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Rev Nelson Bowen
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Birth: Feb. 4, 1821
Jefferson City
Jefferson County
Tennessee, USA
Death: Apr. 10, 1882, USA

The Reverend Bowen was a native of Tennessee, born 4 February 1821 in Sevier County. His mother Nancy who was born 3 December 1789 and died 24 February 1875 was of the Methodist faith. The family moved to Grainger County, Tennessee and resided near Bean's Station when Nelson was young. He became a student at Tusculum Presbyterian College in 1840. While he was there, he decided he would become a Baptist. He was baptized by Elder James Lacy of the Baptist Church at Blackwell's Branch in 1842 and wrote to his sister Dianna in Rogerville, Tennessee to tell her of the event. Miss Margaret Jerusha Garrett became his wife on 10 October 1844, and he moved to Jefferson County, Tennessee where he was licensed to preacher at Mossy Creek in 1854. Nelson met the Reverend James Blythe who invited him to come to Hendersonville, North Carolina and assist him in editing The Carolina Baptist, the paper published Western North Carolina by the Baptist denomination. Early in 1854 he moved to Hendersonville. On the 17th of August 1854 Nelson was ordained as a minister at the First Baptist Church at Hendersonville. On 9 September 1858, after the Western Carolina Baptist Convention in session at Taylorsville had taken steps to provide for a college to be established in Hendersonville, Mr. Bowen was elected it's first president. The publication The Carolina Baptist was suspended in 1859, The Reverend Bowen then began publication of the Cottage Visitor, another religious publication, and later the Blue Ridge Baptist was published in Hendersonville. During the first years that The Reverend Bowen was in charge of the new college in Hendersonville, the Western Carolina Female College which later became Judson College, he was appointed a Missionary from the Domestic and Indian Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention at a salary of $900 a year to travel in South Carolina. He came back home on a visit and saw that the college was at a standstill and might fail, so he resigned his mission job to accept the finical agency of the college at a salary of $300 to assure that the college would succeed. Mr. Bowen became associated with Professor W. A. G. Brown in the publication of another newspaper. The Baptist Telescope. The Bowen family at that time lived on South Main Street, where the old Pickens house stood later. The Telescope was printed in a building located across the street adjoining the original building of the Baptist church. Civil War forced suspension of The Baptist Telescope. Mr. Bowen moved with his family to a farm on the Haywood road where his descendants now live on the same site. Mr. Bowen erected a building on the farm and placed a carding factory in operation there, the machinery being operated by power from a large water wheel on the creek. Wool bought from this and several adjoining counties was prepared and carded there and sent to Raleigh where it was woven into cloth for Confederate uniforms. The distinctive ‘rebel gray' worn by Southern men was made by mixing and spinning together equal parts of thread which had been dyed black and which had been left a natural color. Wool for the family was also provided. Other members of the family were called on to work in providing needs for the people. The oldest son, Arthur at age eighteen, enlisted with troops stationed at Shaws Creek camp ground near the present village of Horse Shoe. After he left, a younger brother, Will was excused from the service because of his work with his father in the carding factory, a necessary wartime industry. After Mr. Bowen suspended publication of The Baptist Telescope, his printing equipment and type were stored in the basement of his home on the Haywood Road. His daughter, Olana said when the Federal troops invaded during the time Kirk's men were in Western North Carolina, Yankee soldiers came t other place and threatened to destroy the press and scatter the type, calling it a rebel outfit. Nelson appealed to the General, and he prevented their damaging it. The carding machines were operated for a few years after the war ended, then sold and moved away. About 1867, Mr. Bowen returned work as editor of The Cottage Visitor which was very popular with many in Western North Carolina. In eighteen years the Bowen family moved from the farm back into Hendersonville and lived in the house which stood where the daughter, taught a private school there. Many prominent citizens of the town were among her students. Nelson and Margaret wee parents of twelve children. Arthur, born 1845, married Miss ? and moved to Nashville, Tennessee after the war between the states: William H., born 1847, married Isabella Justus; Diania E., born 1850 In Tennessee and died in Hendersonville 1941; James Nelson Bowen born 1854, married Lucy Caroline Johnson: Mollie Bowen who married John Freeman of Henderson County and moved to Tacoma, Washington; Mark Mitchell, born 1856, married Florence Catherine Sheperd; Margaret who married Fred A Brown; Jasper married and moved to the state of Washington; Addie who married Lee Holcombe of Waynesville, moved to Oklahoma; Rachel born 1852 married Columbus Dunlap; Paul Bowen who married Miss Allison, daughter of Elijah Allison; and Nannie Patton Bowen, born 1863, and died young.

Sources: Family Letters written during time of the Civil War: Obituary of Diana Bowen: Brief Baptist Biographies, Reverend Robert B. Hamby: Obituary of Mrs. Bowen: personal Knowledge of Ethel Brown: Cemetery Inscriptions. Written by Frances M. Reese
Family links: 
  Nancy Carter Bowen (1789 - 1875)
  Margaret Jerusha Garrett Bowen (1826 - 1907)*
  Arthur Campball Bowen (1845 - 1921)*
  William Henderson Bowen (1847 - 1909)*
  Dianna Eliza Bowen (1850 - 1941)*
  Rachel E Bowen Dunlap (1852 - 1887)*
  James Nelson Bowen (1854 - 1929)*
  Marcus Mitchell Bowen (1856 - 1939)*
  Margaret Josephine Bowen Brown (1859 - 1946)*
  Minnie Patton Bowen (1863 - 1864)*
  Jasper G Bowen (1868 - 1934)*
  John Paul Bowen (1872 - 1946)*
*Calculated relationship
Oakdale Cemetery
Henderson County
North Carolina, USA
Created by: Marcus Stanley
Record added: Oct 05, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 42727635
Rev Nelson Bowen
Added by: Marcus Stanley
Rev Nelson Bowen
Added by: Robert Ashton
Rev Nelson Bowen
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Me & Badger ❤
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- Kathleen Fleury Bilbrey
 Added: Jul. 13, 2011

- Kathleen Fleury Bilbrey
 Added: Jul. 13, 2011

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