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Milam County, Texas

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William E. Bozeman

SOURCE: History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties. (Chicago, IL: Lewis, 1893), p. 332 & 333.

William E. Bozeman - Few families are richer in history than the Bozeman family, and fewer of them have made any effort to gather and preserve in tangible shape for posterity a record of the deeds and achievements of their ancestors as far back as their foreign ancestry. Such records the Bozemans have, owing to the care of one Joseph Bozeman, of Meridian, Mississippi. The work was accomplished after about a decade of hard labor, at a considerable outlay and without remuneration. From this little volume we learn that the family is one of the oldest and most prominent in the United States. The name originated in Europe, possibly in Holland, where it seems to have been Bosman.

Joseph E. Bozeman and Nathan Bozeman emigrated to America with one of the Baltimores, and were among the pioneers of Maryland, but how they obtained a footing in the English county of the Calverts is not stated. Granting that they first crossed the channel to England, and set out for the New World as stated, their descendants scattered from the Baltimore colony to all points of the compass, North and South Carolina coming in for a good share of them.

Samuel Bozeman was born in Bladen county, North Carolina, in 1730. He married Ann Richardson, a daughter of Nathaniel Richardson, who was a member of the Provincial Congress held at Halifax in 1776.

Nine children were born to Samuel Bozeman, the first being Joseph Bozeman, who was the double great-grandfather of our subject, born in North Carolina in April, 1756. He was a patriot soldier and participated in the siege of Augusta, Georgia, to which State at the close of hostilities he and his brothers and sisters immigrated, settling near Savannah.

His first wife was a Miss Wood, a sister of Rev. David Wood, a Baptist minister. Mrs. Bozeman died young and left only one child, Nathan Bozeman, the father of the celebrated New York physician and surgeon, Dr. Bozeman.

The second wife of Joseph Bozeman was Elizabeth Pendleton, of Pennsylvania, whom he married in 1797.

In 1806, Joseph Bozemanmoved his family to Kaskaskia, Illinois, by stage, requiring from March to May to make the trip. Disease was so prevalent there that the lives of his family were in jeopardy, and he returned in the fall of the same year to Georgia on pack horses. In 1818 he moved his effects from Twiggs county, Georgia, to Covington county, Alabama, where he died in 1821, from the effects of a wound from a falling tree.

Mr. Bozeman was a fine mechanic, being skilled both in wood and iron, and was a gunsmith also. He was a fine marksman, and had a great taste for the sports of hunting and fishing. By occupation he was a farmer, and made it successful. Politically, he was a Democrat, and religiously a member of the Baptist Church.

Nathan Bozeman was born October 7, 1785, and November 1, 1807, married Miss Harriet Knotts, of Burke county, Georgia, near Waynesboro. Mr. Knotts was born in South Carolina in 1745, and was a colonial soldier in the War of the Revolution.

In 1810, Nathan Bozeman moved to Covington county, Alabama, and six years later removed to Butler county, near Greenville, and finally moved, in 1838, to Coosa county, where he died ten years later, October 11, 1848. He was a man of great industry, and public-spirited to a remarkable degree. He used to say that the sound of many axes in forest and field was the sweetest music he ever heard, and always believed in all of the members in his household having employment. He accumulated a good property, and won a high place in public esteem. As a valuable and honorable citizen, Nathan Bozeman will always be remembered. His family consisted of eleven children, the fourth of which family was David Wood Bozeman, the father of our subject.

The birth of David W. Bozeman took place February 16, 1814, and he received the rudiments of an education in his native State. When only eighteen years of age he married Miss Ann English Browning, a lady of fifteen. For many years of his life Mr. Bozeman was engaged as an overseer, and as his means accumulated he invested in negro property, whose labor made him rich rapidly. He bought and managed large estates and became one of the most successful financiers in the State of Alabama. Moneyed corporations sought his assistance and counsel, and the State his services. He was an ardent Democrat of the State-Rights stripe, and of pronounced disunion sentiments when the question union was being agitated.

In 1860, he was a delegate to the convention which nominated John C. Breckenridge to the Presidency. The next year he took his seat in the Alabama Legislature, and was an active participant in the deliberations of that day. In 1855, Mr. Bozeman established himself at Wetumpka, Alabama, in the banking business, and was very prosperous when the Civil War came on and swept away at one breath $56,000. His reverses might have crippled him seriously had he not made a speculative trip to Texas in 1857 and invested largely in western lands in Milam and Tom Green counties. He had visited the State even earlier than that, being here on an exploring tour in 1851.

After the war Mr. Bozeman came to Milam county and gave his attention to farming and speculating in land. He had a strong desire for the excitement incident to a campaign in politics. He was a great reader, and when called upon for a speech always had something interesting to give his hearers. He was once a candidate for the State Senate in Texas.

In the latter part of his life he united with the Missionary Baptist Church. His habits were always temperate and moral. In physical appearance he was tall, with black hair and eyes and olive complexion, and great firmness marked his dealings with those under him, and what he said he meant and what he required he had done. He set special value upon manual labor, but generously extended financial aid whenever he was convinced of the true worth of the recipient.

He died in 1877, but his widow still survives him, enjoying apparently excellent health. Mr. Bozeman was the father of fourteen children: James H. Bozeman, born October 20, 1836, and died at the age of eighteen; William E. Bozeman, our subject; David B. Bozeman, born January 2, 1845; Emma A. Bozeman, born January 2, 1848, married Alonzo Rushing of Alabama; Nathan G. Bozeman, born September 5, 1853; Henry J. Bozeman, born June 3, 1855; Beauregard P. Bozeman, born March 19, 1862; while seven others died in childhood.

William E. Bozeman was born in Loundes county, Alabama, March 23,1841, and was brought up on a farm and secured only a country-school advantages. At twenty years of age he enlisted as Sergeant in Company I, Captain B. F. Melton,his first colonel being John Withers, and his last one Colonel Charles Forsythe, Third Alabama Regiment of Infantry.

He participated in many hard fought battles, among them being those of Seven Pines, Gaines’ Mill, Savage Station, Malvern Hill, Fredericksburg, and all of the engagements of Lee’s army until the fall of 1864, when he received a flesh wound at the battle of Cedar Creek in Virginia. This confined him to the hospital until December, when he returned home, where he remained until March, 1865.

He then set out to join the decimated ranks of Lee’s army, but at Danville he heard of the surrender and with bowed head he returned to his home. The next year he left his native State and came to Texas, stopping in Red River county until 1868, when he came to Milam county and settled in the vicinity of Baileyville, where he has since resided. He lives on a part of the land purchased by his father in 1857, having received from his father 225 acres, on which he settled in 1868, and which he has improved. Mr. Bozeman also owns a half section in Tom Green county, suitable for grazing.

In 1864, he married Miss Sallie Pylant, a daughter of John A. and Mary Pylant, who were then residents of Alabama.

Mr. and Mrs. Bozeman have had eight children, all girls; Mollie Bozeman, now wife of W. J. Smilie, of Milam county; Emma J. Bozeman, wife of D. P. Williams, of Dallas county, Texas; Minnie L. Bozeman; Lurline L. Bozeman, wife of J. D. Stoneman, of Falls county; Willie E. Bozeman and Jessie R. Bozeman, still at home.

The religious connection of the family is with the Baptist Church, most of them holding or having held membership in Caddo Church, in the vicinity of Baileyville.

We must say a special thank you to Doug Kirk of Waynesboro, TN, for typing the above biographical sketch for use on the Milam County TXGenWeb site.

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Created on 23 June 2005 and last revised on ____________