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William B. Bowles of New Orleans

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There was a William B. Bowles in New Orleans long before my line arrived there in 1835.  The May 16, 1820 edition of the Louisiana Advertiser mentions the arrival of a William B. Bowles on the Steamship Robert Fulton from New York via Havana.

He seems to have stuck around as there was also a William B. Bowles who died in New Orleans at age 39 in 1865 (born Sept. 11, 1826 according to his headstone) who seems to have come from Portsmouth, N.H.  In addition to the ‘born in N.H.’ reference in the 1840 and 1850 Census there is also a William B. Bowles in the list of 14 visitors from New Orleans who attended the Reception of the Sons of Portsmouth Residents Abroad which was held on July 4, 1853 in Portsmouth on the occasion of the Portsmouth Jubilee.  The only other Bowles who attended that function was a John H. Bowles of New York City.  Ref. 

I haven't found any further traces of William B. Bowles Sr. but William Jr. is listed as a Clerk in the 1850 census Ref. and as an Accountant living at 7 Bourbon and with his business at 84 Common in the 1851 city directory. ref.  He married Mary Webber and 4 children were born between 1856 and 1863.  In 1858 he formed a co-partnership with N. C. Judson to operate a 'wholesale and retail crockery and house furnishing business' at #17 Camp Street.  In 1861 he lived on Jackson Street near Baronne.  ref.

It's hard to see how this Bowles line from New Hampshire could be related to our Bowles line from Quebec City but the very first 2 newspaper ads which William Jr. placed for his crockery store in 1858 sandwiched an ad for Robert H. Bowles' shoe store.  Note


William's ad in 1859 featured 'reliable self-sealing glass and tin preserve jars', ice cream freezers, ice pitchers, water coolers and fly traps.


With the start of the Civil War in April 1861, William's attention turned from trade to supporting the newly formed Confederate States of America.  A notice in the October 1861 announcing a scheduled drill for Company C of the Fifth Regiment, First Brigade of the Louisiana Militia gives Captain Charles H. Churchill as the commanding officer and William B. Bowles as Churchill's 1st Lieutenant. However, New Orleans fell to Flag Officer Farragut in April 1862 and it's likely that William's military career was then over. 

By March 1864, with the Civil War still raging, William was back to selling his crockery and glassware at 17 Camp Street.  However, without his partner Judson.  William died in December of the following year at 39 years of age.  His wife Mary died in 1892 at age 86.

See William B. Bowles of New Orleans Family Tree

This site was last updated 10/19/18