Grover Marcus Dowell, Sr

Family Information Site


The following information was taken from a research paper written by Duane while he was in college. “Dowell means ‘The dark stranger’. Sources report that the Dowell name was originally Celtic. The Celts occupied both Ireland and Scotland from about 350 BC until 914 AD.” He concluded that, “There is no certainty whether the Grover M. Dowell, Sr. line came from Ireland or Scotland. The assumption is, that since the name means ‘dark stranger’, it is probable that the Dowell family descended from a Nordic Tribe, making our ancestors Germanic.”

More recently, a DNA study, which was conducted at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, indicates that Duane’s information was correct. The study showed that a striking percentage of men in Ireland (and quite a few in Scotland) share the same Y chromosome. This fact suggests that the 5th century warlord, Niall of the Nine Hostages, may be the ancestor of 1 out of every 12 Irishmen. Niall established a dynasty of powerful chieftains that dominated the island for six centuries. Niall of the Nine Hostages received his name from the taking of hostages as a strategy for playing mental havoc upon his opponents. He is known, in folklore, as a raider of the British and French coasts. There are various stories concerning the circumstances and location of his death. However, all versions indicate that it was during conflicts with other countries. His descendants were the most powerful rulers of Ireland until the 11th century.

Art, Jr participated in a Dowell DNA project and received the following information: “Your (Art Dowell, Jr) Y chromosome matches this (Niall of the Nine Hostages) profile.” In the study, scientists found an area in northwest Ireland where 21.5% of the population carry Niall’s genetic fingerprint. (This area was the main power base of the Ui Neills, which literally translated means “descendants of Niall”.)

In searching for our more recent ancestors we found the records of Nehemiah Dowell, Sr. (1733-1806) of Fauquier County, Virginia. We were unable to establish who his parents were or where they came from. He was married to Elizabeth Ricca and had at least one child, Nehemiah, Jr. (1767-1842). Nehemiah, Jr. married Elizabeth Deering Anderson and they had ten children, one of which was Elias (1798-1882). While still living in Virginia, Elias married Nancy Triplet and this couple had 11 children. They began the family tradition of moving and started west with a lengthy stay around Dowell Town, Tennessee. Their ultimate goal seems to have been Pike County, Mo where they are both buried. One of their children was Nehemiah II (1831-1913). At the age of 21, Nehemiah II married Margaret Phillips and had two children, Elias Frederick and John Milton. He later married Mary Francis Rinker and this couple produced nine children: Samuel H., Francis D., Waguna Dowell Brown, Arthur E., Robert Guy, twins George & Levi, Grover Marcus (1886-1963) and Lela Dowell Simpson. Traces of Nehemiah II’s migration from Virginia can be found in Kentucky and Tennessee before he staked his claim on a homestead near Mulhall, Ok. Nehemiah II, Mary Francis, and sons Elias Frederick and John Milton are all buried at the Pleasant View Cemetery near Mulhall.

Homestead Map

Grover Marcus Dowell and Laura Louisa Richardson were married 10/17/1907 in Logan County, OK, but spent much of their married life in Colorado. (We have attempted to track their moves between Oklahoma and Colorado by using the birth dates of their children.)

Edwin, Irene, Bob, and Lucille were all born in Mulhall, OK. In 1914 they moved to Colorado and filed on a homestead which was located near Oklarado in Baca County.

Their first child born in Colorado was Grover in 1915. He was followed by the twins, Everet and Earl, in 1918. They died within a few days of birth and are buried south of Pritchett on the homestead. To view their gravesite go west on Hwy 160,Earl & Everet Grave from Pritchett, approximately 2 miles to the curve, and then go south 10.4 miles (the last 4.4 miles are on a well maintained dirt road). The grave is about 200 yards out in the field to the east. Park at the edge of the road and walk out to the grave, you will see a cement marker that Uncle Bob placed at the site after the original marker had deteriorated to the point that it needed to be replaced. He also built a pipe enclosure to protect the grave site. The owners of the land respect the grave, and help protect it for future generations of Dowells to remember their ancestors.Earl & Everet Grave

Art was born at the homestead in 1919, but by 1921 they had moved back to Oklahoma because Dale was born in Mulhall. Deloy and Leroy were born in Mulhall in 1924. Sam was born in Orlando, just a few miles north of Mulhall, in 1926, but by 1928 the family was back in Colorado because Jack and Gene were born in Springfield. Then back to Mulhall because that is where L.K. was born in 1931.

After many years of marriage, fifteen children and, possibly, too many moves between Oklahoma and Colorado, the couple divorced, and both parents later remarried. Grover married Elma Carmichael and they lived in Mulhall, OK for most of their married life. Grover died in 1963 and is buried there in the Pleasant View Cemetery .

Laura married Leo Byrum and moved to Las Animas, CO. She died in 1953 and is buried in Las Animas.