Biography of William Bowen of Neponset, Illinois

William Bowen (deceased). The following biography is devoted to a man who is well remembered by our older settlers, and who distinguished himself as a soldier in our late war, and what is more, as a useful citizen after the war, in all matters pertaining to the interest of the community. He was born October 19, 1836, in Scropton, Derbyshire, England. He was a son of George and Sarah (Moocroft) Bowen, who were natives of Sctopton, England, and the parents of six children, viz.: Hannah, William, John, Mary, George, and Sarah, who was born in Bureau County, Ill. The immigrated from England to the United States in 1846. It took them seven weeks and three days to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a sailing vessel. They landed at New Orleans, and the journey from there to Hennepin, Ill., was accomplished on a steamboat. They settled in Neponset Township, Bureau County, the same year, and here the parents died, George Bowen, Sr. December 15, 1879, and his wife June 27, 1881.

William Bowen farmed in early life, and when this country called for volunteers to protect the stars and stripes he enlisted August 5, 1861, in Company I of the Twenty-seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was discharged September 20, 1864. He served with the rank of Sergeant, and participated in the battles of Belmont, where he was wounded in the arm, Stone River, Chickamanga, Union City, Island No.10, Farmington, seige of Corinth and Lavergue.

After the war he farmed till his demise which occurred November 13, 1880. He was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and made himself useful in many ways to the community wherein he resided. William Bowen was married October 5, 1864, to Miss Sarah J. Norton, who was born October 5, 1842, in Pickering, Canada. She survived her husband, and resides on the farm of 400 acres which he had accumulated by his industry. She is a daughter of Thomas and Frances (Walker) Norton, natives of England, who came here in 1854. He is yet living, but she died April 18, 1867. She was the mother of two children, viz.: Mrs. Mary A. Saddler and Mrs. Sarah J. Bowen, who is the mother of six children, viz.: George T., born July 18, 1865; Ada F., born July 18, 1867; Effie J., born January 11, 1869; Mary M., born September 6, 1871; Arthur J., born January 12, 1873, and Franklin, who was born January 9, 1875. Mrs. Bowen manages the large property left by her husband with ability. Religiously she is connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Source: History of Bureau County, Illinois, H. C. Bradsby, Editor. World Publishing Company Chicago 1885

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