Francis Joseph Bowler Autobiography
Contributor: Springsteen Groupie :-) Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
I was born in Nottingham, England, February 27, 1879, to James Samuel Page Bowler and Matilda Hill Bowler. The following is a poem composed by my father at my birthday celebration in 1931.
Early one morn a voice was heard
Before the dawn of day;
“Awake, this cannot be deferred,
Get up without delay.”
“Oh dear, must I get up so soon,
Why do you urge me so?”
“I say, get up, you crazy loon,
For doctor Buckle go.”
“All right if that is what you mean,
Why surely I’m the man,
I’m off at once my lady queen,
Be calm”, and off I ran.
I rang the bell – had to repeat;
“Doctor you’re wanted quick
At Number 2 in Henry Street,
My wife is very sick.”
The good old doctor came, and then,
A baby boy was born.
We named him Francis Joseph when
With Easter Robes adorned.
He crossed the sea ere 2 years old
And learned the golden rule,
Among the chosen now enrolled
In life’s enlightened school.
I was less than two years of age when we left England and sailed on the Ship “Wisconsin.” I can remember my parents telling of the rugged trip we had. We ran into a heavy storm and the ship sprang a leak. The pumps broke and they were taking in about two feet of water an hour. It looked like the ship was about lost but the crew was able to repair the leak and the trip was made in safety. We landed at New York Harbor in 1881.
The family boarded the train in New York and journeyed to Salt Lake City. When we reached Salt Lake, the finances were just about exhausted. Bishop Hunter found a place for us to stay for several weeks while we rested from our travels and then father was called to Hebron.
Father was born a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After father and mother were married the Elders stayed at our home. Father was leader of the Nottingham Choir and through his association with the Elders they made our home their home. President Francis M. Lyman was instrumental in bringing the Gospel to mother. He spent considerable time right in our home. President Lyman, along with Zera P. Terry, converted mother and she was baptized by President Francis M. Lyman in Nottingham, England.
When I was born my parents named me Francis for President Lyman, and Joseph for the Emperor of Austria, who was a second cousin of mother. One of the reasons it was so hard on mother when she came to this country was that she had always been used to the finer things of life and when she joined the Church her family would not help her at all.
Zera P. Terry and President Lyman encouraged my parents to bring their family to America and on to Utah so that they might live with the Saints under the influence of the Church.
After they reached Salt Lake, Zera P. Terry and Thomas s. Terry, his father, asked the President of the church to call father to Hebron to teach vocal music and as he was a shoe maker by trade they also needed his services in that time.
We came from Salt Lake to Milford by train and were met by Aaron Huntsman with a team and wagon. The first night we camped out and had to sleep on the ground. All of our possessions were in that wagon for a family of eight children and two adults: Harry, Elizabeth, John, Kate, Annie, Florence, Walter, myself, father and mother. The coyotes were howling and mother said later she never closed her eyes all night.
The next night we arrived in Hebron after dark. We were taken to a little log house. Nothing was in the house but one door and two little windows. It was right out in the sage brush. We were in one corner of the lot and an Indian camp in the other. The Indians were friendly, but when mother awoke the next morning and looked out the window, the first thing she saw was the camp of Indians, and she said, “We aren’t going to stay here.” I am sure it was very hard on mother to be enclosed by a “ripgut” fence with a bank of Indians in one corner of the lot, corrals in another corner, and Daniel Tyler’s house in the other corner and millions of sage brush between.
Daniel Tyler was a telegraph operator and taught school until father arrived. He was a cripple. He had his leg thrown out when he was a youngster and it had never gone back into place, consequently one leg was a foot to a foot and a half shorter than the other and he walked on crutches swinging the short leg.
There was no water in the town for either irrigation or culinary use. The water was carried in barrels on a “lizard” from the creek a half mile away. Boys and men (also women) would have to carry or haul the water. Sometimes the barrels would slide off the “lizard” and we would have to go back for more. We would put cloths over the barrel to keep the water from spilling out. It took two people to get the water. One person would drive the hose and one would steady the barrel. While we were there they built a flume to carry the water into town. This was not successful for the first summer it leaked terribly and the next winter it went out with a flood.
