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Bowlby, David Sovereign 1826-1903 and Martha Esther Bowlby née Murphy 1837-1925.
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- Clement Bowlby Family
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The Bowlby family came from England to North American by way of John Bowlby of Nottinghamshire, England. He originally settled in the area that is now Camden, New Jersey on a farm of 400 acres. After the revolutionary war he and members of his family moved to Annapolis, Nova Scotia and were given the status of United Empire Loyalists. John lived to the age of 99 and he and his wife Jane Drake had a large family that included grand-sons Richard Bowlby, born in 1761, and Thomas Bowlby. Richard moved with his grand-father to Nova Scotia and while there married local woman Elizabeth Hawksworth. It was Richard’s brother Thomas, and son Adam, that brought the Bowlby family to the Waterloo Region.
Adam Bowlby (1792-1883) was born in 1792 to Richard Bowlby, and wife Elizabeth Hawksworth. Adam moved to Upper Canada in 1815 to live with his uncle Thomas Bowlby, the first Bowlby family member to come to Upper Canada and here Adam set up a gristmill. After a few years manufacturing tools and implements for farmers, Adam purchased a small parcel of 450 acres in Townsend around the time of his marriage, in 1819, to Elizabeth Sovereign of New Jersey. The farm was built up over a period of 21 years to approximately 3,000 acres. During this 21 year period Adam and Elizabeth had six children: Alfred Bowlby in 1820, William Bowlby in 1822, David Sovereign Bowlby in 1828, Mary Ursula Bowlby Powell in 1830, Ward Hamilton Bowlby, in 1834, John Wedgewood Bowlby in 1837. During this time Adam served as magistrate and district councilor, treasurer of the Masonic Lodge and Captain of the Waterford Company during the rebellions of 1837-38. Adam eventually left his farm to son William (the only farmer in the family) and settled in Berlin (Kitchener) where he died in 1883 at the age of 91.
Alfred Bowlby (1820-1915) was born August 26, 1820 in New Jersey, USA, the eldest son of Adam and Elizabeth. He grew up largely on the family farm in Townsend and began receiving an education at home from an early age. He, along with his brothers, was taught to read from the New Testament and was taught multiplication by his mother. He began formal schooling at the age of nine and would eventually go on to study medicine at Columbia, graduating in 1845. After a failed attempt to continue his studies at University of Toronto due to religious difference, he studied another two years at McGill. In 1846 he finally opened his own practice in Waterford. In 1854 at the age of 34 Alfred married 22 year old Margaret (Mary) Chrysler (1831-1917) of Ancaster, Upper Canada. The two would go on to have eight children together and live in Townsend for the rest of their lives. Alfred continued to practice medicine until his death in 1915 at the age of 95. Margaret passed in 1917 at the age of 86.
David Sovereign Bowlby (1826-1903) was born September 5th, 1826 to Adam Bowlby and Elizabeth Sovereign Bowlby. He was born on the family farm in Townsend, and, like his brothers began to be educated from an early age. He attended Upper Canada College, University of Toronto, Toronto School of Medicine and ultimately the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, graduating in 1853. In October of the same year he moved to Berlin (Kitchener) to temporarily fill in for his cousin Dr. J.W. Sovereign, and ended up staying on indefinitely. He also took on the role of County Jail surgeon, and coroner for many years. Besides his medical practice he was heavily involved in the community being a member of the village council, and on the Board of Trustees of Berlin High School as well as being warden and delegate to the synod for St. John’s Anglican Church. In 1856 David Sovereign married 18 year old Martha Esther Murphy (1837-1925) of Montreal and brought her to Berlin. Together they had five children: Janie Elizabeth Bowlby Clement in 1859, Emma Allen Bowlby Boyd in 1862, George Herbert Bowlby in 1855, Grace Bowlby Fennell in 1871, and David Shannon Bowlby in 1873. In his later years David Sovereign suffered from bronchial troubles and died in 1903 while in Sicily on a trip to improve his breathing. Martha Esther Murphy lived for another 22 years in the family home in Berlin. Martha was extremely active in social and philanthropic organizations in Berlin including as a founding member of the Kitchener and Waterloo Ladies Hospital Auxiliary, organist of St. John’s Anglican Church, and first regent of the Princess of Wales chapter, Daughters of the Empire. Martha died unexpectedly at the age of 88 after her dressing gown caught fire from the gas heater in her home.
