The Final Estate Settlement of EPHRAIM FOWLER: Darkas, Mahala, Dorcas, and Charlotte

After Ephraim Fowler’s death in 1822, there was no rush to settle the affairs of the estate he left to his ten children. All but three of his sons and daughters had married and left home by 1820, and it is likely that only the two youngest children, Ellis and Betty, were still in the home when his will was written in 1822.

Ephraim Fowler surely knew that he was in failing health when he penned his will on February 8, 1822. On the same day, he sold fifty acres of land to his eldest son Jasper.  He was getting his affairs in order.

The home and land upon which Ephraim and his family lived were left to sons Stephen and Ellis as per the will.

Two of his daughters and their husbands were offered, in exchange for money, the land and homes they already occupied by provisions in Ephraim’s will.

Twenty five years would pass before final settlement of the estate was completed.

For whatever reasons, daughter Sarah Fowler Hames and her husband John Hames began the process of the final estate settlement in 1846 when she sold her one eighth share of the estate to William Bevis. John and Sarah Fowler Hames gave their consent to William Bevis to do everything in his power to settle the estate. It would be three years later, in 1849, when the remaining heirs followed suit.

What follows is evidence of the events that transpired beginning on the day Ephraim Fowler signed his will until the last of the estate was sold to William Bevis.

I will also attempt to follow the lives of the four important women who were intertwined within the estate settlement: widow Nancy Fowler, slaves Darkas/Dorcas b. 1796, Mahala b. 1829, and her daughter Dorcas Eleanor b.1848.

In addition to wife Nancy, there were ten living children mentioned in Ephraim Fowler’s Last Will and Testament of 1822:

    Jasper
    Lidia
    John
    Polly (Mary)
    Sarah
    Stephen
    Milley
    Katy
    Ellis
    Betty

The names of a few slaves are also found:

  • Bob
  • Jane
  • Darkas and her unnamed children

I believe that the sons and daughters of Ephraim Fowler were mentioned in their birth order, with the exception of Betty who was not included in the group. Betty was mentioned early in the will and given special gifts.

“Ellis and Betty remain with their mother” leads me to believe that these were the two youngest children, unmarried and still in the household in 1822.

The Union County SC census of 1820 enumerated the following persons:

    Male 45 + Ephraim
    Female 45 + Nancy
    Male 10-15 Ellis
    Female 10-15 Katy
    Female <10 Betty
    3 Male slaves < 10
    1 Female slave <10
    1 Female slave 16-25

I deduct from the information on the 1820 census and Ephraim’s will of 1822 that the family unit was comprised of Ephraim, Nancy, Katy, Ellis, Betty, and five slaves…..the elder female slave being Darkas and her four young children: Jane, Bob, and two unknown.

Katy’s absence in any documents beyond 1822 (the final settlement papers of Ephraim’s estate 1846 to 1849, Mary Fowler White’s estate settlement of 1861, and Stephen Fowler’s estate settlement of 1866) leads me to speculate that Katy was in the family home in 1820, had married and moved out by 1822, and had died without heirs before 1846.

The apparent lack of heirs could indicate that Katy died in childbirth shortly after her speculative marriage. Whatever the reasons, I can find no evidence of Katy’s existence after 1822.

Daughter Betty was alive and well during the three years of the final estate settlement, 1846-1849, but she was not involved. She had married, moved to Alabama, and was raising a family during that time. Perhaps it was her absence from Union County that explains her lack of involvement, although she was summoned from Alabama to South Carolina when the estate of her brother Stephen Fowler was settled in 1866. It is possible that she had sold her share of the estate to a sibling previous to the final settlement. My opinion is that it was a case of “out of sight…..out of mind.”

Documentation will follow to backup the following observations and statements:

  • Previous to October 1, 1849, Lydia Fowler Hames, Stephen Fowler, and four of (deceased) John Fowler’s children, Thomas Fowler, Charity Fowler, Rebecca Fowler Burgess, and John Fowler had sold their shares of the estate to James Farr.
  • Previous to October 1, 1849, Washington Fowler, son of John Fowler (deceased) sold his one fifth of one eighth share to David Gallman.
  • April 4, 1846: Sarah Hames Fowler and husband John Hames sold her one eighth share of the estate to William Bevis.
  • July 5, 1849: Three children of (deceased) Ellis Fowler- Mary Jane Fowler, B. Elbert Fowler, and Julia Fowler Sprouse- sold their shares to their brother Henry Richard Fowler.
  • October 1, 1849: James Farr sold to William Bevis the shares that he had previously bought from Lydia Hames Fowler, Stephen Fowler, and four of the children of John Fowler.
  • October 1, 1849: David Gallman sold to William Bevis the one fifth partial share that he had bought from Washington Fowler.
  • October 10, 1849: Mary Fowler White sold her one eighth share to William Bevis.
  • October 29, 1849: Henry Richard Fowler sold to William Bevis the one eight share that he solely owned after buying the shares of his siblings.
  • November 7, 1849: Milly Fowler Millwood and husband James Millwood sold to William Bevis her one eighth share.
  • November 7, 1849: Susan Fowler (daughter of Jasper) sold her one eighth share to William Bevis.

Sarah Fowler Hames to William Beavers (Bevis)

November 7, 1849 was the final date of the estate settlement. William Bevis now was sole owner. But why exactly did this mean?

Interestingly, no mention was made of land, no measure of acreage, given.

Instead, William Bevis bought human life. The document of 1846, whereas Sarah Fowler Hames and John Hames began the settlement process, indicated that the estate consisted of two negro slaves, fifty year old Dorcas, and seventeen year old Mahala.

Was fifty year old Dorcas the female slave Darkas mentioned in Ephraim’s will of 1822 and was Mahala her daughter?

The estate documents of 1849 specified that two negro slaves were being sold- Mahala and her child Dorcas Eleanor. No mention was made of the elderly Dorcas. Had Dorcas died in between the years 1846 and 1849? I think so. And was Dorcas Eleanor born after the 1846 document which may explain why she was not specifically mentioned until the 1849 documents? I think Dorcas was born in 1848.

The 1850 Union County Slave Schedule shows that William Bevis owned two mulatto slaves- a twenty one year old female (Mahala? Yes!) and a two year old female (Dorcas Eleanor? Yes!)

The Union County Slave Schedule of 1860 for William Bevis lists the following slaves:

    female age 31 Mahala
    female age 12 Dorcas
    female age 10 Charlotte
    male age 9
    male age 6
    female age 4
    female age 1

On July 7, 1937, Caldwell Sims of Union, SC went to the County Home and interviewed Caroline Bevis, daughter of William Bevis. The interview was later published in a book edited by Elmer Turnage. The book was a compilation of interviews of former slaves and slave owners.

In the voice of Caroline Bevis: “Two darkies waited on our table that night, Dorcas and Charlotte.”

Were these two women, Dorcas and Charlotte, the two older daughters of Mahala? Yes.

It is somewhat amazing that we are able to trace a slave woman named Darkas/Dorcas born circa 1796 and mentioned in Ephraim Fowler’s will of 1822 to a document selling her in 1846, and learning of her probable death before 1849 due to her absence in the documents of 1849.

It is equally amazing that we perhaps “know” that she had a daughter named Mahala born circa 1829 who was sold in the estate transactions of 1846 to 1849.

Even more so miraculous is that we can trace Mahala’s known daughter, Dorcas Eleanor b. 1848, through the 1849 estate documents and Mahala’s probable daughter Charlotte and the unnamed children from the 1860 Slave Schedule.

