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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JOHN W. BOWMAN, M. D., one of the prominent physicians and surgeons of Cumberland county, was born at Wormleysburg, Cumberland Co., Pa., Dec. 20, 1846, a son of Samuel Bowman and a grandson of Christian Bowman.

Christian Bowman was born and reared in Lancaster county, where he was a farmer at the time of his marriage with Mary Mohler. After his marriage he settled for a time near Boiling Springs, Cumberland county, and engaged in lime burning and the grain business, but in 1827 he bought a farm in East Pennsboro township, on which he lived for several years, then purchasing another on the Jonestown road, near Harrisburg. At a still later date he removed to Miami county, Ind., where he died at the age of ninety-two years. His wife had died on the farm near Harrisburg, at the age of sixty years. The children of Christian and Mary (Mohler) Bowman were: Mary married John Longenecker, who was a farmer in East Pennsboro township until 1856, when they removed to Randolph county, Ind., where she died aged eighty-six years: John, who married Kate Longenecker, died aged twenty-nine years, leaving three sons; Samuel became the father of Dr. Bowman; Anna married Rev. David Balsbaugh, and they lived in East Pennsboro township until 1856, then moving to Miami county, Ind., where he became a noted preacher; Christian married Mary Brightbill, and they lived in Dauphin county, where he was steward of the Dauphin County Home.

Samuel Bowman, father of Dr. Bowman, was born at Boiling Springs, Cumberland Co., Pa., May 13, 1820, was reared on a farm and learned the cooper’s trade, which he followed for six years. He then engaged in farming in East Pennsboro township, until he retired from active life. He lived at Wormleysburg from 1900 to 1904, and then went to Riverton to make his home with a daughter.

In 1851 Samuel Bowman married Susan Koons, daughter of Jacob Koons, of East Pennsboro township, and granddaughter of George Koons, who came from Baden, Germany, in 1764. George Koons married a daughter of Daniel Snyder, near relative of Gov. Synder. Samuel Bowman was originally a Whig in political faith but became a Republican on the formation of the party. The children of Samuel Bowman and his wife were: Dr. John W.; Mary, who died in childhood; Susan, Mrs. David Mumma, of Hampden township; Jacob, who died in infancy; Samuel, who married Rebecca Kreitzler, daughter of Andrew Kreitzler, of Hampden township, (he made the run into Oklahoma and received 160 acres of land near Cross); George, who married Lizzie Eslinger, and resides at West Fairview; Katie, Mrs. Ira Bigler, of Riverton; and Christian, also a resident of Riverton.

John W. Bowman completed his academic studies at the White Hall Academy and graduated at the age of nineteen years. After some work on his father’s farm he accepted a clerkship in a store at Camp Hill and began the study of medicine, coming under the preceptorship of Dr. J. T. Criswell and Dr. J. D. Bowman, at Camp Hill. After one year’s close reading he entered Jefferson Medical College, at Philadelphia, in the fall of 1875, and was graduated with his class in 1877. He immediately entered into practice and later succeeded Dr. Joseph Crone, at Hogestown, where he remained four years. At the solicitation of friends he removed to Camp Hill and became physician at the White Hall Soldiers Orphans School, a position he held from 1882 until its days of usefulness were over, in 1890. Dr. Bowman has been located at Riverton since 1890. He is surgeon for the Cumberland Valley Railroad and served for three years in the same capacity for the Northern Central Railroad. His practice extends all through this portion of the county.

Dr. Bowman is a member of all the leading medical organizations, the Cumberland County Medical Society, of which he was president in 1896; the State Medical Society; the American Medical Association, and the Harrisburg Academy of Medicine. He keeps in close touch with all the scientific discoveries of the day, which make this profession the most enlightened of any.

At Camp Hill, in 1871, Dr. Bowman married Annetta Oyster, daughter of George and Catherine (Smith) Oyster, both of whom are deceased. They have two children: David G., who is associated with the United Gas Improvement Co., at Harrisburg, married Mary Nichols, daughter of the late Dr. Nichols; William C., a graduate of the Shippensburg State Normal School, who is principal of a school at Wormleysburg, married Miss Sartoris, daughter of Charles Smith, of Centerville.

Dr. Bowman is one of the supporters of the Christian Church, in which he has been an elder since its organization, in 1894. He is a teacher in the Sunday-school and was formerly superintendent. In politics he is a Republican, and he served on the school board four years at Camp Hill and three years at Riverton. Fraternally, he is past master of Eureka Lodge, No. 302, A. F. & A. M.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

View additional Cumberland County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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