Elzy M. Bowles

Elzy M. Bowles was born on 30 Jan 1817 in Barren County, the second child born to John and Celia (Sally) Bowles. He married Elizabeth Lawson on 24 Jan 1856. Elizabeth was born 14 Oct 1827 to Aaron and Elizabeth (Rose) Lawson Sr. according to the biography of Aaron's son, Aaron Jr. (shown below).

Kentucky: A History of the State, Battle, Perrin, & Kniffin, 3rd ed., 1885, Edmonson County. JUDGE AARON LAWSON was born January 31, 1833, in Barren County, Ky., where he grew up, and in 1857 removed to Edmonson County and located at Brownsville, where he remained until 1868. He then removed to Horse Cave, Hart County, where he remained two years, after which he removed to his present residence in Edmonson County. His father, Aaron Lawson, Sr., was born in Hardin County, Ky., in 1792. He was a farmer and son of David Lawson, who was born in Kentucky, and was of Irish descent. Aaron Lawson, Sr., married, about 1812, Elizabeth, daughter of William Rose. From this union sprang Jonathan, Mary (Williams), Bennett, Catharine (Clark), William (deceased), Thomas M., Elizabeth (Bowles), Sarah (Lawson), Aaron and Frances M. (Johnson). Judge Aaron Lawson married, September 9, 1858, Ursula, daughter of John and Margaret (Gott) Walker, of Edmonson County. To them have been born Sarah A., Robert N., Emma, Nettie, John W. and Maggie E. Judge Lawson began life first as a farmer for one year, and afterward as county and circuit clerk of Edmonson County. After about seven years spent in this way he again engaged in farming, and was afterward elected county judge of Edmonson County, which position he now holds. He, his wife and four children are members of the Christian Church, to which he has belonged for about twelve years. The Judge is a bright member of the Masonic fraternity, in which he has taken the Royal Arch degree. He is one of the influential men of his county, and in politics is a Democrat and Prohibitionist.

In October 1852, prior to his marriage, Elzy purchased 28 acres of land on the waters of Falling Timber Creek from his brother-in-law and sister, Thomas and Elizabeth Shockley. Then in January 1858, Elzy and Elizabeth, his wife, purchased another 45 acres from William K. and Frances Wilson. This land apparently adjoined Elzy's other land. Elzy may have purchased other land as well, for in the 1856 Barren County Tax Roll, he is shown with 77 acres of land, valued at $155. This is prior to his purchase of the Wilson land. Also, as you will see later, he had a total of 96 acres on the Falling Timber Creek when he died.

A curious sidenote, the 1856 Barren County Tax Roll is the only place where I have found his name given as Elijah M. Bowles. In every other case, it is written as Elzy, Elzie, Eliza or Elza. If his name was meant to be Elijah, or a form of that name, then this may provide support for the conjecture about who was the father of John Bowles.

The 1860 Metcalfe Co KY census lists Eliza [Elzy] M. Bowles, age 42, as a farmer with real estate valued at $500 and personal property valued at $330. In this household are listed Elizabeth (32), Maybell (3), Sylvester (1) and Elizabeth Lawson, age 64, born in VA. The 1870 Metcalfe Co KY census shows Elzy M. Bowles, age 53, a farmer with real estate valued at $360 and personal property valued at $430. The household list includes Elizabeth (42), Mary B. (13), Sylvester (10), Fanny M. (9), Malcolm D. (7), Nancy M. (4), Sarah E. (2), and Frank M. (born in April). Also listed is Elizabeth Lawson, age 75.

Elzy Bowles died on 19 Jul 1903. Elizabeth Lawson Bowles lived until 25 Apr 1910. Both are buried in the Old Randolph - Pleasant Hill Cemetery next to the Pleasant Hill Church of Christ in Metcalfe County KY. (Metcalfe County, Kentucky Cemetery Records, Volume 1, Page 189). Photos of their tombstones are viewable from this link.


Their first born was a girl, Maybelle Bowles (also identified as Mary B. and Mabel) who was born 30 Apr 1857. She married Isaac Glass, son of John and Parallee Glass. Isaac Glass was born 28 Mar 1853. Isaac and Maybelle had five children:

  1. Adolphus (b. 24 Jan 1878, md. Hattie Nunnally on 2 Feb 1898, d. 21 Oct 1915)
  2. Oscar (b. 1880, md. Pearl Denham on 3 Dec 1917, d. 16 Apr 1950)
  3. Herbert who was born on 13 Oct 1881 but died before his third birhtday on 21 Sep 1884
  4. Mona V. (aka Nannie, b. 21 Jan 1889, md. Harry Woodward on 14 Aug 1910, d. 10 Apr 1917)
  5. Celia R. Glass (b. 9 Feb 1893, d. 10 Apr 1917).
Maybelle died 19 Sep 1930, and Isaac followed on 14 Jun 1933. Isaac, Maybelle, Oscar, and Mona are all buried in the Old Randolph-Pleasant Hill Cemetery, not far from Elzy and Elizabeth Bowles.

Sylvester Bowles, Elzy and Elizabeth's first son, was born 23 Aug 1858. He married Melvina Jane Glass, Isaac's sister. Melvina was born 31 Mar 1856. Census records show them with nine children:

  1. Kirby H. Bowles, b. Jan 1883, d. (?); married Lou Verda Kingrey who was b. Aug 1890
  2. Bessie Bowles, b. Feb 1885; d. 27 Apr 1954; married Jim Whitlow
  3. Ruby Constance Bowles, b. 7 Jun 1887; d. 7 Feb 1941
  4. Iva Myrtle Bowles, b. May 1889, d. 16 Dec 1979; married Fred Kingrey
  5. Audie Lee Bowles, b. Mar 1891, d. 4 May 1973; married Virgil Denham, b. 1878; d. 4 Sep 1954
  6. Hancie Mae Bowles, b. Feb 1894; d. 6 Nov 1977; married Paul James
  7. Vada Aline Bowles, b. 17 Mar 1896; d. 3 Oct 1993; married Clarence Cox
  8. Charles Roy Bowles, b. Sep 1897; d. 19 Apr 1987; married Clara Shirley
  9. Oras D. Bowles, b. 28 Dec 1899; d. 1 Oct 1987; married Lera Johnson

Sylvester and Melvenia are buried in the Refuge Cemetery in the town of Eighty-Eight in Barren County. Also buried there are Ruby Constance Bowles, Oras D. Bowles, and on the same stone with Oras, Lera B. Bowles (b. 29 Jun 1904, d. 23 Jul 1988, md. 24 Aug 1927). Sylvester Bowles died on 22 Oct 1933. Melvina Bowles died on 3 Jan 1921, and Sylvester married Martha Mauk Broady, widow of Z. T. Broady. Sylvester died 22 Oct 1933. His widow died on 5 Jan 1937.

Francis (Fanny) M. Bowles was born 28 Jul 1860, Elzy and Elizabeth's third child. She married Haggard Norman after her sister, Nancy who was Haggard's first wife, died in 1892. Haggard was born 10 Jun 1862. He and Fanny had two children:

  1. Oval Norman, b. 1 Dec 1898; d. 3 Apr 1968; married Lessie Bowles, b. 25 Dec 1903; md. 20 Mar 1921; d. 29 Nov 1996
  2. Betty Corrine Norman, b. abt 1902, d. 17 Jan 1973; married Willie Anderson
Fanny died on 16 Oct 1931. Haggard died on 24 Feb 1947. Both are buried in the Summer Shade Cemetery.

Malcolm Dee Bowles was the next child. He was born 13 Dec 1862. He did not marry. Malcolm lived with, and took care of his folks until their deaths. In gratitude, the rest of his siblings deeded the farm to him. Malcolm died on 30 Jan 1946, and is buried near his parents in the Old Randolph-Pleasant Hill Cemetery.

