52 ANCESTORS in 52 WEEKS: #5 ZILLA HAMES (1793-after 1860)

Zilla Hames is my great great great grandmother. She was born in 1793, the daughter of William Hames (1759–1823) and Elizabeth Moseley (1763–1850). Her Hames family is the Charles Hames/Catherine Krugg line from Germany to Virginia to Union County, SC; her Moseley family is the John Moseley/Ann Williams line from European and British Isles beginnings to Virginia to the Carolinas.

Zilla Hames, in 1809, married Thomas Mabry (1788–1860). Thomas was the son of James Mabry (d. 1805). His mother may have been named Hannah, who had previously been married to a Mr. Briggs.

The Mabry and Hames families lived near Grindal Shoals, north and south of the Pacolet River. They were to be found in the communities of Draytonville and Goudeysville, part of Union County until Cherokee County, created in 1897, claimed them.

Zilla Hames had two brothers who married two daughters of Ephraim Fowler (1765-1822). Charles E. Hames (1782 -1847) married Lydia Fowler (1785-1852); John M Hames (1791–1862) married Sarah Fowler (1790-after 1870).

For the record, Charles E. Hames was the son of William Hames and an unknown woman. This was made clear in the Last Will and Testament of William Hames, who specifically mentioned his born-out-of-wedlock son. Zilla Hames, John Hames, and their siblings, —William Edmond Hames (1785-1870), Mark Hames (1787–1865), Charity Hames (b. 1789), Thomas Hames (b. 1793) and Edmund Simpson Hames (1796–1864) — were the children of William Hames and his wife Elizabeth Moseley.

No slaves, no land to speak of, no great wealth — Zilla Hames had married a man of little means. In 1850, Thomas Mabry had one mule, two cows, and eight pigs. And… three children: Franklin F. Mabry born before 1820, Larissa Mabry born 1817, and Elizabeth Mabry born 1824.

Three children were a rare occurrence in the 1800s. Families of nine, ten, eleven children were not unusual, and I have seen instances of women who had seventeen or more. It is likely that there were more children born who did not survive long enough to be counted in a census record. Lucky I am that my ancestor, Franklin F. Mabry, survived to adulthood.

Franklin F. Mabry married Julia Ann Cooke (1824–1867), a descendant of the Cooke family from Ireland who also lived a little north of the Pacolet River. After the death of Julia, he married Missouri Kennitt (1828–1921). He had children with both wives. These children will be studied in-depth in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Frannklin F. Mabry.

Zilla’s oldest daughter Larissa Mabry became the second wife of a neighbor, widower John St John (1799–1879). He and his first wife Nancy had children. He married Larissa Mabry after 1850, and before 1860. At the time of the marriage, she would have been in her thirties, maybe even early forties, and her advanced age may be the reason there were no children.

Elizabeth Mabry married in the late 1850s. She was ten years older than her husband, Jackson Gregory (b. 1835). Like her mother, Elizabeth “Bettie” Mabry Gregory had one son and two daughters: William Gregory (b. 1860), Laura Ann Gregory (1862–1927), and Mary Gregory (b. 1868).

A collage of images from census records 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870 and the 1850 Agriculture Schedule; Some images are inclusive of neighbors (Hames, etc)

There is very little that I know about Zilla Hames other than what has been written above. I know I am here today because she was there yesterday. For that, I am grateful.

52 ANCESTORS in 52 WEEKS: #4 WILLIAM FOWLER (1813-c.1833) Son of Godfrey

“William Fowler, son of Godfrey. died a young man; he was a school-teacher and surveyor.” Godfrey B. Fowler from letter written to Glenn Dora Fowler

William Fowler was the son of Godfrey Fowler (1773- 1850) and Nannie Kelly (1775 -1857). He was the next to youngest son in a family of six (or seven) sons.

William Fowler and his younger brother Coleman Fowler were mentioned in a legal document written in 1822. The document specified that their older brother, Thomas Gillman Fowler, would take care of their needs until they reached the age of twenty-one and see that they receive more years of education. This proves that William Fowler was a minor in 1822. I believe his date of birth to have been around 1813.

