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.