Vincent and Bowers Family
from Lancaster, South Carolina
by Ethel H. Vincent

Written by Ethel H. Vincent, daughter of Francis Willis Vincent and Elizabeth Haseltine Phillips
Affectionately known as "Aunt Tance"

April 1978

Written for Jewell L. Bowers, niece of Aunt Tance
(Jewell is daughter of Maud Ada VINCENT & Henry Jackson Bowers)

We were always poor, but most of us were honest and hard working.  I don’t think there was any one
ever lived more honest or harder working than my Daddy.  Yet he no desire to store up worldly goods.  
You might say he was a “spend it as you go” type of person.  He lived to be 92 years old.  Never heard
him say a bad word, more than “Ah shucks”, when something aggravated him.  I’m getting ahead of the
tree.  Let’s start anew and see.

My mother’s parents were William Travis and Sarah Stogner Phillips.  They were born and lived in
Lancaster (near Union Baptist Church) about 9 miles from town.  They lived there all their lives and
brought up a family of nine.  Four boys and five girls.  Names were Alice, Laura, John, (my mother was
4th, Elizabeth Haseltine).  They called her “Tine”, all but my Dad, he never failed to say “Tiny”.  There was
Noah, Almetta (we said Aunt Met), then William (Uncle Bill to us), Ellison, and Estelle.  All married and
brought up large families.  All the elders are passed on and a few of the younger.  I don’t ever see any
of them that are living.  All of them are on in years.  I don’t guess many are younger than I am and most
of them older and don’t get about much anymore, as I.

My Dad was of a family of seven.  He was left as an orphan as a little boy.  I don’t guess they had any
homes in them days to take care of such and he had to make it on his own as best he could and I think
he did a good job of it.  He believed in taking care of his children.  I remember so well when we were
growing up, he didn’t allow no one to say a bad work of any sort around us or fuss at us.  Your Mom
(Maude Vincent, sister of Aunt Tance), used to tell the boss men in the plant where she worked when
one got the least bit sassy, “just stop right now or I’ll go tell my Daddy”.  She said they always stopped.  
He wasn’t a very big man as you can remember.  He just didn’t take any “monkey business” and wasn’t
afraid of anything.  And as I remember, most people had a high regard of him.  My mother never had to
work out of the house and people didn’t make much money in them days, about $1.25 per day.  But we
always had plenty to eat as far back as I can remember and good beds to sleep on and that was good
enough for us.  We were happy.  They were blessed with nine children.  Roach,  Arthur (who died at 9
months of age), Bessie, Effie, Reece, Maude, Lee and myself, Ethel Hortence and Brice.  He died at 18
months of age.  I remember him so well.  He was such a sweet child and every one seemed to love him.  
Mom would say folks made so much over Brice, even outsiders seemed to love him dearly.  I sometimes
think of those days and wish I could have had one of the family younger than me to live, but it was not to
be.  And now I realize the Lord’s will must come first before ours, even though it hurts we must know its
for the best.  Then 27 years later, Maude, (your mother) was taken.  And that was such a heartbreak to us
all.  She and Henry married young.  She was not quite 15 years old and I think he was 17 years.  They had
eight children:  Ferris, James, Mary (died at 5 months, I think), Vernon, Max, Jean, Jewell and one who
died with her, David.

Roach the oldest, twice married.  His first wife was Neal Hunter.  They had 3 children.  I don’t remember
much about him as in his young days.  He was grown and maybe married before I was old enough to
know.  His 2nd wife, Mary Ellen Sowell, had one son for him and he looks a lot like Roach.  I don’t ever
see him now.  Both of his wives are dead.

Bessie married Otis Catoe.  They raised 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls.  I see such a little of them.  They
are scattered.  One son lives here and runs a garage.  I see him when I need something done on my old
car.  One of her sons, Hughie, died November 4th, of a heart attack and left a large family of 13 children.  
They were all grown up and some married.  One girl lives in PA, one in Chester SC and one in NC.  I
hardly see them at all.  Got a Christmas card from only 2 of them and that’s it (these are Bessie’s

Effie had 3 children, 1 girl and 2 boys.  The little girl died at about 2 years old and the oldest one died in
57.  You may remember him, I think he got here when Mom died, (C. M. Stokes), he was such a sweet
person.  To know him was to love him and I believe all that knew him did love him.  He died at about 29
years old, I think.  He had never married.  He had such a wide lot to choose from, he couldn’t decide on
one.  He said he had more cousins than anybody in the world and that they were all great.  One other
son, married and lives in Baltimore, last I heard.  I haven’t seen him since Effie died (in 62).  His name is
Coye Stokes.

