The Bowen Family - Historic Bramwell Pioneers
Booth Bowen Coal & Coke Company
FATHER, SON & GRANDSON
Joseph ( Joe ) Hopkinson Bowen, a prominent Bramwell business man, was born in St. Clair, PA on May 27, 1887. He was the third son of W. Harry Bowen (1860 - 1942) and Harriet Hopkinson Bowen ( Died in 1932 ). Joseph was an alumnus of the University of Virginia, class of 1910. When he graduated from UVA he went to work for the BOOTH-BOWEN COAL AND COKE COMPANY that was founded by his grandfather , Jonathan P. Bowen, in 1884.
Joe Bowen married Elizabeth Prichard in 1914 and they were parents of four children. Their children were named Joseph, Ethel, William and Ann. Elizabeth was the daughter of William John Pritchard, born in Wales, and Ann Harris Thomas of Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Following a lingering illness, Joe Bowen died October 9, 1966; followed by his wife Elizabeth's death in 1967.
Joe's father, Wm. Harry Bowen was one of the founders of the Pocahontas Fuel Company. Harry's son, Joe Bowen served as the Chairman of the Pocahontas Fuel Company until 1951. At that time, Joe Bowen and his associates purchased a controlling interest in the West Virginia Armature Company in which his son Joe Jr. ( born October 19,1915 ) was active in this company's management. Joe Bowen was also President of the Limestone Dust Corporation with his son William Henry Bowen serving as operating manager. At the time of Joe Bowen's death in 1966, he was a Director of many of the leading businesses in Southern WV. He was a member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church. Mr. Bowen's grandfather and father are pictured below. The grandfather was the co-founder of the Booth-Bowen Coal & Coke Company. All three Bowen family members had successful careers in the coal industry.
Careers of Jonathan P. and son W. Harry Bowen;
Jonathan P. Bowen (1830 -1902) came to America when his parents came from Wales. Jonathan Bowen worked along side his father in coal mines. He was born in Wales in 1830, but his family settled in Pennsylvania when he was only one year old. Following the death of his father he became the head of the family at the age of twelve. He eventually held responsibilities as mine foreman and superintendent while living in Pennsylvania. Jonathan Bowen was a Union soldier in a Pennsylvania regiment and for many years was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. In 1850 he married Miss Evans of Schuylkill, PA. Jonathan Bowen died at his daughter's home in Pennsylvania at the age of 72 on August 9, 1902.
Jonathan Bowen in partnership with William Booth, formed the Booth-Bowen Coal and Coke Company. He had risen to the position of mine superintendent in Pennsylvania. He relocated to Bramwell in 1885 where he joined with William Booth. Booth had started his company in 1884. Booth-Bowen Coal and Coke was formed and became the fourth mine in the Flat Top field. When they incorporated as the Booth-Bowen Company, William Booth was the president & Jonathan P. Bowen was manager. William Harry Bowen was secretary with James Booth as treasurer. They controlled 1,038 acres of minerals in Freeman, WV and employed 150 men. In 1893 Jonathan Bowen and his son Wm. Harry assumed overall responsibilities for of the company.
William Harry Bowen was born October 14, 1860, at Ashland, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, son of Jonathan P. and Hannah (Evans) Bowen. He went to high school in Schuylkill County, Pennslvania.
William Harry Bowen started in the mining industry working as a utility boy. He also worked his way up to become blacksmith for the Beading Coal & Iron Company. He went on to manage the Booth-Bowen mines and operations. He was once vice president of the Bank of Bramwell.
In 1881 at Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, Wm. Harry Bowen married Miss Harriet Hopkinson. She was the daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Howard) Hopkinson. Her parents were born in England. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Bowen are Elizabeth were Jonathan, Ethel, Joseph and Hedley. Jonathan married Miss Stanger and lived in Bramwell. Joseph, who married Elizabeth Pritchard. They had four children; Joseph, Ethel, William and Ann. Hedley, who lived in Freeman, West Virginia, married Mary Blanton. They had three children; Harry, Hedley and Virginia.
The Bramwell's Elizabeth Bowen Jones Memorial Methodist Church is named after Harry Bowen's daughter, Ethel Bowen. She was a life long member of this church and left a considerable endowment to the church upon her death. She resided in the Bowen historic family home in Freeman, WV. Both Jonathan Bowen and son, William Harry Bowen had homes in Freeman, WV as shown on the 1890 hand drawn map shown below. Wm. Harry Bowen's daughter: Ethel Bowen: Birth: 25 Dec 1884 - Died: Jan 1976 - Address: Freeman, Wv 24724. The Elizabeth Bowen Jones Memorial Methodist Church of Bramwell bears her name.
In 1906 William Harry Bowen, J. C. Pack and W. H. Honaker purchased the Oregon Coal Company of Hemphill, one mile west of Welch, WV. This purchase had a coal seam that reached the maximum thickness of five and 5 1/2 feet. The lease was for about 1500 acres of land. J. C. pack was named President and Harry Bowne was made Vice president. W. H. Honaker was named Treasuer of this operation. William Harry Bowen was a leading operator in the Pocahontas fields of Mercer County, his home being at Simmon Station, Freeman Post Office, half a mile from Bramwell. He worked in the coal industry forty years and in later years widened his interests in other affairs.
( Initial material furnished by Mary Clark Gross and Bill Gross & from Martha Jane Becker's Book, Bramwell...The Diary of a Millionaire Coal Town )
BOOTH-BOWEN COAL TIPPLE
BOOTH-BOWEN COMPANY STORE
WM. HARRY BOWEN ARTIFACT
BRAMWELL'S PIONEER INDEX