William James Bowdle

William James Bowdle was born the son of Amos Bowdle and his wife in Church Creek, Maryland on October 8, 1834. He entered the Dickinson Grammar School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in September 1849 and then joined the undergraduate class of 1854 a year later. His classmates remember "Billy" as the fun-loving and well-liked center for mischief on the campus. He was elected to the Belles Lettres Society and graduated with his class. He then went on to study medicine, gaining his degree in Baltimore in 1856.

He removed to Kansas with the determination to help the territory become a slave-holding state but returned somewhat disillusioned in 1859 to Baltimore. He gave up his practice and enlisted in the United States Navy as a surgeon in 1861; he served for a time as hospital surgeon at the naval hospital on Hilton Head , South Carolina. Following the war, he returned to Dorchester County and practiced medicine there until his death.

While in Kansas, he had married a Southern women. Nothing further is known of his family life. William James Bowdle died at his home in Church Creek, Maryland on August 1, 1876. He was forty-one years old.

Author of Post: 
Dickinson College Archives
Date of Post: 
College Relationship: 
Alumnus/Alumna Class Year: