Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association


    Among the native sons of Miami county, now actively identified with its farming interests, is Cornelius Bowne, who was born in Staunton township, September 17, 1839. His father, Thomas R. Bowne, is a native of Trenton, New Jersey, and came from that state to Ohio, in 1830, taking up his abode in Staunton township upon a farm, where his son, Cornelius, was born. It was a tract of wild and unimproved land, on section 16, and thereon he erected a log cabin in the midst of the forest. The trees stood in their primeval strength, but soon fell before the sturdy strokes of the ax and in due time the wild land was transformed into fields of waving grain. Throughout the remainder of his life Mr. Bowne carried on agricultural pursuits on that farm, his death occurring in 1872, in his seventy-second year. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Eleanora Nevius, was also a native of New Jersey, and by her marriage became the mother of five children: Hannah, wife of Samuel Morton, of Lost Creek township; Rachel, wife of Dr. S. S. Gray, of Piqua; Cornelius; Martha, widow of Albert Atkinson, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Jacob, a farmer of Staunton township.

    Cornelius Bowne spent the days of his youth on the old homestead, the duties and pleasures of boyhood occupying his attention. He assisted in the farm work through the summer months and in the winter season pursued his education in the common schools. On the 16th of May, 1864, he joined the boys in blue of Company K, One Hundred and Forty-seventh Ohio Infantry, was mustered into the service at Camp Dennison and participated in the defense of Washington, D. C., until mustered out on the expiration of his one-hundred-day term of service. He was discharged August 29, 1864, and at once came to Miami county.

    On the 27th of July, 1865, Mr. Bowne was united in marriage to Miss Frances A. Cromer, a native of Lost Creek township, and a daughter of Jacob and Rebekah (Estey) Cromer. The father was born in Miami county April 4, 1823, and was a son of Abraham and Hannah (Harlass) Cromer, both natives of Virginia. They came to Ohio about 1814. Mr. and Mrs. Cromer were married March 5, 1845. Rebekah Estey was the daughter of James and Abigail (Knoop) Estey, and was born in New Brunswick, March 27, 1826. Her parents were, also natives of New Brunswick. Mrs. Hannah (Harlass) Cromer baked the bread for the army during the Indian War. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Cromer were: Mary Elizabeth, born May 10, 1846; Frances Abigail, born February 21, 1848; Amas Francise, born February 9, 1850; Thomas H., born October 31, 1853; David Scott, born July 21, 1861, and Anna Maria, born September 13, 1863. Jacob Cromer died February 17, 1894, and Thomas Cromer died January 13, 1860. Mr. and Mrs. Bowne have one child, Etta, who was born September 21, 1868, and is now the wife of Erastus Robbins, who is engaged in the furniture and undertaking business in Troy. They were married March 1, 1888.

    Soon after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Bowne removed to Shelby County, Ohio, but after nine months returned to Miami county and for five years resided in Brown township. Mr. Bowne devoted his energies to farming. He then came to Staunton township, where he rented a farm for five years. On the expiration of that period he purchased sixty-four acres on section 13, there making his home until April, 1892, when he came to the county infirmary, having been appointed its superintendent on the 1st of December, 1891. The appointment was made by the board of directors, composed of Thomas Bond, Samuel Bowman and David Arnold, and in April, 1892, Mr. Bowne entered upon the duties of the position, as successor to Price Duncan. There are sixty-seven inmates in the infirmary at the present time and the farm on which it is located comprises one hundred and fifty-four acres. Under the capable management of Mr. Bowne its business affairs have been successfully conducted, everything about the place has been kept in good condition and the inmates are well cared for. In politics, Mr. Bowne is a stalwart Republican; socially, is connected with Coleman Post, G. A. R., of Troy, and the Knights of the Golden Eagle. Religiously, he is a Presbyterian, his membership being with the church of that denomination of Troy. Over the record of his life there falls no shadow of wrong or suspicion of evil, and his career has been characterized by fidelity to all manly principles, by honesty in business life and by honor in all that concerns man's relations with his fellow men.

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