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Dorman Steele McGowan
(December 24, 1874 - May 20, 1950)



Dorman Steele McGowan was the son of James William McGowan, Sr. (1846-1882) and Frances Elizabeth "Fannie" Berry (1852-1905). He married Florida Helen Jarvis on February 19, 1898. Capt. Dorman was a farmer and waterman. He and his family lived in the house built by his grandfather, John Berry, Jr., located at the end of the Juniper Bay Road.

Besides the Berry homeplace, he farmed four other pieces of land: land he received from his father, also on Juniper Bay Road; land he received from his mother called the Ridge Range on the Tiny Oaks Road; land on the Farrow Road his wife had inherited; and two parcels of the Donnell Farm on the Quarter Canal he bought during the depression with loans from Roosevelt's Farm Bank. He also owned three boats at various times in his life, two of which reportedly sank during storms. Most Saturdays he would hitch his team and wagon and travel the eight miles to Swan Quarter for supplies, and each Sunday he would travel the two miles up to the Lake to Soule Methodist Church. He is buried in Soule Cemetery.

This house was built by John Berry, Jr. (1817-1898). The original section, to the left was built ca. 1825 and it became the kitchen when the rest of the house was built ca. 1850. Seen at the far left is part of the split rail fence which surrounded the house. Note the Civil War cannon ball in the yard. It was said that when a boy could lift the ball over his head, he was ready to get behind a plow. Shown is this photo are Capt. Dorman McGowan, my grandfather, James Alton McGowan (in the little wagon hitched up to a heifer, my father), Metta Jarvis McGowan, Mildred Letha McGowan and Florida Helen (Jarvis) holding son David Foy McGowan.

In the McGowan plot in Soule Cemetery there are now three generations of this family, beginning with James William & Fanny (Berry) McGowan, Dorman's parents, and in the future there will be the fourth generation--yours truly.

Florida Helen (Jarvis) McGowan
(November 17, 1875 - May 12, 1945)



Florida Helen Jarvis was the daughter of David Sylvester Jarvis, Jr. (1850-1918) and Missouri Williams (1855-1939). She grew up on Farrow Road near Swan Quarter on her father's farm, and at his death, she received the homeplace there. She married Dorman Steele McGowan on February 19, 1898 and was the mother of five children, four of which lived to maturity. They were: Murray Linwood (1898-1898), Mildred Letha (1900-1968), Metta Jarvis (1902-1989), James Alton (1908-1968) and David Foy (1914-1987). She is buried beside her husband in Soule Cemetery.

(Photos & information courtesy of John B. McGowan)

Copyright 1999
McGowan / Sheppard