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John Jacob Bowman, Sr

  • Birth 1733 Frederick County, Virginia, USA
  • Death 1781 Laurens County, South Carolina, USA
  • Burial Laurens County, South Carolina, USA
  • Memorial ID 117017104

JOHN JACOB BOWMAN (1733-1781), was a son of George and Mary Hite Bowman and a grandson of Jost Hite early pioneer settlers of the Shenandoah Valley.- he grew up on the Fort Bowman Plantation of old Frederick County VA. Jacob Bowman throughout his life used only the given name Jacob and the only bona fide use of John is found in his baptism record.

He went to Reedy River, Laurens Co, S.C. about 1768 where he and his brother-in-law George Wright purchased adjacent lands about 1764. Jacob married ca1766 to Sarah Stephens, born 1745, of Frederick County, VA, daughter of Laurence Stephens. They promptly removed to South Carolina land in Ninety six District, SC (Laurens County) where Jacob earlier laid claim on the Reedy River. Here they established a mill and trading post.

In 1776 Jacob would have been 43 years of age and 50 when the Revolutionary War ended in 1783. During the war he took a leading role in the new colonial government and in November of 1778, Jacob was elected to the South Carolina Legislature as a state Representative for the 96th District. He was a member of the Third South Carolina Whig General Assembly and was later recognized for his civil and private service to the people of South Carolina. Various incorrect or inaccurate occurrences have been written about this Jacob Bowman's political happenings – all dismissed.

In June of 1781, Jacob was shot in the doorway to his mill by Indians or Tories dressed as Indians, nobody knows for sure. Jacob died leaving a widow and 7 children ages 14 years and under. After Jacob Bowman's death Sarah maintained their South Carolina trading post while their teen age son, young Jacob Jr, born about 1767, assumed some responsibilities in supporting the family. Widow Sarah Bowman of Reedy River filed for administration of the estate Oct.2, 1782 Ninety-Six District – Laurens County, SC.

The State of South Carolina Archives contains significant evidence that Sarah Bowman, as the wife of deceased Jacob, was reimbursed by South Carolina for numerous occasions of service and supplies to the Militia during the American Revolution. She is recognized as a Patriot for these services. The patriotic adherence of Jacob and Sarah Bowman is demonstrated well enough by reliable documentation and evidence to negate any unsupported tradition that might indicate otherwise.

In 1788 widow Sarah Bowman sold most of her South Carolina land to Jacob Niswanger, and sometime after that moved with all of her children except one to Garrard Co, KY. Here they were heir to part of the Kentucky lands of Jacob's brother, Joseph. To his eldest son, Jacob, Jr, fell the task of settling the estates of his father as well as his mother's father, Laurence Stephens. Jacob, Jr. was also involved with his three uncles (brothers John, Joseph, and Abraham and a cousin Isaac Hite) in forming the Bowman Land Company.

One of the numerous tracts petitioned for by the land company was the northwest corner of Garrard County at the intersection of the Dix and Kentucky Rivers. It seems that some resulted from Revolutionary War warrants, some for payment for surveying, and some purchased. How ownership of the land was originally achieved is less than clear but it became Sarah Bowman's new home and plantation located at "Bowman's Bottom".

Sarah died 7 May 1839 and was buried in their Garrard County Bowman farm graveyard, where today there is an Obelisk monument to her and her family – it contains the names of more than a dozen family member burials. The 1000 acre plantation was subsequently acquired by her young son George.

John Jacob Jr 1767-1843
Mary "Polly" 1768-1836 (m. John Dunklin)
John 1770-1848 {Mercer Co KY}
Sarah "Sally" 1774-1844 (m. Ed Perkins)
Nancy "Agnes" 1777-??(m. Wm McPheeters)
Rebecca 1770-??? (m. Harding)
George 1782-1864

This Bowman Graveyard has been lost in the ravages of time but surely it was on the home place of Jacob Bowman's Trading Post near Reedy River in District Ninety Six - Laurens County SC.- near todays Tumbling Shoals

Family Members





  • Created by: Toby
  • Added: 13 Sep 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 117017104
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Jacob Bowman, Sr (1733–1781), Find A Grave Memorial no. 117017104, citing Bowman Graveyard, Laurens County, South Carolina, USA ; Maintained by Toby (contributor 47708070) .