The reference of Dorcas and Charlotte in the interview that Caroline Bevis gave in 1937 allows us a rare glimpse into the lives of typically hard to trace enslaved people.

In the 1870 Union County census, William Beavis, wife Zillah Hames Beavis, daughters Caroline and Amanda Beavis were living only four households away from Charlotte Beavers, age 21 and black. Was this Charlotte, daughter of Mahala? Yes.

William “Bevis” was William “Beavers”and William “Beavis” in legal documents. The misspelling of names in the 1800s was common.

Former slaves often took the surnames of the men who owned them. It is not a far stretch of the imagination to assume that the Charlotte Beavers living near the William Beavis family was the former slave of the Bevis family.

Do I intend to look for Mahala, Dorcas, Charlotte, and the other children? Yes.

I leave Nancy Fowler, widow of Ephraim for last.

It has been written that Nancy became the common law wife of Benjamin Hodge after the death of Ephraim. This couple left Union County and traveled to Tennessee and Missouri.

Nancy Fowler was mentioned several times in the estate settlement documents of 1846 to 1849. It was stated that the Ephraim Fowler estate was “in the hands of Nancy Fowler.”

The “widow Fowler” was also mentioned in another unrelated document.

Nancy Fowler was recorded in the 1850 census living with her daughter Lydia Fowler Hames. I do not know if Nancy moved from her home into the household of Lydia, or if Lydia moved back into the Ephraim Fowler home with her mother.

I do not know with whom Benjamin Hodge left Union County, but it was most definitely not Nancy Fowler, widow of Ephraim.

Nancy Fowler was an old woman in 1850, and her absence in any documents beyond that year indicates that she died during the next decade.

The Sons of HENRY ELLIS FOWLER: A Brief Look

There is a book that contains wonderful information about the descendants of John Fowler the First. I like this book and refer to it often in my research. It was written many years ago when family research was much more difficult and DNA testing was not available to prove paper trails.

This particular book follows the family line from John Fowler the First down to our Henry Ellis Fowler. It is stated in the book that Wymac was the eldest son of Henry Ellis, and that Mark was probably the second son.

In a study of Union County, SC census records, we discover that Henry Ellis Fowler was recorded as head of household in 1790. He had one son recorded in this census: Ephraim Fowler. I have to believe that Ephraim may have been the oldest son, or at least, near the top of the list.

I have noticed that most family trees have Ephraim’s date of birth as 1784. That would put him at the grand old age of 6 when he was listed as head of household in 1790. I think his date of birth was more like 1765, give or take a year. If his father Henry Ellis was born circa 1746, it certainly is logical to think that his first child would have been born twenty years later, give or take a year.

Going back to census records, Ephraim and his wife Nancy began having their children around 1785. I think we can throw Ephraim’s date of birth of 1784 out the window. I am. I’m sticking with circa 1765. I am also putting Ephraim in my family tree as the eldest son of Henry Ellis Fowler and Catherine Puckett.

I believe that Ellis was the second son born into this family. Ellis was born circa 1770 in Virginia and married Mary, born in Virginia in 1880. Ellis was recorded on the 1800 census as 26 to 44 years old. Ellis and Mary had four children circa 1795 to 1800 with more to follow.

A note on Ellis: thanks to the (mis)information in the above mentioned but not named book, most people researching this Fowler line are under the mistaken notion that Ellis married SarahSallieMabry. He did not. I’ll get around to explaining the many Ellis Fowlers of Union County in a later discussion, and it is all documented! But for now, just go with me that Ellis son of Henry Ellis was born in or about 1770 in Virginia, married Mary, and moved to Union County, SC. On my family tree, Ellis is son number two.

I’ve got Godfrey as son number three. I believe that Godfrey was born circa 1773 in Virginia. Godfrey and his wife NancyNannieKelley had their first child around 1793. Godfrey first appeared in the 1800 census as age 26 to 44 with four children under the age of 10.

John H. “the Hatter” may have been the fourth son born to the Henry Ellis Fowler family, and I believe that he was born circa 1775, most likely in Virginia.

Now, a lot of Fowler researchers think that the John Fowler in the 1790 census living near Henry Ellis was the son of Henry Ellis. I thought that too. But a really intelligent researcher from Hawaii who is descended from the Union County Fowlers brought to my attention that the John Fowler of 1790 would have been far too old to have been Henry Ellis Fowler’s son. And she is right. I have not yet figured out how the John of 1790 connects to Henry Ellis. DNA testing has proven that Henry Ellis Fowler and John Fowler of the 1790 census are of the same Fowler line. They may have been brothers.

One more thing about John of 1790 and John the Hatter“…… I’ve noticed that some researchers have them as father and son. I do not think this is correct! John of the 1790 census did have a son named John but I believe that it was not John Fowler, Hatter.

Johnthe Hatter” made his first appearance in the 1800 census at age 16 to 25 with a wife and one daughter born before 1800. He left a will that was probated in 1833.

Mark may have been the next son born to Henry Ellis and Catherine. I have seen his date of birth as 1780 and 1785.

Mark married Elizabeth Mosley in 1802. Elizabeth was the daughter of James Mosley and she became somewhat famous in the town of Jonesville for living to be 100 years old. That’s quite an accomplishment even today, but back in 1882 when women were as likely to die as not during childbirth, we have to admire a woman who had 11 children, and lived in a time with no running water, no electricity, and no corner market to pick something up quick for dinner. Elizabeth is one of my personal historical heroes!

If the Mark Fowler on the 1810 census is Mark son of Henry Ellis, and not Mark son of 1790 John, then he was 16 to 25 in 1810, and definitely one of the younger sons of Henry Ellis and Catherine. It is certain that he is the Mark married to Elizabeth in the 1850 census where he is recorded as 70 years old, (born 1780 in Virginia).

There is a story that son Wymac was named after a Captain Wymac who lived near Danville, Virginia. When the perils of the Revolutionary War were getting a little too close for comfort to his family in South Carolina, Charles Sims had his trusty friend, Henry Ellis Fowler, escort Mrs. Sims and their children from South Carolina to Virginia.

Captain Wymac gave the weary travelers shelter and made enough of an impression with his generous hospitality that Henry Ellis Fowler and Charles Sims agreed that the first son born to either of them would be named Wymac.

I think this might be where the confusion about Wymac being the oldest son of Henry Ellis began. It was probably said that the next son and not the first would be named Wymac.

The trip from South Carolina to Virginia conveying the Sim’s family happened during the Revolutionary War (1775 to 1783). We know Henry Ellis and Catherine had already started their family long before this time. So, I am putting Wymac as one of the youngest sons since it is obvious that he could not have been born prior to the war if the story is true.

Wymac married Susannah Mosley daughter of James Mosley in 1808, and he was counted in the 1810 census as age 16 to 25. He and Susannah had two children prior to 1810. He is a younger son, but a son with an interesting story attached to his name.

Of course, Wymac could have just been named after his mother’s paternal grandfather, Womack Puckett……

I have saved William for last, although he could have been a little older than Wymac and Mark, or he could have been born in between them, or he may have been the last son of Henry Ellis. I have seen his date of birth all over the board…… anywhere from 1776 to 1789. No matter when he was born, we know that he made his will in January 1812, and it was probated in March 1812. William was a schoolteacher and never married. Or did he?

William left his estate to the two daughters of Sarah Burgess. Some researchers have put it out there that he was married to Sarah. I have never seen proof of this. Other researchers have suggested that Sarah’s two daughters, Delinda and Polly, were his children. I do not know one way or the other. I do know that he left everything to them, and in the event of their deaths leaving no heirs, he requested that his estate be divided between his brothers Wymac and Mark. That last sentence leads me to believe that he was closer in age to these two brothers and I am confident in saying that Mark, Wymac, and William were the three youngest sons of Henry Ellis.

