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Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864

DigiTrad:
JOE BOWERS
SWEET BETSY FROM PIKE
THE LOUSY MINER
THE NATIONAL MINER


Related threads:
PermaThread: John A. Stone Songsters ('Old Put') (47)
Online Songbook:Put's Original California Songster (67)
Lyr Req/Add: Humbug Steamship Companies (Stone) (4)
(origins) ADD: Happy Miner/Unhappy Miner (Old Put) (21)
Lyr Req/Add: Prospecting Dream (John A. Stone) (3)
Lyr Add: Songs from Put's Songsters (7)


Joe Offer 11 Feb 14 - 04:20 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Feb 14 - 02:07 PM
Joe Offer 11 Feb 14 - 03:22 PM
Joe Offer 11 Feb 14 - 03:43 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Feb 14 - 04:34 PM
Desert Dancer 11 Feb 14 - 04:47 PM
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Joe Offer 11 Feb 14 - 07:35 PM
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Subject: Bio: John A. Stone ('Old Put')
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 04:20 AM

John A. Stone "Old Put"

I don't know as much as I should about the life of John A. Stone. I thought he lived up here in Placer and El Dorado Counties. He's buried in Greenwood (El Dorado County), which is about halfway between Auburn and Placerville, California.

I did find this quote:
"Stone claimed to have sung all of his songs at various times and places and occasionally with the assistance of a group of men known as the Sierra Nevada Rangers. With encouragement from friends, he published his songs as Put's Original California Songster in 1855 which was followed by other "Put's" songsters that dealt with the mountains of California. "Sweet Betsy" appeared in the second edition of Put's Golden Songster (1858) ..." Quoted from "The Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing" by Guy Logsdon, p. 215ff.
    [Dicho used this quotation in another post, saying that Stone never found gold - I checked the Logsdon book, and I think that's a bit too strong an interpretation of what Logsdon said.]


Here's the text of California State Highway Marker #521 in Greenwood, California:
    NO. 521 GREENWOOD - John Greenwood, a trapper and guide who came to California in 1844, established a trading post here in 1849. The gold rush town of Greenwood boasted a theater, four hotels, 14 stores, a brewery, and four saloons. Among its illustrious citizens was John A. Stone, California songwriter, who was buried here in 1863.
    Location: SW corner of the intersection of State Hwy 193 and Greenwood St, Greenwood

Source: http://ohp.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=21417

And then I came across the introduction to the terrific book titled The Songs of the Gold Rush, (1964) by Richard A. Dwyer and Richard E. Lingenfelter from UCLA (Pages 8-9). An excerpt:
    Little is known of Put's early history, except that he came overland to California in 1850. A few writers believe he came from Pike County, Missouri, because he made a number of references in his songs to the denizens of Pike. Many other writers of gold rush songs, however, did the same, and it is doubtful that they all came from Pike.
    On his arrival in California, Put at first went to mining. His luck was no better than the average until the summer of 1853, when he discovered near Columbia a single block of gold-bearing quartz weighing more than 700 pounds and worth some $15,000. With his fortune he retired from mining and devoted himself to his favorite pastime of improvising new and topical songs to the accompaniment of his guitar. He soon organized a small troupe, the Sierra Nevada Rangers, to tour the mining camps of the Mother Lode. Their entire repertoire of humorous and satirical songs were written by Old Put out of his experiences in the mines. The popularity of these songs prompted him to publish them in 1855 in a pocket-size paperback, The Original California Songster....
    Old Put's songs were so successful that his book ultimately went into its fifth edition, with a total printing of 25,000 copies.As indicated by the advertising, his most popular songs were "The Fools of '49," "Arrival of the Greenhorn," "Sweet Betsey from Pike," Hangtown Gals," and "Emigrant from Pike."
    In 1858 Stone published an additional selection of his songs in Put's Golden Songster....
    Despite the success of his songs, Put's fate was tragic. When rich placers began to give out and most of the miners moved to new diggings, he retired to a small log cabin at Greenwood, some sixteen miles north of Placerville. Unquestionably, the sadness and loneliness expressed in some of his later songs mirrored his own feelings, for he became very despondent and tood to drinking heavily. Finally on January 24, 1863 or 1864, he ended his life....


That's a start. I'd like to learn more about Stone's story.

-Joe Offer, Applegate, CA-


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Subject: Bio: John A. Stone ('Old Put')
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 02:07 PM

One problem with Dwyer and Lingenfelter is the lack of documentation about their notes on John A Stone, Old Put.

