Historical Details

Bowen, Jack and Julia

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 11/05/2020


by Bessie Bowen Ryan

My father was born in John Brown's cabin in Osawatomie, Kan. Grandfather was a free "soldier" and migrated to Kansas from Illinois. He built a frame house. Grandmother got there before the house was finished and Dad decided to make his appearance. Since there were no extra houses, the Bowen's borrowed his house and Dad was born. John Brown was off on a raid.

When his mother died, he took off for Colorado where he became a cowboy.  That was around Gunnison, Denver and then Greeley, which was just a freight station on the rail­ road.  He worked on the Wyatt Ranch, which is still in existence and owned by one of the grandsons. Then dad went up to the "77" Ranch north of Manville. He said the deer stood around in herds to watch the camp­ fires. The railroad was there but the town wasn't.  The town was founded by two men - Seldon and Schafer. Seldon built the red house "where he was murdered" - they think by Schafer as all the books pertaining to their partnership were destroyed.    They lived in three rooms and had a grocery store in the fourth room.    Mother was married there and I was born there.  Minnie Allen's mother brought me into the world.

My mother's folks were Catholic in Spain. They wanted to be Protestant so they sneaked out in the night onto a boat and came to New Orleans. Her mother met my grandfather there and they were married.

Then grandfather sided with the North and the Southerners were going to hang him. The Negroes sneaked him through the underground railroad to Springfield. He sent for his family and my mother was born there.

Her  mother died of pneumonia when mother was five or six and a man from Pittefield, N.H. raised her, gave her every advantage, even the trip to Wyoming. She homesteaded here and that is where she met my father. They began housekeeping in a one-room log house.    Dad got into the sheep business and was very successful. My mother started a Sunday School class and out of that came the Congregational Church. The Methodist Church was built later. My brother, Harry and I attended the two-room school house and a Miss Studley from Boston taught first, then a Miss Brown.

My family have all gone now and I live in Manchester, N.H.

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