Lida Bowman

ID # 3693, (1851-1889)
BirthLida Bowman was born on 3 October 1851 at Waterloo Township, Waterloo County, Canada West. 
MarriageShe married Richard Hobbs in 1878.
A marriage registration has not been found nor any mention of the Hobbs-Bowman marriage in a newspaper or periodical. The year for their marriage, 1878 as shown, is approximate and based on their first recorded child being born in 1879.
DeathShe died on 14 September 1889 at Tillsonburg, Oxford Co., at age 37. 
BurialShe was buried on 17 September 1889 at Fairview Cemetery, Niagara Falls, Ontario. 
NoteWe draw on several sources for information about Lida. We will make an initial reference to Donald A. McKenzie's Vol. 10, Obituaries from the Christian Guardian, 1884 to 1890, Global Heritage Press, 2005, page 199. This quotes an obituary for Lida taken from the Christian Guardian issue of Nov. 13, 1889, which states that she was born the youngest child of the late Samuel Bowman at Blair in Waterloo Township, Waterloo County. We will return to this obituary shortly.

A very general source of information for Lida's immediate family is to be found in Ezra Eby's Volume 1 of A Biographical History of Waterloo Township. See pages 108 through 110. (We may note that by the time of Eby's work, the name Bowman in the township was legion.) The biography takes note that Lida's mother was Elizabeth Baumann. (Samuel and Elizabeth are buried in Old Blair Cemetery. See the Waterloo Branch of the OGS for a transcription of this cemetery. Also buried here is Lida's sister Maria, the wife of John Wesley Gerrie. It was mentioned under notes for Richard Hobbs that Richard and Lida - Lydia - were witnesses at this marriage in 1875. Maria died in 1878.)

Lida's birth name was Lydia. This is evident from both Eby's history and early census information. From the time she was married, however, she went by Lida and this appears on birth registrations for her children, on their marriage registrations, and also on her gravestone in Fairview Cemetery, Section A, Niagara Falls.

Which brings us back to volume 10 of McKenzie's extractions of Christian Guardian obituaries, page 199.

The obituary states that she died at the Methodist parsonage in Tilsonburg on September 14, 1889. It goes on to say that she was buried beside her youngest child, a boy, who died a few months earlier, and who was buried in Drummondville Cemetery (Drummond Hill Cemetery.)

At first glance, this conflicts with the inscriptions on the gravestone in Fairview Cemetery. With such information as we have, we may say that the Christian Guardian is at least partly right. For this we refer to Burial Records and Notations of William Dalton, 1845 to 1916, Douglas A. Robbins, St. Catharines, Ontario, October 1991. This excellent book is a transcription of the notes of William Dalton who was the sexton at Drummond Hill Cemetery for many years.

Under the year 1889, page 87 of this book, Dalton refers to a burial on April 1st for a child of Rev. Mr. R. Hobbs. Dalton states that the child, who with the date we must believe to be Charles Lavell Hobbs, was buried in a corner of a lot where a Mr. Grey was buried. Dalton refers to him as the father of M. Morse, the undertaker. Actually Mr. Gray was the father of Mary Ann Gray, the wife of Marsena Morse. Dalton's wording is that 'Mrs. M. Morse gave him the privilege to bury there.' Dalton goes on to say that it was a 'nice funeral' and that the new child's hearse was taken out for the first time. He also notes that the officiating minister was a Rev. Charles Lavell.

Although Charles Lavell Hobbs is commemorated on the family gravestone in Section A of Fairview Cemetery, it doesn't seem reasonable that Lida is buried with him at Drummond Hill. For starters, Dalton was a careful chronicler and we must believe that if Lida was buried there, Dalton would have said so. Also, Dalton does mention removals of remains for burials elsewhere and he says nothing to this effect for Charles. With what we have to work with, we must believe that - probably - Charles is actually buried in Drummond Hill Cemetery, but commemorated on the stone in Fairview and that Lida is buried in Fairview.


The Niagara Peninsula Branch of the OGS has transcribed Sections A, B, and C, of Fairview Cemetery. This appears under OGS #4658. The pertinent information is on page 7. Minus the verses, the inscription on the stone in Fairview Cemetery reads as follows:

Charles Lavell died March 29, 1889 age 16 months.
George Douglas died April 18, 1890, in the 7th year of his age.
William J. Hobbs, Dec. 3, 1915, in his 35th year
Rev. Richard Hobbs, March 7th 1915 in his 70th year. (1915 is probably a mistranscription for Richard did die in 1916).
Lida Bowman wife of Richard Hobbs died Sept. 14, 1889, in her 38th year.

Here's where the whole theory of Charles remains being buried in Drummond Hill Cemetery may fall apart.

The Niagara OGS transcription tells that there are footstones. They read:

Douglas, Will, Father, Mother, Charles.

Add to that, the Niagara Falls Cemeteries website has Charles in grave 3 of the family plot.

Charles remains may in fact have been moved, Dalton's records notwithstanding. This is at least implied by the footstone for him. In the end, we can't be sure.

Death reg. 013150-89 Tilsonburg, Oxford County
Lida Bowman Hobbs died 14 September, 1889. Age 38 years. Methodist. Consumption one year. Born Blair, Waterloo County. Physician Dr. L. C. Sinclair. Informant Richard Hobbs, Tilsonburg.

The Morse Funeral Home index provided by the Niagara Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society shows Lida's death date as 17 September, 1889. Since both her gravestone and death registration attest to her date of death as being 14th September, we must believe that the 17th is her date of burial. 

Children of Lida Bowman and Richard Hobbs

Last Edited24 Jul 2018