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Henry Lawrence & Gildeppie (Stotesbury) McGowan

          April 2, 1853 - July 13, 1938               December 30, 1859 - April 17, 1947

Henry Lawrence McGowan was born on April 2, 1853 near Heron Bay on Lake Mattamuskeet in Hyde County, one of four children of William McGowan (c.1814-c.1854) and Rebecca (Davis) McGowan (c.1820-c.1870's). On January 11, 1882 he married Gildeppie Dell "Deppie" Stotesbury, daughter of Tilman F. Stotesbury (1831-1869) and Margaret A. (Fisher) Stotesbury (1842-1912). Henry and Deppie were the parents of five children: William Tilman (1882-1964), John Herbert (1884-1961), Viola Chloe (1886-1975), Martha Rebecca (1888-1952) and Buelah Dell (1894-1978).

Henry McGowan was a self educated man and a teacher by profession. He was also a licensed surveyor. He first taught school at Rodanthe on the Outer Banks in 1876, and later taught the elementary grades in a one room schoolhouse near his home in the Juniper Bay area of Hyde County, near the home of Mr. Albert Fisher. After his wife inherited the Stotesbury farm near Swindell's Fork (by the draw of a straw) near Lake Mattamuskeet, he engaged in farming and surveying. At one time, he was Superintendent of Education for Hyde County. He died July 13, 1938 and was buried in Soule Cemetery, south of Lake Mattamuskeet. [The above photo of Henry Lawrence McGowan was probably taken in the late 1920's or 1930's.]

(Biography by John Livingston McGowan; Photos are courtesy of John Franklin Cahoon.)

Stotesbury-McGowan Home

The Stotesbury-McGowan house that John Franklin Cahoon owns and lives in today belonged to his maternal grandmother, Gildeppie Dell (Stotesbury) McGowan. The story goes that her uncle Bennett Stotesbury, a bachelor, willed his property undivided to the three children of his brother, Tilman F. Stotesbury, namely: Gildeppie Dell (Stotesbury) McGowan (1859-1947), wife of Henry Lawrence McGowan; Charles A. Stotesbury (1864-1918), and Cora Lee (Stotesbury) Williamson (1868-1926), wife of George Washington Williamson. They drew straws to determine which part each would receive, and Deppie McGowan drew the tract of land on which the homeplace is located. The deed for this property is dated 1886. It is believed that Hollowells whose unmarked graves are in the field near the house first owned the property and probably built the house before the first family of Stotesburys came into ownership of the property. Though the date of construction of the house cannot be documented, it is typical of other houses constructed in the early 1800's and possesses many features. The interior contains original roof boards of heavy cypress timbers fastened with wooden pins. The lattice trim on the porch of the original house is typical of the period also. The frame house is most pleasing in its proportions. The original house had four main rooms, two downstairs and two upstairs. The hall extends through the center with a stairway that has interesting hand-carved step-ends repeated on the wall side also. The exterior doors have the original hand-wrought hinges. They are more elaborate than the L-hinges on the room doors. The original hooks are used to keep doors open. The custom in so many of the homes of the period was to keep the doors open in winter and summer. The sun helped keep the chill off in the winter and the breeze in summer proved cooling and pleasant. The splendid mantle, which covers more than half of one wall in the main room both downstairs and upstairs, is handsomely carved. Wood carvings are used on doors and windows throughout the original house. Elaborate wainscoting used in the main room and in the hall is of heart pine.

(Older photo and information from Hyde County History.)
(Color photo of the Stotesbury/McGowan house courtesy of John Franklin Cahoon.)

Copyright 1999
McGowan / Sheppard