When Henry Ellis Fowler wrote his last will and testament in 1808, he left “the tract of land where I now live” to sons William and Wymac. They may have been the only two sons who had not married and moved out of the family home. Wymac was married in 1808, but probably not during the first two months of the year when the will was written and probated. I have never been able to find William in a census record. He should have been recorded as head of household in 1810. Perhaps he was living with another family, or maybe he just got missed that year. His brother Ellis is not to be found in 1810, but reappears in 1820. Regardless, William died in 1812 and would never have a chance to be in the census again.

One last thought: if the range of dates of birth for Mark (1780 to 1785) are correct and he was born in Virginia, it is possible that the Henry Ellis Fowler family did not move to South Carolina in the 1770s and may have come to the state a little later.

To sum up the sons of Henry Ellis Fowler :

  • Ephraim Fowler 1765-1822 married to Nancy Mosley
  • Ellis Fowler 1770-after 1850 married to Mary
  • Godfrey Fowler 1773-1850 married to NancyNannieKelley
  • John H. Fowler 1775-1883 married unknown
  • Mark Fowler 1780 1852 married Elizabeth Mosley
  • Wymac Fowler 1786-1884 married Mary Susannah Mosley
  • William Fowler died 1812

ASA FOWLER 1811-1885

 

asa

ASA FOWLER 1811-1885

I research and write articles primarily about my Union County, SC ancestors.  I help many people with their family research but I do not usually devote the hours and hours it takes to write and post articles online for others.   As much as I would like to do that, I have material enough for at least a hundred or more of my own articles and not enough time to accomplish all that I wish to do.

Two weeks ago, it was brought to my attention that there was a Fowler family Bible for sale.  It would have been against all odds that this Bible was connected to my family, but my interest was peeked and I sought out the volume.

It was not a Bible ever owned my Fowlers.  It had belonged to Asa Fowler and I did not recognize any of the names nor the lineage from the family pages of births, marriages, and deaths.  Nothing about the family was familiar.

I decided to research just a little into this Asa Fowler fellow.  Much to my surprise, I was looking at a very prominent, well educated, and already well researched Fowler line!

I was fortunate enough to also obtain a first edition of The Fowler Family, written by a descendant of this family and published in 1883.

I will soon add more information about the Asa Fowler family, along with wonderful photos of the two books.

I have traced this line to present day in hopes of finding a direct male Fowler descendant willing to yDNA test.  The following is a brief descendancy chart from the earliest known ancestor to almost present day.  I have omitted the names of living descendants for privacy reasons, but would love to hear from anyone interested in pursuing genetic research into this line.

 

  • Philip Fowler 1590-1679 m. Mary
    • Joseph Fowler 1629-1676 m. Martha Kimball
      • Philip Fowler 1648-1715 m. Elizabeth Herrick
        • Philip Fowler 1691-1767 m. Susanna Jacob
          • Symonds Fowler 1734-1821 m. Hannah Weeks
            • Benjamin Fowler 1769-1832 m. Mehitable Ladd
              • ASA FOWLER 1811-1885 m.  Mary Dole Cilley Knox 1815–1882
                • Frank Asa Fowler 1842–1904 m. Flora Adella Johnson 1856-1881; m. Caroline A. 1876-1958
                  • Frank Asa Fowler 1881-1881
                  • Evelyn Sadie Fowler 1899–1993 m. Harold Douglas Reed 1886–
                    • James Marshall Reed 1930–2010
                    • Edward F Reed 1930– 2015
                • George Robert Fowler 1844–1897 m. Isabel Minot 1846-1909
                  • Ethel Walker Fowler 1874-1899
                  • Mary Pickering Fowler 1877-1936
                  • Josiah Minot Fowler 1880–1931 m. Martha Louise Parsons
                    • Minot Parsons Fowler 1913–1913
                    • Josiah Minot Fowler Jr. 1914–1997
                    • Jean Parsons Fowler 1916-1996 m. George Rodney Harris Jr 1918–2012
                    • Isabel Minot Fowler 1921-1984
                  • Robert Fowler 1884–1951 m. Rosalie Gretchen McIntyre 1887–1959
                    • Virginia Minot Fowler 1908–1996
                    • Robert Fowler Jr. 1915–2001 m. Grace Evelyn Kahrman 1917–1984
                      • Robert Earle Fowler 1941–2013
                    • Kenneth Walker Fowler 1918–1969
                    •  Donald Haines Fowler 1923-1983 m. Patricia Gail Smith 1923-2015
                      • Douglas H. Fowler 1949–2014
                • Clara Maria Fowler 1847–1931
                • William Plumer Fowler 1850–1918 m. Susan Farnham Smith 1886–1928
                  • William Plumer Fowler 1900–1993 m. Ellen Sprague 1902–
                    • Clara Fowler 1929–
                    • Richard Fowler 1931–2013
                  • Katherine Stevens Fowler 1902-1997 m. James Watson Lunn b.1894;  m. Marland Prott Billings 1902–1996
                    • Elizabeth Farnham Billings 1940–1990
                  •  Philip Fowler 1906–1978 m. Madeline Bittmann 1912–2005
                • Edward Cilley Fowler 1853–1913 m. Sarah A Watson 1855–1941
                  • Mary Josephine Fowler 1887–1960 m. Thomas Francis Haley 1885–1963
                    • Herbert Francis Haley 1901–1935
                    • Edward Fowler Haley 1908–1982
                  • Sadie Fowler 1888–1888

 

 

The Whitlock Massacre of 1870 and The Fowler Family of Union County, SC

The story of the Whitlock Family Massacre has a sad and tragic ending.  Much has already been written of this horrendous event, but little mention has been made of the Union County, SC Fowler family involved.  I will go back in time to the beginning, to the circumstances that led to the demise of an entire family.

Henry Ellis Fowler 1746-1808 was the father of Godfrey Fowler, who was the father of  a son, Milligan Fowler, born 1804.

Milligan Fowler was an investor in railroads and a prosperous planter who owned 1500 acres in Jonesville, SC.  He was also a life long bachelor.

Milligan had an out of wedlock son with Frances Haile b. 1795, daughter of John Haile 1734-1807 and wife Ruth Mitchell 1746-1840.  This son was Felix Cornelious Haile, born in 1829 in Union County, SC.

felix haile

Felix C. Haile

John Haile and Ruth had a son named John Haile 1781-1826 who married Rachel.  The younger John Haile and wife Rachel had son Isaac Sampson Haile 1818-1892.

Isaac Sampson Haile married Sarah Ann Garner 1826-1906 in Union County, SC in the mid 1840s.

Isaac Haile

Isaac Sampson Haile and Sarah Ann Garner

Back for a moment to Henry Ellis Fowler…… John Fowler “the Hatter” d. 1832 was more than likely the son of Henry Ellis Fowler.  This assumption has not yet been proven by DNA testing but paper trails seem to indicate truth in the statement.  Milligan Fowler was a witness to the Last Will and Testament of John Fowler, Hatter.

John Fowler, Hatter was the father of Delila Fowler 1793-before 1832 who married William Whitlock 1789-1867.  Delila and William had several children before her early death .  The oldest of these children was son Frances Marion Whitlock 1824-1870.

It is a tangle of genetics to be sure, but bottom line……

  • Francis Marion Whitlock and Felix Haile were 2nd cousins, descended from  Henry Ellis Fowler
  • Felix Haile and Isaac Sampson Haile were 1st cousins, descended from John Haile

 

In 1850, Isaac Sampson Haile lived in Union County, SC with his wife Sarah, and their two children.