It must be said, and said often, that William Fowler son of Godfrey Fowler was NOT the William Fowler who married Rhoda Moseley. If I see this glaring mistake in one more family tree, I think I shall lose my mind.

If one is to believe the letter of Godfrey B. Fowler, it must be assumed that William Fowler lived long enough to complete his education and become a teacher and surveyor. He was also old enough to marry, and I put forward, without any solid evidence, that he married a woman named Nancy and they had two children before his death.

Godfrey Fowler and Nannie Kelly had two (or three) daughters. Census records seem to support that there were only two daughters but I am still researching to prove this conclusively. It has never been proven by any research that I have seen that any of these daughters were named Nancy. I have seen the names Kiziah, Elizabeth, Betsy, Mary, and Molly thrown around in different combinations, but I have not yet seen Nancy or Nannie for a daughter’s name. Which is a little odd since Godfrey Fowler was married to Nannie Kelly AKA Nancy Kelly.

In the 1850 census, there was a Nancy Fowler living in the household with Godfrey Fowler and wife Nannie. There was also a 17 year old young man named Thomas Fowler in the household.

It is my theory that William Fowler married a woman named Nancy, had a daughter named Mary Fowler circa 1830, a son named Thomas Fowler circa 1833, then died in or about 1833, putting his age at twenty (plus or minus), making him a relatively young man at his death as per the letter from Godfrey B. Fowler.

I’ve not found Nancy Fowler in 1860. Thomas Fowler lived in the household with William B. Hames and family. William B. Hames was the brother of Susannah Hames who had married William Fowler’s older brother Thomas Gillman Fowler, making William B. Hames the brother of Thomas Fowler’s aunt Susannah Hames. I think that is a rather confusing explanation of the relationship, but the families lived near each other and were related, even if only through marriage and distant Hames connections.

In 1870, Thomas Fowler is missing. Did he fight and die in the Civil War? Nancy Fowler was in the household of Milligan Fowler, a brother to William Fowler. Rather than being in any kind of relationship with Milligan, I believe her to have been merely a sister-in-law needing a place to live. More research is needed to confirm all of the above speculation.

I cannot find the notes that led me to believe that William Fowler and Nancy Fowler had a daughter named Mary Fowler, but she is there in my family tree. As stated before, more research will be forthcoming and updates will be implemented as more information is discovered.

Facts Versus Theory

  • William Fowler, son of Godfrey, was born circa 1813
  • A legal document was signed in 1822 giving his brother guardianship
  • William Fowler was not married to Rhoda Moseley
  • William Fowler was a school teacher and surveyor
  • William Fowler died young
  • William Fowler may have married Nancy
  • William Fowler may have had a son Thomas Fowler
  • William Fowler may have had a daughter named Mary Fowler
  • It is likely that William Fowler died c. 1833


In the mid-1800s, the Burton and the Ellis families of Abbeville County, SC were almost inseparable. So much, that Toliver Joseph Burton named his oldest son Robert Ellis Burton, and his second son, Ira O. Burton, named his son Walter Ellis Burton. Why?

I think I know the answer. First, let me inform you that the part of Abbeville County that these families made their homes was in and around the small town of Due West. While looking at mid 19th century census records, it became apparent that many of the families in the sleepy town had immigrated from Northern Ireland. Why?

I think I know the answer.

Robert Ellis (1718-1773), his wife Esther (b. 1716), and their six children were born in Northern Ireland and came to America in 1768 on a Snow named the Greg ( a snow — a square-rigged sailing vessel with two masts, complemented by a snow- or trysail)

Toliver Joseph Burton was the son of Joseph Burton who descended from the English-born Burtons. This fact has been documented on paper and proven by genetic testing. Toliver Joseph Burton was also the son of Delilah Toliver, and she was born in IRELAND.

Joseph Burton, father of Toliver Joseph Burton, had died by 1846, and Delila Burton apparently died in between the years 1850 and 1860.

In 1860, the sons of Toliver Joseph Burton, Timothy Burton and Francis Marion Burton, lived in the household with their sister Margaret Burton who had married John McCombs (1825–1896), who was of Irish descent.