Ward Hamilton Bowlby (1834-1917) was born October 4th, 1834 to Adam Bowlby and Elizabeth Sovereign Bowlby. Like his siblings, Ward went to school originally at Upper Canada College and eventually to Toronto University where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in 1856, Masters of Arts in 1857 and Bachelor of law in 1858, obtaining the first University gold medal in law awarded to Toronto University. In May of the same year he was admitted to the bar and moved to Berlin (Kitchener). He founded the law firm Bowlby, Colquhoun and Clement with his brother-in-law E.P. Clement and F. Colquhoun. He would practice in this firm until 1903 when he retired from active practice. He was appointed King’s Council, as well as holding the positions of Crown Attorney and Clerk of the Peace of Waterloo County, a member of the Town and County Council, reeve of Berlin, and a member of the public school board. Besides his law practice he also invested in many companies in Canada including Canadian Pacific, Merchant’s Bank and others. In 1861 at the age of 27 he married 22 year old Lissie Hespeler Bowlby (1839-1920), daughter of Jacob Hespeler one of the founders of the Waterloo area. The two would live in Jacob Hespeler’s now historic home from 1870-1877. The couple had one daughter, Annie Hespeler Bowlby Perley who married an M.P. and who died in London, England after a sudden illness in 1910. Ward died in 1917 after a period of illness, and Lissie died in 1920.
George Herbert Bowlby (1865-1916) was born July 16, 1865 to David Sovereign Bowlby and Martha Esther Murphy Bowlby in Berlin (Kitchener). Educated in Berlin at both the elementary and high school, he studied briefly at St. Jerome's College and then on to Trinity Medical College in Toronto for his medical degree. After obtaining his degree he became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons in London and also was a Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians. As a youth he was heavily involved in sports playing soccer and cricket. At the onset of First World War he joined the Army Medical Corps of the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force, became a Captain and was appointed Assistant Director of Medical Services. In 1894 at the age of 28 he married 22 year old Blanche Alexandrine (Adine) Seagram (1871-1919), the daughter of Joseph Emm Seagram, founder of Seagram Distilleries. The two had no children. In 1916 while serving in First World War George was walking the ground of Bath military hospital where he was working and fell off a cliff. He was found dead at the bottom of the cliff and was cremated in Bath. Adine was overseas at the time as well, volunteering for the Red Cross. After the death of her husband Adine stayed on with the Red Cross for another year until she was forced to return to Berlin to look after her ill father. On July 19th, 1919 Adine was riding in a car with her brother Capt. Tom Seagram and her niece. The car was involved in a collision with another vehicle and Adine died of the injuries she sustained.
Grace Bowlby Fennell (1871-1936) was born May 19th, 1871 to David Sovereign Bowlby and Martha Esther Murphy Bowlby in Berlin (Kitchener). An active member of the community, Grace was an officer of the Princess of Wales chapter of I.O.D.E., a member of the parish workers and the Woman’s Auxiliary of St. John’s Anglican Church, as well as a district commissioner of the Girl Guides. In 1902, at the age of 31 she married 32 year old James Philip Fennell, a hardware merchant also from Berlin. The two had one daughter, Patricia Grace Fennell born in 1908 who married Rev. Harold Vaughn. On October 30th 1936 Grace was shopping at Goudie’s Department Store when she had a heart attack and passed away. She was survived by her husband.
David Shannon Bowlby (1873-1938) was born January 24th 1873 to David Sovereign Bowlby and Martha Esther Murphy Bowlby. David Shannon followed almost directly in the path of his uncle Ward Hamilton Bowlby. He was originally educated in Kitchener, and eventually went to University of Toronto, graduating in 1895 with a bachelor of arts, and then on to Osgoode Hall graduating in 1896 with a bachelor of laws. He was called to the bar in 1898 and began practicing law at the family firm Bowlby, Colquhoun and Clement. When his uncle died in 1917, David Shannon replaced him as Crown Attorney for Waterloo County. He held that position until 1934 when he was succeeded by his nephew, at which he began a private firm. Like the rest of his family, David Shannon was very active in the community. He was a member of both the Canadian and Ontario Bar Associations, the K-W Kiwanis Club, the Masons, the Shriners, and of the Berlin Harp, Mandolin and Guitar Club. In 1904, at the age of 31 he married 27 year old Lillian Carolyn Barnes (1877-1972). Lillian was born in Rhode Island, USA but shortly after her birth came to Berlin (Kitchener) with her mother. In 1907 they had son Shannon Barnes Bowlby and they adopted Carolyn Barnes Bowlby Davison who was born in 1899 in Rhode Island, USA. David Shannon died October 11 1938 after suffering an unexpected heart attack at home. Lillian survived her husband, and eventually moved into the Preston Springs nursing home where she died in 1972. Their son Shannon ran a successful restaurant and catering business in Waterloo, and married Marjorie. Shannon died in 1977 while wintering in Florida. Daughter Carolyn married Norman Davison and the continued to live in the K-W region. She worked for the K-W Welcome Service and operated a real estate office. Carolyn was also involved in I.O.D.E. and the St. John’s Anglican Church. She died in 1967 of a heart attack.
