Biography or Family Record from Naomi Bown Snyder

Written by Naomi Bown Snyder

This is the year of 1955. For the last several years I have been trying to gather together as much information about my ancestors on the Bown family as I could. These dates may not be exactly correct but are to the best of the knowledge of my two aunts, Mrs. Florence Furnish and Mrs. Lulu Barger. We have had family records in old Bibles to go to so they are mostly correct.

Joseph Bown of Mackelsfield, England, was my great grandfather. He was married and had one son named Joseph. His wife died and he later married Elizabeth Cooper, who was my great grandmother. She was a member of the Cooper family who owned and operated the Cooper Textile Mills of Mackelsfield, England. Joseph Bown was a direct descendent of the House of Bown and if he had remained in England he would have been titled.

He often spoke of going back to England for his inheritance and one brother did go but he had to remain in England for such a long period of time and had to leave so much of his money there for the crown that my great grandfather never went.

If any of you who read this in the years to come ever go to England, go to Mackelsfield, England and try to find some trace of either the Bown or Cooper family.

My cousin, Lester, Furnish, was there during World War II, but could find out nothing. My son, Rex Snyder, passed through Macklesfield in the night on a troop train, but of course all he could do was just say "my ancestors come from this town." He was also in World War Two.

Joseph Bown and Elizabeth Cooper Bown were the parents of the following children: Hannah Bown (Vanice), Mary Ann Bown (Cartwright), Jamie Bown, Edd Bown, James Cahan Bown, Nancy Bown (Smith), Charlie Bown and Willie Bown. James was my grandfather. He was born on the Atlantic Ocean, Dec. 27, 1841. The nearest land being an island called San Dumango. He was named James Cahan for the ship he was born on. When he enlisted in the army the C. was taken for A. so he just let it go and called himself James Anderson from that time.

They were in a bad storm which lasted six weeks and delayed their arrival in the U.S. A. There were on the water three months. They landed in New York in Feb. 1842. They went directly to Burlington, Iowa to live. My great grandfather started a foundry and later turned to farming. When he began farming he knew so little about it, when he hitched up a team, he put one horse directly in front of the other one. He soon learned better and made a big success of his new enterprise.

Two sons died while they were in Burlington. They were Jamie and Willie. They were buried in a cemetery which was later taken over by the state and a large building now stands there. Because of deeds and records all being lost by fire the two little boys were never removed from the cemetery, so still lay in the same place so far as the family knows.

James Cahan remained in Burlington, Iowa until Oct. 10, 1861. He enlisted in the army. He was in Co. K., 14th Iowa Reg. and served three years. He participated in the battles of Ft. Donaldson, Shiloh, Corinth, Vicksburg Landing, and Pleasant Hill, Tupelo, Gettysburg Stony River, with Sherman on his March to the sea and several other minor engagements.

I have heard so many stories of his hardships when in the army. They were all very interesting to me. I was sixteen years old when grandpa died and spent weeks there with him and grandma and loved to hear him talk of his adventures. One was near Gettysburg, called Peach Hill. When his company came to a peach orchard they were nearly starved and the peaches were ripe so they proceeded to take over. A little girl about nine years old ran out and gathered her apron full of peaches. They were made into preserves. One quart of the preserves were kept, and the little girl was at the Old Soldier's Reunion for many, many years. Even after she was a grandmother herself, she was at some of the reunions where my grandfather was. And she always brought the quart of preserves, but they were never opened. She and my grandfather remained fast friends until her death. I never learned her name.

My grandfather and a friend named Bill White were together in the army. One night they were so hungry they decided to slip away and forage for food. They were near a little village named Southern. They crept up near a house and got a hen and a gallon of sorghum. They had no salt but roasted the hen as best they could and feasted on hen and sorghum.

After the war Mr. White moved to Adair Co., Mo., and I knew two of his children. One of his daughters was lame. Her name was Minnie. I saw her in June of this year. The son I knew was named Beatthy and he was lame. A daughter named Racheal lived in Wichita, Kansas. I don't remember her married name.

My grandfather was married Nov. 19, 1865 to Elizabeth May Ratliff in the Cumberland Presbyterian Chrch at Pleasant Grove, Iowa. Miss Ratliff was the daughter of Thomas and Sarah (Henderson) Ratliff and they were members of one of the famous "blue blood" families of Virginia.

(This paragraph was written by Ida Pearl)Thomas Ratliff is the man who brought the gold dollar I have back from California, and is supposed to have never been spent! (I.C.B.) More on the gold dollar. My grandfather, Thomas Bown, told me that his grandfather, Thomas Ratliff, had brought back three of these dollars. He had either mined or got the gold out of (placer?) deposits and had taken them to the assay office and traded the gold for coins. In the late 1940's my father, Iven Bown, had talked to some of the Ratliff families of Brashear, Mo., and they had one of the dollars. I don't know what happened to the other one. Iven C. Bown, Nov. 20, 1994.