Toliver Joseph Burton’s oldest daughter, Sarah Burton, was in the 1850 Abbeville County Census with her husband, James E. Gray (1825–1863) and son John J. Gray (b. 1848). I can find no record of the Gray family in 1860. They may have been missed that decade. It is possible that Mary Ann Burton, youngest daughter of Toliver Joseph Burton and Delila Burton was living in the missing household. More in-depth research may also reveal that 14 year old (give or take a year or two) Mary Ann Burton to have been married by 1860.

Delilah Toliver Burton was somehow connected to the Ellis family of Ireland. The Ellis family was also closely related to other immigrant families from Ireland: Lindsay and Gray.

Robert N. Ellis (1800-1866) and his wife Jane Cowan (1809-1861) took in Delilah’s son Toliver Joseph Burton, a fact proven by the presence of 19 year old college student Toliver Joseph Burton in the 1860 Abbeville County household of 60 year old Robert Ellis and his 51 year old wife Jane Ellis.

Robert N. Ellis left Toliver J. Burton one thousand dollars, a horse, cow, calf, and other items in his 1866 Last Will and Testament, Robert N. Ellis mentioned Toliver Burton before his niece Mahalah McAdams in the will and left her only a sewing machine. Why was Toliver Burton, potentially no blood relative to Robert Ellis, mentioned earlier in the will and given more that a niece? Was Delilah Toliver actually related to Robert Ellis?

Item 2nd I give and bequeath unto Toliver J. Burton one thousand dollars in cash, the horse, saddle & bridle which he uses in riding, one cow and calf (his own choice of my cattle) and one bed and furniture.

Toliver, Ellis, Lindsay, Cowan, Gray, McCombs, McAdams…….. It was definitely an Irish thing. Perhaps these families were related by their Celtic blood; perhaps a shared oceanic voyage from Ireland to the new land linked them. Whether they traveled together or not, these families began their journey in northern Ireland and ended in the northeastern part of Abbeville County, in the tiny township of Due West. They gave up the River Main in County Antrim, Ireland for the River Saluda in County Abbeville, South Carolina.

Let us take a short step back in time and look at the slightly extended Burton family. Joseph Burton was born in 1796 in Abbeville County, SC to John Burton (1753-1839) and Caroline Cook (b. 1773). Joseph Burton married Delilah Toliver, Probate on his will was begun in 1846. (There are documents dated 1844 and 1845 in the packet that need closer examination)

John E. Ellis was the administrator for the estate. Robert Ellis was mentioned in the estate settlement. The estate settlement is a little complicated. The estate of Joseph Burton’s father, John Burton who died in 1839, was still being settled and was mentioned in the paperwork. Evidently, Joseph Burton’s brother James Burton had also died close to the same time as Joseph. John E. Ellis was also the administrator for James Burton.

Joseph Burton’s widow Delila Burton was mentioned several times. It was stated that Joseph Burton had “five or six children” but by the time of the final settlement, the proceeds of the estate were divided between the widow Burton and six children. I found the names of widow Delila Burton, children Sarah Burton Gray, Margaret Burton, Joseph T. Burton, Marion Burton, Timothy Burton, and M.A Burton (Mary Ann?).

Toliver Joseph Burton married Jane Jennie Murphy (1844-after 1880). She was likely an Irish lass and most definitely the daughter of Samuel Mosley Murphy (1801–1877) and Harriet Goolsby Spencer (1811–1896).

Toliver Joseph Burton and wife Jennie had the following children:

  • Annette “Nettie” Burton (1868–1945)
  • Robert Ellis Burton (1874–1917)
  • Ira O. Burton (1875–1938)
  • Oscar Othell Burton (1881–1928)

Ira O. Burton was my great great grandfather. The story of his tragic life will be forthcoming.

Toliver Joseph Burton died in 1905. I’ve not found the location of his grave but his residence was in or near Due West, Abbeville County SC. If there is a headstone to be found, you can expect an update after my soon-to-be-taken journey to the land near River Saluda, the land where the Irish lived after their arrival in the new world.

