Bowman School History Is Told By Mrs. Boone
Chillicothe Constitution Tribune, April 24, 1959.

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by Mrs. Luther Boone, Wheeling, Missouri

reprinted with the permission of the Chillicothe Constitution Tribune


Data for the history of Bowman school was compiled by Mrs. Mary E. Patrick of Chillicothe, a former teacher of the school, whose husband, Edward Patrick was born and reared in the district. The school was located about 4 miles northeast of Dawn.

Mrs. Patrick, then Miss Mary L. Hellam, taught two terms, 1906-1908, at the school. She taught six years in the public schools of this county. She was married to Mr. Patrick in 1911 and the following year left the state and did not return until May of 1957. In the interim, she taught two years in Texas, 32 years in South Dakota, and the last two terms proceeding her retirement in 1952, she taught in Oregon.

Since records of the school were not available, Mrs. Patrick obtained information about the school and some of its early patrons, from former pupils and teachers, from Bible records, as well as from the History of Livingston County and the 1937 Centennial edition of the Constitution-Tribune.

The oldest records concerning the school, were furnished by Mrs. Blanche Duncan Forman, whose grandfather, Samuel Patrick, Sr., and family came into the area in or about 1841 and settled about a mile from where the Bowman school site was later located. Sam Jones whose father, Thomas E. Jones, attended the school in 1867-68, therefore established the fact that Bowman school was formed before 1867, since the school was organized before his father was a pupil, probably between the years 1862-66. Mrs. Rose Jones Evans, 80 years old, who lives at the Leeper hotel in Chillicothe, furnished information also, and Mrs. Patrick supplied data about the school proper.

Bowman school district was formed from a part of the Shoal Creek area, as was also the Dawn school which was established earlier. Settlers began coming into the territory as early as 1834; a year after the Indian title to this region was extinguished, the Indians moving farther west and north. These families migrated from other states including Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and from the country of Wales. Since their histories are closely associated with that of the school district, information about some of the earliest patrons is herein given.

Samuel E. Todd preceded the other early settlers, coming into the area in the spring of 1831. He was the first white settler in Livingston County. He settled on a farm about a mile west of Utica.

George Duncan and wife from Kentucky settled in Blue Mound township in 1833, a short distance southeast of where the Liberty Methodist church now stands, first living in Howard county. Their first child born in Livingston County was Emery, on November 28, 1933, the same month and year the stars fell, which some thought was a forewarning of the Civil War.

Samuel Patrick, Sr., who came to the area about 1841, purchased land from the government for $1.25 per acre and built a large house about a mile from Bowman school site. The house is still standing. He had seven children born in Howard County, and two younger ones, a daughter, Martha Ann, and a son, Samuel McFarland Patrick, born in the Shoal Creek area. His wife, later designated Grandmother Lucy, taught their children in the home. In 1849, the father and three of his sons went to the California gold rush. In 1865, the daughter, Martha Ann, married the youngest son of George Duncan, William Munro Duncan, born in 1840. They lived near his parentsí home for several years. Martha Ann taught a subscription school in their home. About 1867 or í68 the couple settled about a half mile northwest of the Bowman school. Their children, Jennie Francis, Thomas Munro, Horace Clark, Lillian Annis, Lucy Katherine and Blanche Susan attended the school. Jessie Francis and Lucy Katherine later taught their home school.

Martha Annís youngest brother, Samuel McFarland Patrick, married Mary Ellis and their children, Ida, Kas, Ellis, Sr., Mary, Lucy, Harvey, Dennis and Edward, were Bowman pupils. Edward was Mrs. Patrickís husband.

Samuel Patrick, Sr.ís daughter, Sarah Louise, married Joseph Clark. They lived in the Bowman district a part of the time and Mr. Clark taught school in Dawn. He was one of the schoolís first teachers. Their children, Robert, Frank and Mary Elizabeth, were Bowman pupils. The daughter, Mary Elizabeth, married W. H. Hedrick, and they were the parents of Eunice Ormsby, 430 Calhoun, Chillicothe, who works at the Mode-O-Day shop. Mr. Hedrick was born in Virginia, July 19, 1855 and his parents and their children, three boys and four girls, moved to Missouri in 1856. They were active in both school and church activities in the Bowman district. He was an uncle of the late Ira Hedrick of Chillicothe.

William Pauli was another early settler, coming to the area in 1868.

There were several different families by the name of Jones, all from Wales, but no relation, whose children attended the Bowman school.