A list of burials in Greenwood Cemetery, CA, includes John A. Stone, died 23 Jan.?? (no year given), and the remark AKA Joe Borners and born Pike County, Missouri.
Seemingly there is no year date on the marker or cemetery records are lacking. An investigator could not find who maintains the cemetery(2004).
Greenwood no longer exists except for the cemetery, estab. 1852.


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Subject: Bio: John A. Stone ('Old Put')
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 03:22 PM

Hi, Q - Yes, I also wondered about the lack of documentation by Lingenfelter-Dwyer. I'm still looking for more original sources. And it really bugged me that L-D didn't give any details on the suicide.

I think Greenwood still exists as much as it ever did, a little community just on the other side of Georgetown, CA. It made the Auburn newspaper last on January 14, because they're holding a public meeting in an effort to get broadband Internet. It's on the Georgetown Divide, that separates the Middle and South Forks of the American River. I'm just north of the North Fork, so Greenwood is two ridges south of me (but a long drive, because you have to go to the Confluence to cross).

Click here for a photo of Stone's grave in Greenwood. The gravestone is hard to read, but I'm quite sure it shows his name as "Joe Bowers." Mudcatter Richie Matteson posted an article titled "Yet Another Joe Bowers" by Louise Pound here - it's from the Western Folklore, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Apr., 1957), pp. 111-120. Lingenfelter and Dwyer refer to this article in their book.

I have an acquaintance in Georgetown who has posted here occasionally. I'll see if he can dig up something.

-Joe-


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Subject: Obit: John A. Stone-'Old Put' (& Joe Bowers?)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 03:43 PM

I thought maybe we should move the obituary messages here.
click here to view or download a photo of Stone's gravestone. Can anybody enhance this photo enough to be able to read it and post a transcript for us?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 04:34 PM

Didn't know where to put this. Move it if there is a better thread.

William Elsey Connelley, 1907, "War with Mexico: Doniphan's Expedition and the Conquest of New Mexico and California. (reprints).

Quite a bit about "Joe Bowers" including versions. He wrote that Merideth T. Moore said he had heard the song as early as 1854, and that it had been sung by soldiers.
A man named Joe Bowers accompanied Doniphan to Mexico.

Connelley says the song was carried to California by Missourians who went to California with General Kearney. He says the song possibly was written by John Woodward, Johnson's Minstrels, about 1849.

See Connelley's book on line.


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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 04:47 PM

From the Louise Pound article that Joe linked:

Here is information given me by J. W. Winkley after my letter of inquiry. I was surprised to learn that there was any question as to the authorship of the "Joe Bowers" song. The author is well established in the little town of Greenwood on the Nevada border and in that area of the Motherlode country as John A. Stone. Some years ago I knew some old people who knew and heard "Joe Bowers" sing his songs. He lies buried in Greenwood Cemetery. Until a few years ago a tiny slab of slate marked the grave.... It simply had three letters on it- J.A.S., for John A. Stone. I put a story in the Oakland Tribune Feature page, remarking that it was a shame that the grave did not have an appropriate headstone. A Monument owner wrote to me saying that if I would furnish the inscription for it he would provide a granite marker and erect it on the grave. This was done and I went with him to Greenwood where a small company of neighboring folk assembled. They knew through their parents of "Joe Bowers" and thanked me for obtaining the beautiful marker for his grave. My wording was as follows: John A. Stone, Early California Song Writer; Author of Put's Golden Songster, and Put's Early California Songster. Crossed the Plains from Pike County, Missouri in 1849.[4] Died January 23, 1864.


I assume that from "I was surprised..." Pound is quoting J. W. Winkley. (?)

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 04:47 PM

http://thegoldrushbanjo.com/


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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 07:35 PM

Thanks, Becky. I can see from the tombstone that it didn't come out exactly as Winkley stated, but it's close.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Feb 14 - 07:44 PM

I suspected that the headstone was a replacement.

What is the evidence for his death on Jan, 23, 1864?

There is no evidence that Stone wrote Joe Bowers. Authorship remains uncertain, but it seems to have been in circulation before 1852, and was written by a Piker named Joe Bowers who went to Mexico with Colonel Doniphan, according to a contemporary, Meridith T. Moore.

Merwin, in his biography of Bret Harte, 1911, suggested that "Joe Bowers" was written by Frank Swift, who went to California with a party led by Capt. McPike. Swift later became a journalist. Supposedly the song was printed and was performed by Johnson's Minstrels in 1856 at the Melodeon in San Francisco, but the printing probably was later, 1860. In 1860, Johnson included "Joe Bowers" in a booklet of songs, also including "Poker Jim" by John A. Stone; no mention is made of Stone with regard the song "Joe Bowers."