52 ANCESTORS in 52 WEEKS: #2 REUBEN FOWLER (1797-before 1870)

“I have heard that Lieutenant Ellis had a brother Reuben, and I know my father had a cousin Reuben called ‘Little Reuben’.” From a letter written by Godfrey B. Fowler

My dad — 82 years old — can remember talking to his grandfather, Thomas Gillman Fowler, who was born in 1858. Thomas Gillman Fowler lived in the 1860 household with — and one can assume talked to– his grandfather, Reuben Fowler, who was born in 1797.

In my mind, because I know someone who talked to someone who talked to Reuben Fowler, I have an indirect connection to my great, great, great grandfather — he who was Little Reuben Fowler.

There is very little documentation to get a clear picture of the life and times of this man. But, thankfully, there is enough to prove his existence.

The first shred of evidence is the 1840 Union County, SC Census. Reuben Fowler and his family lived in the middle of families as familiar to me as my own. The Fowlers lived alongside and intermarried with the families Hames, Whitlock, Sprouse, Millwood, James, Coleman, Hodge, Mitchell, Jones……..

Reuben Fowler was listed in the 30-39 year old age bracket. There was one female age 20-29, three daughters age 5-9, one daughter under age 5, and one son under age 5.

Where was Reuben Fowler in 1830 and whom did he marry? I do not know. I cannot find him as head of household anywhere in 1830. It is possible that he was living with parents, a brother, other family, or friends. It is also possible that he just did not get counted in 1830.

I have not been able to prove the parents of Reuben Fowler. I think that he may have been a son of Ellis Fowler (b. 1770) son of Henry Ellis Fowler; or a son of John Fowler the Elder (d. 1818); or a son of one of John Fowler the Elder’s sons. Know that I have spent many hours searching for the origins of Reuben Fowler. I am still looking and hoping that one day a magical, previously unfound document that tells all will fall into my hands.

Since it appears that Reuben Fowler was a newly married man – circa 1830 — and had a young wife and five young children under the age of ten in the 1840 census, it is possible and maybe even likely that 1840 was the first census in which he was head of household.

In 1850, we have more than a head count; we have the names of the sons and daughters of Reuben Fowler. We also have an idea of where in Union County they lived: the Joseph Stark Sims family was enumerated next door and the Sims had lived in a house built near Grindal Shoals. The Womack Fowler family home place was just a short distance away toward Gilead Church.

Reuben Fowler was 53. There was no adult woman in the household so it may be assumed that his wife had died after the birth of the youngest child. The wife of Reuben Fowler would have been born between 1810 to 1819, and would have died between 1845 to 1850 if one is to believe what was written down in the census record.

The oldest daughter in the 1850 census record is Mary Fowler at age 13. Her brother John Fowler was 12; sister Martha Fowler was age 10, and another brother Robert Fowler was only five years old.

In 1840, there were 3 daughters 5 to 9 years old. Mary Fowler, age 13, would have been one of these daughters. Did the other two marry and leave home, or had they died by 1850?

In 1840, there was one daughter under the age of 5. Was this Martha Fowler, or a daughter who had died by 1850? It is possible that Martha Fowler was born in 1850 after the census was taken, or even 1851. I do not know the answer, but my money says that Martha Fowler was the female under the age of 5 in the 1840 census.

John Fowler — age 12 in 1850 — was the son under five years of age in 1840, no doubt in my mind. Robert Fowler was born circa 1845, give or take, as the men collecting census data only had the word of sometimes illiterate people to remember the dates of births and correct spellings of names. With no wife in the household, the births of children ceased for a while.

In 1860, in what would be the last census record that Reuben Fowler would appear, Reuben Fowler was 63 years old; Mary Fowler was 23 years old, and her sister Martha Fowler was 20.

Mary and Martha Fowler had two children each by 1860: Martha’s daughter Frances Fowler was 3; Mary’s son Gillman Fowler was 2.

Mary and Martha Fowler both had unnamed infant daughters: Mary’s daughter would be named Alice Fowler and Martha’s daughter would be called Mary Jane Adelaide Fowler.