One family was known as Gold Jones. It is said they got the name from the fact that they paid for their land in gold. They came earlier than the other Jones families. Albert and Dollie of this family were Bowman pupils. Pauline Byrd, a granddaughter, and Jones Findley, a grandson, attended the school and as late as the term of 1913-14, two grandsons, Arthur Jones and Braxton Jones, cousins, were Bowman pupils.

In the year of 1865, Isaac T. Jones and wife, from Wales, settled on a farm a mile east of the Bowman school and east of where Mt. Carmel Baptist Church now stands. This farm was partly in Bowman and partly in the Kincaid districts, consequently their children attended first one and then the other of the schools.

Thomas Jones, Sr., his three boys, David, Ben and Thomas E., came to this country from Wales in 1867, to establish a home before the mother and two other children came over, in about a year. They got off the train at Utica, which then was larger than Chillicothe, both towns being very small. Their destination was Dawn, which was in or near this Welsh settlement. They walked from Utica to about a mile east of Dawn without realizing they had passed through it. They finally stopped at the farm home of Mr. Grose inquiring the way to Dawn and also for a place to live. They were directed to a log cabin farther east which was vacant. This cabin was in the Bowman district. On their way, they met one of the Gold Jones family who had settled on land in the Bowman school district across the road from where Mt. Carmel Baptist now stands.

Perhaps Thomas Jones and his three sons lived in the log cabin for awhile but they later moved to what is known as the Thomas farm a mile and Ĺ from the Bowman school and three miles northeast of Dawn, which Mr. Jones purchased. This farm joined that of Grandmother Patrickís. The son, Thomas E. Jones, Jr., then 13 years of age, roomed and boarded with Mrs. Patrick the first year he was in the United States. When the rest of the family came over from Wales he stayed in the home of his parents.

Thomas E. married Ida Patrick, also a Bowman pupil, and all their children except the youngest, Harvey, attended the school. The family moved to Chillicothe when Harvey was 6 years old. The other children were Samuel, Orville, Esther and Grace. The father died last year (1958) in Chillicothe at the age of 104.

The one-acre tract for the school site was given by one of the earliest settlers, a Mr. Bowman, whose sons, John and Voltie, were teen-age boys during the Civil War period. John Bowmanís daughters, Nellie, Hallie and Clara were pupils of the school their grandfather had helped to establish.

Bowman school was in Blue Mound Township 56, District 81, Range 24, Section 4, about four miles northeast of Dawn. Two schoolhouses were built through the years, the first and largest one burning to the ground in 1899. It is thought that wood piled too near the large box stove, caught fire during the night, causing the destruction of the house. A second building was erected on the same site soon afterward.

The first schoolhouse was a large frame building painted white which faced the south. There were four windows on each side. A large porch extended across the entire width of the building on the south with three or four steps on each end of the porch leading down to the ground level. There were two outside doors on the south.

The walls had wainscoting to about the height of the bottom of the blackboard, and it extended around the room. Above this, the walls were plastered, as was the ceiling. Wraps were hung in the south end of the room. Shelves for the dinner pails were built on the south wall. The water pail with a long-handled dipper had its place in the back of the room.

There were four rows of double seats or desks. The 4-legged teacherís desk was in the north or front part of the room. It had a large center drawer and two small side drawers.

In the center of the north wall was a shelved cupboard built below or under the chimney, which held supplies of chalk and etc.

The painted blackboard, about three or four feet in width, extended across the north wall from the cupboard to the corner, then across the sides to the front or north windows. Later slate blackboards were installed.

The second and smaller schoolhouse was similar in design to the first, being built on a higher foundation. It also faced the south. There were three windows on each side. A small cloakroom was built on the south end, but it did not extend all the way across the main building. A small window was in each side of the cloakroom. There was one outside door in the south end of the cloakroom and one inner door leading into the schoolroom. A small, high porch was across the front end of the cloakroom with steps leading to the ground level. Mrs. Patrick thinks the steps and porch had railings.

The water pail was kept in the cloakroom during warm weather and in cold weather was kept in the back part of the schoolroom. In later years a water jar or cooler was furnished. Each child or each family had individual drinking cups or tin cups. The wash basin was kept on a bench in the cloakroom. Drinking water was obtained from a spring located near the southeast corner of the school grounds. This spring was later walled up above the ground level and a large pipe or tile was put in the spring, a board platform being built on top of the spring, which improvement kept out much surface water, rabbits, etc. Later a chain pump was installed and still later a forced pump with a long handle. The pumped water was soft and at times several families hauled water for home use from this school well.

The schoolyard was fenced with barbed wire. Trees were on the southwest part of the playground and there was timber across the road.

Patrons furnished lamps and lanterns to light the schoolroom when there were night entertainments.