In 1850, Francis Marion Whitlock and Felix Haile lived in nearby Chester County, SC in the household with 27 year old G.W.D. Chalk.  (George Washington David Chalk 1823-1855).  All three men were mechanics.

Far away, and seemingly unrelated, in Van Buren, Arkansas, nine year old Pruda Bolt lived with her widowed father William Bolt (1819-1882).

In 1853, Isaac Sampson Haile, his wife anc two children, packed up and headed west to the great state of Texas.  Alexander “Bud” Haile, the third child of Issac Sampson Haile and Sarah was born in 1856 in Texas.

A tribe of peaceful Tonkawa Indians occupied central Texas.  They were a band of hunter-gatherers and made no trouble for the first white German pioneers led by John O. Meusebach who settled in 1847 into what would later be known as Llano County, Texas.

Fierce tribes of Comanche Indians had moved into the region during the 18th century.  Once the area became inhabited with white settlers, the Comanches began raids upon the families, stealing horses and cattle; taking as many possessions as they could carry away on horseback.

Llano County, Texas was established in 1856.  The town of Llano was little more than a frontier trading center.  Unfortunate for the Isaac Sampson Haile family, they chose to settle in the very remote area of Texas near the Fort Mason Crossing on the Colorado River in soon to be named Llano County.  This was right in the middle of Comanche tribe territory.

Isaac Sampson Haile was a cabinet maker by trade.  The scarcely populated landscape offered him little opportunity to use his cabinet making skills and he turned to farming and raising stock to provide for his growing family.

Felix Haile had an out of wedlock daughter, Clementine Haile, with his cousin Lucinda Fowler in 1861 in Union County, SC..  I do not know if this responsibility was the reason he made the decision to move west, but both he and his cousin Francis Marion Whitlock had moved to Llano County, Texas in time to be counted in the 1860 census with the Isaac Sampson Haile family.

The Isaac Sampson Haile family was one of only 217 households in Llano County, Texas in 1860.  The entire county population was only 1001 souls.  There were 89 farms, one of which belonged to Isaac Haile.  In 1860, Isaac lived with his wife Sarah, their four children, Felix Haile and Francis Marion Whitlock, the latter two men listed as stock raisers on the census record.

In 1860, in Llano County, Texas, there was a young couple also newly arrived.  Pruda Bolt from Van Buren, Arkansas was now a married woman.  Her husband was W.W. Garner (possibly William Walter Garner) and he was a stock raiser in Llano County.

W.W. Garner and Pruda had a son, Thomas Samuel Garner born in Texas in 1864.  W.W. Garner died or deserted his family before 1867.  Pruda Bolt Garner had married Felix Haile by this year, and their first child was born in 1868 in Texas.

There is no census record for the Felix Haile family in 1870, but they must have remained in Texas until after January 1873 when their son Creed Haile was born.  The next son, John Gary Haile was born in South Carolina in 1877, and more children followed after their return to Carolina.

The August 1870 census for the Colorado River community in Llano County, Texas did include the Isaac Sampson Haile family.  There were several children in the household, and of special note, there was daughter Cede Haile, twelve years old.

Francis Marion Whitlock occupied the home next door to the Haile household. Forty five year old Francis Marion had a young, Kentucky bred wife, Susan, only twenty one years of age.  The couple had four children:

  • William age 4
  • Sarah age 2
  • Mary age 1
  • Franklin age 3 months

I have studied several accounts of the events that took place on December 7, 1870.  I have noticed that there are slight variations in each of the reports.

Although she neglected to mention that the Indian attack on the Whitlock family was probably instigated by her father when he shot and killed an Indian the day before, the story that I believe to be most accurate was told by Cede Poole Haile Farris, daughter of Isaac Sampson Haile and wife of William Jasper FarrisCede was 12 years old on that tragic day of the massacre.  Her story below:

WHITLOCK MASSACRE RETOLD

Mrs. W. J. Faris, 78, of Llano, vividly recalls the massacre of the Whitlock family in Llano County in 1870, the major Indian crime of early days in that section. She was a neighbor of the Whitlock family when a girl.

“I spent the Saturday night before the family was killed at the Whitlock home,” Mrs. Faris says. “We often went there and spent two or three days. Mr. Whitlock was plowing near the house when the Indians came and we suppose they killed him first. They set fire to the house and Mrs. Whitlock’s body was found in the ruins, but it never was known whether the Indians killed her or she burned to death. One baby was found in the yard. It looked as though they had pitched her out of the door because her head struck a rock and killed her.

“The other baby was found at the barn where the Indians had killed her with a stone. A 6-year-old girl was carried half a mile away and killed with a lance, the weapon being left in her body. The fourth child, a boy, was in the field with his father and the Indians carried him away. He never was returned, but I heard he was in Arizona a few years ago.

“Men living nearby saw the fire but reached the Whitlock place too late to save the family. They found the babies that night, and next morning discovered Whitlock’s body in the field where hogs had mutilated it. The body of the older girl was brought in and placed in a crib with the two younger children. Her hair was plaited and the Indians had jerked one off and placed it across her chest.”

Mrs. Faris says her father was in Llano that day, “and when he didn’t come home we were afraid he was captured or killed by the Indians. Later, he said the Indians crossed the road near him while he was returning. He became frightened and spent the night with friends.”

About midnight, she says, the men who had been at the Whitlock’s reached her home, expecting to find another massacre. Hunting parties went out from Llano in pursuit of the Indians, but, although the Whitlock home was on the main road between Llano and Burnet, the redskins escaped unharmed. with the Whitlock boy.

The Indians were believed to be the same band that killed a colored girl in a cotton field in the Yett settlement near Marble Falls the previous day, then crossed the Colorado river and killed a colored man, she says. From there they went to the Whitlock home on the east side of Long Mountain.

Mrs. Faris is the daughter of the late Isaac Sampson Haile, who settled in the Long Mountain community in 1853. The Whitlocks came to the Llano county with Haile from South Carolina. Her father ranched in Mason county and Mrs. Faris recalls that in his frequent absences driving cattle, her brother sat on the split-rail fence and watched for Indians while she milked.

credit: J. Marvin Humter’s Frontier Times Magazine, January, 1937]

 

Another article found on Find A Grave:

Long Mountain was once a settled region to the northeast of Hoover’s Valley in far western Burnet County. It was never a well known settlement, only having a small schoolhouse. However, in early December 1870, the community’s name would become well known throughout all of Burnet and Llano Counties as well as all of Central Texas.

At the time, the region on the north side of the Colorado River (present day northern Kingsland) was often referred to as No Man’s Land. Though there had been a military presence in the area since the late 1840s, tribes of Comanche Indians would often make raids upon the settlements on the south side of the river. Though these raids rarely resulted in the loss of life, numerous herds of cattle would be stolen and then taken across the river. Having lost several cows because of these raids, a resident of Hoover’s Valley decided that he would make a one man ambush against the Comanches as soon as they were crossing the Colorado near the Fort Crogan to Fort Mason military trail. His ambush would have harsh consequences.

Late one night, the rancher waited with his loaded musket near the crossing. When the Comanches began to wade onto the shoreline, he quickly took a shot at them. His volley killed one of the leading members of the tribe, who some have claimed was likely the chief, and not wasting anytime; the rancher fled the crossing and made it safely back to his homestead where he was finally able to get a good night’s sleep, feeling somewhat accomplished in his mission.

