PA Civil War > Biography > Bowers

Bowers Family

George Washington Bowers, second son of George and Mary (Clapp) Bowers, was born in Indiana county, Pennsylvania, four miles from Indiana, in 1804, died in 1868. He spent his youth on the farm and later learned the carpenter's trade in Indiana. In 1823 he moved to Pittsburgh, and for several years worked at his trade as journeyman. He then began contracting and became one of the prominent prosperous contractors and builders of Pittsburgh. He was killed by a fall from a building he was contracting. In politics he was a strong Republican, and in religious connections a member of East End Presbyterian Church. He married Hannah Tomer, born in Pittsburgh, 1812, died 1896, daughter of John Rhinehart and Mary Margaret Tomer, both born and married in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. John Tomer served in the revolution, and in 1792 invested in a team and wagon with which he made the journey westward to Pittsburgh, coming with a colony from Lancaster county. He purchased a large tract of land which he cultivated as a farm, but which is now Hazlewood, an exclusive residence district and very valuable. In the year 1800 he traded for twenty-seven acres on Fifth and Neville streets. He built a stone house on the farm, at what is now Fifth avenue and Neville street. He was a staunch Federalist, and with his family belonged to the Presbyterian church. He dealt largely in cattle, and at one time had a stand in the Pittsburgh market. He also drove many flocks and herds to eastern markets. He lived to be ninety-four years of age, is buried in Homewood cemetery. Through his cattle dealing, farming and operations and the great increase in Pittsburgh land values he became quite a wealthy man. He had four sons and thirteen daughters, Hannah being the seventeenth child. The sons were: Jacob, John, Adam, William, all married, leaving large families.

Children of George Washington Bowers: 1. George W. (2); he became a steamboat river man, beginning as clerk and later mate on the larger Ohio river boats. He recruited Company I, One Hundred and First Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, 101st Regiment, was chosen captain, and went to the front during the civil war. He was wounded at the battle of Fair Oaks and suffered greatly before he had medical attendance. He was confined in southern prisons at Salisbury and Savannah for over a year, his death resulting from his wounds and prison experiences. 2. John, died in 1911; he operated a blacksmith shop on Oakland avenue, Pittsburgh, for forty years; he married Mary Schaeffer. 3. Henry, died unmarried, in 1911; he was a blacksmith, and a veteran of the civil war, serving two years in Company H, One Hundred and Thirty-sixth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, 136th Regiment, being honorably discharged with the rank of orderly sergeant. 4. William Tomer. 5. Joseph, a veteran of the civil war, serving in Second Regiment Pennsylvania Cavalry, 59th Regiment, and was wounded at the battle of Gettysburg. In 1880 he moved west, locating at Fort Scott, Kansas; he is unmarried. 6. Amelia, married Frank M. Kendick, a prominent grocer of Pittsburgh, East End, both deceased.

Source: Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette County, John W. Jordan, Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1912.