Mrs. Patrick taught all eight grades during the terms of 1906-07 and 1908-09. Pupils attending then were David Johns, Luther Johns, David Owens, Eunice Hedrick, Emma Bradley, Inez Owens, Roger Owens, Robert Evans, Ruby Patrick and Veva McCleery. Robert Evans later became a physician and surgeon.

Programs were given usually at Halloween and Christmas and at the close of school following a basket dinner.

The first term Mrs. Patrick taught, the salary was $30 per month for a 7-month term. The next term it was $35 for the same length of time. Teachers paid $10 per month for board and room. Some of the teachers drove back and forth from Dawn. Patrons who boarded the teachers were George Evans, W. H. Hedrick, William Duncan and Thomas E. Jones.

Games popular then were Blackman, jump-the-rope, dare base, ball, anti-over, fox and geese, drown the duck, drop-the-handkerchief, whip cracker; run, sheep, run; poison, Ruth and Jacob, Isaac and Rebecca, clap-in-and-clap-out, go in and out the windows, snow-ball, charades, leap frog, and grunt.

In 1892, Sunday school was organized at the Bowman school. The David Cook quarterlies were used. Reverend T. J. Puckett, a Baptist minister, conducted a revival. Some years later Mr. Carmel Baptist Church was built about a half a mile east of the schoolhouse. William Hedrick donated the land for the church.

Among early taxpayers of the district, other than those previously mentioned, were Louis Jones, Ben Owens, Lorenzo Wilcox, Ellis Patrick, Walter Vanstane, Mr. Pepper, George Evans, Mr. Johns, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Bradley and Mr. Fritz.

Some patrons serving on the school board were Lorenzo Wilcox, William Duncan, George Evans, W. H. Hedrick, Louis Jones, Ben Owens, A. Foreman, and Thomas E. Jones.

Some of the early pupils included Thomas E. Jones, Horace Duncan, Thomas Duncan, Frank Clark, Robert Clark, Ida Patrick, Anna Patrick, Mollie Patrick, Ellis Patrick, Pauline Byrd, Fannie Duncan, Mary Ann Jones, Rose Jones and Esther Jones. Some of the later pupils were Clay Foreman, Larkin Foreman, David Owens, Harry Pauli, Jones Finley, Ray Foreman, Eva Bradley, Mable Foreman, Grace Jones, Emma Bradley, Veta Pauli, Eunice Hedrick, Naomi Hughes, Inez Owens, Lena Evans, David Johns, Luther Johns, Roger Owens, Robert Evans, Ruby Patrick, Veva McCleery, Sam Patrick, Braxton Jones, Arthur Jones and Forest Vanstane.

Former pupils now living include Mary Jones Stagner, Rose Jones Evans, Esther Jones James, Esther Jones Chapman, Orville Jones, Jennie Hamilton Akers, Eunice Hedrick Ormsby, all of Chillicothe; David Johns, Sam Jones, Harry Pauli, Veta Pauli Bowen, Grover Hamilton, all of RFD 2, Chillicothe; Blanche Duncan Foreman, Topeka, Kansas; Fannie Hamilton Street, Dawn; Dr. Robert D. Evans, physician and surgeon, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Luther Johns, state of Washington; Veva McCleery, Butte, Montana; Inez Owens Steen, Kansas City; Naomi Hughes Shaw, Wyoming; Lena Evans, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Harvey Dennis Patrick, Oklahoma; Samuel Patrick, Iowa; Ruby Patrick Coldiron, Ludlow; Forrest Vanstane, California.

Everett Wilcox, deceased, who was born and reared in the Bowman district, became a Baptist missionary to Brazil. He served for many years. He received his training at a Baptist seminary in Texas.

Some of the teachers of Bowman school through the years were Amy Oliver, Fred Clem, Clara Holmes, Louisa Gray, Ida Head, Reba Davis, Kate Braden, Willie Wiley, Hattie James, Etta Jenkins, Ella Case, Mary Hellam, Ada Mott, Emma Newman, Katherine Duncan, Maggie James, Fannie Duncan and Virgil Vanstane who was the last teacher, having taught the 1916-17 term. He is now a physician and surgeon at Madison, Wisconsin. Other former teachers now living are Mrs. Mary Hellam Patrick, Chillicothe, and Ella Case Lannen, Montana.

Soon after the close of the school, the building was sold to Chester Courtwright and moved east of the school site about half a mile. It was remodeled, painted red and used for a barn. The one-acre school tract was sold to Dan Runyon, now deceased. Mr. Runyon built a small dwelling house on the school site where he lived for several years. A Mr. Utley lives there now.