(More from Naomi Snyder about the Ratliff family.) Her father was one of the men who made the gold rush in 1849. One of his children died while he was away and he never knew it until he returned two years later.

Miss Ratliff's sisters names were Lucy who married Tom Fitzgerald and Mary who married a nam named Needham. Mrs. Fitzgerald had no children. Aunt Mary Needham had three children. They all died in infancy.

Miss Ratliff's brothers' names were: John, Dave, Lewis (who was a doctor), Frank and the baby who died in infancy.

Miss Ratliff was born near Burlington, Iowa, Aug. 18, 1841.

My grandparents came to Missouri in March 1866 and settled on a farm near Sperry. They later, moved to a farm two miles west of Sperry where they lived until he died, Jan. 30, 1916. My grandmother sayed on the farm, and my uncle and aunt, Mr. & Mrs. Geo W. Barger, lived with her for two or three years. In the year of 1922 my Uncle and Aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Ira Furnish, bought the home place, and my grand-mother moved into Kirksville and lived with her daughter, Mrs. John Ely at 115 E. Harrison, until her death, December 30, 1922. My grandparents are buried at a country cemetery east of Greentop, MO commonly called Fort Madison. Lester Lee Furnish died Dec. 25, 1967, and is buried at Ft. Matson Cemetery, Adair co., MO. The real name is Fort Matson.

My grandparents were the parents of six children: Sarah Alice, Mary Ann Florence, William Thomas, Lulu, Jennie May, Ida Pearl.

Sarah Alice Bown was born in Iowa Aug. 9, 1866, while my grandmother was visitiing her old home.

She was married to John Ely Feb. 24, 1886.

They had two children, Charles Fredrick born in 1888, and Perle Elbert who was born Apr. 21, 1895. Charles Frederick was married to Inez Harris in 1908. They had four children: Harold Wayne, Lucille, Alice and Bob (Robert). Harold, Lucille and Alice are all dead at this time, but I have no dates. They are buried in Kansas City in a cemetery on east 15th Street. Harold was a racer and was killed when his motorcycle was in an accident. He was married nad left one daughter. The girls were not married.

Bob is married and has two children living in Harrisonville, Mo. at this time. Perele Elbert Ely was born Apri of 1895. Charles Fredrick Ely ddied in East (Lynn) Apr. 6, 1964. Pearl Elbert was married to Margerette Adkins. They had ttwo children, Geneva and Dale. Geneva was married to Gene Hatfield and has children. She lives in Iowa. Dale is married and has several children. He lives in Kansas City. Perle died Apr. 4, 1952. He was divorced before his death. Sarah Alice Ely died Oct. 11, 1944. John Ely died Nov. 11, 1930. Geneva Ely Hatfield died in Chicago, Ill of cancer, Dec. 1965.

Mary Ann Florence Bown was born June 4, 1868. She was married to Ira Furnish Feb. 22, 1893. They had three children, a son named James Carl who was born Apr. 8, 1894 and died Dec. 21, 1896, a daughter, Lola Gladys was born Dec. 28, 1900 and died July 3, 1901, a son, Lester lee, who was born Aug. 17, 1907. He married Clara Djerlling June 3, 1950. He was in World War II. Mary Ann Florence Furnish died Apr. 22, 1954. Ira Furnish died Aug. 31, 1941. Lester Lee Furnish died Dec. 25, 1967.

William Thomas Bown was born May 8, 1870. He was married to Della West Floyd Apr. 8, 1896. Della West Floyd was born May 11, 1875. They were the parents of five children. Ivie Hdnerson Bown, born May, 12, 1897, Naomi May Bown, born July 29, 1899, [b]Audria Imo Bown, born June 17, 1903,[/b] (Audria Imo Bown is the grandmother of Jo Anne (Jody) Miller Bresch), James Randal Bown, born July 17, 1904, Leroy Thomas Bown, born May 4, 1908 and died Aug. 14, 1913. William Thomas Bown died Dec. 22, 1941. Della (Floyd) bown died March 17, 1942. They are buried in the LaPlata Cemetery at LaPlata, Missouri.

Ivie Henderson Bown married Nellie Neville, Feb. 6, 1921. They had one son, Iven Cleo, born Jan. 4, 1921. He was married to Shirley Francis Payne, May 8, 1948. They have two sons. David Iven, born Feb. 26, 1952 and Donald Ray, born Oct. 11, 1953. Shirley Payne was born Nove. 22, 1928. Ivie Bown died June 4, 1952.