Early the next morning, residents awoke to see a towering pillar of black smoke rising high into the air. Upon investigation, they made a gruesome discovery. The source of the smoke cloud were the charred remains of the Marion Whitlock home, recently just having been set afire. Around the home, the farmers of Long Mountain uncovered the scalped body of Marion Whitlock, the lanced through corpse of his seven year old daughter, the remains of the family’s infant whose skull had been bashed against a tree, the family’s second youngest boy with arrows inside his little body, and inside the cabin they found the smoldered bones of Mrs. Whitlock who had been burned alive inside the house. It later became known that only one member of the Whitlock family had survived, a young boy, but he had been kidnapped and taken across the river.

Feeling responsible for the sudden attack, the rancher who had ambushed the Comanches as they were crossing the river the night before, gathered the remains of the family and paid to have them buried at the cemetery at Hoover’s Valley in a common grave where they rest today. Patrols of soldiers and Rangers were sent out to track down the kidnapped child, as well as the captors, but nothing ever resulted from their searchs. The Long Mountain Massacre of 1870 is still a well known tale today of the Llano and Burnet areas of Central Texas. It shows just how rough, deadly, and savage life was in the days of the Old West and Indian Wars.

{Sources Used
Jackson, Muriel et. all, Families of Early Kingsland, Texas and Nearby Communities in Llano and
Burnet Counties. Kingsland Genealogical Society, Kingsland, TX. 1998.}

After The Massacre 

Isaac Sampson Haile laid to rest the Francis Marion Whitlock family in a mass grave in Hoover’s Valley near their homestead.  William Whitlock, four years of age when captured by the Comanches, was never ransomed and lived his entire life with the tribe.

FM Whitlock

Headstone of the Francis Marion Whitlock Family

 

Isaac and his family remained in Texas although it appears that they relocated from the 400 acre farm in Llano County into Burnet County shortly after the massacre.

There are ample property tax records proving ownership of Haile land in both counties.  After the death of Isaac Sampson Haile in 1892, Mrs. Sarah Haile continued paying the tax debt and lived her remaining years in Burnet County, Texas.

Sarah Ann Garner Haile was severely burned in 1906 when her clothing caught fire.  She lived 20 days before succumbing to her injuries on January 23, 1906 in Hoover’s Valley, Burnet County, Texas.  She was 79 years old.

Felix Haile’s father, Milligan Fowler, died in Union County, SC in 1871.  Milligan was buried on his land, the first grave in what would later be called the Haile/Webber Cemetery.

Felix returned to South Carolina and inherited the bulk of his father’s estate.  It is a little confusing as to the exact date of his arrival into Union County.  His son Creed Haile was born in Texas in January of 1873.  His second out of wedlock child with his cousin Lucinda Fowler was born circa 1873 in Union County, SC; this time a son, William Jackson Haile.

Felix Haile died in 1884 and was laid to rest near his father in the family cemetery.  Pruda Bolt Garner Haile died in 1891 and was buried next to Felix.  The graveyard is the final resting place of many of the Milligan Fowler descendants through his son Felix Haile.

Often in my research, things seem to come full circle.  As an ending to this piece, I would like to add that Pruda Bolt’s son, Thomas Samuel Garner, married Alpha Ethel Fowler 1868-1929.  Alpha was the daughter of Walter Gaines Fowler 1828-1870, son of Mark Fowler 1780-1853, son of Henry Ellis Fowler 1746-1808.  Thomas Samuel Garner and Alpha Fowler had ten children, five whom lived to adulthood, and five who died as infants and were buried in the Milligan Fowler family graveyard, now known as the Haile/Webber Cemetery.

 

 

 

ELLIS FOWLER 1770-after 1850, son of Henry Ellis Fowler

ELLIS FOWLER is without a doubt, the most overlooked and misunderstood son of Henry Ellis Fowler.  The reasons for this are abundant and clear:

  • extensive use of the name Ellis within this Fowler family
  • undocumented research
  • inaccurate family research published in two or more volumes
  • widespread family trees containing misinformation
  • lack of deeds recorded in the courthouse
  • he left no Last Will and Testament

Born in Virginia circa 1770, Ellis Fowler was the second son of Henry Ellis and Catherine Puckett Fowler.   He married Mary, born in Virginia circa 1780.  It is speculation on my part that he moved into Union County, SC with his father in the 1780’s prior to his marriage to Mary.

Ellis Fowler was enumerated in the 1800 Union County census, along with his young wife, two sons and two daughters all under the age of ten.  It is perhaps safe to say that he and Mary married after 1790 and began their family soon afterward.

The census taker evidently missed the Ellis Fowler family in 1810, as my lengthy searches have uncovered no records so far.  It is a regrettable omission; the decade between 1800 and 1810 may have revealed a better understanding of the number of children born to Mary and Ellis.

The 1820 Union County census confirmed that there had been an abundance of births during the missing decade in the Ellis Fowler household.  There were no less than fifteen persons counted in the home that year.  Mary’s advanced age of 40 leads me to believe that not all of the eight children under the age of ten were born to her and Ellis.  There were two females, aged 16 – 25,  who perhaps had given birth to some of the younger children.  Some of these children under the age of ten, in my opinion, were the grandchildren of Ellis and Mary.  Of special note…..one of the males under age ten was Ellis Fowler born 1810, son of Ellis and Mary.  He was sometimes referred to as Ellis Fowler, Jr. in legal documents.

The Ellis Fowler household was considerably smaller in 1830.  There were only five persons counted in the census record that year. Sixty year old Ellis shared the home with four teens – two females and two males. Conspicuously missing from the home was Mary Fowler, wife of Ellis.

Ellis Fowler, Jr. had married and moved out of his father’s household.  In 1830,  Ellis Fowler, Jr. was head of his own household  which included a young wife, two children under the age of five, and a woman aged 40 to 49.  I have no doubt that the older woman was Mary Fowler who had temporarily moved in with her son and daughter in law to help out with her very young grandchildren.

Mary Fowler had returned to the household of her husband Ellis Fowler by 1840.  There were seven persons in the home including a male under the age of five.  It is difficult to determine the identities of the occupants whom I believe to be both children and grandchildren of Ellis and Mary.

The Union County census of 1850 firmly established that Ellis and Mary were an eldery couple, Ellis at eighty years of age, and Mary, seventy.  Their daughter Winnifred Worthy, widow of James Worthy, lived in the home of her parents with her children Mary, Julia, and James Worthy.  There was also  eleven year old William Worthy in the household, maybe a son of Winnifred, but possibly the son of Winnifred’s sister Fanny who had married William Worthy.

Ellis Fowler had been given a tract of land on which he lived when his father Henry Ellis Fowler’s will was probated in 1808.  I believe this land was part of the land granted to Henry Ellis Fowler in the Kelly-Pinckney area of Union County.  It is probable that Ellis Fowler had moved near the Pacolet River by 1850.  Most of his offspring that I have been able to trace settled near Pacolet, SC and between Jonesville and Gaffney in Cherokee County, SC.

Ellis Fowler and wife Mary were deemed paupers in the 1850 census.  Unlike his older brother Ephraim Fowler who owned numerous tracts of land and is well documented in court house records, there is very little to find regarding Ellis.  The records are almost nonexistent.

The 1850 census record was the last time Ellis Fowler was documented.  His advanced age of eighty in 1850 and his absence in the 1860 census lead me to say with certainty that Ellis died between the years 1850 to 1860.  Where he may be laid to rest, I do not know.

What follows is documentation of Ellis Fowler, son of Henry Ellis Fowler:

While it is unfortunate that Ellis Fowler is often overlooked by amateur genealogists, he was clearly mentioned in his father’s will of 1808………….

