Looking back: Bowman was an attorney and landowner

Published 7:06 am Saturday, August 14, 2021


Contributing writer

Charles Edwin Bowman was an attorney and large landowner in Garrard County and Missouri, according to information in the Kentucky Advocate, U.S. Census and Find-A-Grave records.

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He was born on a farm, known as Bowman’s Plantation, which he inherited from his father, George Bowman.

George inherited the 1,000 acres from his parents, John Jacob Bowman (1753-1781), and Sarah Stephens Robards (1745-1839).

The large plantation included a house, slaves, cash, notes, chattels and personal estate.

After Charlies died, the land went to his daughters, Georgette and Wilmoth. They sold it to J.B. And Henry Ruble in 1918.

Centre student

Charles spent three years and studied law at Centre College. He was in the same office with his cousins, John B. Thompson, and Captain Phil B. Thompson of Harrodsburg.

A few years later, he moved to Richmond in Ray County Missouri. He is listed as an attorney in the 1850 Missouri Census. He also was elected as representative in the state legislature.

“During the Civil War, Colonel Bowman influenced for the preservation of the Union under the Constitution, “but when the purposes of the war were subverted and turned aside by the radical element of that party, he, like a large number of others, united with the Democratic party and assisted in its reorganization in 1866.”

Charles returned to the Bowman plantation a few years after his wife died. He moved to Danville in 1865 to educate his three children.

He was associated for a short time as senior editor of The Advocate and contributed columns for the newspaper.

“He wrote with a good deal of ease, and always in defense of Democratic principals and organization,” according to The Advocate.

He also served as police judge.

Tribute in Advocate

Charles’ friend, J. Soule Smith of Lexington, wrote a tribute about Charles and read it at the funeral service. Excerpts include:

“If Charles ever had a mean thought, he must have mostly religiously kept it to himself, for I never knew or heard of an expressions of his that was unworthy of a gentleman or inconsistent with kindly, tender love for all humanity.

“Guild was foreign to his nature, and in the sublime simplicity of his would he could not conceive of them as being so gross and material as even the pure and unsullied essence of his own spirit.”

Charles was a member of the local Masonic Lodge. The Bowman family belonged to the Presbyterian Church.

Bowman family

Charles was born Sept. 28, 1817, and was a son of George and Sarah Robards Bowman, of South Carolina. George died in April 12, 1888, Missouri.

Charles and his wife, Pamela M. Ewing were married on Dec. 18, 1845, in Lafayette, Missouri. She was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas M. Ewing of Missouri.

The Bowman couple moved in 1865 from the Garrard farm to Danville to educate their five children.

Their children were: Georgette E., born in 1852, and Wilmoth W., born in 1848, both died in Washington, D.C., where they lived for many years; Charles Jr., (1859-1896) never married nor did Georgette and Wilmoth. They are buried in Bellevue Cemetery.

Two other daughters, Mary G., born in 1846, and Sallie, born in 1830, both died in 1852 from scarlet fever, in Missouri when they were young. They were buried in a family cemetery on Bowman’s plantation.