- Peyton Leonard, Uptown Dallas Inc.

Ahab Bowen Family Tree
1807- Ahab Bowen, born in Grainger County, Tennessee on October 16th. Family background is of English
descent Wales and Quakers.

1835- Married Mary Lyon Easley, March 21st

1860s- Ahab Bowen and his family left Bolivar, Missouri due to the fact that Federals or Yankees had
attacked the Stage Coach thus the violence of the Civil War. The Bowen Family came to Dallas to open a
grocery store in the Downtown district and was noted as a Huckster in the 1870’s census. The term
huckster refers to a peddler who may sell things in a cart or have a store front to sell brooms, buckets,
dry foods and tobacco. Ahab Bowen came to Dallas because of the rich land district. He arrived in Dallas
with his wife, sons and three daughters who would later marry into families of other grocers and
hucksters that occupied mansions along Maple Avenue, McKinney Avenue and Cedar Springs. This was
known as the Grocers District and by 1895 was one of the very colorful districts of the city.
1865-The Bowen Family came to Dallas not far from the Trinity River to open up a grocery store. They
left Jaybird, Texas outside of present day Plano, Texas later to settle on McKinney Avenue. The Bowen
Family brought with them several ox cart wagons and horses, a number of African American slaves who
were more like family to them and after 1866 gave the slaves wagons to go back to Missouri or stay if
they wanted to.

1870s- On May 2, 1873 land is purchased and the 16 acres would be bounded by Howell Street,
McKinney Avenue, Maple Avenue and Allen Street known as Block 955 Lot #3 is the Bowen homestead
lot where the landmark still stands today. The homestead (surrounded by creeks, prairie and woods off
McKinney Avenue, Bowen House, a cedar clap board vernacular prairie style home, was created) is
registered by the County of Dallas in 1888, this area is known as North Dallas and located outside of the
city limits by 4 miles thus would become the McKinney Avenue District by mid 1880s due to the fact the
Bowen daughters married into the many families of grocery and food service industry providers. At this
time, Freedman were hired in the community to run the horse stables, domestics were hired and paid to
take care of cooking, cleaning and washing clothes for the fine homes in the area especially what is now
Boll Street. The 1870s in Dallas was half harmed by the loss of the war, held some grudges and yet
allowed wounded soldiers to heal. They also helped bring about Yankee Railroads into the area which
was led by the Boll family who buried their gold in their backyard.

1880s-1890s- McKinney Avenue became a cow trail to sell off cattle on the way to McKinney, Texas
market. This was the route Frank and Jessie James took to hide out with the Younger family in Scyene or
present day Mesquite.

1900s- Ahab Bowen passes away at the age of 93 on February 11th and buried at Trinity Greenwood
Cemetery off McKinney Avenue. His funeral was well attended and provided a platform for wealthy
people to create Homes and businesses leaving the landmark behind.
After Mr. Bowen’s death, high residential establishments including a Victorian Village, Fairmont, Cedar
Springs, Maple and other areas defined the opulence and wealthy community. Large homes and servant
quarters appeared and roads were now paved with brick. Tools from this era were discovered in the
1980s when the Woodall Rodgers freeway was built.

The Ahab Bowen house is one of the few remaining examples of what the community once was. The few
remaining examples of the simple, wood frame, vernacular farmhouse prevalent in Dallas County during
the latter part of the 19th century is something we cannot recreate. In 1976, Michal Longcrier
understood this period and paid homage to Ahab Bowen, almost 100 years to the date of his death, with
his historical overlay of the house by opening the Ahab Bowen vintage store. In 2011, Mr. Longcrier
closed the store, but the home remained which then Bowen House was created. Not to capitalize on the
Uptown nightlife seen, Bowen House opened its doors for a sense of the community and so we could
remember the history and the founding fathers of Uptown Dallas.

SOURCE: HISTORY PROVIDED BY BOWEN HOUSE

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1002, 2614 Boll St, Dallas, TX 75204 | (214) 484-1385