28. William Earl Bowman (1884-1949) Age 65
29. Willie Grace Chapple (1884-1974) Age 90
William Earl Bowman was born 10 Feb 1884 in Marshall, Harrison County, Texas, to parents Jacob Victor and Ada (Brain) Bowman. Jacob worked for the Texas and Pacific Railroad and Marshall was a major railroad center.
In the 1900 Census, William Earl is boarding with his father in a house at 618 Allegheny Avenue, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. He is 16, working as a Painter, and his mother, Ada, just died of consumption in 1899. His two younger brothers have been sent to an orphanage. While many of us cannot imagine a circumstance where we would have our children go to an orphanage, at that time it was not uncommon if the mother in the family died and the father had no way of caring for the younger children. More about this can be found on Jacob Victor's page.
William Earl's father, Jacob Victor, had been born in Cincinnati, and he had a significant amount of family back there, including a second cousin, Willie Grace Chapple. Willie Grace was the daughter of Clara Bell (Bowman) Chapple, who was the daughter of his Grand Uncle John Bowman, brother to his Grandfather William W. Bowman. Willie Grace was almost the same age as William Earl, having been born two months after him.
How they connected is unknown, but the story that has been passed down is that William Earl and Willie Grace courted by correspondence. They married 5 Nov 1905 in Hamilton County, Ohio. The Rev. John Haight of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Norwood conducted the ceremony.
While they married in Hamilton County, they lived in Pittsburgh, at least for a short time. Willie Grace had come from Norwood in Hamilton County, Ohio, and missed it terribly. She missed it so much, their first son was named for it. Norwood Chapple "Jim" Bowman was born 26 Apr 1906 in Pennsylvania.
By the time their son, Earl, was born 16 Jun 1908, they were back living in Norwood.
In the 1910 Census, the family is living at 2215 Monroe Avenue in Norwood, Hamilton County, Ohio. It indicates they own their home and have a mortgage. William Earl works as an Agent for an Insurance Company. Willie Grace's mother, Clara, is living with them.
Another son, Richard Louis Emerson "Dick" Bowman, was born 13 Dec 1911 in Norwood.
The WWI Registration Card completed 15 Sep 1918 has that William Earl is a Salesman for William Spencer Insurance at 317 E. 2nd Street in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio. He is age 34 and describes himself as being tall with a medium build and gray eyes and gray hair.
The 1920 Census finds William Earl and family living at 4304 Ashland in Norwood. It indicates they own their home and have a mortgage. Willie Grace's mother, Clara, still lives with them.
Finally, a girl! A cherished daughter, Dorothy Lee Bowman, was born 20 May 1920 in Norwood to William Earl and Willie Grace.
The 1930 Census shows William Earl and his family are renting a home at 6650 Dante Avenue in Silverton, Hamilton County, Ohio. William Earl works as a Salesman of Building Supplies.
The 1940 Census has William Earl, Willie Grace, and their daughter, Dorothy Lee, still living at 6650 Dante Avenue in Silverton. It indicates they own this home. William Earl is a Sales Manager for a Builder.
William Earl completed his WWII Registration Card 25 Jan 1942. He worked for Crew Builders Supply at 2120 Madison Avenue in Norwood. He described himself as 5"11" tall and 160 pounds with blue eyes, gray hair, and a dark complexion. He had a scar on his right wrist. He was 58 years old.
While 58 seems old to register for the draft, the Selective Service required that all men between the ages of 18 and 64 register. The "Old Man's Draft" was to collect information on the industrial capacity and skills of men ages 45 to 64 at the time. It was never intended that these men would be drafted into military service.
Family of William Earl Bowman
Jacob Victor Bowman
Willie Grace Chapple
Norwood Chapple "Jim" Bowman
Earl B. Bowman
Richard Louis Emerson "Dick" Bowman
Dorothy Lee Bowman
William Earl died 6 Mar 1949 at Bethesda Hospital in Cincinnati of a cerebral hemorrhage. He suffered from hypertension for 20 years, something that other members of the Bowman family deal with to this day. William Earl battled Juvenile Diabetes for 40 years before his death, although he did not indicate that condition on either of his Draft Registrations. The informant was his wife, Willie Grace (Chapple) Bowman. William Earl's Death Certificate states he served in the Spanish-American War. I have been unable to find confirmation of this. If he did, he would have been incredibly young as it ended in 1895, when he was just 15. This may have been written on his Death Certificate in error.
William Earl is buried in Rest Haven Memorial Park in Blue Ash, Hamilton County, Ohio.
Cincinnati Times Star, Tuesday, 8 March 1949.)
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