In 1860, Reuben Fowler and family lived next door to Ellis Fowler and Sarah Clark Fowler and family. This Ellis Fowler was the son of Ellis Fowler (b. 1770), son of Henry Ellis Fowler. It is possible that Reuben Fowler and the Ellis Fowler next door were brothers.

John Fowler, son of Reuben Fowler, had married Jane Moseley and moved out of the household before 1860. There was a daughter in their home name Malissa and I’ve not determined if she was the daughter of John Fowler or a first husband of Jane.

In my search for Reuben Fowler’s origins, I turned to yDNA testing. DNA is truth. The only two sons that I believe to have been born to Reuben Fowler and his wife were John Fowler and Robert Fowler. John Fowler had no sons born during his marriage to Jane Moseley. After her death, he may have married a woman named Francis Hall, but the couple had no children.

Robert Fowler must have died before adulthood. The only record I can find of him is the 1850 census stating his age as five. He was not to be found in 1860. With no living sons of sons of sons to test, there is no hope of DNA salvation.

Mary Fowler and her sister Martha Fowler never married. Mary’s son Thomas Gillman Fowler was fathered by a Cook and was my great grandfather. Thomas Gillman Fowler married Lura Mabry, daughter of Sarah Watts and William Thomas Littlejohn.

Mary’s daughter Alice Fowler may have been the daughter of a Rochester. Alice married Davidson Mitchell, a grandson of the Rev. Elias Mitchell.

Martha Fowler’s daughter Francis Fowler married Marcus Bryant. Martha’s daughter Mary Jane Adelaide Fowler married Robert Smith Cook.

There is one more document that I shall have to add later. I ran across an estate settlement in probate in the mid 1860s whereas Reuben Fowler owed someone $2.50.

Reuben Fowler must have died before 1870 as I can find no other records of him after the mid-1860 probate document.

I, for one, am very glad of the existence of Little Reuben Fowler. Had he not lived and passed on his genes to the next generation, I would not be writing his story today.

52 ANCESTORS in 52 WEEKS : # 1 HEPSIBAH SAWYER (1830-1901)

Although I am seven years late to the game, I have decided to take the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge started by Amy Johnson Crow in 2014. The goal is to write about one ancestor every week. I have chosen Hepsibah Sawyer to begin my year’s long journey because I like her name.

In documents of her time, Hepsibah was sometimes spelled Hepsybah, Hepsibeth, and several other variations. I thought about using the traditional Hephzibah in my title, but decided against it. I will henceforth use Epsey, which is the shortened version of her name she used for most of her life.

Epsey Sawyer was born on July 5, 1830 in Edgefield County, SC to George Sawyer (1755–1835) and second wife Mary Jones (1780–1838).

Epsey Sawyer married Francis Thrailkill (1817–1889), son of John T. Thrailkill (1772–1856) and Margaret Ervin (1795–1858).

The 1900 census reported that Epsey had given birth to fourteen children with seven still living. The list below includes only thirteen, so one child was born and died in-between census years. Epsey Sawyer and Francis Thrailkill had the following children:

  • Georgianna “Sarah” Thrailkill 1845–1872
  • Lenorah “Lena” Thrailkill 1848–1905
  • John C. Thrailkill 1850–1896
  • Tabitha Thrailkill 1853–1914
  • Laura Thrailkill 1855-1897
  • Theodoshia Thrailkill 1856-1931
  • Catherine Thrailkill 1858–before 1900
  • William B. Thrailkill 1861–1925
  • Eugene Franklin Thrailkill 1862–1947
  • Alonzo Andrew Thrailkill 1864–1932
  • Anna Elizabeth Thrailkill 1866-1896
  • Epsey Thrailkill 1869–1880
  • Robert Lee Thrailkill 1874–1904

Laura Thrailkill married James Madison McCarty (1843-1922). These are my great grandmother Laura Belle Ruff’s grandparents. Hepsibah Sawyer — the woman with the wonderful name — was my great, great, great, great grandmother.

Epsey Sawyer Thrailkill died February 13, 1901. She was buried at Butler Methodist Church Cemetery in Saluda County, SC.

