Biography of Rev. Stephen J. Bovell

Rev. Stephen J. Bovell, Pastor of the Presbyterian Church, Ashmore; was born in Washington Co., East Tenn, May 27, 1827. His father, Rev. J. V. Bovell, was a native of Virginia; removed to Tennessee at an early age; graduated at Washington College at the age of 20 years, and, when 26 years old, became President of that institution, and occupied the position three years. In June, 1829, he received a call to the Presbyterian Church, in Paris, Ill., and removed to that place, where he died but a few months afterward, leaving a wife and four children; Mr. Bovell’s mother, Christiana Gray Bovell, was a native of Tennessee, and now resides with her son; in 1835, the mother, with her family, removed to Coles Co., near Charleston; Mr. Bovell remained on the farm until the age of 20, then, in 1847, returned to Paris, where he spent two years as a student in the Edgar Academy, then under the control of Rev. H. R. Venable. In 1849, he entered Hanover College, where he graduated in 1852; he then went to Mississippi and engaged in teaching, but at the end of one year, he received an attack of paralysis, which disabled him from work for a year and a half; in the fall of 1854, he entered the New Albany Theological Seminary, where he spent one year, when, owing to a relapse of his former paralysis, he was obliged to discontinue his studies; recovering partially in the spring of 1856, he engaged, by the advice of his physician, in farming, which he continued two years; he then went to Palestine, Ill., where he taught for eight years, pursuing his theological studies in the mean time; he was licensed to preach in April, 1861, and ordained in April, 1865; he came to Ashmore the same year, and, in 1869, was elected Superintendent of Schools of Coles Co., holding that office four years. He was married March 6, 1856, to Miss Martha J. Howe, of Flemingsburg, Ky., and has two children living – Henry P. and Luella.



Chapman Brothers Portrait and biographical album of Coles County, Illinois Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887.

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