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Bowen, James L.


Age: 0, credited to Marlboro, VT
Unit(s): 27th MA INF
Service: Co. E, 27th MA INF, wdd, Gettysburg, 7/3/63

See Legend for expansion of abbreviations


Birth: 04/12/1842, Marlboro, VT
Death: 09/23/1919

Burial: Hillside Cemetery, North Adams, MA
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Heidi McColgan
Findagrave Memorial #: 80680506


Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Yes, 6/18/1864; widow Sabra J., 11/15/1919, MA
Portrait?: Unknown
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: None


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Hillside Cemetery, North Adams, MA

Check the cemetery for location/directions and other veterans who may be buried there.



Former Local Man Dies in Springfield


Death Lurks on Street for Aged Veteran as He Is Crushed Between Trolleys.

James L. Bowen, 77 years of age of 71 Greene street, Springfield, commissioner of state aid and soldier relife, and for many years a resident of this city, was fatally injured yesterday afternoon at about 2:30 o’clock in Springfield when he was crushed between two street cars on State street, Springfield. The aged Civil war veteran was crossing the street to take a car when he stepped behind one trolley, not seeing another approaching. He was rushed at once to the Hampden hospital, and died 10 minutes after reaching that institution.

One of the most prominent Grand Army men in Western Massachusetts the first sealer of weights and measures in this city of Springfield, Mr. Bowen had been a prominent figure for years. Rising from employment in the local mills, through his own industry, and ambition, he had become a powerful political factor in this city in which he dwelt, and was regarded as an influential citizen. He had held many of the state offices in the G.A.R., and was a trustee of the Soldiers’ home in Salem since 1912. His political affifibations were with the Republican party.

Born in Marlboro, Vt., April 2, 1842, Mr. Bowen was the son of Irvin Monroe and Harriet Joy Bowen. After his mother’s death in his infancy he went to Readsboro, Vt., to live with his grandparents, his schooling having been obtained in two years in that town. After his ninth year, he conducted a small farm in Readsboro with his grandmother, coming here seven years later to live with his father. Until June 25, 1862 he was employed in a mill here with his father, fulling woolen cloth. He worked from 5:30 in the morning until 8:30 at night in the winter, and in summer as long as light would permit, studying nights, to gain a knowledge which had been denied him through schooling. During this period he wrote several short stories for newspapers and periodicals. In June 1862, he enlisted in Co. E, 37th Infantry, and served in the battles of Fredericksburg, the storming of Mary’s Heights, the battles of Salem Heights and Gettysburg and the second battles of Fredericksburg. Severe shell wounds confined him to a hospital for many months, and he was finally discharged, returning to this city. His leg was stiff for years. Here he took a position on the staff of the Hoosac Valley News, and later became one of the proprietors. In 1872, he disposed of his share in that publication and became associated with the Springfield Republican, on the staff of which he worked for 18 years. In 1890 he became assistant to publisher of Good Housekeeping and Paper World, and was with Good Housekeeping for eight years. He was founder of the Bowen typewriter house.

In 1882, Mr. Bowen was made historian of his regiment, and wrote “Massachusetts in the War, 1861-1865.” He made a deep study into history of the civil conflict, and wrote many papers on the subject. In 1868 he became connected with the Good Templars, a temperance body, and for several years was head of the order in the state. He was a past commander of E. K. Wilson post, G.A.R., in Springfield, and president of the 37th regiment association for a long time. In 1885, he was one of the committee of five appointed by the Legislature to visit the Gettysburg battle field and locate the positions of the Massachusetts troops there. He delivered the dedicatory address for three monuments to Massachusetts regiments in the 6th corps. An exceptionally able speaker, he was in demand at all times, and was welcomed at all gatherings.

Mr. Bowen leaves his widow, Mrs. Sarah J. Bowen, to whom he had been married 56 years and three sons Frank H. of Laurel, Md., Alfred N. of Readsboro, Vt., and Edward N. in the West. Another son Lorenzo about 14 years ago. Mr. Bowen also leaves four grandchildren, Ralph L., and Alfred N. Jr., of Springfield, Nelson E., of Washington, D.C., and James of Readsboro, Vt. The funeral arrangements have not been made.

Source: North Adams Transcript, Sep. 24, 1919
Courtesy of Tom Boudreau.