The Murder of MARY ANN HYATT (1822-1851)

How could you level your gun at the head which had often been pillowed in guilty affection on your bosom?” Judge John Belton O’Neal

She was born two hundred years ago, and died a young woman, yet the story — that of Mary Ann Hyatt — caught my attention and tugged at my heartstrings as I perused information in my research on the Union County, SC Fowler families. Thoughts of her short life lingered in my mind. Her murder and the arrest and trial of the man who loved her, then killed her, were published at the time of the terrible events that occurred so long ago. When I stumbled across a connection to my Fowlers, I knew I had to write about her life, and death, so that her name will be remembered once again.

Thomas Hyatt was born about 1785. There was a Hyatt family in nearby Chester County, SC but it is not known to me if Thomas was of this family or another. He was in Union County SC by 1810 when he was counted in the census with a wife and four children. He is easily found in the Union County census records of 1820, 1830, and 1840. He died in 1843 and was laid to rest at Bethlehem United Methodist Church Cemetery in Union County, SC.

Although census records indicate Thomas Hyatt and his wife (and possibly a second wife) had twelve or more children, his Last Will and Testament lists eight daughters and three sons:

  • Nancy Gallman
  • Milley Ward
  • Elizabeth Belew
  • Jesse Hyatt
  • Sarah Ann Jackson
  • James Hyatt
  • William Hyatt
  • Mary Ann Hyatt
  • Amanda Hyatt
  • Harriet Hyatt
  • Carolina Hyatt

If one is to believe what is printed in the newspapers, Mary Ann Hyatt was a beautiful young girl. Much to her misfortune, her beauty caught the eye of a young man in the neighborhood and set in motion a string of events that would lead to the deaths of both.

Wyatt H. Johnson (1791-bef. 1870) was the son of James Johnson (d. 1825). I do not yet know if this Johnson family was related to the William Herman Johnson (1760–1825) family whom intermarried often with my Fowler family, or if the Wyatt Johnson/James Johnson was a separate line. Regardless, Wyatt Johnson lived in the Pea Ridge/ Kelton area of Union County, and his son William did marry one of my Fowler relatives —

— I shall take a moment to muddy the waters a little. William Johnson (b. 1834) was a son of Wyatt Johnson. William married Frances Fowler (b. 1840). Frances was the daughter of Lemuel Holter Fowler (1808-1865) who was the son of John Fowler the Hatter (d. 1833).

William Johnson and Frances Fowler had a daughter named Ida Johnson (b. 1860). Ida married George Fowler (1847-1913), son of William Goode Fowler (1825-1899) and Salena Bevis (1824-1897).

As you can see, Wyatt Johnson’s son William Johnson was entangled in the Fowler family in two ways.

Wyatt Johnson and his wife Martha had six sons and two (or three) daughters. His son Phineas Johnson (b. circa 1822) will be discussed in great detail now as he was the ill-fated persuader who gazed upon Mary Ann Hyatt and fell in lust.

Mary Ann Hyatt and her family lived very near the Wyatt Johnson family in 1840; She and her two year old son Thomas lived near Phineas Johnson who was in the household with his father and family in 1850. Facts being facts, this gives us the knowledge that Mary Ann Hyatt and Phineas Johnson would have been well acquainted with each other. It was reported in newspapers that they both came from well respected families and attended the same church.

In 1848, Mary Ann Hyatt had given birth to her son Thomas Hyatt. The father was reputed to be Phineas Johnson. A second child had been born to the couple after November 15, 1850 — the day a census taker visited her log home — and before September 20, 1851 –her last day on earth.

Phineas Johnson had promised to marry Mary Ann Hyatt, but alas, he married another and left Mary Ann in ruin, dependent upon others for the meager scraps they gave her. Mary Ann Hyatt had no need to wear a scarlet “A” on her dress for the two children born out of wedlock were proof enough to show the world that she was the Hester Prynne of her time.

There is no doubt that her life was hard. Even when a home was headed by a loving husband and one was surrounded by caring family members. life in the 1800s was tough. When one considers that Mary Ann Hyatt was living without benefit of a man in the household — her father was long dead and the father of her children wanted no more to do with her –her life must have been more difficult than we can imagine in this age of modern conveniences: running water, inside toilets, electricity.