The Clement family came to the Waterloo region in 1848 when Rev. Edwin Clement (1819-1885) and wife Mary Couch Pope Clement (1825-1910) emigrated to North American from England. Rev. Edwin Clement was born in 1819 in Plymouth, England and Mary Couch Pope (1825-1910) was born in 1825 in St. Vincent, West Indies while her father was there as a Wesleyan Methodist Missionary. Her father returned to England shortly after her birth and she was raised in Plymouth as well. In 1847 Mary and Rev. Edwin married and the two left England for North America. After living in the United States for a year, they settled in Ontario where Rev. Edwin would spend a few years in many different cities preaching his ministry. Rev. Edwin and Mary had seven children together: John James Clement in 1848, Catherine Louise Clement in 1850, Mary Alice Clement in 1851, Edwin Perry Clement in 1853, Margaret Elizabeth Clement in 1856, William Henry Pope Clement in 1858 and George Thomas Clement in 1860. Rev. Edwin died in 1885 possibly of liver disease, and Mary spent the next fifteen years living with various children. She passed away in Collingwood in 1910.
Edwin Perry Clement (1853-1924) was born October 19th 1953 to Rev. Edwin and Mary Couch Pope Clement in Simcoe Township, Ontario. He attended Upper Canada College eventually went to Osgoode Hall to study law. E.P. moved to Berlin to study law under Ward Hamilton Bowlby and In 1876 E.P. was admitted to the Law Society of Upper Canada. After this he became a partner to Ward Hamilton Bowlby and the firm of Bowlby, Colquhoun and Clement was started. In 1902 he was appointed King’s Council and in 1907 was made Junior Judge of Essex. In the same year he had to resign from the position and instead took up as the Vice-President of The Mutual Life Assurance Company, whose board he had been on since 1887. In 1908 he was made President of the company. E.P. was also involved in local politics, at one point running against Joseph Seagram (father of his sister-in-law). He was also involved on much social work including the establishment of the Kitchener YMCA, of which he was the first president, and in the temperance cause. On October 22nd, 1878 he married 20 year old Janie Elizabeth Bowlby, niece of his law partner.
Janie Elizabeth Bowlby (1859-1919) was born April 18th, 1859 to David Sovereign Bowlby and Martha Esther Murphy Bowlby in Berlin (Kitchener). She attended school at both Mrs. Mercer’s Boarding School for Young Ladies in Montreal and at Ontario Ladies College in Aurora, Ontario with other local girls from prominent families. As a child and youth she put on plays and many photographs show her dressed in costume, even as Cinderella with E.P. as her prince the year before their wedding. With her family she traveled to Germany where she also received some education. During the time that they were away, E.P., not yet her husband was appointed Acting County Attorney and Clerk of the Peace due to her father’s absence. In later life she was involved in many charitable and social organizations including as the Women’s Missionary Society of Trinity United Church, The Kitchener- Waterloo Hospital Ladies Auxiliary, and the YWCA. After her marriage to the 25 year old E.P. Clement the couple had six children: Charles Bowlby Clement in 1879, Blanche Mildred Clement Kelly in 1881, Edwin Oliver Clement in 1885, William Pope Clement in 1887, Florence Grace Clement in 1889 and David Ward Clement in 1897.