We stayed in Hebron for two years. While we were in Hebron, Elizabeth Married John David Pulsipher. She was 15 years of age at the time.
Due to financial conditions the family was forced to move out of Hebron. School was held only three months and the teacher had to take his salary in a little grain or produce of some kind. There were not enough people to enable father to make any money making shoes, so we moved back to Salt Lake, leaving Elizabeth and John at Hebron. The Pulsiphers had lots of cattle they were able to stay there.
Francis Joseph Bowler and Annie P. Holt
Contributor: Springsteen Groupie :-) Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
The Bowler heritage is one to be cherished. It is a heritage descended from many family lines, each one a credit to its particular era and locale. Acceptance of Gospel Principles and devotion to the church has played a major role in the development of this great heritage.
Francis Joseph Bowler was brought to this country from England at the tender age of two years by his parents James Samuel Page Bowler and Matilda Hill. Church influence caused them to emigrate to the center of “Zion”.
Following James S. P. Bowler’s birth, his wealthy aunt and uncle Page, who were childless, wished him to become their adopted son and heir to all their fortune. They desired to bring him up in wealthy surroundings and to provide him with training for the ministry in the Protestant faith. Strong family ties and the love of his parents would not allow serious consideration of the adoption. However, he was the recipient of many gifts, one being a one hundred pound note, as well as much affection. An unwillingness to denounce Mormonism on the part of his parents eventually resulted in J.S.P. being defrauded of the one hundred pound note as well as any other inheritance from his aunt and uncle.
J.S.P. Bowler’s grandfather, William H. Taylor, was a Lieutenant in the British Army. He was a member of the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) and participated in the celebrated and decisive battle against the French infantry columns at Waterloo on 18 June, 1815. The Scots Greys, a part of the Union Brigade on the left, fell upon Marcognet’s French Infantry divisions and then rode down the two Army Field Batteries and attacked Napoleon’s “Grand Battery” of 80 guns in action. The Greys were then counter attacked by the French 3rd and 4th Lancers of Jacquinots Cavalry Divisions and were forced to withdraw with heavy losses. Of 2,000 men and horses of the Union Brigade between 700 and 800 men were killed or wounded and 1,000 horses. But the Union Brigade’s charge had been a decisive stroke.
William Taylor was wounded once in the neck, six times on the left arm, twice on the left side and on the left thigh by a lance. He was discharged on 5 August 1818 and admitted as an outpatient at 6’d a day. His discharge papers show that his conduct had been “very good”.
Matilda Hill’s parents, Joseph Hill and Mary Hensworth, were highly respected members of the Wesleyan Church. Mr. Hill was a local preacher and home missionary. Joseph Hill’s mother, Elizabeth Topley, came from a family of well-to-do farmers. Mary Hensworth’s father, John Hensworth, was a parish constable and a parish overseer. He lived in the parish house next to St. Leonard’s church.
Matilda Hill made a great sacrifice in her family relationships and her physical comfort when she joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Great loss was taken in disposing of household belongings due to the very short notice provided before the family sailed for the United States. Coming from a life of moderate wealth to pioneer life in the wide open spaces of Southern Utah required great faith and devotion. It is felt by many that her life may have been shortened because of the great struggle on the new frontier.
The ancestors of Annie P. Holt Bowler came to this country at a much earlier period. Her great grandmother, Martha Spencer, came from a family line first arriving in the United States in the 1600s. Martha’s father, Mica Spencer, joined the church but did not come west. He died in Knox County, Illinois.
John Franklin Truman married Martha Spencer and their son, Jacob Mica Truman, was a member of the famous Mormon Battalion. Jacob Mica was born August 30, 1825 in New York. Following his service with the Mormon Battalion he resided in Salt Lake City under the date of April 14, 1852. In General Conference on October 6, 1861, Jacob Mica Truman and his wife Elizabeth Boyce were called to help settle Southern Utah. They were among the earlier settlers in St. George, Utah.
