Samuel Bowman, now of Coffeyville, where he is engaged in the real estate, insurance and loan business with his sons, is a Kansas resident of nearly thirty-five years and was long prominent in Labette County, where he served two terms as probate judge.
His Bowman ancestors were German people who came to Pennsylvania in Colonial times. His grandfather, Benjamin Bowman, a native of Pennsylvania, was a farmer and cabinet maker, also a minister of the Dunkard Church, and spent many years in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where he died some years before Judge Bowman was born.
It was in the valley of the Shenandoah, a mile from Harrisonburg, Virginia, that Samuel Bowman was born May 18, 1846. His father, John Bowman, was born in the same locality in 1790, and spent his life in that famous valley, engaged in farming and stock raising. He died at Harrisonburg in 1873. Though a resident of Virginia he was not in sympathy with the South on the issue of slavery, was a stanch Union man, and a whig and republican in politics. He was an active member of the Dunkard Church. John Bowman married Rebecca Wine, who was born in the Shenandoah Valley in 1802, and died on the old farm near Harrisonburg in 1872. A brief record of the children is as follows: Daniel, who was a Virginia farmer and died in that state; Catherine, who died in the Shenandoah Valley as the wife of Joseph Miller, also deceased. Elizabeth, who died in Virginia in 1915, and her husband Daniel Thomas, who was a farmer, is also deceased; John W. and Benjamin were both Virginia farmers and died there: Isaac is living on a farm near Harrisonburg; Joseph, died in Virginia; Susanna resided in Eastern Virginia, the widow of Abram Hinegardner, who was a farmer; and the ninth and youngest of the family is Judge Samuel Bowman.
As a boy he attended the public schools near Harrisonburg, and also lived for a time at Hagerstown, Maryland, where he worked on a farm and attended school in winter. In 1864 he moved to the vicinity of Dayton, Ohio, and spent four years on a farm there. While there he married, and afterwards took his wife to Illinois and settled on a tract of raw prairie in 1869 and developed that as a good farm before leaving it. After twelve years as an Illinois farmer, Judge Bowman came to Kansas in 1882, spent the first year in farming in Crawford County, and then moved to Labette County.
Judge Bowman had a farm in Labette County and occupied it until 1904, but had since sold it. In 1904 the citizens of Labette County elected him probate judge and during the next four years he gave a careful and conscientious administration of the many delicate responsibilities imposed by this office. In the spring of 1909 after leaving office, he went East and for nearly a year visited the scenes of his early youth and relatives in Virginia and elsewhere.
Since 1910 Judge Bowman had lived in Coffeyville and had been associated with his sons, W. G. and A. C. Bowman in the real estate and insurance business. Their offices are located in the Traction Building on Eighth Street. Besides city property they handle farm lands over a large district from Coffeyville to Colorado and into Oklahoma. They represent a number of insurance companies, and also handle an extensive volume of loans.
Judge Bowman during his residence in Labette County served twenty years as a member of the school board, and also filled the various township offices there, including justice of the peace. He is a republican, is affiliated with Lodge No. 279, Ancient Order United Workmen at Coffeyville and is an active member of the Commercial Club.
In 1868 near Dayton, Ohio, he married Miss E. J. Roadarmer, daughter of William and Barbara Roadarmer, both of whom are now deceased. Her father was a farmer. The oldest child of Mr. and Mrs. Bowman is Lula, who resided at Coffeyville, the widow of S. C. Neale, who was connected with the Kansas Land Company of Coffeyville. Ray, the oldest son died at the age of twenty-three years in Labette County, after he had begun a very promising career. The two younger sons W. G. and A. C. are both associated in business with their father as already stated.