McGowan history continues

Published 4:53 pm Wednesday, June 2, 2004

By Staff
I will continue with the material on the McGowan family this week. I went to the internet and checked with to see if I could find anything on this family. There was very little or some so vague as to be no help at all. The information that I have was originally found in McMillan Trust. Copies have been found with several descendants, but it seems that they go back to the same source.
I left off last week with the family of Peter McGowan and his wife, Nancy Floyd (29 Feb. 1832-23 April 1903). After the death of Peter McGowan, Nancy married his brother, Alexander McGowan (16 Jan. 1835-19 July 1914). I thought it was interesting enough to tell a little bit about her as seen through the eyes of Ellen Hunter, a slave of Nancy's father, Thomas Floyd.
Ellen Hunter was seven years old when the Yankees came through. She belonged to Thomas Floyd and lived at Boykin. After Peter died and before Nancy married Alexander, Ellen and several members of her family went to live with Nancy. She was not big enough to do much but she did keep the fire pushed up under the pots on the fireplace where they did the cooking. She said that Nancy could really cook, especially cakes. She cooked all the wedding cakes for both the white and the black members of the household. Ellen said that she used a dozen eggs in making her pound cakes.
When Nancy and Alexander were married Ellen related the following about the event.
Samuel and Patsy (Martha) McGowan came to the wedding. Patsy was a small women with black eyes. She always wore a white handkerchief tied around her head. Patsy stayed at the home of Nancy and Alexander during her last days and was nursed by Ellen's mother. Ellen related about life in the area at the time and the celebrations and dances that took place. She said that Nancy was always good to her and the rest of the blacks, looking after them if they became sick. The first time she came to Brewton there were only three stores here. The Aarons, Mrs. Rosie Lyon and another wooden store building. There were woods all around what is now Brewton.
Alexander and Nancy were the parents of six children, Joseph F. McGowan (25 July 1867-16 Nov. 1937) who married Minnie Oliver Leonard, Everette McGowan (22 Aug. 1868-23 April 1893), James Greeley McGowan (24 June 1871-1 Jan. 1934) who married Essie Stallworth, Bruce McGowan (23 June 1875-29 Dec. 1898), Martha Elizabeth McGowan (10 March 1871-14 May 1953) who married James L. Robbins (there has to be a mistake in the birth date of her or her brother, James Greeley) and Jessie McGowan (11 March 1873-30 June 1942) who married William Edward Foshee.
Samuel McGowan was the next son of Samuel McGowan and Martha Mason. He was born 11 Nov. 1836 and died 12 July 1862. He was a member of Company D 10th Alabama Regt. during the Civil War. He died of measles while in camp at Okolona, Miss. at the age of 25.
James McGowan (9 Feb. 1838-23 Nov. 1897) was the next child. He married Martha Ghent June 18, 1861 at Milton. He, like his brothers, served in the Confederacy. The war was over six months before he came home. Everybody had decided that he had been killed. One day one of the older slaves saw him come walking down the path to the house. She dropped her pail of milk and went running to the house. She thought she had seen a ghost. He and Martha were the parents of Addie Bell McGowan (27 May 1863-28 Dec. 1936) who married Evander White, Mary Agnes McGowan (8 July 1866-5 April 1954) who married Napoleon Bonapart Dixon, John Charnic McGowan (6 July 1868-3 March 1952) who married Leila M. Earle, Fielding Taylor McGowan (22 May 1871-28 April 1899) who married Belle Reynolds and Samuel Walker McGowan (8 Sept. 1873-14 Oct. 1914) who married Nannie Josephine McGowan.
I will continue with the rest of Samuel and Martha Mason McGowin's children next week. the price of "Heritage of Escambia County" has been reduced. The regular price is $64.80 but for a limited time the price is $43.20. I only have three copies left, so be sure to see me if you are interested in purchasing one.

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