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 8.16.07 AM

Ellis Fowler and wife Mary had several children.  Although the exact number is unknown to me, it is certain that they had the following:

  • Ellis Fowler, Jr. b. 1810 married Sarah Clark
  • Nancy Fowler b.1815
  • Winnifred Fowler b. 1822 married James Worthy
  • Fanny Fowler b. 1825 married William Worthy

 

1800 Union County, SC Census:  Ellis was listed in the age bracket of 26-44.  If the estimated date of his birth of 1770 is correct, this would put him at 30 years of age in 1800.  His wife Mary is listed as 16 to 25, also supporting her birth year of 1780.  Ellis and Mary had 2 sons and 2 daughters under the age of 10.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 7.22.27 AM

  • ELLIS FOWLER 26-44 
  • MARY FOWLER 16-25
  • MALE < 10
  • MALE < 10
  • FEMALE < 10
  • FEMALE < 10

1820 Union County, SC Census:  Although missing from 1810 census records, Ellis and wife Mary appeared again in 1820 with a greatly enlarged household, which probably included more of their own children as well as grandchildren.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 7.25.42 AM

  • ELLIS FOWLER 45+
  • MARY FOWLER 26-44
  • 1 MALE 16-25
  • 2 (OR 4) MALES < 10
  • 2 FEMALES 16-26
  • 2 FEMALES 10-15
  • 4 FEMALES < 10

1830 Union County, SC Census:  I believe that Ellis would have been in the 50-59 age bracket in 1830.  His wife Mary was missing from the household, and may have been living with her son Ellis, Jr. helping him with the two children under the age of 5 in his household.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 7.27.00 AM

  • ELLIS FOWLER 60-69
  • 1 MALE 16-19
  • 1 MALE 10-15
  • 1 FEMALE 16-19
  • 1 FEMALE 10-15

1840 Union County, SC Census:  Ellis and wife Mary were now living with a greatly reduced household of only 3 males.  The two older males may have been sons, but the male under 5 would have probably been a grandson.  Note that Ellis was recorded as Ellis Fowler, Sr.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 7.27.53 AM

  • ELLIS FOWLER 60-69
  • MARY FOWLER 60-69
  • 1 MALE 20-29
  • 1 MALE 16-19
  • 1 MALE < 5
  • 1 FEMALE 30-39
  • 1 FEMALE 10-15

1850 Union County, SC Census:  Ellis and wife Mary were living with their daughter Winnifred Fowler Worthy and her children. Winnifred was the widow of James Worthy.  The William Worthy in this record may not have been the son of Winnifred.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 7.28.30 AM

  • ELLIS FOWLER 80
  • MARY FOWLER 70
  • WINNIFRED WORTHY 28
  • MARY WORTHY 12
  • JULIA WORTHY 8
  • JAMES WORTHY 5
  • WILLIAM WORTHY 11

As noted near the beginning of this article, Ellis and Mary did not leave wills, nor can I find any estate settlement for them.  They were listed as “paupers” on the 1850 census, and perhaps had little to leave their offspring.

Without a doubt, Ellis and Mary Fowler had more children than I have been able to document.  My research into this family line continues with hopes of discovering more information.  In the meantime, I give to you the known and documented descendants of Mary and Ellis Fowler, son of Henry Ellis Fowler………

HENRY ELLIS FOWLER 1746-1808 m. Catherine Puckett

  • Ellis Fowler 1770- after 1850 m. Mary LNU 1780– after 1850
    • Ellis Fowler 1810–1880 m. Sarah “Sallie” Clark 1825–1880
      • Elizabeth Augilar Fowler 1841–1924 m. Robert Henry Petty Sr 1828–1892
        • Thomas M. Petty 1857–1917 m. Elizabeth  Thompson 1864–1914
          • Ella Florence Petty 1883–1966 m. Charles Herald b. 1879;  m. John R Petty 1885–
            • Lizzie Elizabeth Petty 1907–
            • James Petty 1914–1942
            • Landy Sizemore Petty 1922–1975
          • John Thomas Petty 1889–1958 m. Sallie Texana Jennings 1892–1915; m. Lockie Penley
            • Albert Mayfield Petty 1912–1967 m. Annie Izora Fisher 1916–2005
              • Joe Medwick Petty 1937–1993
              • William Albert Petty 1942–2009
          • Claude Monroe Petty 1893-1932
          • Landan Sizemore “Landy” Petty 1895–1970
          • Lawrence P. Petty 1902–1918
        • Jessie Davis Petty 1861–1913
        • Edna Parmella “Ella” Petty 1864–1935
        • Robert Henry Petty Jr 1866–1941
        • John Lawson Petty 1869–1948
        • Margaret Petty 1870–1955
        • Junius Colombus Petty 1873–
        • James Alexander Petty 1878–1957
        • Samuel Petty 1883–1904
      • Martha Fowler 1844–
      • Julia Fowler 1847–
      • Jesse Fowler 1849–
      • Nancy “Nannie” P. Fowler 1854–1939 m. John Worthy Eison 1849–1913
        • Sallie Hester Eison 1878–1949
        • Esther Eison 1887–1967 
        • John Edward Eison 1895–1921 m. Lola Ethel Lavender 1895–1986
          • Elsie Melvinia Lavender 1914–2002
          • Crawford Coyle Lavender 1918–1995
        • Nannie Eison 1896–
        • Harry Eison 1900–
      • Thomas Fowler 1859–
      • Sarah Purchase Fowler 1860–1933 m. John Andrew Johns 1848–1926
        • Steadman William Fowler 1882-1930 m. Nannie Phillips  1883–1944
          • Beulah Fowler 1903–
          • Buford Paul Fowler 1906–1975 m. Ruby Satterfield 1909–1996
            • Peggy Jean Fowler 1928–1999
            • Carl Hewitt Fowler Sr 1934–2012
            • Delores Fowler 1937–2010 m. Troy Roe
            • Cheryl Jane Fowler 1943–2009 m. Lawson
          • Cecil Fowler 1909–
          • Ruth Fowler 1913–1995
          • Gladys Fowler 1916–
          • Warren Fowler 1918–
        • Nellie Fowler 1890-
        • John Grover Fowler 1890-1952 m. Pearl Thomas 1887-1948; m. Margaret Clippard
        • Fred Mark Fowler 1895–1956 m. Bessie Norris 1901–1990
          • Louise Cornelia Fowler 1921–1981 m. Furman F Tomberlin 1922–2009
          • Sarah M Fowler 1923–2012
          • Marie Fowler 1925– m. James Muriel McCormick 1926–2000
          • Fred Mark Fowler Jr. 1929– m. Marie Georgette Legrand
          • Betty Jean Fowler 1930–2006 m. Robert Evans Goodwin 1931–
          • Phyllis Ann Fowler 1933– m. William Edward Crump Jr 1930
          • Sylvia Grovene Fowler 1939– m. Larry Joel Graham
      • Lotty Fowler 1862-
    • Nancy Fowler 1815–1880
    • Winnifred Fowler 1822– m. James Worthy 1809–1850
      • Mary Worthy 1838–
      • William Columbus Worthy 1841–1914
      • Julia Worthy 1842–
      • James F. Worthy 1842–1921
    • Fanny Fowler 1825–1852 m. William Worthy 1813–1880
      • William Columbus Worthy 1843–
      • Mahala Rebecca Worthy 1845–1925 m. Walter Gaines Fowler 1828–1870
        • Alpha Ethel Fowler 1868–1929 m. Thomas Samuel Garner b. 1864; m. John Joab Crawford 1868–1954
          • William Hoyt Garner 1884–1957
          • Arthur Duboy Garner 1886–1963
          • Eathan Guy Garner 1888–1969
          • Grace L Garner 1890–1891
          • Hugh Garner 1893–1894
          • Walter E. Garner 1895–1896
          • Gary McKinley Garner Sr 1897–1993
          • Roy Garner 1901–
          • Thomas Garner 1903–1903
        • Bettie Fowler 1870–1894 m. Jackson
          • Jesse C. Jackson 1893-
      • Mary “Polly” Worthy 1847–
      • Nancy Elizabeth Worthy 1850–1895 m. Robert Norris Leonard 1847–1904
        • Anna Victoria Leonard 1872–1946
        • Fannie Leonard 1875–1961
        • James Hood Leonard 1878–1949
        • Robert Norris Leonard Jr 1883–1959
        • Minnie Lee Leonard 1884–1987
        • Mae Leonard 1888–1969
        • Bernice Leonard 1893–1894
        • Emma Leonard

