Wednesday, October 1, 2014

52 Ancestors: #36 Adam McConnell Gowdy, Delegate to the Indiana Constitutional Convention

Cover of the 1851 Indiana State Constitution
My 4 times great-grandfather, Adam McConnell Gowdy, was born in 1809 near Bellbrook, Ohio, the eldest child of Andrew Gowdy and Mary McConnell.  He had two brothers and four sisters.

Among the papers I have inherited that belonged to Adam's son, John Kennedy Gowdy, I found a few interesting documents.  I believe the following history of Adam McConnell Gowdy was written by John K. Gowdy's daughter, Fanny Gowdy Mansfield.

When a child, as was the custom then, he was bound out to a farmer, John Van Eaton, who lived near Xenia,[Ohio].  John Van Eaton was a wheelwright and a member of the Old Seceder Church. 

The Old Seceder Church was a branch of the Presbyterian church. They were against Sabbath desecration, profanity, stage performances, use of charms, slavery, secret societies, intoxicating liquors, and dancing.

Fanny's story continues...

Adam McConnell Gowdy was not treated kindly by Van Eaton and ran away, walking to Rush County, Indiana.  There he met and married Nancy Oliver, daughter of John Oliver.  She was born in Fleming County, Kentucky and had moved with her parents to Rush County as a child.

Adam was a blacksmith and pioneer resident of Rush county and helped lay out the town of Rushville.  He and Nancy had five children together: Mary Jane (my 3 times great-grandmother), Martha Ann, Lewis Oliver, John Kennedy, and Adam Thomas.  It is interesting to note that both Mary Jane and Martha Ann were married at the age of 15.  John Kennedy Gowdy later became a famous Hoosier politician and served as the American Consul General to Paris during the McKinley administration.

Adam Gowdy gained quite a reputation as a public speaker and was active in politics.  He was elected in 1850 and served as a member of the Legislature of Indiana, which formed the Constitution of the State.  Having moved with his family in 1849 to Jasper County, Indiana, he was elected from the county, which comprised the territory now composed of Jasper, White, and Pulaski counties.

In 1857, Adam died in Xenia, Ohio due to unknown causes.  He was only 48.  Adam McConnell Gowdy is buried at Pioneer Cemetery in Bellbrook, Greene County, Ohio.

No comments:

Post a Comment