Elder Benjamin BOWMAN, Sr.
Born: 176? at ?
Father: ? BOWMAN or BAUMAN
Spouse: Catherine ?
Benjamin apparently came to the area known as "The Forest" (near Flat Rock) in Shenandoah County, VA around 1784/5. He secured a large grant of land at Green Mount at that time. In addition to being a good financier, he was an active church leader (in the German Baptist Brethren, or Tunker, church there). When a new church district was formed with what is now (in 1952) US Route 33, running through Harrisonburg, as the SW boundary and extending NE to the Potomac River, he was placed in charge of it as senior elder or bishop.
This Tunker community had been founded when Elder John GARBER and his family (wife and 6 young children) had come to "The Forest" in 1775/6 from PA or MD. They were the first of the Tunkers in this part of VA. Other early members were Michael WINE, who came in 1782 with two of John GARBER's older sons, Samuel and Martin, and also with Jacob MILLER, all with their families. In 1793, Elder Christian MYERS came with his wife Barbara (BURKHOLDER) and their 8 sons. These families formed the basis of the Tunker community for years after. The wife of Benjamin Sr. must have been from one of these early families.
Both Benjamin Jr. and his wife Catherine are buried at Green Mount Cemetery and it is likely that Benjamin Sr. and wife are also buried there.