 

more to come……………………

 

LAVINA FOWLER 1803-1877, Daughter of John Fowler “The Elder”

I also give and bequeath unto my three daughters Salley, Suky, and Vina one bed and furniture each.” Last Will and Testament of John Fowler, dated 18 February 1817.

Three daughters. Salley. Suky. Vina. Who were they? What path did they follow? Did they survive childhood, get married, have children of their own? Were they happy?

Salley was often a nickname for Sarah. Suky was sometimes short for Susannah. Vina could be Lavina or Lavinia.

Ten years. I searched for these three daughters of John Fowler and Fannie for ten years. I only knew of their existence from the one line in which they were mentioned in their father’s will.

No birth, marriage, or death records existed in South Carolina during the lifetimes of these three daughters. I had little to help me with my research.

Then fate intervened; a very fortunate message from a Fowler descendant led to a meeting and the discovery of a valuable hint.

There was a LAVINA Fowler who had been born in Union County, SC in the early 1800s who had married Augustus Wiggins.

SARAH PURCHASE FOWLER 1860-1933, daughter of Ellis Fowler and Sarah Clark

Rest, mother, rest in

Quiet sleep

While friends in sorrow

o’er thee weep

sarah purchase photo.jpg

Sarah Purchase Fowler Johns 1860-1933

When I first saw the name “Purchase” in the household of Ellis Fowler and his wife Sarah Clark Fowler, I thought the task of documenting her life would be an easy one. It was not a totally uncommon female name used in the 1800s, but it was an unusual name in the Union County Fowler families.

As I have stated before, Ellis Fowler b. 1770 has been the most difficult son of Henry Ellis Fowler to document. He left no will nor can I find any land transactions or deeds in the courthouse.

Until now, I had only been able to document three of his children: Ellis Fowler b. 1807; Nancy Fowler b. 1805, and Winnifred Fowler b. 1822.

Son Ellis Fowler b. 1807 and his wife Sarah Clark had the following children:

  • Elizabeth Augilar Fowler 1841–1924
  • Martha Fowler 1844–
  • Julia Fowler 1847–
  • Jesse Fowler 1849–
  • Nancy (Nannie) P Fowler 1854–1939
  • Thomas Fowler 1859–
  • Purchase Fowler 1860–1933
  • Lotty Fowler 1862–

Some Fowler researchers confuse Nancy P. Fowler and Purchase Fowler, thinking that they were the same daughter of Ellis and Sarah Fowler. Since both daughters were recorded on census records together, I am not sure how this confusion began. They are clearly two different children.

It was fairly easy to discover that Elizabeth Augilar Fowler had married Robert Henry Petty, and her sister Nancy P. Fowler had married John Worthy Eison. I have been able to trace both daughters and their descendants to present day.

The remaining children of Ellis Fowler and Sarah Clark seemed to have disappeared into thin air. I was more than a little surprised that I was unable to find daughters Purchase and Lotty given that these names were a little unusual.

Purchase Fowler was first recorded on a census record in 1860 as an unnamed female infant, 3 months old. Included in the household along with her parents Ellis and Sarah Fowler were sisters Elizabeth, Martha, Julia, Nancy, and a bother Thomas.

ellis fowler 1860

1860 Union County SC Census

In 1870, Purchase was still in the household with parents Ellis and Sarah Fowler, sisters Julia, Nancy, and Lotty .

ellis fowler 1870

1870 Union County SC Census

In 1880, Purchase was 20 years old, living with her parents Ellis and Sarah Fowler, sisters Nancy and Lottie. three Jefferies children who had to be the children of either Martha or Julia Fowler, and her aunt Nancy Fowler, sister of Ellis.

ellis fowler 1880

1880 Union County SC Census

I had found a census record from 1900 in Pacolet SC listing a single woman, aged 40 with 4 children: daughter Nellie, sons Steady, Grover, and Freddie. It was difficult to read the name of the woman, but the record got my attention because of the name Steady.

Godfrey Butler Fowler (1837-1906), son of Joseph Fowler, son of Godfrey Fowler, son of Henry Ellis Fowler) had named his only son Nathan Steadman Fowler (1867-1924) after the captain of his army company in the Civil War, Captain James B. Steedman.

Since that time, other Fowler boys descended from Henry Ellis Fowler had been given the name Steadman:

  • Steadman Lee Fowler 1884-1971, son of Emma Fowler, daughter of Bryant Fowler, son of Stephen Fowler, son of Ephraim Fowler, son of Henry Ellis Fowler.
  • James Steadman Fowler 1872-1952, son of Gassaway Fowler, son of Thomas Gillman Fowler, son of Godfrey Fowler, son of Henry Ellis Fowler.

Who was this Steady Fowler born in 1882? How did he relate to the Henry Ellis Fowlers, if at all? And who was this woman with the hard to read name?

purchase fowler 1900.JPG

1900 Pacolet, Spartanburg County SC Census

A little research and a lot of luck led me to a census record in Spartanburg SC in 1910. There was a woman named Sarah, aged 50 (right age for my Purchase) living with sons Grover and Fred. This family headed by Sarah Fowler lived next door to Steddy Fowler, his wife Nancy, and their three children Beulah, Buford, and Cecil. They lived on Howard Street in Spartanburg.

I knew that I was on the right trail. I began to think that Sarah was perhaps Purchase……..Sarah Purchase Fowler…….maybe.

purchase 1910 1

purchase 1910 2

1910 Spartanburg County Census

I also noted that, in 1910, there was a John A. Johns, widower, living 6 households away, on Howard Street, with two of his daughters, and two granddaughters.

john johns 1910

1910 Spartanburg County Census

I could not find Purchase Fowler, or Sarah Fowler in 1920 census records. I did find Sarah Johns in the household of Steady Fowler, his wife Nannie Fowler, and their children Beulah, Buford, Cecil, L.C, Ruth Gladys, and Warren. Was it possible that Sarah Purchase Fowler had married her widower neighbor John Johns??Although Sarah Johns was listed as the mother-in-law, I decided to take a closer look at the Johns family.

sarah johns 1920

1920 Spartanburg County SC Census

John Andrew Johns (1848-1926) was the son of Joseph Johns and Elizabeth Haney. He was born in Union County, SC, as was Purchase. It is possible that they knew each other long before they had both moved to Spartanburg, SC.

john jones photo

John Andrew Johns

John Johns married Laura Cain (last name not yet documented) circa 1870, and they were the parents of many children, mostly daughters. Laura died in 1905 and was buried at Beulah Cemetery near Neal Shoals in Union County, SC.

laura johns photo

Laura Johns, wife of John Andrew Johns

Sarah Purchase Fowler was living with her son Steady Fowler on Arch Street in Spartanburg in 1920, and she was recorded as being a widow even though John Johns was still alive and well living with his daughter Leona on nearby Howard Street.

