Dr. James M. Bowcock

Headstone of Dr. James M. Bowcock


The Clarksburg Telegram., February 19, 1904, page 5

Dr. J. M. Bowcock is seriously ill at his home on Main Street, near Fifth, and is confined to his bed.

The  Daily Telegram., February 22, 1904

Dr. J. M. Bowcock is out after having been indisposed a number of days.


The Daily Telegram., May 02, 1904

Dr. J. M. Bowcock lies at his home at the corner of Main and Fifth streets seriously ill. He was taken down some time ago with an illness which developed into a complication of diseases. The doctor’s many friends are of the hope that he will have a complete recovery.


The Daily Telegram., August 31, 1904
The Clarksburg Telegram., September 02, 1904




Had Long and Successful Career in his Profession and Was Honored By All Men Whose Families He Treated and By All the Profession–Was 75 Years of Age.

Dr. James M. Bowcock died Tuesday evening at 7 o’clock at his home of West Main Street after a long illness. He had been in declining health more than a year and was bed fast eighteen weeks. His death was expected at most any time, but the news was a very painful to a host of friends and to the medical fraternity, not only of this city, but elsewhere in the state, as he was widely known as a very eminent physician.

By his death there passes from this world one who has highly honored the profession of the physician and surgeon, one of the brightest and most honorable men, a physician Clarksburg was fortunate in possessing, and there is sorrow among the many families, whose health he looked after so patiently, ably and faithfully.

Genealogy of Dr. Bowcock

Dr. Bowcock was a son of Col. John J. and Sarah (Barkdale) Bowcock, and was born in Albermarle County, Va., on March 1, 1829, and his age, therefore at the time of his death was 75 years and nearly six months. His father was born in 1803 in Albermarle County, Va., and he possessed many of the most worthy traits of his Scottish ancestors and became one of the thrifty and industrious farmers of that county and a successful and enterprising merchant.

His broad intelligence brought him into public notice and he held many official positions, successfully filling the office of justice of the peace for thirty years. He also represented his county in the Virginia State Legislature, was for thirty years presiding justice of the county, and at one time ably filled the position of sheriff.

In 1892 he paid the last debt of nature at his old home in Virginia, having attained the advanced age of 89 years, seventy of which were devoted to the duties of elder of the Presbyterian church. In antebellum days he was an old line Whig in politics and became well known all over the state. His wife was also a Presbyterian and in this faith they reared their children, whom they named as follows: William H., of the native place; Dr. James M., whose memory is here commemorated; Jane M., who married J. H. Burnley; Charles S., Physician, now deceased; Jesse L.; Eliza C.; who died at the age of six years; John O., and Sarah, who married George Thrift.

Both Jess and William H. were soldiers in the Union Army during the Civil War.

Revolutionary Soldiers Image

The mother of these children was the daughter of Nelson Barksdale and Jane (Lewis) Barksdale, both natives of Albermarle County, where many members of the family still reside.

Mr. Barksdale was a well known farmer, was sheriff of the county at one time, and after a well-spent life died about the time of the Civil War began.

His wife was a daughter of Jesse Lewis, a soldier of the Revolution, and an active participant in the engagement at York town. He was a personal friend of Thomas Jefferson, and after a life of usefulness and more than ordinary prominence he died in 1849. He was born in 1763 and was but sixteen years of age, when he enlisted in the Colonial Army.

Dr. James M. Bowcock was reared and educated in his native county, and after attending the common schools for some time, was instructed by private tutors and finished his literary education in the University of Virginia. He later entered Jefferson Medical College, of Philadelphia, Pa., from which he graduated in 1850.

Six years later he came to Clarksburg and since then was actively engaged in a general practice, with the exception of the past year or so, during which time he was frequently called upon in complicated cases and by the many families, whose physician he had been for a life time and was general adviser and councel for all the younger physicians of Clarksburg. In this connection it may be said that he outlived what compeers he may have had except the eminent physician, Dr. J. W. Ramsay who practiced during his day and generation and still survives him.

