History of Israel Bowen and Charlotte Louisa Durham
Contributor: Kody Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
HISTORY OF ISRAEL BOWEN AND CHARLOTTE LOUISA DURHAM BOWEN
Compiled by Mildred H. Maw
used by permission of DUP
Many family members through the years have written histories of these noble ancestors, the grandparents of Anson Bowen Call, with much interesting information about them, but also with much conflicting information. Several years ago, some members of the family worked with a very efficient and skilled genealogical researcher in the Salt Lake Family History Library, and examined many early records of the church, in an effort to ascertain the facts. Much information was found in church and civic records copied from histories written by various descendants of Israel and Louisa Bowen, and an attempt has been made to verify the accuracy of these accounts, although in many cases this was not possible.
In May of 1993, my husband Grant and I were privileged to represent the descendants of these ancestors, in doing research in the area of Western New York state where they lived, and were able to find out much interesting information about them, and their families and to visit the areas in Chautauqua County where they had purchased farms and built their homes. We were able to find original deeds and mortgage records which verified the activities of some of the family members.
All of their descendants owe a great deal of gratitude to Israel Bowen and his wife, Charlotte Louisa Durham, most frequently referred to as Louisa, for their courage in accepting the Gospel, and for their loyalty and commitment, as they followed the Saints to Nauvoo, Illinois, especially at a time when Mormonism was not a popular religion, and members were subjected to very severe persecution.
According to family records, the first four of the children of Israel and Louisa were born in Bethany, Genesee Co., New York as follows: Albert Orlando Hastings Bowen, born 22 July, 1826; Juliaetta Bowen, born 29 Aug., 1829, Merinda Bowen, born 20 Jan., 1832, and Ann Mariah Bowen, born 3 Jan., 1834. Bethany at this time was and still is a very small rural area about 45 miles west of Palmyra, New York, the home of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and there were many Bowen and Durham families living in Genesee Co., and also in Chautauqua Co., about 75 miles to the south of Palmyra. According to Wayne Mori, a non-member who has written a paper on Mormonism in Chautauqua Co., there was a great deal of missionary work being performed there, by Joseph Smith himself and others. The brothers and sisters and parents of Israel and Louisa must have been exposed to the Mormon message, as they were living in the same area, and undoubtedly heard of the experiences of Joseph Smith, but evidently chose not to accept the Gospel.
Again, we should all feel grateful that Israel and Louisa had the courage and conviction to accept the message of Mormonism, and to leave their families to travel hundreds of miles away from them. We wonder if they ever saw them again. It is interesting to note that the two brothers of Israel who remained at New York lost sons in the Civil War, while Israel's sons were miles away in Utah territory, safe from that conflict.
According to Israel's own statement when he was ordained a 70 in the 22nd Quorum of Seventies in Nauvoo, on the 8th of June, 1844, he was born 8 June, 1802, in St. Albans, Vermont. He gave his father's name as Nathan Bowen. However, all census and land records for Israel's father show him using the name Nathaniel. There was no record of Israel's birth in St. Albans--perhaps his mother had family or friends there and was staying with them when he was born.
The first record we have of his family is in the 1810 census for Highgate, Vermont, about 10 miles from St. Abans, where Nathaniel Bowen is shown with 7 children, 2 males under 10, 1 male 10-16, 1 male 26-45; 1 female under 10, 3 females 10-16, and 1 female 26-45. Nathaniel was probably born in 1762, so he may have married about 1782 and there could have been children born before the 3 females aged 10-16, who could have married and moved out of the home before 1810.
We have not been able to find any definite information on the parents or birthplace of Nathaniel, Israel's father, although a son Daniel stated in the 1880 census record for Harmony, Chautauqua Co., New York, that both his parents were born in Connecticut. According to the temple records in the St. George Temple of ordinance work done by Louisa, Israel's mother was Esther Sykes, as Louisa shows herself as daughter-in-law when the ordinances for them were performed. We feel that the Esther Sykes or Sikes, born 27, Aug., 1763, in Springfield, MA, the daughter of Othniel Sikes and Azubah Stiles, is Israel's mother. At that time, the border had not been firmly fixed between Massachusetts and Connecticut, and so Daniel's statement that both his parents were born in Connecticut could have been correct. There were many Sykes or Sikes families in that area.