On the night of September 20, 1851, Mary Ann Hyatt was sitting in a chair in her cabin, a child on her lap and a child beside her on the floor. She was stringing beans, the last of the summer crop, the charity of a neighbor perhaps. Phineas Johnson entered her home and shot her dead. Did he put a bullet through her head because they argued or did he go there to commit murder? Then end result was the same: Mary Ann Hyatt sat in her chair as her blood dripped to the floor and her soul departed her body.

The next morning, Sam Smith — a slave owned by Robin Smith — passed by the cabin and heard children crying. When he peered into the home, he saw Mary Ann Hyatt dead in her chair, one child trying to wake her, the other child still on her lap. He alerted the neighbors, all of whom suspected Phineas Johnson as the man responsible for the murder.

Coroner Ed Gregory held an inquest and Phineas Johnson was arrested. As he was being taken to the jail by the Sheriff, they passed the Bethlehem Memorial Methodist Church Cemetery where a grave was being dug for the dead woman. Phineas Johnson became defiant and made disparaging remarks. This did little to improve his situation.

Phineas Johnson was found guilty of the murder of Mary Ann Hyatt. Never mind that all of the evidence was circumstantial; he would not have been the first innocent man to be found swinging at the wrong end of the gallows. None-the-less, his case was appealed and the man accused of murder was given a chance at reprieve.

Johnson, Phineas H. was arrested for the murder of his concubine and found guilty. The case went to a Court of Appeals and was dismissed by John Belton O Neall. An article immediately following the summary of the case of appeal dealt with the fact that the area where the crime was committed, PEA RIDGE, had a reputation as a place of corruption and home of harlots, Unionville Journal 1/2/1852, p2; PhineasJohnson was arrested on suspicion of the murder of Mrs. Mary Ann Hyatt, Unionville Journal 9/20/1851, p2; Court of Common Pleas and General Sessions – Judge O Neill presiding; the jury returned a verdict of guilty, Unionville Journal 10/18/1851, p2; his confession to what led to the murder of Mary Ann Hyatt given the night before his execution. A few minutes before 1 PM the prisoner walked to the scaffold and spoke a few words to those assembled. His voice was very weak and feeble and he could scarcely be heard after which the cord was placed around his neck and he died after a short struggle. Unionville Journal 2/20/1852, p2

Hyatt, Mary Ann Mrs. of Unionville was shot through the head with a rifle ball as she sat in her home surrounded by her children. The next day the neighbors found the children trying to awaken their mother. Phineas Johnson was suspected by the coroner and placed in jail. Unionville Journal 9/20/1851, p2

WILLIAM G. FOWLER (1825-1899) married to Salena Bevis

“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.

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)

HENRY ELLIS FOWLER: Clues to His Appearance

  “Lieutenant Fowler was a Virginian of excellent family.  He was a man of powerful stature.”

“I can recall the appearance of Mr. Ellis Fowler (son of the lieutenant), a tall, fair man, with a deep and most powerful voice.”

Miss Sarah Adeline Sims, daughter of Joseph Starke Sims


“We Fowlers have thin, fine, light hair.”

Godfrey Butler Fowler


We do not have an image of Henry Ellis Fowler, nor do we have images of his sons or daughters.  It is possible to get an understanding of what he may have looked like through the descriptions of Miss S.A. Sims and Godfrey B. Fowler.  We also have photographic evidence of a few of his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Henry Ellis Fowler had seven sons, and two or three daughters.  He had upwards of fifty grandchildren, and more than one hundred and seventy five great grandchildren, perhaps– probably– more than two hundred.

That there is any photographic evidence of any of these descendants is no less than remarkable considering the era and the random chance of old photographs surviving somewhat intact for many years.

Henry Ellis Fowler was a “man of powerful stature” and his son Ellis Fowler was a “tall, fair man”.  His great grandson Henry Richard Fowler was “an extraordinary specimen of manhood and he was of a splendid physical development”  who weighed over two hundred pounds.

Melissa Fowler and Rufus Marion Fowler, the grandchildren of Henry Ellis Fowler, had dark hair, and Rufus had blue eyes.  Both Melissa and Rufus were also grandchildren of the James Moseley line which could account for the dark hair.

