Surnames/tags: Nowland, Carroll, McDowell, Carter, Buckley riverboatmen, Memphis, Fort Smith, Arkansas
The following is an excerpt from Fort Smith Historical Society Quarterly by Mrs. Walter L. "Midge" Stouffer:
"Son Edward William Benjamin Nowland, Jr.
Ed was the baby of the Nowland family, and the only child born at Nowland Springs. J. Frank Weaver wrote of him: " of sparse build, rather under the average height and had a sparkling eye and a pleasant countenance. He wore his hair and beard rather closely cropped, as was the fashion with old time river men. His step was light, elastic, and quick and he was always gay and seemingly happy... he scattered sunshine instead of gloom and the world is a better place for his having lived in it."
Before the advent of the railroads Captain (Edward) Nowland was a famous boatman. He knew every bend, bar, chute, bluff, and snag from Fort Gibson to Memphis. He and the late Captain Eugene Smith were together much of their time. Both were favorites. They could run a boat as long as the sand was wet and their crafts never lacked for patronage. He started on the river when he was only 15 years old, with his older brother William.
Edward served in Captain Tom Lewis's Company of Confederate Calvary and Missouri and Kansas in 1864, and a lieutenant in major General Fagan's Escort.
In 1866 he was again on the river as captain of the "Argue" with Judge C.W. Walker of Van Buren as his clerk, as he had been clerk to his brother William when he was first on the river.
In 1866 he married Mintie Carroll of Conway County. The Van Buren paper said they were married at Lewisburg in Conway Co., Ark on the Feb 18. The Fort Smith paper said it was at Point Removal on the Feb 4. Point Removal was her father G.W. Carroll's plantation near Lewisburg. The Carrolls had a very large plantation; in 1860 he listed 167 slaves, with land worth $32,000 and personal property of $133,000.
When the railroads arrived about 1872 the river traffic on the Arkansas declined, and Ed primarily ran from Memphis to Little Rock and on the Mississippi River. They were in Little Rock, Ark. until the late 1870s or early 1880s when they moved to Memphis probably because of the change in river traffic. He was captain of the "Governor Garland", "Lucille Nowland", and probably others.
Although Edward no longer lived in Fort Smith, he was here with some regularity. In 1897 he was here to visit a former family slave, West Bryant's wife, and her family, who were living in Barling. J.F. Weaver reports, "Catpain Nowland... was reared near Fort Smith, and the tendrils of his great heart cling to the home of his boyhood, the scene of his earliest and happiest day. Nowland Springs, then known as Oakwood, north of the city, was his father's home place, and there he grew to manhood with brothers and sisters of that type which made its print upon the pages of southern history. Grand, noble people, they were all."
Edward Benjamin Nowland died in April, 1927 at Memphis. He had just returned from a visit to New Orleans and was planning a trip to Fort Smith, before he moved to California to be near his children. He is interred in Oak Cemetery in the lot with his niece Lita Humber Dyke and her husband.
Edward and Mintie had six children: Their sons are the last descendants of E.W.B. to carry the Nowland name:
William was born c. 1866 in Arkansas. He was home in 1910 and single
Harriet Carroll was born in March of 1868 in Arkansas. She married a Mr. Buckley, after 1910.
Edward Jr. married Mary J. and had a child Edward III. They were living with the Nowlands in the 1900 census where Edward Sr. was listed as steamboat manager, and Ed. Jr. is listed as steamboat captain. Like father, like son, river men! He was still in Memphis in 1910 but was in California when his father died.
Mintie was born in Arkansas in March of 1870 and twin to Edward III. She married Tilden McDowell and moved to New York City. She was a widow with three children in 1930.
Lucille Armstrong was born 14 March 1885 in Tennessee and married Edward Carter. They lived in Ventura, Cal. in 1930.
Eugene was mentioned in his fathers obituary as living in Paris, France in 1927. pg 43.".