Ross County History Grows on Bowdle Farm
Founder Henry Bowdle and siblings, Thomas and Mary Bowdle Sisk, left Maryland in April 1800 with a group of families to find better economic opportunities. The group arrived in Ross County in June 1800, and Henry received a land grant for 549 acres in 1802.
The Dry Run Methodist Episcopal Church was founded in Henry’s barn. The church is today called The Dry Run United Methodist Church, and Henry’s descendants still attend.
Henry’s farm was acquired by his son, Thomas. Thomas’ son, Richard, eventually inherited part of the farm, and he would reacquire the lands inherited by his siblings, nieces and nephews. Richard was a member and preacher in the Dry Run Methodist Church.
James Finley Bowdle was next in the family to receive the farm. He added a Fordson tractor in the 1920s, although horses were kept on the farm until the late 1940s. The Fordson was replaced by a line of John Deere tractors, and their model 60 was just recently sold.
Henry, Thomas, Richard and James Bowdle and their spouses are all buried in the Bowdle-Morrison Cemetery, which was surveyed from original Bowdle land.
James Kenneth and Jane Cory Bowdle next acquired the farm. Kenneth and Jane raised eight children on their farm. Today, the sixth generation of the Bowdle Family – John and his wife Judy Bowdle, Nancy Bozek, Jim, David, William, Charles, and Donald Bowdle – continue ownership of their 175-acre farm. John and Judy live on the farm, and Bowdle relatives cash rent the farmground. Doug Bowdle, a seventh-generation family member, recently purchased a woodlot from his uncle Jim.