Thomas Bowen, Bureau, was born at Woodchurch, Kent Co., England, August 13, 1831. He came to America with his parents, Thomas and Phebe (Markwick) Bowen, in 1838. They settled in New York; first in Monroe County, and then in Orleans County, where our subject’s father died in 1850. The mother is still living at an advanced age.
Our subject was the second in a family of ten children, six of whom are now living, five in New York. Mr. Bowen was reared in New York, and there learned his trade of blacksmith. In 1851 he came to Bureau County, and for five years worked at his trade in Princeton. In 1857 he quit blacksmithing, and came to his present farm, which was then unimproved, paying $6.25 per acre for the first eighty. He now owns 332 acres in Bureau Township, one quarter section of which he purchased of William Cullen Bryant. In politics Mr. Bowen is identified with the Democrat party, and has held most of the offices of the township.
He was married in Princeton, March 25, 1855, to Elvira Thomas. She was born near London February 21, 1829. He parents, William and Mary (Gibbon) Thomas, both died in the old country when she was a child. She was the youngest of ten children, and has four brothers and one sister now living in Wales. Mrs. Bowen landed in America July 4, 1848, and lived in Peoria County, Ill., till 1853, when she came to Princeton. Mr. and Mrs. Bowen have had four children, two of whom are living: William, born August 17, 1856, died April 12, 1858: Thomas, born April 12, 1858, and died October 17, 1876; Mary, born February 15, 1869, wife of William H. Johnson, of Princeton; Frank B., born November 1, 1863.
Source: History of Bureau County, Illinois, H. C. Bradsby, Editor. World Publishing Company Chicago 1885