The photograph of  grandson Thomas Gillman Fowler indicates a dark haired man with a proud stature.  Please note that it is very possible that the man in this image may be an earlier photograph of Charles Ellis Fowler or one of his brothers.

Five of the great grandchildren of Henry Ellis Fowler appear to have been both dark haired and dark complexioned: Henry Richard Fowler, Sarah Purchase Fowler, Charles Ellis Fowler, Godfrey Butler Fowler, and Felix C. Haile.

The remaining great grandchildren in the photographic evidence below have either gray hair (due to old age) or brown hair.

So was Henry Ellis Fowler a man of blue eyed, light colored hair, or was he dark haired and dark eyed?  It’s hard to say for certain.  Perhaps DNA analysis would help answer this question.  It is certain that he and at least some of his grandsons and great grandsons gave the appearance of height and strength.

  • Henry Ellis Fowler 1746-1808 m. Catherine Puckett
    • Ephraim Fowler 1765-1822 m. Nancy Moseley
      • Lydia Fowler 1785-after 1850 m. Charles Hames
        • CINTHIA JEANETTE HAMES 1817-1901 m. James S. Durham
        • Screen Shot 2019-08-02 at 23.32.35 PM.png
      • Ellis Fowler m. Sarah Mabry
        • HENRY RICHARD FOWLER 1825-1885 m. Nancy Ann Elizabeth Farr
        • IMG_4604
    • Ellis Fowler 1770-after 1850 m. Mary 1880-after 1850
      • Ellis Fowler 1810-after 1880 m. Sarah Clark
        • ELIZABETH AUGILAR FOWLER 1841–1924 m. Robert Henry Petty
        • elizabeth-augilar-fowler.jpg
        • NANCY P (NANNIE) FOWLER 1854–1939 m. John Worthy Eison
        • nannie p
        • SARAH PURCHASE FOWLER1860–1933
        • purchase-fowler-photo.png
    • Godfrey Fowler 1773-1850 m. Nannie Kelly
      • THOMAS GILLMAN FOWLER 1798-1880 m. Susannah Hames
      • Screen Shot 2019-08-03 at 12.21.28 PM.png
        • CHARLES ELLIS FOWLER 1828-1900 m. Mary Margaret White
        • Screen Shot 2019-08-02 at 23.57.11 PM.png
        • SUSANNAH ADELINE FOWLER 1843-1901 m. D.P Boulware; A. C. White
        • Screen Shot 2019-08-02 at 23.59.17 PM.png
      • Joseph Fowler 1800-1852 m. Clarissa Foster
        • GODFREY BUTLER FOWLER 1837-1906 m. Louisa Jane Mitchell
        • Screen Shot 2019-08-03 at 00.04.47 AM.png
      • Milligan Fowler 1802-1871 relationship with Frances Haile
        • FELIX C. HAILE  1829-1884
        • felix haile
    • Mark Fowler 1780-1849 m. Elizabeth Moseley
      • MELISSA FOWLER 1823-1889 m. Isaac Creighton Horne
      • Screen Shot 2019-08-02 at 23.45.39 PM.png
      • Catherine Fowler 1805-before 1882
        • THOMAS W. FOWELR 1834- 1861
        • image-51
    • Womack Fowler 1785-1848 m. Susannah Moseley
      • RUFUS MARION FOWLER 1825-1864 m. Dorothy Moseley
      • rufus fowler
      • James Hervey Fowler 1832-1862 m. Mary Cansada James
        • HARRISON DAVID FOWLER 1860-1927 m, Nancy James
        • Harrison David Fowler
    • John Fowler d. 1833
      • Desina Fowler 1802- 1840 m. James Walton McWhirter
        • DESINA JANE MCWHIRTER 1840-1913 m. Asa Franklin Miller
        • Screen Shot 2019-08-02 at 23.54.17 PM.png



HENRY RICHARD FOWLER (1825-1885) son of Ellis Fowler & Sarah Mabry

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



STEPHEN FOWLER (1798-1866) 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.

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 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.


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



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



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



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



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



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–