Charles Bowlby Clement (1879-1970) was born August 19th, 1879 to Edwin Perry Clement and Janie Elizabeth Bowlby Clement in Berlin (Kitchener). Charles followed the course of his father in some ways and in 1869 started with the Mutual Life Assurance Company of Canada. After doing very well in the head office in Waterloo, in 1917 he left for the Winnipeg office to become Secretary of the office, and eventually assistant loan manager. After this he continued into loan manager positions in Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto. He eventually retired in 1944 after having worked for the company for 49 years, at the time a company record. In his personal life he was very interested in chess, music, opera and art. He played violin for fun and in the “Clement Trio” with his brothers Edwin Oliver and William Pope. He was also instrumental in collecting the works of his cousin A.Y. Jackson. In 1904 he married 24 year old Gertrude Unger (1880-1967), also of Berlin. Gertrude was the daughter of Mennonite pioneers who came from Pennsylvania. The two hand only one child, Carlton Clement in 1907 in Waterloo. Carlton attended the University of Alberta for law school and graduated in 1931. He was appointed to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Alberta in 1970 and was named King’s Council in 1943. Charles Bowlby died in 1970 at the age of 91 and Gertrude died in 1967. Carlton died in 1999. It is worth noting that his legal career was much applauded and his papers can be found at the Legal Archives Society of Alberta.
Blanche Mildred Clement Kelly (1881-1945) was born July 16th, 1881 to Edwin Perry Clement and Janie Elizabeth Bowlby Clement in Waterloo. In 1915 at the age of 34 she married 28 year old Frederick Bowman Kelly (1887-1984) of Guelph. The two moved to Guelph where Frederick was employed as a merchant. The two had no children. Blanche died in 1945 at the home of her sister Florence and Frederick lived until the age of 97, dying in 1984.
Edwin Oliver Clement (1885-1953) was born March 13th, 1885 to Edwin Oliver Clement and Janie Elizabeth Bowlby Clement in Berlin (Kitchener). Edwin lived in Berlin for the first part of his life and worked as a banker for CIBC. His work took him to Lethbridge Alberta for a period of time and he was living there in 1916 until he was drafted into First World War in 1917. After the war he moved to the Simcoe region and in 1925, and the age of 40 he married 31 year old Helen Keefer Thompson (1894-1968) of Penetanguishene. The two had two daughters: Julia Clement who married Ian Donald McKillop and Christine Clement who married David Hebscher. Edwin died in 1953 and Helen in 1968.
William Pope Clement (1887-1982) was born August 26th, 1887 to Edwin Perry Clement and Janie Elizabeth Bowlby Clement in Berlin (Kitchener). He was allegedly named for his paternal grandmother’s favourite cousin, William Henry Pope of P.E.I., one of the Fathers of Confederation. He was first educated in Kitchener and later at University of Toronto for both his bachelor of arts in 1909 and his L.L.B. in 1912. In May of the same year he began practicing law in the family firm of Bowlby, Colquhoun and Clement. He also worked in local politics serving as an alderman, and two terms as Mayor of Kitchener. Later on in his law career he was County Crown Attorney and in 1936 was appointed King’s Council and in 1945 elected a bencher of the Provincial Law Society. He was also an active member in the Rotary Club for many years. Besides his work, his biggest passion was music. He began playing violin at the age of twelve with the Concordia Club Choir. While at school in Toronto he accompanied many singers, and the glee club. Back in Kitchener he played organ for three separate churches and sang with the K-W Philharmonic Choir. In 1945 William Pope was one of those involved in the establishment of the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Orchestra in which he played the viola for 25 years. He also wrote his own compositions and lyrics. In 1915 William Pope married 20 year old Muriel Alberta Kerr(1895-1975) of Woodstock. Muriel was a physical education teacher in public and high schools, but quit after her marriage to William Pope. Although she quit teaching, she never quit her active membership in society, in particular her work with immigrants and as an anti-racism activist. She was the founder of the K-W Council of Friendship which promoted racial harmony and helped new-comers with education and language. For her work with this organization she was named Woman of the Year for K-W in 1949 and given the Centennial Award by the K-W chapter of Canadian Council of Christians and Jews in 1967. She was also a life director of the women’s committee of the K-W Symphony, and an active member of the Evangelist Anglican Church. Muriel and William Pope had one daughter Elizabeth (Betty) Clement Stewart born in 1916. Muriel and William also adopted a niece, Margaret Chellew Adams Clement Forbes. William Pope died in 1982 at the age of 95 and continued to practice law until the end of his life. Muriel died in 1975.
