Bowman, Joseph G.

Born: 1812-03-12 Virginia

Died: 1873-03-21 Vincennes, Indiana

Flourished: Vincennes, Indiana

Alternate name: Bouman

Joseph G. Bowman was a newspaper editor, attorney, state legislator, railroad executive, and circuit court judge. He emigrated from his native Virginia to Wabash County, Illinois in 1835, settling into editorial duties with the recently founded Mt. Carmel Sentinel and Wabash Advocate, and reading law. In 1839, Bowman earned admission to the Wabash County bar, going into partnership with Orlando B. Ficklin in Mt. Carmel. In November 1839, Wabash County voters elected him to complete the term of Edward Smith in the Illinois House of Representatives. Bowman remained in the Illinois House until February 1840. In December 1840, he married Mary R. Lamb. By 1850, Bowman had moved to Lawrence County, Illinois, opening a law practice in Lawrenceville, and he owned real property valued at $13,500. A strong adherent of the Whig Party, Bowman was a delegate to the Whig State Convention in 1852, and he served as a member of the Illinois Whig Central Committee. After the demise of the Whig Party, he joined the Republican Party, serving as a Fremont delegate to the 1858 Illinois Republican Convention. In the late 1850s, Bowman moved to Vincennes, Indiana, where he served as a circuit court judge. In 1860, he was practicing law in Vincennes and owned real property valued at $5,000 and a personal estate of $20,000. In July 1861, President Abraham Lincoln nominated Bowman to serve as the consul to Matanzas, Cuba, but Bowman declined the appointment. In December 1864, Bowman became assessor of internal revenue in the first collection district of Indiana. He would remain in that position through the remainder of the Civil War.

Usher F. Linder, Reminiscences of the Early Bench and Bar of Illinois (Chicago: The Chicago Legal News, 1879), 286-89; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Sangamon County, 21 December 1840, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 12 February 1841, 2:2; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 9 July 1852, 2:2-3; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 17 June 1858, 2:3; Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1887), 11:481; Combined History of Edwards, Lawrence and Wabash Counties, Illinois (Chicago: J. L. McDonough, 1883), 130, 132; George E. Greene, History of Old Vincennes and Knox County, Indiana (Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1911), 1:271; Theodore C. Pease, ed., Illinois Election Returns, 1818-1848, vol. 18 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library (Springfield: Illinois State Historical Library, 1923), 328; Marry Woods, comp., Blue Book of the State of Illinois 1913-1914 (Danville: Illinois Printing, 1914), 353; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Lawrence County, IL, 50; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Vincennes, Knox County, IN, 76; Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1887), 14:Part 1: 2, 5, 7, 11; Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1865 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1866), 56; Gravestone, Greenlawn Cemetery, Vincennes, IN.