Jacob Bowman, of Rockingham County, Virginia, purchased land in the Boone's Creek area, then Washington County, North Carolina in 1780s or early 1790s. He returned to Virginia to get his family but became ill and died before the family could move to the Tennessee country. His widow, Susannah Millhouse Bowman, married Isaac Hammer, a church of the Brethren preacher of Rockingham County around 1795, and they, together with five of Jacob and Susannah's seven children, moved to the log cabin Jacob had built in the Tennessee country. Her son John built one of the first flour mills in East Tennessee. John's son Benjamin moved to Texas with his family. Another son, Joseph, (1805-1896), was a prominent contractor, carpenter, builder, and deacon in the Church of the Brethren. Joseph married Mahala (Aly or Ala) Carr (1811-1898). Most papers in the collection relate to Joseph and his sons, Alfred and Richard, who fought for the Confederacy at Vicksburg. Alfred died there of fever in 1863. Richard was captured in Mississippi, released in 1865. He died in 1914. The log house of Jacob Hammer, Isaac's brother, still stands on Mountain View Road in Johnson City.