Reece and his family as you may know some of them, his wife Lily (BOWERS), was Henry’s sister.  They
had 7 children, Etta, Grace, Jerry, Howard (Carolyn’s Dad), Mildred and Kathaleen.  They are all a good
set.  Nice to me and everyone they know.  Jerry and Ruth (his wife) usually come by to see me once a
week as they go to work.  If they don’t get by, Ruth calls to see how I’m doing.  Grace and Kathaleen are
both dead.  Lily died in 46 and Reece 4 years later in 50.  Neither one of them were very aged.  Not near
as old as I am now.  Their oldest children are older now than they were when they left us.

Lee’s wife died in 40.  They had one son.  He’s married and has 3 boys.  All grown up mostly.  Lee is still
here with me at night, stays out around town most of the day.  I’m glad he is able to go about, if that’s
what he wants, but I don’t think he is much able.  Men can’t seem to get adjusted to retiring like women
can.  He will soon be 80 years old on March 26, 1978.

I think I’ve told enough about the others that maybe your girls and grandchildren will understand (you
too).  They have lots of cousins and kin they have never seen.  Not much to tell about myself.  They all
left me at home.  And Mom, thought I should take care of her, regardless.  She made me think the same,
I realize now that was not right.  Yet, when I see how some children treat their elders, makes me glad I
don’t have any.  Then when I see how nice some are to theirs, I fee cheated.  But after all, I’ve had a
very good life.  My regrets are few.  Now I just want to do right and keep good mind toward everyone
and the Lord.  All our blessings come from Him.

I don’t know much of the BOWERS family older ones, only what the older ones have told me.  Henry and
Lily’s mother was dead when they were married in the VINCENT family.  Her name was Jane (SMALL).  The
children were all grown when she died.  Mr. Jarrett (BOWERS) married again to Emmy SMALL.  You
perhaps met their girls at Henry’s funeral.  They are all very nice.  I see some of them here sometimes.  
All the older family are dead.  Mr. Bowers (your grandpa) was a well-liked man.  He was hard working and
honest.  He died when Max was a baby.  I remember him and his 2nd wife well and Reece always spoke
well of him, Maude also, and that’s good.

Mr. Jarrett Bowers and Jane Small Bowers children were:  Doshie, Edd, Ben, Henry, Lily, Pearl and
George.  One called Thanie died a young man before we knew him.  I heard Lily and Henry speak of him.  
He was older than your Dad.

Mr. Jarrett's second wife was Emmy Small Bowers.  He married Small both times, they perhaps were
some kin, but not very near.  He and his Emmy had 4 girls, Mamie, Famie, Alice & Dallas.  They are all
married and have children.

Effie (VINCENT) married Oscar BOWERS, Henry and Lily’s first cousin, after her, Stokes husband died.  
He is still living as far as I know.  He must be near 90 years old now.  He was living with his daughter last
I heard.  Don’t get around much.  As you see the VINCENT’S and BOWERS, must have took a liking to
each other.  That’s all folks and that’s the way it is.


Francis Willis Vincent, b. March 8, 1864 d. May 8 1956 at age 92
Elizabeth Haseltine Phillips Vincent b. Sep. 6, 1866 d. November 19, 1953 at age 87
They married February 23, 1882  At ages 16 and 18

Their Children:

1.  John Roach Vincent     b. Aug. 3, 1883, d. Nov 30, 1979
2.  Arthur Vincent               b. Nov 3, 1885, d. July 3, 1886
3.  Bessie Vincent              b. July 17, 1888, d. Feb. 16, 1968
4.  Effie Vincent                  b. Mar. 15, 1891, d. Oct. 24 1962
5.  Reece Vincent               b. April 27, 1893, d. March 26, 1950
6.  Maud Ada Vincent         b. Sept. 11, 1895, d. May 12, 1932
7.  Hazel Lee Vincent         b. March 26, 1898, d. Sept. 1, 1984
8.  Ethel H. Vincent             b. Oct. 25, 1900, d. Feb 4, 1993
9.  Brice Vincent                 b. Aug. 20, 1903, d Feb. 19, 1905
Francis Willis Vincent
on his 90th birthday.
son of Mary Vincent
Grandson of  Willis K. Vincent
Ethel H. Vincent (middle) "Aunt Tance"
with Grace and Kathleen Vincent
William Travis Phillips
son of Noah Phillips
Served  during the Civil War
in the 2nd SC Infantry
Wounded twice at Gettsburg

Married to  Sarah Emma Stogner
daughter of John Stogner and
Nancy Patterson
Penelope Vincent
sister of Francis Vincent
photo courtesy of Scott Vincent