Surgical Tools of the 19th Century

During the Civil War he was a staunch Union man, but in his political views later he was a Democrat. He established the first hospital in this section during the war, was contract surgeon at the time, and was located in Clarksburg. He was one of the foremost citizens of the county, held many offices of trust in Clarksburg, and was a member of Hermon Lodge, No. 6, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, here, of which he was Master for seven years. He was married in 1852 in Morgan county, to Miss Anna Baker, daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth (Kinney) Baker, who were originally from Frederick County, Va. Mr. Baker died in Clarksburg in 1881 and his wife in Morgan County. They reared two children, Susan and Mrs. Bowcock. The latter born in Morgan County, April 23, 1834.

Six children were the result of the union of Dr. Bowcock and wife, namely Ida, who died at the age of 12 years; John W., who was one of the leading medical practitioners in Clarksburg until his death a few years ago; Charles M., who is an eminent physician residing at Springfield, Ills; Sarah E., wife of Charles W. Blackwood; Susan S. wife of E. C. Martz, of Harrisburg, Va.; and Floride D., wife of J. G. Kuykindall, of Charleston, this state.

The aged wife survives him and to her and the son and daughters is extended the sympathy of the community and county.

Arrangements have not been made for the funeral and will not be until after his son, Dr. Charles M. Bowcock, arrives tonight from Springfield, Ills.

Dr. Bowcock’s Funeral

The Daily Telegram., September 01, 1904

Stock image of Casket with Flowers

The funeral of the late Dr. Bowcock will take place at the residence, corner of Main and Fifth Streets, at ten o’clock Friday morning. The service will be conducted by Rev. H. G. Richardson and the interment will be in the Odd Fellows’ Cemetery.

The pall bearers will be Dr. W. M. Late, Dr. J. W. Ramsay, Dr. T. M. Hood, Charles L. Hickman, Mord Lewis and J. W. Davis and honorary pall bearers Dr. R. A. Haynes and Dr. E. F. Wehner.

In addition to being a Mason the deceased belonged to the Knights of Honor, an insurance order established here many years ago, and there are now only nine members of the order surviving.

Funeral of Dr. Bowcock.

The Clarksburg Telegram., September 02, 1904

Short and simple services were conducted over the remains of the late Dr. James M. Bowcock by Rev. H. G. Richardson at the residence on Main Street Friday morning at 10 o’clock and interment took place at the Odd Fellows’ cemetery. The active pall bearers were Drs. W. M. Late, J. W. Ramsay and T. M. Hood and Charles L. Hickman, J. W. Davis and A. S. Criss, and the honorary pall bearers were Drs. R. A. Haynes and E. F. Wehner.


The Clarksburg Telegram., September 02, 1904

Adopted By the Harrison County Medical Society on the Death of the Late Dr. J. M. Bowcock.

At a special meeting of the Harrison County Medical Society on August 31 1904, a committee was appointed to draft the following resolutions in appreciation of the professional life and services of their late brother and colleague, Dr. James M. Bowcock, and it was further ordered that a copy of these resolutions be spread upon the minutes of the society, a copy be sent to the family and to the press for publication:

Whereas, God in His Providence has removed from our midst our aged and  respected colleague and professional brother, we, representing the local medical fraternity, wish to express to his family, friends and community in which he lived and labored for more than half a century our keen feeling of regret at the loss of so skillful a physician and surgeon and so good a citizen as the late  Dr. Bowcock. He was descended from a highly respected and noble family of Virginia and during his entire career of more than seventy-five years, continued to add glory to the name of his ancestors.

Presbytery Image

We all recognize in him a representative of the true type of the family physician who deserves a prominent position in every community. In his early career many obstacles were encountered and overcome and because of his natural talents and professional ability he came to occupy the foremost rank among physicians in our State. He has for many years served as medical attendant, friend and general advisor to both the rich and poor and they rightly mourn his death aas they would a member of their family. He was always zealous of the welfare of his patients and community, and constantly endeavored to promote the dignity, honor, and usefulness of the profession in which he was so potent a factor.

Dr. Bowcock has been taken from his home, the profession and the community not before they had received an everlasting impression from the long life of one by nature so sympathetic, kind, noble and scholarly. The influence of such life as his will last beyond the lives of those who felt his influence and we, his colleagues, sorrowing in his death, exult in the privilege we had in knowing him.


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