We do not know when or where the Bowen and Durham families became acquainted, but we do know that they lived only about 10 miles apart when both were residing in Franklin Co., Vermont, just a few miles from the Canadian border.
We have no record of where and by whom the family of Israel and Louisa were taught the Gospel. According to a TIB record which Louisa corrected herself, she was baptized in 1837, just a few years after the church was organized. Some family members have repeated the romantic story that the family was taught and baptized by Anson Call, who later married their 3rd daughter, Ann Mariah, and they later became the parents of Anson Bowen Call
However, according to the journal of B. F. Cummings which is stored in the Historian's office in Salt Lake City, he and Anson Call left Nauvoo 20 Sept. 1842 on a mission to the east traveling without purse or scrip, and separated about the 1st of June, 1843. Anson Call on Page 22 of his journal, confirms this date, stating as follows:
"In the spring of '42, we were counseled to move to Nauvoo. In Sept, I had a mission appointed me to Ohio. I traveled on foot in company with Franklin B. Cummins (should read B. F. Cummings) preaching through Illinois and Indiana. We baptized 40 persons and returned to Nauvoo the last day of March, '43."
If Louisa's own statement on her TIB record is correct, she and Israel had been members for 5 years before Anson Call and B. F. Cummings embarked on their mission. During the time of the mission, Israel and Louisa were also in Nauvoo on 25 Feb., 1843 and were accepted 6 April, 1843, according to records in the Historian's office.
Louisa, the name by which she was called most frequently, was born in Berkshire, Franklin Co., Vermont, 16th or 21st of March, 1807, the 3rd or 4th child of her parents, Allen Durham, Sr. and Caroline Hulda Wood. The inscription on her tombstone in the Provo Cemetery shows her birthday as 16 March.
Louisa's grandparents were Samuel Dorwin (Durham) Jr. of Lanesborough, Berkshire Co., MA and Thankful Perry, according to a history written by a great-grandson Jedediah Dorwin, the son of Philo Dorwin and the grandson of Thomas Dorwin, oldest son of Samuel and Thankful. There were 14 or 15 children in the family. Samuel Dorwin (Durham), Jr. died in 1789, and it appears that some of his sons and grandsons moved to Vermont about this time. (See will of Samuel Darwin (Dorwin Durham)).
Louisa's father, Allen Durham, Sr. was born in Lanesborough, Berkshire Co. MA, in 1765 and had been married previously to Ruth Porter, either in Massachusetts or Vermont. She died in Berkshire, Vermont on Christmas Day, 1800. Louisa's parents were probably married the next year, 1801, as their oldest child, Sarah or Sally, was born 22 February, 1802, according to her tombstone in the North Harmony Cemetery in Chautauqua Co. New York. Sally was married to Daniel Bowen, an older brother of Israel Bowen.
Allen Durham, Sr., Louisa's father, is shown in the 1790 census for New Haven, Addison Co., Vermont, with 2 male children under 16 and 1 female child. He is next shown in the 1800 census in Franklin Co., Vermont, with 2 male children under 10, 2 female children under 10, and 1 female child, age 10-16. Louisa was not born until 1807, and the family evidently moved West to New York soon afterward. Jedediah stated in his history of the family that Allen left northern Vermont in 1807 or 1808, and was living in Homer, New York, in 1812. A daughter, Caroline, however was supposedly born in Bloomfield Co., Genesee Co., New York 1 Jan. 1812.
According to the TIB record which Louisa corrected herself, she and Israel were married in 1825. Although a thorough search was made for the earlier marriage of Israel, no records were found, but Louisa had Israel sealed to Abigail Burhans in the St. George Temple. Louisa and Israel must have been married in New York, as the Durham family had moved to New York about 1807 or 1808.
