time, lived near each other, married into each other’s families, witnessed legal documents for each other, so it is no great surprise that they worshiped together and were laid to rest in the same graveyards.

Daniel Wallace Fowler (18 – 19) was the son of William G. Fowler, son of Israel Fowler II, son of Israel Fowler I. The earliest known ancestors of this Fowler line were found in Isle of Wight, Virginia.

3 thoughts on “FOWLER Graves at Foster’s Chapel United Methodist Church

  1. Something does not agree in this quote from the Foster’s Chapel article Robert Smith Fowler’s wife Ida Garner and their daughter Mahala Fowler Bevis (1889-1940) are also buried there.

    I found no headstones for Robert Smith Fowler and wife Ida. I am aware that there is a headstone for their daughter but I neglected to photograph it. Next trip.

    According to my records Robert Smith Fowler (1881-1938) and his wife Mahala, who married Paul REVIS or BEVIS, was born 1905 died 1940. AM I WRONG? Mahala could not have been born 1889 to those parents if I am correct. Thanks for your amazing research!

    Richard Fowler Spartanburg County


    1. Hi. Richard, Thanks always for reading and for your comments. I did go back and look. Mahala Fowler Bevis (daughter of Robert Smith Fowler and wife of Paul Bevis) has a headstone at Foster’s Chapel. The stone has 1889 as her date of birth and 1940 as her date of death. Census records suggest that her actual date of birth was 1905. When hastily trying to finish my article, I did not look at my family tree for Mahala’s information but instead looked at her headstone on Find A Grave. I absolutely should have checked my records better before posting the article! Thank you so much for pointing this out to me!


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