John was born in Bond County, Illinois to William Henry Bowen and Anne Kesner Bowen. They moved to Barry Co., Mo. where he married Mary Ann Hadley in 1853. He was in the 8th Missouri Infantry Regiment, Col. Simon P. Burns (Redesignated 11th Regiment Mo. infantry) By 1880 his family had moved to Madison Co., Ark. They had twelve Children. He died in Kingston, AR.