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Ivan Bowman

Ivan Bowman

Male 1896 - 1968  (71 years)

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  • Name Ivan Bowman  [1
    Born 9 Aug 1896  30 Francis Street North (initial house address was 19 Francis Street), Berlin, Waterloo County, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 4 Aug 1968  St. Mary's Hospital Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Kinzie - Biehn Cemetery, Kitchener, Waterloo Township, Waterloo County, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I14259  All
    Last Modified 10 Nov 2014 

    Father Reuben S. Bowman,   b. 3 Aug 1852, near Berlin, Waterloo County, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Jan 1918  (Age 65 years) 
    Mother Louisa H. Geiger,   b. 17 Oct 1852, Berlin, Waterloo Township, Waterloo County, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 08 Feb 1937, Kitchener, Waterloo County, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 84 years) 
    Married 30 Dec 1879  Berlin, Waterloo Township, Waterloo County, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Three records/references of the marriage of Reuben Bowman and Louisa Geiger have been located. Information provided in the three sources is not consistent.

      Marriage record ( view image) certifies that Reuben Bowman of Berlin, Waterloo County, Ontario and Louisa Geiger of Berlin, Waterloo County, Ontario were married by David B. Sherk, Minister of U.B.C. Waterloo at Berlin on the 30th day of December 1879. Witnesses were ?? Ziegler and Carrie Geiger.


      011197-80 (Waterloo Co) Reuben BOWMAN, 27, carpenter, Canada, Berlin, s/o Joseph BOWMAN & Mary Ann SHOEMAKER married Louisa GEIGER, 27, Canada, Berlin, d/o Jacob & Elizabeth, witn: Albert ZIEGLER & Aaron ERB both of Berlin, 30 December 1879 in Berlin.


      Dec. 23, 1879 - Ruben Baumann and Louise Geiger, both of Berlin, were married by Preacher Baumann of Freeport. Print date Jan. 8, 1880.

    Family ID F3807  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Severia "Vera" Catherine Scheifele,   b. 20 May 1906,   d. 21 Dec 1999, Forest Heights Long Term Care Facility Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 93 years) 
     1. Living Bowman
     2. William "Keith" Bowman,   b. 2 Dec 1937, Kitchener, Waterloo County, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Jun 2003, Kitchener, Waterloo County, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years)
     3. Living Bowman
    Last Modified 14 Sep 2007 
    Family ID F3809  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 9 Aug 1896 - 30 Francis Street North (initial house address was 19 Francis Street), Berlin, Waterloo County, Ontario Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    16 Lydia Street, Kitchener, Ontario
    16 Lydia Street, Kitchener, Ontario
    A former home of Ivan Bowman and Vera Scheifele.
    173 Lydia Street, Kitchener, Ontario
    173 Lydia Street, Kitchener, Ontario
    A former home of Ivan Bowman and Vera Scheifele.
    30 Francis Street North, Kitchener, Ontario
    30 Francis Street North, Kitchener, Ontario
    Family of Reuben Bowman and Louisa Geiger at their home, 30 Francis Street North, Kitchener, Ontario about 1903. Reuben built this home for his growing family in 1889
    On balcony: Fred and Clayton Bowman.
    Below: Louisa, Hilda, Reuben, Dora, Edie (Edith), Gordon, Beatrice, and Ivan.
    Louisa Geiger (centre) with children Hilda (left) and Ivan Bowman
    Louisa Geiger (centre) with children Hilda (left) and Ivan Bowman
    Ivan and Hilda Bowman
    Ivan and Hilda Bowman
    Louisa Geiger and five of her children
    Louisa Geiger and five of her children
    Left to right are:

    Gordon Bowman, Hilda Bowman, Ivan Bowman, Louisa Geiger, Dora Bowman, Edith Bowman
    Ivan Bowman
    Ivan Bowman
    Ivan Bowman
    Ivan Bowman
    Various Bowman's
    Various Bowman's
    Back row is Dora Bowman, her youngest daughter, George "Doe" Bremner and Esther Shelley.

    Front row is Vera Scheifele holding her oldest son, and her husband Ivan Bowman holding his second son, W. Keith Bowman.

