February 26, 2013

Bower Sisters

I've written before about my great-grandmother Mary Amaryllis Bower Hammer. Her name gets confusing because she preferred the name Emma when she was young and her first husband was Russell Carpenter so we have the name Emma L. Carpenter inscribed in her prayer book. So Mary E., Emma L., and Mary Amaryllis are the same person. Recently I heard from a woman who is descended from one of her sisters! She sent me a portrait of her ancestor with another sister.
Amanda Bower, Florence Vinitia Bower Townsend, Lizzie
We do not know who Lizzie is, although there was a Mary Lizzie who was a niece of Russell Carpenter. The distant cousin who sent the photo included this list of Bower siblings:
  • Sarah F Bower born about 1843 in Ohio
  • Mary E. Bower born abt 1848 in Ohio
  • Amanda M Bower born 6-22-1852 in Ohio
  • Florence Vinitia “Flora” Bower bn 1855 in New England, Ohio
  • And then in the 1870 Census…one more girl was added ( Addie C. Bower born abt 1861 in Ohio)
    as well as an apparent step-mother (Harriet Reynolds)
My great-grandmother's journals lists Addie as Ada. She mentions another child, Willie ("Bub"), and later Charles Edward who died in infancy. Emma also writes of childhood hometowns in Ohio including Portsmouth, Watertown, Vincent, and Rome Township. (I mention these for other Bower descendants who may be searching for family history.)

Emma married Captain Russell Carpenter in 1865 and they lived in Tennessee and then West Virginia for a few years. In 1869, Russell was critically injured in an accident at Polk Street Bridge, Chicago and was buried in Rosehill Cemetery. My great-grandmother Emma, now a widow with a small child (Maud Russella), found a job at a "skirt manufactory" and after that the Aetna Sewing Machine Company. She tried selling books but went back into the sewing machine business. Eventually she married my great-grandfather in 1874.


  1. It's fun to learn about our ancestors!

  2. Yes, it's fun. And it really makes you think. All these people lived and died... loved and lost. It's life and we are part of it's chain.


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