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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Henry Cheever Bowman

The new world was still in the dawn of its splendid history when the Bowman family became identified with its colonization and planted their name among the pioneers along the barren and stern coast of New England. Tradition is authority for the statement that succeeding generations bore an honorable part in the transformation of the wilderness into habitable cities and prosperous farms, and it is certain that at the beginning of the nineteenth century there were many re presentatives of the race following various lines of commercial activity in the east. The first to migrate to the pacific coast was Arthur Wellington Bowman, who was born in Cambridge, Mass., in the year 1831, and whose residence in California dated from 1850, he having been drawn hither by reports concerning the mineral wealth of the west as well as its other riches of opportunity. When he came hither he was young, energetic, ambitious and unhampered by domestic ties, but as he became more prosperous he established a home of his own and his married life was long and happy. Like himself of eastern descent, his wife was Alice B. Cheever, born at Manchester, Mass., in 1845. Their family comprised six children, namely: Arthur W., who married Edith Swailes and has two boys, one bearing his own name; Henry C.; Frank; Alice W., Mrs. Archibald Tapson, who has one daughter, Frances N.; Adelaide E., Mrs. Trembeth, who has two sons and one daughter; and Natalie, a graduate nurse now following her chosen occupation in San Francisco.

During the residence of the family in the village of Piedmont, in Alameda county, this state, Henry Cheever Bowman was born in the year 1876, and in the same locality he received a common-school eduction. In the year 1904 he married Miss Emily Boice Adams. Her father, Rev. George C. Adams, D. D., was born in Castine, Hancock county, Me., in 1850, and received superior advantages in youth, being a graduate of Amherst College in Massachusetts and also of Yale as a divinity student. The degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred upon him in recognition of his theological attainments and scholarly mind. As a minister in the Congregational denomination he labored with effectiveness in St. Louis, Mo., and in the year 1896 he was called to San Francisco, where he served as minister of the First Congregational Church. He passed away September 3, 1910. In his denomination he was recognized as a man of power and far-reaching influence, whose uplifting teachings and consecrated life imbued his parishioners with zeal in Christian work. While voting the Republican ticket and believing in the principles of the party, with him politics had been in the background and no trace of partisan spirit was apparent in even his most trivial acts; on the other hand, he was broad and liberal in views, progressive in sentiment and patriotic in devotion to commonwealth and country.

Not a little of the effectiveness of the labors of Rev. Mr. Adams was due to the helpful spirit and gentle character of his wife, who labored by his side through the years of a long and happy marriage. She was born at Brooksville, Me., in 1849, and bore the maiden name of Mercy Perkins Shepardson. One of their ten children died in infancy and the others were named as follows: Frank M.; William S., who married May Hoffman and has one son, George C.; one daughter, Mary; Alice, Mrs. Richard McGinnis, who has two sons, Richard, Jr., and George C.; Sara C., Mrs. Edwin V. Krick; Mercy P. and Adelaide M.

In their religious connections Mr. And Mrs. Bowman are members of the Congregational Church, while in politics he votes the Republican ticket. The home farm lies near Cazadero and contains three hundred and sixty acres of pasture land with a large amount of fine timber, which greatly enhances the value of the property.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011