Land records for Chautauqua Co, New York, show that Allen Durham, Sr. and Allen Durham, Jr. purchased land in Harmony in 1819. Allen Durham, Sr., and his youngest son by his first wife, Samuel Porter Durham, bought land in Harmony, in 1822, not far from where Daniel Bowen, Nathaniel Bowen, Sr., and Nathaniel, Jr. had also purchased land. In June, 1851, Samuel Porter Durham and his wife, Prudence, deeded part of the Durham farm to the Methodist Episcapal Church, for the construction of a church building. The original building where Samuel Porter Durham also served as a trustee has been torn down, and a new church is now occupying the same site.
Louisa probably lived with her parents in the township of Harmony, New York, until her marriage, and was evidently close to the children of her father's first wife, as the youngest son, Samuel Porter Durham was only 2 or 3 years old when Allen Durham married Louisa's mother, Caroline Huldah Wood. Hulda Durham, as she was more commonly known, took over the raising of the younger members of the first wife's family. The original Durham farm, purchased by Allen Sr. and his sons covered many acres, and was lush and fertile. Many of the original buildings are still standing on the land adjacent to the church, and the cemetery where Allen, Jr., his wife Mary, and children, and other members of the Durham and Bowen families are buried is right next to the church and across the road from the original farmland. We were unable to locate the graves of Allen Sr., and Samuel Porter Durham and his wife, but they may be located in an older part of the cemetery where the stones have been destroyed. Records of the cemetery and the church next to it are no longer available.
It may be that Israel and Louisa lived in the Harmony area for a while before moving to Bethany near Batavia in Genesee Co., about 75 miles north of Harmony. We do not know where Israel's parents were living at that time. Land records in Vermont show him selling land there 3 April, 1817, and we have no further record of him until he is shown as a witness on a land transaction when Daniel, Israel's older brother, bought land from Alexander McKay and wife Esther in Harmony, New York. We have only recently received information that Esther Mckay is the younger sister of our Israel, born 1806 in Vermont. Nathaniel Jr., was also a witness for that land transaction, and we have also received information just recently from Beckie Howe, a very helpful friend we met on the trip to western New York, that Nathaniel Jr., and the parents of Israel, Nathaniel Bowen, Sr., and his wife Mary, were parents of 12 children, with only 3 surviving to adulthood and having children, and we have traced their children and grandchildren as far as possible.
We were unable to find any records, tax, church, school, or land records to indicate that Israel and Louisa ever lived in Bethany, a small rural area. The village of Bethany consists of a store built in 1838 where they may have shopped, and it is still in use, a Baptist church, and a town hall, nothing more. As Israel was evidently a potter, not a farmer, he may not have owned land, but rented from others, possibly relatives. However, there is a Bowen Road and Bowen Creek in Alexandria, the township next to Bethany, and many Bowen and Durham families had homes and farms on Bowen Road which are still in use. We have located some of Louisa's Durham cousins living in Alexandria, and perhaps they lived near them.
There was evidently good clay in the area around Bethany which Israel needed for his livelihood, and there are still modern pottery factories near Bethany. Israel and his wife and 2 children are shown in the 1830 census in Harmony, New York, but he may have been visiting his parents, also shown in that census, and they must have returned to Bethany where 2 more children were born.
Their 5th child, Eliza Jane, was born in Aurora, Erie Co. just to the north of Chautauqua Co., 16 April, 1836, and it may have been there that they were contacted by Mormon missionaries. There were many Bowen families living in that area in the 1830's and 40's but we have not been able to establish a relationship with them.
It is not known where the two youngest children of Israel and Louisa were born. According to the obituary notice of Albert O. Hastings Bowen, their oldest child, the family moved from New York to Illinois in 1840, and if that date is correct, then David King Bowen, born 23 Jan., 1839, must have been born before the move or along the way. According to the history of Harriet Lovinia, their youngest child, David King Bowen was born in Indiana. Harriet Lovinia, born 23 Oct., 1844, was undoubtedly born in or near Montrose or Bonaparte, Iowa, across the river from Nauvoo. Israel was ordained a 70 on 8 June, 1844, a few months before her birth, so the family must have been settled there by that time. He gave his age as 42 and his residence as Iowa.
