My Family Tree

Emery Henry (?) Bowen 

*c. 1810 - †3 Mar 1880


a) According to his Civil War pension file he was born in Monroe county New York. He was 5'11" tall, had a light complexion, blue eyes, and sandy hair. He was injured but his pension requests were refused. He married Elizabeth GORDON on May 22 1831. She was 16. The Reverand Francis Smith of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in Minden, officiated. Among the people present were, Polly ELLMAN of West Minden NY, and Sally PATNUM, Elizabeth's sister, of Georgetown (Youngstown), Niagara, NY. Other people in attendance were Mrs. Polly Ellmer, William and Jane Grundy of West Mendon, Monroe NY, Mr and Mrs Thompson also of West Mendon. svcygnusoriginally submitted this to Lena Roles Family on 10 Jun 2008 Emory Bowen was born in East Mendon, Ontario County, New York, [ he was born in what became Monroe County in 1821 ] about 1814 ± 5 years [he may have been born as early as 1810]. On 22 May, 1831, Emory married Deborah Elizabeth Gordon. His wife was usually called Elizabeth. They were married in the Methodist-Episcopal Church in West Mendon, Monroe, New York by Reverend Francis Smith. Elizabeth was born somewhere in New York about 1815, and was sixteen at the time of her marriage. The Bowen’s first child, James Harrison Bowen, was born somewhere in New York around 1832 or a little after. Their second son, Andrew Bowen, died in infancy and may have been born around 1835. Their first daughter, Nettie Emily Bowen was born around 1840. These three children were probably all born in Monroe County, NY. In the 1840 US census there was an Emery [sic] Bowen living in Rush, Monroe, New York. His household consisted of 1 white male 5 to 9 years old [James ?], 1 white male 30 to 39 years old, a white male who was listed as a Revolutionary War Pensioner, Eliphalet Gordon, 82 years old, two white females 20 to 29 years old. If this was my great -great grandfather’s family, then Eliphalet Gordon was probably Elizabeth Gordon’s father, or more likely her grandfather considering his age. The second woman may have been a sister of either Emory or Elizabeth. Nettie Emily is not accounted for. Perhaps she wasn’t born until sometime after the census in 1840. Emery’s age in the 1840 census suggests he was born in 1810 or earlier which is a conflict with Emory Bowen’s birth year [ca 1814] when calculated from his stated age at the time of his enlistment in June, 1863. [perhaps he lied about his age when he enlisted ... 45 was the maximum enlistmentage]. [The M Company Roster shows Emory Bowen as 44 years old, which would have made him born in 1819. He would have been only twelve years old when he married Elizabeth !!! No member of his company is shown as being older than 44, so it is probable that 45 was the cut off age, and Emory lied about his age to enlist]. While living in Grove Township, Allegany County, New York, their fourth child, Della Louisa Bowen, was born on 2 July, 1841. Their fifth child, Lewis Addison Bowen, was also born in New York, probably early in 1844. The Bowen's lived in Allegheny County, New York until about 1844 when they moved to Michigan, settling down in Ray Township, McComb County. While in Ray Township the Bowen’s added to their family. William Wallace Bowen was probably born there around 1846 and Clara Elizabeth Bowen was born ca 1848. Around 1850 the family moved to Adrian, Lenawee County, Michigan, then to a farm in the same county [in Woodstock Township ?]. Their son Joseph Winfield "Scott" Bowen was born in Blissfield, Lenawee County (?), Michigan, on 11 August, 1851 [info from Clare Bowen~Molina]. The daughters Emma May Bowen and Alice Luella Bowen were also born in Lenawee County. The Bowen’s moved to St. Johns, Clinton, Michigan, ca1860. On 6 June, 1863, Emory enlisted in the 7th Michigan Cavalry at Bingham, Clinton, Michigan, for a three year term. He received a $25 bounty plus a $2 premium. He was mustered into the Army at Grand Rapids, Michigan, on 12 Jun, 1863, as a private assigned to Company "M" under the command of Captain Robert Sproul . Emory was sent to a base near Washington, D.C., for his training. He was still at Washington onthe 2nd of July and therefore did not participate in the Battle of Gettysburg which was on the 2nd ~ 4th of July, 1863. The 7th Michigan was in the battles of Hagerstown, PA, on 6 July, Boonsboro, MD, on 8 July, Snickers Gap, VA, on 19 July, and Parmerville, VA, on 25 July, 1863. The unit apparently returned to Washington after the last battle and remained there until late August or early September, 1863. In July or August, 1863 [most likely 22 or 23 July], Emory’s company was crossing a bridge from Washington, D.C. to Alexandria, Virginia, when the horses were spooked by a train. Emory's horse reared and threw it's head back striking Emory in the face and knocking him unconscious. The horse then trampled Emory in the groin. When he regained consciousness he was blind in the right eye, and his vision was blurred in the left eye which continued to deteriorate throughout the remainder of his life. The trampling resulted in double scrotal