Nancy M. Bowles, Elzy and Elizabeth's fifth child, was born 10 Jul 1864. As indicated above, Nancy was Haggard Norman's first wife. They had three children:

  1. Artie Belle Norman, b. 1 Oct 1886; d. 1 Dec 1905
  2. Verner Norman, b. 4 Sep 1888; d. 24 May 1971; married Roscoe P. Free, b. 17 Apr 1886; d. 4 Jul 1955; both buried at Summer Shade Cemetery
  3. Denzil Norman, b. 18 Oct 1890; d. 13 Jul 1943
Nancy died on 6 Apr 1892 at the age of 27. A bit more than a year later, Haggard married Nancy's older sister, Fannie.

Sarah E. (Sally) Bowles, Elzy's next child, was born 18 Nov 1868. She married John Shirley, who was born 2 Dec 1868. He died on 21 May 1899. John and Sally Shirley had five children:

  1. Vontras Shirley, b. 14 Mar 1891; d. 29 Apr 1989
  2. Versie Shirley, b. 30 May 1892; d. 25 May 1954; married William C. Shockley, b. 28 Mar 1890; d. 9 Jan 1983
  3. Vodra Frank Shirley, b. 22 oct 1893; d. 17 Jul 1974; married Grace Spears, b. 15 Jun 1900; d. 3 May 1970
  4. Vira Mae Shirley, b. 9 Jan 1895; d. 11 Dec 1991; married Harry L. Allbright, b. 31 Jan 1895; d. 27 May 1967
  5. Volney Shirley, b. 2 Jul 1896; d. 3 Oct 1981
Sally died on 27 Apr 1928. She and John are buried in the Elijah Shirley Cemetery which is north of Summer Shade in Metcalfe County KY.

Frank M. Bowles was the last child born to Elzy and Elizabeth Bowles. Frank was born on 9 Apr 1870. He married Nancy Ann Shirley, sister to John Shirley who married Sally Bowles. Nancy Ann was born on 7 Apr 1871. Frank and Nancy Ann had eight children:

  1. Zora Hazel Bowles, b. 2 Nov 1897; d. 23 Aug 1987; married George Edwards
  2. Halsey Dee Bowles, b. 2 Sep 1899; d. 26 Apr 1971; married Carlie Opal Wells, b. 7 Oct 1897; d. 1 Nov 1970
  3. Halvey Neal Bowles, b. 30 Apr 1901; d. 30 May 1957; married Susie Blanche Speers, b. 30 Jun 1902; d. 24 Oct 1990
  4. William Otley Bowles, b. 18 Nov 1902; d. 28 Jul 1993; married Leora Ethel Huffman, b. 28 Sep 1905; d. 24 Dec 1989
  5. Levie Yates Bowles, b. 12 Sep 1904; d. 2 Jun 1970; married Katherine Frogget, b. 1 Aug 1911; d. 25 May 1993
  6. Gola Mae Bowles, b. 15 May 1906; d. 10 Apr 1994; married Ralph Myers, b. 17 Apr 1907; d. 27 Apr 1970
  7. Dalton Shirley Bowles, b. 4 Oct 1907; d. 18 Sep 1989
  8. Ola Elizabeth Bowles, b. 29 Mar 1910; d. 26 Feb 1993; married Eugene M. Higgason, b. 1 Jun 1911; d. 4 Dec 1994
Frank Bowles died on 26 Nov 1928. Nancy lived until 10 Aug 1948. Both are buried in the Center-Asbury Cemetery just north of Center in Metcalfe County KY.

Effort has been made to eliminate errors, but their absence is not guaranteed. This document is copyright 2018 by Charles Hartley. Permission is hereby granted to individuals seeking family history information to copy the contents of this document for their personal use. It may not be sold, either separately or as part of a collection, without the written permission of the copyright holder; nor may it be placed at any other location on the internet without said written permission.