    BOWMAN, Ivan and Vera Scheifele
    BOWMAN, Ivan and Vera Scheifele

  • Notes 
    • Source: "Reuben Bowman, His Family" by Fred Bowman 1948

      IVAN BOWMAN, the youngest of the children of Reuben and Louisa Bowman, was born at No. 30 Francis St. in Berlin on August 9th 1896. After attending Agnes St. School, he went to the Collegiate Institute, after which he apprenticed to a druggist in Lachine, Que., intending to study for the profession of pharmacy.

      Shortly after the war started, however, while on a visit home he enlisted in the 118th Battalion and proceeded overseas. On going to France, he was transferred to the 1st (Western Ontario) Battalion, 1st Div. with which unit he saw action at a number of major engagements on the western front including Paschendaele, Amiens, the breaking of the Hindenburg Line, Bullecourt, Drocourt-Queant Line, Canal du Nord and the march into Germany. On returning home with his battalion in the spring of 1919, he proceeded to Western Canada where he worked on farms for a time, after which he came back to Kitchener, taking a position with a Credit Exchange and Collecting Bureau. In 1928 he decided to go into business for himself and started the Credit Bureau of Waterloo County, which he is still operating.

      He is married to Vera Catherine Scheifele, a native of Waterloo, and they have three children all boys. They reside at 173 Lydia Street in Kitchener.

    • Found at on November 10, 2014

      Dated Nov 07, 2014

      Diary of a Great War soldier
      Kitchener soldier?s diary traces war from sailing for England to armistice

      Waterloo Region Record
      By Jeff Outhit

      Shelled at crossroads 2 dead one minus a leg. War is HELL.

      ? Pte. Ivan Bowman, June 23, 1917, Belgium.

      Ivan Bowman inhaled poison gas and dodged German shells on the Western Front. He slept in barns and trenches. He foraged battlefields to save the wounded.

      He kept a daily diary. Almost a century later, it still has a four-leaf clover pressed between its fading pages.

      Bowman enlisted at 19 in Berlin (now Kitchener). He marched in ill-fitting boots, drank, gambled, played tourist and chased girls. He battled lice. He played clarinet, with little talent but all his heart, to cheer on troops.

      Let's see the First World War as he did.

      Getting there

      Bowman sailed for England on Jan. 26, 1917. Some unspeakable sad feeling prevails on seeing dear Canada grow dimmer and finally disappear ?

      A soldier died on the crossing. All stood to attention to watch the body slip into the ocean. The body was wrapped in canvas and draped with the Union Jack while a heavy sack of coal was fastened to its feet.

      In England, Bowman trained for three months. The country about is very beautiful and picturesque while the public house where we had a glass of bitter all with the emphasis on the bitter was worthwhile looking into, with its sawdust on the floor and pretty barmaids ?

      Fourteen weeks is the time allowed for a fighting course after which one is supposed to be a capable & efficient hun exterminator.

      At the front

      In May 1917 Bowman joined the 1st infantry battalion in Belgium. Medical concerns restricted him to labour duties.

      Worked on trench 1000 yds from front line Fritz shelled us a little coming & shelled road near trench. Feet sore as hell.

      The war touched him on July 27, 1917. Sat outside entrance & got some gas. made me sick. fast heart, headache faint & weak.

      In August 1917 he carried food to soldiers battling near craters at St. Eloi, after the Allies exploded mines beneath German trenches. On ration party to crater in day. Many dead lying all over ? To front line carry back wounded. Dead numerous.

      In October 1917, Bowman joined the battalion's musical band, which played to build morale. On Nov. 6, 1917, the 1st battalion attacked at Passchendaele, in Belgium. Bowman named fallen comrades from home. Among them ? Henry Looker, George Millard, Gordon Stauffer, Harry Delion, and Sheldon Uffelmann. Later he named James Willis and Arthur Hall.

      In January 1918, Bowman was feeling unwell. My wind is a bit better, am undecided whether the gas interfered with it ? Feel very sick. May be gas ? Seem to have got some gas as my throat & lungs are all hard, coughing [spitting] spells.

      Bad news from home

      Bowman learned that his father Reuben was dead in February 1918. The news took a month to reach him.

      Now that he has gone I realize how much he means to me ? Feel awful and had several spells of tears ? Try to be strong. Death is awful in ones own family & oh the terrible time dear mother & sisters must have ?

      I can't get over it. He was a good man. Would that I had his sterling qualities ? This is hard when one is so far away. How I wish I could be some comfort to my mother.