It appears that the short lived marriage did not work out. John A, Johns died in 1926, and was laid to rest beside his first wife Laura at Beulah Cemetery in Union County.

Sarah Purchase Fowler moved to Charlotte, NC with her son Fred Fowler and his family. Through city directory records, I have been able to locate and visit the street they lived on in Charlotte. The houses were very small, and mostly built in the 1920s. Many of these houses remain, but the addresses on record for Fred Fowler and Sarah Fowler no longer exist. The homes they occupied have been torn down and replaced with a large industrial complex.

I found a death certificate for Sarah P. Fowler. She died August 28, 1933. F.M. Fowler was the informant (her son, Fred Mark Fowler).

purchase death certificate

Sarah P. Fowler

Now that I had a date of death, I began looking for a grave site. The information of the death certificate indicated that she was buried in Pacolet, SC.

I searched for Sarah Purchase Fowler, Sarah Fowler, Purchase Fowler, Sarah P. Fowler, Sarah Purchase Johns, Sarah Fowler Johns, Purchase Fowler Johns…..you get the idea. No luck.

I then looked in my records for the grave of her sister, Elizabeth A. Fowler Petty. Pacolet Methodist Church. A quick internet search led me to Sarah P. Fowler JONES. Right dates of birth and death……wrong last name. Close, but wrong. It was her grave.

Two hours of driving, I arrived at the cemetery. I located the grave of Sarah Purchase Fowler Johns. Johns was spelled “Johns” and not “Jones”. Right dates of birth and death……right last name too. Her grave was next to some of the children of her sister Elizabeth Fowler Petty.

That is a brief outline of Sarah Purchase Fowler’s life. Born in Union County, SC to Ellis and Sarah Clark Fowler; moved to nearby Pacolet and raised four children; married a widowed neighbor and hopefully had a few years filled with happiness; moved to Charlotte, NC with her son; died in Charlotte; and laid to rest in Pacolet, SC near some of her immediate family.

Now let us take a look at her four children and their descendants. We know from census records that Sarah Purchase Fowler had one daughter and three sons:

  1. Nellie Fowler b. 1880
  2. Steadman William Fowler 1882-1930
  3. John Grover Fowler 1890-1952
  4. Fred Mark Fowler 1895-1956

Nellie Fowler:

I have not yet been able to find much information regarding Nellie Fowler. I did locate her in a Spartanburg City Directory living with her brother Steady Fowler in 1905. She was unmarried at that time.

Steadman William Fowler:

Last year, I visited Oakwood Cemetery in Spartanburg. I was looking, of course, for Fowler graves and planned to take photographs of all that I could find. One headstone caught my eye, that of Stedia W. Fowler (1882-1930) and his wife Nannie Fowler (1883-1944). The name Stedia was so close to Steadman, I figured that he had to have been one of my Fowlers. I took a photos of the headstone and filed this newly found information in my mind.

steady fowler grave

Steadman William Fowler and Nannie Phillips Fowler

steady fowler death cert

Steadman William Fowler

It all came together when I discovered the new lead to Sarah Purchase Fowler. She had given birth to son Steady around the same time as the departed soul lying in that grave at Oakwood was born. I was able to finally link Sarah’s son Steady to the automobile/train accident in 1930 that led to Stedia Fowler’s untimely death.

More research shed light on Steady’s family. He was married to Nannie Phillips, daughter of George Marion Phillips 1843-1920 and Annie Fowler 1848-1936. Annie Fowler was the daughter of Daniel Fowler and Cansandra Cook.

Daniel Fowler was the son of Israel Fowler II and wife Polly.

Israel Fowler II was the son of Israel Fowler I and wife Fannie.

Israel Fowler I was the son of John Fowler b. 1720 and Phoebe.

The Israel Fowler line moved into Union County, SC around the same time as the Henry Ellis Fowler line…..late 1700s. DNA testing has proven that these two Fowler lines did not share a common male ancestor, hence two totally different Fowler families. However, the two Fowler lines did live near each other, witnessed documents for each other, and married into each other’s families.

Stedia W. Fowler is a direct descendant of Henry Ellis Fowler. Nannie Phillips is a direct descendant of Israel Fowler. The offspring of Stedia W. Fowler and Nannie Phillips were the perfect storm of the two Fowler lines combining!!

The family from whom Cansandra Cook descends is a family that I have spent much time researching. I descend from this line through my paternal Fowler grandfather and my paternal Mabry grandmother. This Cook family intermarried in so many ways with the Fowler families.

Cansandra Cook’s first known ancestors were John Cook 1707-before 1772 and his wife Sarah Fulton 1715-1783. John and Sarah immigrated from Ireland to Pennsylvania. After John’s death, Sarah and her children move to Union County, SC and settled on the Pacolet River near Grindal Shoals.

This intermarriage connects me to the offspring of Stedia Fowler and Nannie Phillips through three ways: once from Ellis Fowler, and twice from the Cooks.

Steady Fowler and his wife Nannie had the following children:

  • Beulah Fowler 1903–
  • Burie S. Fowler 1906-1908
  • Buford Paul Fowler 1906–1975 m. Ruby Satterfield
  • Cecil Fowler 1909–
  • L.C. /Thomas Fowler 1911
  • Ruth Fowler 1913–1995
  • Gladys Fowler 1916–
  • Warren Fowler 1918–

John Grover Fowler:

John Grover Fowler married Pearl Thomas, daughter of A.J. Thomas and Nancey Jane Cox. They had no children. John Grover Fowler and wife Pearl lived in Spartanburg and Darlington, South Carolina, and eventually moved to Charlotte, North Carolina. He worked as a chain gang prison guard, and worked in textiles.

John Grover Fowler’s life took a little turn after the death of his wife Pearl in 1948. It was mentioned in The Gaffney Ledger from Gaffney, South Carolina on March 14, 1944 … Miss Margaret Clippard and Grover Fowler of Charlotte spent Sunday with the former’s sister, Mrs. L. E. Gantt, and Mr. Gantt, at their home in Gaffney...

Margaret Clippard 1909-1975 was the daughter of Scott and Josie Fronniem Clippard. The sister that she and John Grover Fowler visited was Lila Mae Clippard 1907-1980 married to Lester Eugene Gantt 1905-1975.

An interesting fact is that Lester Eugene and Lila Mae Clippard Gantt were buried at Corinth Baptist Church in Gaffney, SC where many of the Israel Fowler descendants were buried.

John Grover Fowler evidently married Margaret Clippard as she was listed as his wife on his death certificate. John Grover Fowler was buried beside his first wife Pearl Thomas at Sharon Memorial Park in Charlotte.

After John Grover’s death, Margaret married Charles Fisher.

john grover death cert

John Grover Fowler

john grover fowler

John Grover Fowler

Fred Mark Fowler:

Fred Mark Fowler married Bessie Norris and they had six daughters and one son:

  • Louise Cornelia Fowler 1921–1981 m. Furman F. Tomberlin 1922-2009
  • Sarah M Fowler 1923–2012
  • Marie Fowler 1925– m. James Muriel McCormick 1926-2000
  • Fred Mark Fowler Jr. 1929– m. Marie Georgette Legrand
  • Betty Jean Fowler 1930–2006 m. Robert Evans Goodwin
  • Phyllis Ann Fowler 1933– m. William Edward Crump, Jr.
  • Sylvia Grovene Fowler m. Larry Joel Graham

More to come…………..