hernias. His military records show that during July & August, 1863, Emory Bowen was "absent … left sick at Camp Wyndham". In November & December he was at "… Camp Stoneman since July 22nd ~ Detached service". While he was in the hospital at Camp Stoneman, Elizabeth and their younger children traveled to Washington and rented a "..small house.." in Giesboro Point, near Washington so they could take care of him and also their son Louis who was also in the Army and was sick. Emory continued on "Detached Service" at Camp Stoneman until he was discharged from the Army for disability on 15 June, 1864. Incredibly, the Army Doctor, John Higgins, who signed the discharge authorization wrote as reason for disability: "Hernia, Defective Eyes, and Old Age - all of which existed prior to his enlistment" ! [Perhaps Emory had admitted his true age to the doctor ?]. His discharge papers described Emory as 5’ 11" tall, light complexion with blue eyes and sandy hair. [Emory didn’t receive his final discharge papers until 9 June, 1865. This may have been his discharge from the "Veteran Reserves"]. After his discharge from the Army, Emory and his family apparently stayed at Giesboro Point until sometime after the end of the war in 1865. He seems to have been employed by the Army as a civilian guard watching over the horses while the war continued, although he was sometimes unable to show up for work due to illness. Army records suggest he may have been attached to the Veteran Reserve portion of the 7th Michigan Cavalry after his discharge, or possibly after the end of the war in 1865. The Bowen’s youngest daughter, Alice Luella, contracted an illness and died while the family was at Giesboro Point. After the war, the Bowen’s returned to St. Johns, Clinton, Michigan, where they remained for about a year. They then moved to Port Huron, St. Clair, Michigan, where they lived for about four years. From Port Huron they moved to Port Austin, Huron, Michigan where they remained until Emory's death. Emory applied for an Invalid Pension on 12 June, 1865, but his pension was denied. Emory again applied for a pension on 5 December, 1867. That application was also rejected. Once again, on 6 April, 1869, Emory applied for an Invalid Pension and it was again rejected on 3 June, 1871. Reuben B. & Della L. Franklin signed as witnesses on the notarized affidavit he submitted with the last request. On 12 June, 1876, Emory filed Pension claim # 74, 527 and it was again rejected It appears that Emory reapplied for a pension, or a review of his case, in October, 1877. Elizabeth made a notarized sworn statement on 6 October, 1877, that Emory’s eyesight and health were good prior to his enlistment, and that he had no hernias. Elizabeth also referred to losing letters from Emory when they "…were shipwrecked several years ago". Apparently, the pension was again denied. Because of health problems associated with his injuries he was unable to work at anything except "light chores" after his discharge from the Army. Around the middle of February, 1880, Emory slipped and fell injuring his hip. He then contracted pneumonia. Emory Bowen died in Port Austin, Huron, Michigan, on 3 March, 1880. Cause of death was shown as "Hernia and defective vision contracted while in ... service, augmented by chronic diarrhea and inflammation of the lungs". After Emory’s death, Elizabeth appears to have hired a lawyer to try to get Emory’s pension claim approved so that she could qualify for a widow’s pension. She applied for a Widow’s Pension on 27 December, 1884. Her claim was reviewed by the Pension Bureau and rejected on 5 June, 1886. It is possible that she re-applied between December, 1884 and June, 1886. A review of her application was requested and it was again rejected on 7 April, 1887. She seems to have applied for some sort of benefits for service related death of her husband as well as his disability pension. A special investigation was conducted by Special Examiner, D.M. Greene between 17 December, 1887 and July, 1888. Mr. Greene immediately (on 20 December, 1887) recommended rejection of the claim for service related death "… since cause of death was not service related …". He also expressed reservations about the disability claim and recommended further investigation. The claim was again rejected. Elizabeth hired a different lawyer who apparently put out the effort to track down Captain Robert Sproul, Emory’s Company Commander, and get a deposition from him concerning the accident on the bridge and Emory’s physical condition before and after the accident. He also got a statement from the doctor who gave Emory his enlistment physical who stated that he had been "in surprisingly good health for a man of his age" at the time of his enlistment. It appears that on 20 May, 1889, the Bureau of Pensions finally acknowledged that Emory should have been getting a pension for disability caused by "injury of head and eyes and scrotal hernia of the left side" , but they then investigated Elizabeth’s situation to be sure that she actually qualified for a widow’s pension.

Wedding: 1)


1) Address: Methodist-Episcopal Church