Saturday, August 25, 2012

Owl Creek Boys - Ezekiel M. Tomlinson

One of our Owl Creek boys that was mentioned in the newspaper article at the beginning of this series paid tribute to one, Ezekiel Manville Tomlinson, who was a Civil War veteran. He was born on June 30, 1843 in Indiana. His parents were John Tomlinson and Mary Joslin. He was living with his parents in the 1860 census in Washington Township and when he joined the military he was single. He went by Manvil most of the time. He and his family came from the valley just west of Nashville called Owl Creek. When the war broke out he was registered in the Draft of 1863 with information stating he was age 20, a farmer, single, and born in Indiana. It’s not clear how long he served in the war without seeing his Draft card. The Indiana State Archives maintains copies of these on microfilm. From his Civil War Pension card he served in Company K of the 145th Indiana Infantry. Also from his obituary his funeral was conducted by Jackson Woods Post G.A.R of which he was a member.

Manvil Tomlinson's Civil War Pension card

After he came back from the war, Manvil was married to a young lady by the name of Sarah Rebecca Coffland. Some records say she was a Coffman, but there wasn't any Coffmans in this part of Brown County. More than likely she was a sister to the Coffland brothers, George and Samuel, who were from the same neighborhood and who also served in the War of the Rebellion with Manvil. Nevertheless, their marriage record reads, Zekial M. Tomlinson was married to Rebecca Coffland on Sept. 10, 1864. From this union they had two known sons, Hiram Alonzo and Charles C. Tomlinson. Rebecca died sometime around 1882. Manvil applied for guardianship over his two sons in 1883 and the Guardianship records refer to Sarah R. Tomlinson’s Estate.

On Oct. 28, 1882 Manvil married a second time to a Martha Lindsey. From this union he and Martha had five children of which three survived to adulthood: Estella E., James A., and Allen Tomlinson. Manvil died March 26, 1921. Martha is buried next to him and she died in 1925. He and three of his sons, Hiram, Charles, and James are buried at the Greenlawn Cemetery in Nashville. Manvil has a Civil War stone.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Owl Creek Boys - George W. Bowden

An old Owl Creek image

One of the Owl Creek boys that joined up to serve their country in the Civil War was George W. Bowden. He was not a native-American; in fact according to census records, George was born in England. He married a native Brown County girl, Eliza Ann Kelley on November 8, 1861 right before the war. He lived to come back a raise a family, but only for a short time. According to the 1870 and 1880 census he and Eliza had four children, Ruth A., William J., David A., and James J. Bowden.

George died sometime in the mid 1870s, because by 1877 Eliza had remarried to Alexander Wilson. Eliza Ann Wilson filed a Probate in 1888, his widow, as guardian to get the Civil War pension that was due her children. She filed again in 1890 as widow of George Bowden. George has a Civil War monument in Duncan Cemetery, but unfortunately it has no death date. According to Eliza’s obituary of May 11, 1911 it stated “she had been married twice, her first husband being George Bowden, who died 30 years before.” Her surviving children were (with George) Prof. William Bowden of Cambridge, Indiana, and James Bowden of Nashville.

George Bowden was truly a brick wall to research. There is no trace of him before he came to Brown County, no naturalization records can be found there. The only clue that might help a Bowden family researcher is in the 1870 census there is a Frances Bowden living in his family the age of 59, also born England. She could possibly be his mother or an aunt. We would like to hear from any Bowden family historians if they can help us fill in George’s life before Brown County.

George Bowden's Civil War Pension card

George Bowden is on the 1863 Draft Registration List for Brown County. At the time he stated he was 30 years old, a farmer, married, and born in England. He served in the Civil War in Company D of the 25th Indiana Infantry. He was drafted on October 5, 1864 and mustered out on June 4, 1865. At the time he gave his residence as Columbus, Indiana which was more likely that was where he mustered in.