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Thomas Bowman
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Birth: Jul. 15, 1817
Columbia County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Mar. 3, 1914
Essex County
New Jersey, USA

Thomas Bowman was born 15 July 1817 in Berwick, Pennsylvania to John and Sarah (Brittain) Bowman. He married Matilda Hartman on 13 July 1841. They were the parents of John D., Theodore G., Thomas M., Charles G., William H., Cecilius B., Mary C., Brittain B., Clarence M., Sarah (Sally) E., and Frances O. He died on 3 March 1914 in Orange, New Jersey.

His biography in Wikipedia notes: "Thomas Bowman was an American Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, elected in 1872...He earned his B.A. degree from Dickinson College in 1837. Two years later he entered the Traveling Ministry of the Baltimore Annual Conference of the M.E. Church. He was ordained (Deacon and Elder) by Bishop Waugh.

Bowman taught in the grammar-school of Dickinson College (184043), and five years later founded Dickinson Seminary in Williamsport, Pennsylvania (of which he was President until 1858). Bowman was then chosen as President (18581872) and later Chancellor (188499) of Indiana Asbury College, later DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana. He also was the Chaplain of the United States Senate from May 1864 until March 1865.

During his time at DePauw, Bowman presided over such significant events as the first admissions of women students and of the initial planning (and laying of the cornerstone) of East College. He also served on the University's Board of Trustees (188795), including a term as President.

Upon his election to the Episcopacy, Bowman resigned the Asbury presidency. As a Bishop he officially visited all M.E. conferences in the U.S.A., Europe, India, China, Japan and Mexico."

An article in the New York Times dated November 23, 1903 noted that Thomas Bowman warned President Lincoln of his impending assasination.

"Bishop Thomas Bowman Then Senate Chaplain, Had a Foreboding that Booth Would Kill Him
East Orange, NJ November 22

Bishop Thomas Bowman of East Orange, the oldest living Methodist Episcopal Bishop who has just passed his 86th birthday, has just made a public story in which he tells that he warned President Lincoln that he was in danger of being assassinated by John Wilkes Booth five days before the tragedy occurred. Mr. Lincoln laugingly made light of the warning and a few days later laid down his life.

Bishop Bowman was Chaplain of the United States Senate at the time, and one morning was about to open the Senate with prayer when he saw Booth enter the room. Later he saw Booth prowling around the capitol buildings and White House, and became convinced that his presence there boded evil for Mr. Lincoln. He made inquiries concerning the man, and then went to Mr. Lincoln. The president smiled in his kindly manner and told the clergyman that he did not believe that anyone would attempt his life. A day or two later, Bishop Bowman went to his home in St. Louis. Hardly had he arrived there when the news of the assasination came."

On the website history of De Pauw University, Thomas Bowman is featured prominently:

"The fourth president of Indiana Asbury University was Thomas Bowman...He is graceful enough to be a courtier, simple enough for a Puritan, frank enough for a child, grave as a judge, and pleasant as a woman. His common sense and conciliatory spirit will probably keep him by still waters and in pretty good pastures.

His simplicity, unpretentiousness, and sincerity would help to sustain Bowman through his long tenure in the presidency from 1858 to 1872, including the difficult Civil War years. From May 1864 to March 1865 he also served as chaplain of the United States Senate...In his DePauw Through the Years, George Manhart wrote:

In the classroom, Bowman was said to be `hailed with delight,' as he made `everything as clear as a sunbeam.' He seemed to speak equally well before university students, children, or the United States Senate. He was especially popular as speaker at the dedication of churches, on which occasions he was highly `successful in raising money, having opened the hearts of his hearers until he has free access to their pockets: ...Of President Bowman as a disciplinarian, one of his students wrote that he had a `firm but sweet, kind way of controlling.'

Bowman had made a reputation for himself in Methodist circles, and in 1872 at the General Conference he was elected bishop on the first ballot, with the largest vote cast to that time. Bowman continued his interest in Indiana Asbury by serving on its board of trustees, including a term as president from 1887 to 1895. He was also a special lecturer in the School of Theology. He received the largely honorific title of chancellor in 1884 and after 1899 became chancellor emeritus, without duties or salary. As bishop, Bowman traveled to England, Europe, and the Far East and presided over conferences in every state and territory of the United States, as well as in some foreign countries. After 24 years in the episcopacy he retired from active duties in 1896 and lived in retirement until his death in 1914, aged 96. He had eight sons and three daughters, one of whom, Sallie Bowman Caldwell, provided the organ in Meharry Hall and a large part of the funds for the construction of the gymnasium named after her father. Today President Bowman's memory is preserved in the pleasant and dignified park newly created on the south campus."

Family links: 
  John Bowman (1786 - 1843)
  Matilda Hartman Bowman (1821 - 1879)*
  John Durban Bowman (1842 - 1871)*
  Theodore Granville Bowman (1845 - 1923)*
  Thomas Marion Bowman (1846 - 1914)*
  Charles Gideon Bowman (1848 - 1929)*
  William Hamilton Bowman (1850 - 1939)*
  Cecilius Bantz Bowman (1852 - 1916)*
  Mary Crouse Bowman Smith (1853 - 1937)*
  Samuel Brittain Bowman (1856 - 1939)*
  Clarence M. Bowman (1858 - 1891)*
  Sarah Elizabeth Bowman Caldwell (1860 - 1948)*
  Frances Olivia Bowman (1862 - 1863)*
  Thomas Bowman (1817 - 1914)
  Elizabeth A Bowman Clemm (1825 - 1886)*
*Calculated relationship
Forest Hill Cemetery
Putnam County
Indiana, USA
Maintained by: Pam
Originally Created by: Jon Rice
Record added: Jan 06, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 63807629
Thomas Bowman
Added by: Carol Newton
Thomas Bowman
Added by: Carol Newton
Thomas Bowman
Added by: Carol Newton
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Gone but not forgotten
- Pam
 Added: Jun. 9, 2013

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