Naomi May Bown married William Ruben Snyder Oct. 9, 1920. They have one son, Rex Orlan, born Aug. 19, 1921. He was married to Kathryn Marie Cumbo May 16, 1942. They are the parents of four sons. Jackie Harold, born Apr. 4, 1943, Jerry Lee, born Aug. 21, 1947, Rex Eugene, Born May 10, 1951, and Jimmie Lynn, born Sept. 14, 1960. Jackie Snyder married Judy Lee Nickell June 2, 1960. They have a son, Larry Dean, born May 3, 1961. Judy has a daughter, Debra Lynn, born Dec. 21, 1963. Jackie and Judy were divorced, Jackie married Anita (Curtis) Long, May 11, 1969. They have one son, Jeffrey Lynn, born Jan. 25, 1970. Rex Eugene Snyder was married to Norma (Woodside) Williams Nove. 25, 1970. Jerry Lee was married to Levatte Harris June 5, 1971. William Ruben Snyder was born Oct. 16, 1897. Kathryn Marie Cumbo was born Nov. 9, 1922.

Audria Imo Bown married Vernon Miller Aug. 12, 1922. He was born Sept. 26, 1895. They were the parents of four children, Dorothy May, born July, 8, 1924, Nolan Lavern was born Feb. 17, 1927, Bertha Lorene, born Jan. 14, 1928 and Dolan Dean, born June 5, 1930. Dorothy May married LaVaughn Cook June 25, 1941. They have three sons, Larry LaVaughn, born June 19, 1947, Verlan Gail, born Nove. 3, 1943 and Ricky Lane, born June 4, 1959. Larry LaVaughn and Verlan Gail are both married and have children. Nolan Lavern Miller and helen Miller were married Sept. 26, 1948. They have two daughters, Jo Anne, born Sept. 17, 1949 and Marion Janet, born Feb. 21, 1952.

Bertha Lorene married Merle Easley in July, 1944. They were the parents of three children, Carolyn Janette, born March 28, 1945, Carl Ellis, born June 3, 1946 and Kevin Lee, born Oct. 10, 1956. Carolyn and Carl are married and have children.

Dolan Dean married Maxine Roberts July 12, 1961. They were divorced and he married Mary Marie Coleen Bahrenfus June 26, 1964, and they were divorced. He married Hazel Haurpsmire Jan. 8, 1865. They have one daughter.

Audria Imo died Aug. 14, 1936. Six weeks later Vernon committed suicide. Dolan Dean was adopted by Ray and Hazel Redmon so his name is Dolan Dean Redmon.

James Randal Bown married Dora Nora Kantry Dec. 19, 1928. She was born Spet. 26, 1909. They are the parents of five chldren: Jewel Mary, Dora Joan, Juanita May, Jimmie Jerome and Jerald Wayne. The four oldest are married and have children.

Lulu Bown married George W. Barger Dec. 29, 1897. They had three children. One son who died at birth. A daughter, Neva Elizabeth, born Jan. 19, 1908 and a son, George Earle, born Feb. 29, 1912. Neva married Dr. E.W. Flynn. They had two children, William Emmet Jr. born dec. 4, 1931, and Patricia who was born March 20, 1940. Dr. E. W. Flynn died May 5, 1953 and Neva Barger Flynn died April 23, 1965. Their children are both married and have children. George Earle Barger married Ester (Brown) Mathis.

Jennie May Bown married Chalres Lorton Jan. 24, 1904. They were the parents of two children, Zula, born March 9, 1907 and died April 12, 1921. Kenneth was born March 2, 1909, who is married. He had one son, Kenneth Jr., who died. He was harried and had several children. Jennie Bown Lorton died Jan. 29, 1912. Charley Lorton died March 12, 1912. Uncle Charley had T.B. and was ill many years. Aunt Jennie had what they called "Quick Comption" at that time and was only sick about six weeks.

Ida Pearl Bown married Dr. W. W. Martin June 23, 1904. They had one daughter, Josie Juanita, born July 2, 1906. Ida Pearl died Aug. 2, 1908 and Dr. W. W. Martin was killed in France during World War. Josie Juanita married Edgar Emmet Simms. They have one son, Edgar Wayne.

Dear Nancy: My friend who types is still sick and my newphew who lives in K.C. offered to have his wife type this but I will just send it to you. Maybe you can read it. I would love to have a copy of all you know of our ancestors, especially grandpa's brothers and sisters and the ones in England like our great great grandparents. Were they really as well up in the nobility as I have been told? I just know what Grandpa and my aunts told me. Do you have relatives around here? Smith and Clarke are very common names but you seldom see the name Bown. I will close for now. Write soon. Love, Naomi Snyder

Author's Note-On the back of one of these letters Naomi wrote: The army record we got of Grandpa Bown said his name was James A. Bowen and had dark hair and dark eyes. He was a typical Englishman. Had blond hair and sky blue eyes. I have a picture in color of him to prove it. And I remember him well anyway. He wore a beard when I knew him. His hair and beard were of course beginning to turn gray but his eyes were definitely blue.


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