      Buildup at the front

      In March 1918 Bowman visited Britain on leave, just as the Germans launched a major offensive. They had rather an exciting time since our departure & we couldn't have left at a more opportune time.

      After starting strongly, the German offensive faltered. Canadian troops saw little action. Troops are optimistic about future & confident that Jerry cannot trample us under ? The Cans must be in for something big considering the length of time they have been out of the line ? Our corps movements are secret & speculation is ripe.

      Final 100 days

      Canada attacked on Aug. 8, 1918. Bowman played for troops while they marched to the front.

      Traffic enormous. Many Germans coming down. Prisoner cages full & some sad wounded cases. Complete success report says ?

      Beautiful weather continues & we still have him on the run ? His dead machine guns lying about show that we had a stiff time to overcome these obstacles who died for the Vaterland.

      Bowman named more local soldiers who died. Among them ? John Bissett, Ira Diefenbacher, Earle Lavery, and Daniel Desmond. They dwindle quickly ? Many ghastly sights meet the eye.

      In October 1918 Bowman carried a stretcher to collect the wounded. The 1st of October was a disastrous day for this bn (battalion). The advance of 6 kilos was successfully accomplished but a retirement had to be made owing to three main supports being inactive viz. aeroplanes artillery & left flank. The casualties numbered about 250.

      Canadians liberated French towns as the Germans retreated. Bowman played for a church parade at a town named Vred.

      Town hasn't seen allied band since 1914. Enthusiastic reception by delighted populace. People cry on hearing La Marseillaise. Bouquets given to bandmaster ? War news is wonderful & at last we know that our peace is coming.

      Peace at last

      The Great War ended on Nov. 11, 1918. Gen Currie inspects 1st bde (brigade) & announces the wonderful news. Hostilities cease at 11 AM when the Boche accepted our terms of armistice. Very little demonstration. Some firing of flares.

      Bowman crossed into Germany weeks later. German people treat us very good. They are all war weary & one & all delighted that the nightmare has at last come to an end ?

      Discharged in 1919, Bowman returned to Francis Street North in Kitchener. By 1921, he was an electrician earning $1,800 a year. Later he worked at a financial business.

      He died in 1968, father of three, grandfather of two.

    • Undated Newspaper Clipping

      Credit Bureau Chief, Ivan Bowman Dies

      Ivan Bowman, founder and president of the Credit Bureau of Kitchener and Waterloo, died Sunday at St. Mary's Hospital after a brief illness. He was 71.

      Mr. Bowman, who resided at 1016 Wilson Ave., was born in Kitchener and lived here all his life. He was a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Reuben Bowman.

      He started the credit bureau in 1928 as a one-man operation.

      "Business was terrible," he recalled recently. "For a long time I was fortunate to make $5 a week, hardly enough to keep body and soul together."

      At that time he operated from his mother's home on Francis Street. After a couple of years business improved and he moved to a one-room office above a store on King Street East.

      After two more office location changes, both on King Street, the bureau was moved in 1952 to 31 College St. where it has doubled its space since that time.

      Today it is a more than $1,000,000 - a - year business employing a staff of 35.

      Mr. Bowman reported to the office every day until he became ill in June. However, he had delegated most of the "heavy work" to his son, the general manager.

      During the First World War, Mr. Bowman served overseas with the Canadian forces.

      He was president of the 118th Battalion Association; a member of Kitchener Rotary Club; Grand River Lodge A.F. and A.M. and the Royal Arch Masons and Zion United Church. He was a past-president of the Associated Credit Bureaus of Ontario and of Waterloo County Children's Aid Society.

      Surviving are his wife, the former Vera C. Scheifele; three sons, [....]; one brother, Frederick Bowman, Lachine, Que.; three sisters, Beatrice Bowman and Mrs. Hilda Shelley, both of Kitchener, and Mrs. Dora Holman, Stratford, and two grandchildren. Three brothers and one sister predeceased him.

      The body is at the Ratz-Bechtel Funeral Home where a service will be conducted Wednesday at 3:30pm. Rev. G.F. Barthel and Rev. David Burns of Zion United Church will officiate. Interment will be in Kinzie-Beam Pioneer cemetery, Doon.

      Donations to the Rotary Children's Centre will be accepted as expressions of sympathy.

  • Sources 
    1. [S106898] Private.

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