Florence Grace Clement (1889-1988) was born November 8, 1889 to Edwin Perry Clement and Janie Elizabeth Bowlby Clement in Berlin (Kitchener). She was educated first in town and later at Havergal College in Toronto. In her early twenties Florence went to England and then to Germany to study voice, but a sudden bout of homesickness sent her back to Berlin just before the outbreak of First World War. Back in Berlin she continued to be involved in music, and spent much time in Northern Ontario vacationing with her family. She looked after her mother when she was elderly, and after her passing Florence spent much time traveling. Florence was very active in the community as a life member of Trinity United Church being in the choir and the women’s organization, a charter member of the Queen Anne chapter of I.O.D.E., a life member of the Canadian Red Cross, and a charter member of the Westmount Country Club where she was an accomplished golfer. She was also an active donor to the Tom Thomson Gallery and a life member, probably stemming from her close relationship with her cousin A.Y. Jackson. Florence was responsible for keeping much of the family history and made a great effort to trace her genealogy. She also inherited many of the antiques from her mother, some of which now reside at the ROM. Florence never made and spent her later years living at the Preston Springs retirement home until her death at the age of 98 in 1988.
David Ward Clement (1897-1917) was born September 2, 1897 to Edwin Perry Clement and Janie Elizabeth Bowlby Clement in Berlin (Kitchener). He was educated locally and was a member of the local boy scouts troupe. He later went on to study at St. Andrew’s College in Toronto where he was a member of the Cadet Corps. In 1915 David enlisted in First World War and in 1916 was transferred to the Montreal Highlanders with whom he went overseas. In 1917 he joined the aviation corps. It was in this position that he was killed in action during a collision with another plane. David was posthumously awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His mother was given the Memorial Cross.
Elizabeth (Betty) Clement Stewart (1916-1977) was born to William Pope Clement and Muriel Alberta Kerr Clement in 1916 in Berlin (Kitchener). An exemplary student, Betty won the Bishop Strachan Scholarship and was awarded a full ride to University of Toronto. In 1940 Betty wed Peter Ross Stewart (1915-1980) of West Hartford. Peter was an alderman and an investor. Betty and Peter had two children together, Janet and Stewart. Janet continued in the family tradition and works as a lawyer. Betty died in 1977 and Peter in 1980.
Margaret (Peggy) Chellew Adams Clement Forbes (1921-2010) was born to Dorothy and Stanley Adams in 1921 in Hamilton, through whom she had a brother Donald Adams. She was later adopted by her Aunt and Uncle William Pope Clement and Muriel Alberta Kerr Clement. Peggy graduated from University of Toronto as an occupational therapist and served overseas with the Red Cross in First World WarI. Peggy was very involved in the arts and established the LaCloche Art Show in 1977 as well as being involved in many other artistic organizations. Peggy married 21 year old Capt. Donald Rossell Forbes (1920-2005) in 1942 and they had two children: Diana Forbes and Jock Forbes. Donald died in 2005 and Peggy in 2010.
The Clement – Bowlby family has an interesting link to Canadian art. Martha Esther Murphy Bowlby’s sister Isabella Murphy (1829-1890) married Henry Fletcher Joseph Jackson (1820-1895). Their eldest son Henry Allan Jackson (1850-[?]) married Elizabeth Georgian Young (1851-[?]) and bore seven children. One of these was Alexander Young (A.Y.) Jackson (1882-1974) one of the founding members of the Group of Seven. A.Y. and his aunt Geneva were close to the E.P. and Janie Clement family and spent many summers vacationing with them at E.P.’s cottage in Portage Point, Georgian Bay. He visited the family after his first stint in First World War before he went back to a war artist, and kept up correspondence with Florence Grace Clement. Florence herself kept much history on A.Y. and Naomi Jackson Groves corresponded with her frequently regarding A.Y.
Scope and content
File consists of materials relating to David Sovereign Bowlby and his wife Martha Esther Murphy Bowlby. File includes:
- clippings including obituaries of D.S., Martha and their domestic, as well as on the unveiling of a memorial window and a posthumous article on D.S.' career as a doctor;
- one piece of correspondence from Janie Elizabeth Bowlby Clement to Martha;
- genealogical notes on the Murphy family;
- a print of the Bowlby family residence;
- and an article on D.S. from the Fifth Annual Report of the Waterloo Historical Society.