Some family members have wondered about the name of the oldest son of Israel and Louisa--his full name was Albert Orlando Hastings Bowen--and have surmised that perhaps there had been a family member whose name was being commemorated. The IGI shows Orlando Hastings, having been born in Litchfield Co., Conn., 7 March, 1789. Orlando Hastings, a lawyer, age 61, probably the same person, was later found in Rochester, New York, in the 1850 census with a son named Albert, but no connection was found with the Bowen family. Perhaps they were just good friends, as they were living in the same general area in the same time period.
We wonder if David King Bowen was also named for a close friend as a David King was shown living near Daniel Bowen, Israel's older brother, in the Harmony, Chautauqua Co., New York census for 1850.
One family history states that a record "has been left stating the wife (Louisa) was acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith, and we assume the others of the family also knew him." Undoubtedly they experienced the persecution which members of the church in the Nauvoo area had to endure, as they were planning to make the journey West when tragedy struck the family.
All the family members who have written histories of Louisa and Israel tell of his search to find animals, oxen or horses, to outfit the family for the trip west. Evidently in late March, 1847, he went by boat down the Mississippi River and was caught in a severe rainstorm which drenched the passengers on the boat. Israel seems to have contracted pneumonia from this experience and died on April 3, 1847. Some family histories state that he was buried in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and others indicate he was buried in Van Buren Co., just across the river from Nauvoo. A search of early church and civil records in the area fails to show the exact place and date of his death, but it is believed that he died and was buried in Van Buren Co., Iowa, about 15 miles from Nauvoo, and across the Mississippi River.
The 1847 census of Van Buren Co., Iowa, (Film 967137) shows Albert Bowen, age 21, as the head of a family with 8 persons in the household, so the family must have still been in the area for some time after Israel's death. The census must have been taken after the death of Israel, since it showed Albert as the head of the family.
Also, the marriage of the oldest daughter, Juliaetta to Charles Dalton (Film 967640, Book 2, p. 69) evidently took place in Farmington, Van Buren Co., Iowa. The record reads, "I, Joseph A. Kean, (Justice of Peace) do hereby certify that I joined in marriage Mr. Charles Dalton, aged 21 years, to Miss Juliette Bowen, aged 19 years, on the 13th day of January, 1848, both of Farmington Township, Van Buren Co., Iowa."
The loss of their father, Israel, must have been a very bad blow to the family, but they still desired to move West with the main body of the Saints. Histories of both Juliaetta and Ann Mariah indicate that Ann Mariah accompanied her sister Juliaetta and her husband Charles as they journeyed to the Salt Lake Valley from Council Bluffs, then known as Kanesville, Ann Mariah supposedly drove a team and wagon all the way to the Valley. Some sources state that Albert O. H. Bowen, their older brother, also accompanied them. Juliaetta's first child, Charles Albert, was born on 26 August, 1849, in Wyoming, on the banks of the Sweetwater River on the trip west.
Albert O. H. Bowen was married to Louisa Hemonway on April 1, 1849, according to a notice in the Frontier Guardian of Kanesville, Iowa. The same newspaper records the marriage on August 27, 1850, of Louisa Bowen to Joseph Bryant Hawkes, whose wife Sophronia had died in 1850, and Louisa along with Eliza Jane, David King, and Harriet Lavinia, is listed in the 1851 census in Kanesville, with Joseph Hawkes.
Merinda, who had been married to Benjamin Groves 31 January, 1849, did not accompany them to the west. Evidently she did not ever come to Utah, but temple ordinances were performed for her husband Benjamin Groves in the St. George Temple on 20 Nov. 1877. Merinda died 20 May, 1919, but we do not know where her death occurred.
It may be that Louisa married again to have someone take charge of seeing that she and her 3 children, Eliza Jane, 15, David King, about 11 years old, and Harriet, age 6, arrived safely in the Salt Lake Valley. Louisa and Joseph B. Hawkes separated shortly after their arrival in the Valley, and Louisa was married again about 1852 to Peter Haws of Ogden. No record has been found of the divorce from Joseph B. Hawkes, or her subsequent marriage to Peter Haws.
