Bowser, David Bustill, 1820-1900

Alternative names
Birth 1820-01-16
Death 1900-06-30

Biographical notes:

  • 1732 Feb. 2: Born at Burlington, New Jersey.
  • 1772: Married Elizabeth Murray (1747-1821)
  • 1787 April 10: One of the founders of the African Free Society, Philadelphia, PA.
  • 1806: Died.
  • 1820 Jan. 16: Born in Philadelphia to Jeremiah and Rachel (Bustill Harding) Bowser.
  • 1844: Charter member of Unity Lodge 711 The Grand United Order of Odd Fellows.
  • 1849: Married Eliza Jane Bowser.
  • 1852: Eliza Jane died.
  • 1856: Married Elizabeth H.S. Grey
  • 1866: Charter member of the Union League of America, Council No.35 Philadelphia, PA.
  • 1878: Located committee of Blacks in New Orleans, Vicksburg, and Memphis, through which he distributed funds donated by the citizens Yellow Fever Relief Committee of Philadelphia.
  • 1900 July l: Died, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • 1862 April. 9: Born to John and Narcissa (Adams) Asbury, in Washington County, PA. Education in Washington County Public Schools.
  • 1880 - 1882 : Attended Washington-Jefferson College.
  • 1882 - 1885 : Attended Howard University Law School, Awarded LL.M. degree
  • 1886 - 1891 : District Attorney, Norfolk County, VA.
  • 1836 Dec. 26: Married Kate E. Allen
  • 1892: Delegate to the Republican National Convention.
  • 1897: Admitted to the Philadelphia Bar.
  • 1898: First wife Kate E. Allen died.
  • 1901 June 18: Married Ida E. Bowser.
  • 1902: President Keystone Insurance Co. Served as President Eden Cemetery.
  • 1909: Delivered commencement address, Tuskegee Institute.
  • 1917 - 1921 : Appointed Assistant City Solicitor.
  • 1921 - 1925 : Served Pennsylvania State legislature. Served as President Keystone Cooperative Bank.
  • 1926: Appointed Director of Negro activities, The Sesquicentennial International Exposition, Philadelphia, 1926.
  • 1928: Appointed Assistant District Attorney, the first Black person to serve in that position in Philadelphia.
  • 1941 Sept.: Died, Philadelphia, PA, Internment Eden Cemetery.

David B. Bowser (1820-1900) was the son of Elizabeth and Jeremiah Bowser. He was a noted emblem designer and Painter, A friend of President Lincoln, Bowser painted many portraits of Lincoln, including one which the President sat for. He painted flags for many of the Black troops who participated in the Civil War. Photographs of some of these flags can be found in Series M. Bowser was an active abolitionist. He perhaps was most active as a member of the United Order of Odd Fellows. He held numerous positions in that organization.

John C. Asbury was the husband of Ida E. Bowser Asbury. He was a prominent Philadelphia lawyer, a business man, an elected official and a supporter of charitable work in Philadelphia's Black community Asbury, was also a noted lecturer who often spoke on the subject of racial uplift and equality. He was an assistant prosecutor and an early patron of the noted singer Marian Anderson.

From the guide to the Bustill-Bowser-Asbury Collection, Bulk, 1840-1926, 1732-1941, (Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University)


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