Biography of Mrs. Sarah Francis (w/o Johnson)
Tompkins County, NY Biographies





French, Mrs. Sarah (Bowker), is a native of Lansing, born in January, 1838, a daughter of Madison and Sallie (Davis) Bowker, also of this town. Mr. Bowker was born March 23, 1808, and when a young man bought the farm of forty acres at Beardsley Corners (now North Lansing), where he kept hotel for several years, also conducting a grocery store. He had three children: William, deceased; Margaret, wife of John H. Ingersoll, of Iowa; and Sarah, our subject. Mr. Bowker died in 1838, aged thirty years. His wife survived him many years, and died in 1883 at the age of seventy four. John Bowker, grandfather of Mrs. French, was born in Ulster county in 1771, and came to Lansing with his two brothers, Joseph and Noah, bringing their provisions on their backs from Owego. They cut and cleared away on the land where they settled, building themselves a log cabin, and when their stock of provisions was exhausted they had to walk to Owego for more. John bought one hundred acres of the State (where A. J. Brink now lives), where he spent the remainder of his days, growing into prominence in his town. He was the first justice and constable in the town of Milton, and was also supervisor. He was twice married. By his second wife, Jerusha Robinson, he had twelve children, and at his death, in 1855, he had 140 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. The great grandparents of our subject were Silas and Esther (Hubby) Bowker, of Massachusetts, the former a Revolutionary soldier. The Bowker family is of Welsh ancestry. Sarah Bowker married in 1853, Johnson French, a native of Oswego county, born in 1832, a son of Thomas and Polly (Bull) French, of Canada, and they had two children: Ida, born October 26, 1857, died March 12, 1883; and Edward, born March 14, 1861. Mr. French was a farmer, and the last years of his life went to Pennsylvania to visit the oil regions, where be contracted a fever. Returning home he died seventeen days later (in February, 1863.) For many years Mrs. French conducted the farm alone, until her son was old enough to assist, and later to take charge of it. In 1886 she bought her sisters' interest in the homestead, and removed to this farm where she and her son have since resided. Mrs. French is a member of the North Lansing Baptist Church, in which she is an active worker.

From:
Landmarks of Tompkins County, New York
Including a History of Cornell University
Edited by: John H. Selkreg
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y. 1894


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