Captain William Bowen brought his family to what is now Sumner County in 1784. He first built a double log cabin on the bank of Mansker’s Creek before erecting a brick home in 1787. Now within the present limits of Goodlettsville, the Bowen-Campbell House is the oldest brick house in Middle Tennessee. In 1995 archaeologists uncovered the original brick kiln, also the oldest in the region, fifty feet east of the house. The bricks on the original hall-parlor portion of the house were laid in Flemish bond. Family records indicate brick and stone masons, as well as window glass, were imported from Lexington, Kentucky. The Bowen-Campbell House Association, in conjunction with the Tennessee Historical Commission, restored the house in 1976. Archaeological recovery and rebuilding of the plantation’s outbuildings and appurtenances are presently in progress. Archaeologists discovered the family cemetery in 1995 and restored it in 1996.
Captain Bowen was a veteran of Lord Dunmore’s War, the French and Indian War, and the American Revolution. His grandson, Brigadier General William Bowen Campbell, born in the house, served in the Seminole, Mexican, and Civil Wars. Campbell served one gubernatorial term, 1851-53 and three terms as a U.S. congressman, 1837-43. He was also president of the Bank of Middle Tennessee. Bowen’s daughter, Celia, married Barton W. Stone, cofounder of The Disciples of Christ church. Bowen’s son, John, served one term in the U.S. Congress, 1813-15.