Eliza Jane married Hathron Chauncey Hadlock on January 5, 1852, in Ogden, and their first child was born at Ogden on 15 Dec. 1852. According to Harriet's history, Peter Haws, Louisa and Harriet moved to California in 1854. Peter Haws died in 1860, near Nealsburg, California, where they had lived on a very prosperous ranch. David King Bowen supposedly remained in Ogden and later married Martha Chesley and settled in Provo.
According to Harriet's history, she was married June 17, 1860 to Daniel Cate Leavitt in California. His first wife, Julia Ann Moriman, had given birth to a daughter Julia Ann May 6, 1860, and it is presumed the mother died shortly thereafter. A census record of Placer Co., CA. taken August 1, 1860, of Nealsburg, probably near Dutch Flat, shows: Louisa Haws, age 55, hotel keeper, born VT; Daniel Levit, age 24, hotel keeper, born VT‚ and Harriet L. Levit, age 15, born Iowa. There is no record of the baby being with the father when the census was taken, or any record of its death in case the baby did not survive.
Shortly after her husband's death in 1860, Louisa filed a petition asking the court to appoint her as the special administrator of the estate of Peter Haws, her husband, stating that he had passed away February 1, 1860, and that on that date, he had been a resident of Placer County, and that he had died intestate at the Wild Cat Ranch, that she was the wife of the deceased, and that he was survived by 2 sons by a former marriage, namely Alpheus P. Haws, some 30 or 40 years of age, and Albert Haws, about 28 years of age. She further stated that as far as she could ascertain, the property and estate of the deceased was as follows:
The Wild Cat Ranch containing 320 acres worth about $1500, ranch on Dry Creek worth about $100, mining claim at Mineral Bar worth about $2000, some 56 head of cattle worth about $2200, 5 horses worth about $260, 70 hogs worth about $280, other livestock worth about $225, and a small amount of household furniture.
She stated that some of the livestock was being driven off the ranch and sold by persons unauthorized to sell it, and asked that she be appointed to take charge of the ranch until letters of administration should be granted.
Her petition to be appointed special administrator of the estate was contested by the two sons from Peter Haws' first marriage, who felt they should inherit all of the property because they had worked on the ranch with their father, and the matter was under litigation for at least 2 years. It is not known if Louisa ever received anything from her husband's estate, only that in 1862, according to Harriet's history, her brother, presumably Albert, came to California for them, and Harriet and her husband and Louisa returned to Utah.
At this time, Albert was 36 years old, and had crossed the plains between Iowa and Utah 3 times. He had settled in 1861 in Centerville with his family.
Eliza Jane became the mother of 8 children by the time she was 35 years old, and died in 1871 in Ogden, Utah. The picture of Louisa with 4 of her surviving children is presumed to have been taken when the family gathered for Eliza Jane's funeral in Ogden. Although there is some disagreement as to which of the children in the photo is Ann Mariah, most family members seem to feel that the daughter seated to Louisa's right is Ann Mariah, with Juliaetta behind her, and Harriet behind her brother Albert, seated to the left of Louisa.
There is an interesting story about the brooch and ear rings that Louisa is wearing in the picture, told by a great granddaughter of Ann Mariah Bowen and Anson Call the story goes that Israel, Louisa's first husband, picked up a stone on the banks of the Mississippi River as the Saints were preparing to leave their homes in the Nauvoo, Illinois, area. He supposedly said to her that when they got some more money, she was to have some jewelry made from that stone, There is no sequel to the story to tell us when and where the jewelry was made, but it is currently in possession of Nedra Gilbert Bowies, of Idaho, a great-great-granddaughter of Louisa. Some sources say the jewelry was made from the stone and a gold nugget found in the Wild Cat ranch where Louisa had lived with her husband, Peter Haws.
After Louisa returned to Utah, she may have lived at Centerville with Albert until he moved to Provo in 1866. We do not know when Louisa married again, this time to the father of her oldest daughter's husband, Simon Dalton, but we presume it was between 1870 and 1873. They were evidently married at the time of the tragic death of Albert, her oldest son, 15 October, 1873, when a drunken man resisting arrest shot and killed him. One history mentions that Albert's daughter, Lettie Bowen Nolds, stated that her father Albert and her mother had been to Springville to visit Albert's mother, shortly before he was killed.
Albert's obituary in the Provo Daily Times Oct. 23, 1873, stated that he "came to the valley in 1849 and returned to his family where he remained until 1861 when he emigrated and settled at Centerville, Davis Co. He was called to fill a mission to Dixie, which he did until released in 1866, then settled in Provo City where he has been in business ever since as a potter. He had been Chief of Police for nearly a year, and in this capacity, as well as in private life, was a quiet, peaceable man, respected by all."
There is no record of Louisa's marriage in the Springville ward records, but one notation states that Louisa Dalton was rebaptized 9 December, 1875. We presume that this reference was to our Louisa, at that time married to Simon Dalton.
Louisa again showed her deep faith and commitment to her church and to her family members when she traveled to the St. George Temple soon after its dedication to perform temple ordinances for them. The St. George Temple was the first temple completed in the west, and was dedicated 6 April, 1877. Her grandson Israel Call, a brother to Anson Bowen Call, was living in Sunset, Arizona at the time, according to his son, Schuyler Call, and he traveled to St. George to serve as proxy for the male members of the family. Schuyler stated that Louisa was living in Circleville, Utah, about 70 miles from St. George, with her daughter Juliaetta, wife of Charles Dalton, and that she and Simon were probably married by that time.
Louisa was 70 years old at this time, and she and Israel must have traveled by wagon or horse and buggy to St. George, probably at great inconvenience to them. Ordinance work was performed by them between the dates of November 14 and 23, 1877.
Among those for whom she and Israel Call acted as proxies in the St. George Temple were her own parents, Allen Durham and Huldah Wood, her half-brother Samuel Porter Durham and his wife Prudence Ostrander, her half-brother Allen, Jr. and wife Polly (Mary) Tupper, her own brother Jesse Babcock Durham, and brothers of her father Allen Durham and their wives and some of their children, as well as other family members and some persons who were not identified.
The only Bowen relatives for whom ordinances were performed were Nathaniel Bowen and Esther Sykes, parents of her husband, Israel, and Alexander McKay and his wife Esther. Relationships on most of the ordinances performed were not shown, and we have only recently learned that Esther McKay was the younger sister of Louisa's husband, Israel. (Films 23060, 170583, St. George Temple, restricted) How we wish she had left a record somewhere of all her family members, and the names and birthdates of her grandparents and those of her husband. It would have saved us years of research which has not been completed as yet.
Louisa must have known that these persons had died by this time, or they would not have been able to perform temple ordinances for them. One wonders if or how she was able to keep in touch with her family members after the move to the West. She had received her own endowment and been sealed to Israel 26 Jan., 1869 in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City, but she arranged for the sealing of Abigail Burhans to Israel, as he must have been married to her before he and Louisa were married. Two of Louisa and Israel's children, Albert, killed in 1873, and Eliza Jane who had died in 1871, were also sealed to them.
Louisa's life was certainly one of trials and tribulations. Her commitment to her family and her church took her from Vermont on the Eastern seacoast to California on the Pacific Coast at a time when travel was very difficult, by wagon over uncharted roads. She endured the persecutions of the Saints in and around Nauvoo, the trek across Iowa which was much more difficult than the later journey across the plains to Utah, after the loss of her husband Israel. She later had to suffer the loss of her husband Peter Haws, the contention over his property, the early death of Eliza Jane, and the tragic death of her son Albert.
Louisa passed away in Springville 30 Sept., 1884, at the age of 77, and is buried in the Provo Cemetery in a plot set aside for patients of the State Mental Hospital in Provo, although she was never a patient there, according to hospital authorities. Through the efforts of Katherine Bowen Rassmussen and other descendants, a small stone was placed over her grave in 1973, and many family members in that area remember her with flowers on her tombstone on Memorial Day.
May we all remember and honor this noble ancestor and her husband, Israel, to whom we all owe so much!