Thomas H Bowser


THOMAS H. BOWSER, of Parkers landing, Armstrong county, now living retired, is one of the oldest residents of that place, where he has made his home since 1870. He was born Feb. 14, 1841, near Curllsville, Clarion county, Pa., son of James S. and Eleanor (Monks) Bowser.

James S. Bowser was a native of Bedford county, Pa., and was of German parentage. He was reared in that county, and became a collier, that occupation the grater part of his mature life, in Clarion, Indiana, Cambria, Armstrong, and Lawrence counties, Pa. he finally settled in Parker township, Butler county, Pa., in 1870, and there he passed the remainder of his life, dying May 23, 1884, at that location, in his eighty-first year. He married Eleanor Monks, daughter of William and Rachel (Benn) Monks, the former of whom was a native of Dublin, Ireland, the latter of London, England. William Monks served as an American soldier in the was of the Revolution. He and his wife were pioneers in what now is Clarion county, Pa., where they cleared and improved a farm near Curllsville upon which they lived and died. They were farming people throughout their residence there. Mr. Monks, who was born in February, 1759, died March 10, 1841; his wife, born Feb. 14, 1760, died May 8, 1852. Their family consisted of thirteen children: Elizabeth, Mrs. Andrew Bunker; Mary,. Mrs. McKinley; Andrew, Ann, Mrs. James Fox; Rebecca, Mrs. Meredith; John W.; Margaret, Mrs. McLeary; William, a minister of the M. E. Church; Henry B.; Lydia, Mrs. Dillon; Rachel, Mrs. West; Eleanor, who married James S. Bowser; and Jane, Mrs. Robert Reynolds.

Mrs. James S. Bowser survived her husband a number of years, passing away Oct. 7, 1897, in her eighty-fourth year. She was the mother of the following children: Thomas H.; John H., deceased; Mary C., married to Lewis Delph; Jeremiah W., deceased; Anna E., deceased, who was the wife of Jacob Hearkenrather; James S., deceased; Rachel M., married to Stephen McLafferty; Margaret M., deceased; and Commodore C.

Thomas H. Bowser was reared in western Pennsylvania, received his education in the public schools, and under his father�s instruction became a competent collier. He was engaged as such until the breaking out of the Civil War, in April 1861, enlisting for the defense of the Union, in Company C, 62d Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He was mustered into the service July 4th of that year, and served three years, receiving his honorable discharge at Pittsburgh July 13, 1864. He participated at the battles of Fredricksburg, Chancellorsville, Harrison�s Landing and all the engagements of the Army of the Potomac in which his command took part, and was promoted to Corporal Oct. 4, 1863. At Gettysburg, July 2. 1863, he received a Bayonet wound through his right side, and was taken prisoner by the enemy, being sent to Belle Isle, where he remained until paroled Sept. 30th of that year. He was not exchanged however, until March, 1864, after which he rejoined his regiment at Harrison�s Landing, Va. After leaving the army Mr. Bowser located at Mahoning Furnace, Armstrong county, Pa., where he was employed in the mines for one year. Moving to Sligo, Clarion county he was engaged in the colliery business there until 1868. From that time until 1870 he was employed in the same line in Lawrence county, Pa., in the latter year settling in Parker City, where he has continued to reside up to present time. For sixteen years of this time he operated a coal mine of his own. Then he entered the employ of George B. Cooper, oil operator, with whom he remained, in the capacity of a pumper, for a period of eight years, and later he was employed as such by O.J. Thomas for sixteen years, until his retirement, in 1910. He is a citizen of the highest standing, and is well known in local fraternal circles, being a member of Lawrenceburg Lodge, No. 782, I.O.O.F., and of Col. C. A. Craig Post, G.A.R., of the Parker City, of which he is the present commander. Mr. Bowser believes in the principles of the Republican Party, but he is an independent voter.

On Nov. 14, 1864, Mr. Bowser married Mary Kleinhesselink, daughter of John and Henrietta Kleinhesselink, of Armstrong county, Pa., natives of Holland. Nine children have been born to this union; Margaret M., who is the wife of Daniel B. Logan; John H.; James H.; Ida M., deceased; Robert Bruce; Frank, deceased; Grace E., deceased, who was the wife of Charles Gates; Lydia H., wife of William F. King; and Curtis C.

Source: Pages 898-899, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed November 1998 by Nanci Michalkiewicz for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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