Pioneers of Ellis County
J. J. Fowler
Compiled by Jean Caddel
J. J. Fowler was born May 23, 1850, in Grayson County, Kentucky, second son of William Peter and Matilda Fowler. In 1860 his parents lived in Leitchfield, Kentucky and had six children: Benedict J. Fowler (eldest, b. Nov. 2, 1845); Mary (b. 1848); J. J. (b. 1850); William P. (1853); Sarah (1856) and Nancy (1858).
J. J. Fowler's parents also moved to Texas. Both died in 1889 and are buried in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery at Ennis.
Benedick Fowler moved to Alma some time after 1880 and married a teacher, Mary Portman. There were five children: Kate, William, Joe, Ben, and John. Benedict owned a general store and operated the Post Office in Alma for several years. J. J.'s sister, Nancy. is believed to have become a Roman Catholic nun. Little is known of the other brothers and sisters.
J. J. Fowler married Martha Jane Whitfill, daughter of Martin and Rebecca (Shaw) Whitfill, May 5, 1872. On Aug. 6, 1880. by way of the Houston and Texas Central Railway, J. J. Fowler and John Whitfill moved their families, household possessions and livestock from Grayson Co. Kentucky, to Ellis County, Texas. J. J. and Matha Jane had two sons and three daughters: Josephine, Henry, Mary Magdelene, John William, and Rebecca. The first three were born in Kentucky in1875, 1877, and 1879 respectively. John Fowler was born in Alma August 6, 1881, and Rebecca was born there April 23, 1883. Josephine Fowler married John Whitfill; Henry Fowler married Octavine Doyle; Mary Magdelene married N. A. Bastian; John Fowler married Arlesia Josephine Hughes; and Rebecca Fowler married Richard Baisten.
J. J. Fowler owned several farms, two near Alma, one at Munday, Texas and one in eastern Ellis County along the Trinity River. In addition, he and N. A. Bastian owned a cotton gin in Alma. Mr.and Mrs. Fowler lived cultured lives in the Southern tradition and have set an example to be admired by their children and many friends.
Many Fowler families of that area of Kentucky were descended from Thomas Fowler of Maryland. John Fowler and his family settled first in Collin County and spread to various counties around. Others migrated to Washington Co. Ark.
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