George Boyce and Ann Geldard, great grandparents of Annie P. Holt Bowler, were born and raised in Yorkshire, England. Ann was born April 5, 1798 and George November 28, 1794. After their marriage they emigrated to the United States. They were early converts to the church in New York and later moved to Michigan where two daughters and a son were born. (One daughter, Elizabeth, was later to become the wife of Jacob Mica Truman). From Michigan the Boyce family traveled to Nauvoo in preparation to go to Utah. They were living in Nauvoo when the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred.
The Boyce family joined one of the early pioneer companies of 1847 to cross the plains to Salt Lake Valley. The mother, Ann, became very ill and died before reaching Utah. She is buried on the Ponca Indian Reservation near the Niobrara River in Nebraska. George remarried along the way to Utah and his daughter, Elizabeth and the younger children went on to the Salt Lake Valley, arriving in September 1847.
James Holt, grandfather of Annie P. Holt Bowler, was born in Halifax County, North Carolina on February 10, 1804. His father, Jessie, was a religious minded man and belonged to the Baptist Church. Jessie had also joined the army and was in the War of 1812.
James Holt married Mary Pain on January 22, 1830. He and his wife were converted to the church by the missionaries. His life became one of great persecution following his baptism. He sold his farm for $175.00 to the same man who had offered him $1,000.00 for it before he joined the church. He and his family then set out to join the Saints in Nauvoo.
While in Nauvoo James worked in the quarry and rafting lumber for construction of the Temple and the Nauvoo House. In April Conference of 1844 he was ordained a Seventy and sent on a mission to Tennessee with his companion Jackson Smith. While on this mission he was preaching to a large congregation near where his father lived. He received an impression and told the congregation that the Prophet had been slain that day. James returned to Nauvoo and found the church in a great uproar. The church was divided into fragments until Brigham Young was sustained as President.
James Emett (who was later to become James Holt’s brother-in-law) asked James Holt to go with him to the Rocky Mountains. He had been appointed by Joseph Smith, prior to his martyrdom, to choose a few families and travel among the Indians. He was to go to the Rocky Mountains and to preach to the Indians along the way to prepare them to receive the Saints. While on this expedition James Holt’s wife and two of his children died. He met and married Parthenia Overton who was also a member of this company.
Parthenia Overton Holt, Annie P. Holt Bowler’s grandmother, was born July 12, 1821, near Salem, Indiana, to Dandridge and Dorcas Wayman Overton. Dandridge was a school teacher. Parthenia joined the church along with her mother and sister Catherine. Parthenia and her sister were in Nauvoo when the Prophet Joseph Smith was killed. Parthenia was also present when Brigham Young was sustained as President of the Church.
Parthenia went with the company of Saints led by her sister’s husband, James Emett, to the North Iowa country. Here James Holt had lost his wife and young baby and another child. Parthenia became a nurse for the children and on February 11, 1845, Parthenia Overton and James Holt were married.
James and Parthenia had a son born July 31, 1852, while traveling to Salt Lake Valley. They named him Franklin Overton Holt. Franklin Overton was three months old when they arrived in
Salt Lake Valley. Brigham Young sent them on to Ogden when they arrived October 27, 1852.
Ten years later James and Parthenia were called by Brigham Young to Southern Utah. They first settled in Orderville and James was elected President of an attempt to live the United Order. They later moved to Washington, Long Valley and Mountain Meadows. About the year 1867 they moved on a large ranch five miles south of Mountain Meadows. This ranch became known as Holt’s Ranch.
The efforts of these pioneers, from which descended Francis Joseph and Annie Holt Bowler, are truly heroic. Their faith, persistence and sacrifice are a sacred legacy to their numerous descendants. A review of family activities and accomplishments finds the descendants also a credit to their forbearers. The great majority are active, devout members of the church. The families have produced many bishops and other church leaders. The F. J. Bowler family has had more than its share of beauty queens, rodeo queens, and student body presidents. A talented musical strain is evident as well as an almost universal characteristic of leadership and occupancy of public office.