Francis Withee provided Louise Pound with a copy of the song in 1915; Withee said the song was in existence in 1854. Withee first went to California in 1849.

John Winkley put forth the name of John A. Stone; Desert Dancer quotes Winkley as written in Louise Pound, so see her post.

Stone used the name Joe Bowers for a time when he performed. The song "Joe Bowers" does not appear in his songster of 1855 nor its second printing, 1858. It is not in his "Golden Songster of 1858.

See "Nebraska Folklore," by Louise Pound, where there is a rather full discussion of "Joe Bowers, pp. 170-180." This portion of her book is online.

Louise Pound concludes the authorship of "Joe Bowers" is uncertain, although she leans towards Stone.


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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 12:12 AM

My gosh Joe ... I was reading some of his material at three this morning. I'm thinking that I might have another treasure for your bookshelves ... bob (deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 12:42 AM

Hi, Q - You ask: What is the evidence for his death on Jan, 23, 1864?

Answer: the gravestone, which we now know is a replacement - and apparently, Winkley was the source of the information on the gravestone. And if that's so, then it's Winkley that was the source of the information that "Joe Bowers" was an alternate name of John A. Stone, which I question.

So, it seems we have a lot of unanswered questions in this mystery. My friend Al lives just down the road from the cemetery, and he's interested in doing some research. I'm acquainted with the guy who writes the history columns for the Auburn Journal, so I'll see what he can dig up. Don't know if there was a local newspaper in Georgetown or Greenwood - I think there was one in Georgetown.

This could be fun.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 12:50 PM

Yes, local newspapers are one of the best sources. But be careful, Joe, I always find something unrelated to my search that interests me and I sort of get lost and wander down other roads.

I once was interested in the Hawaiians that worked for the Hudson's Bay Company, most on Royal contract for set periods, as voyageurs, carpenters, farmers and fish packers, etc. There was a large HB warehouse/store in Honolulu, but all that remains is a beaver, once hung at the entry, now in private hands. I spent days going through old records of Royal hiring contracts in Honolulu when I should have been out soaking up the sun on the beaches.

There are several Joe Bowers living at present and have records on the net- the name is not uncommon and there must have been more than one "Joe Bowers" in the 1850s-1860s. One is buried in Missouri, and there seems to have one that went with Doniphan to Mexico, and then the California Bowers-Stone question. Confusion, and as you say, unanswered questions.
Frank


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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Feb 14 - 01:29 PM

This from an article by Ben T. Traywick, in the Tombstone News, Feb. 14, 2014.

"Frank Swift, later to become governor of California, was among the 200-odd Pike County emigrants in the train. Swift often wrote poems- or doggerel- and as he was quite fond of John Stone, he wrote one poking gentle fun at the young fellow. He entitled it "Joe Bowers" and while sitting around the campfire one night, his friend, ex-Lieutenant Governor of Missouri, R. A. Campbell, read it to the company at large. Soon everyone was convulsed with laughter. In a very short time the entire train had memorized the poem and a musician found suitable music* and made it into a song called "Joe Bowers, All the Way from Pike."
The song was sent back to the Salt River Journal in Pike County where it was published and re-published......"

..... (The song is reproduced).

*We do not have the music; the tune used now is by a later composer.

"The song caused John Stone to lose his name entirely, for he became "Joe Bowers," and he stayed Joe Bowers."

The story is given about the chunk of gold quartz that gave him $15,000.
Traywick says Stone became a drunk, and despondent one night, slashed his throat in his cabin at Greenwood, January 23, 1864.

The above is another story that needs verification.


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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 12:18 AM

Yeah, but what an interesting tidbit, Q.

Good find!

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Feb 14 - 12:40 PM

Ben Traywick, who puts forth Frank Smith as composer of "Ben Bowers," was a chemist and explosives expert who wrote about the history of the Tombstone/Yuma region, Wyatt Earp, the Clantons and others.

Born in Tennessee, 1927, he continues to write history and historical fiction. His last film was "How the West Was Lost," 2008.


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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 14 Feb 14 - 01:24 PM

We need a thread on "Joe Bowers;" some song versions are posted in the Gold Rush threads, but there is no place to put these notes on the possible composer of the song.

In an article in Western Folklore, Louise Pound discusses a possibility, based on the letter from Judge T. J. C. Fagg of Missouri to W. E. Connelley, Oct. 5, 1906. This person is John Woodward, a member of the Johnson's Pennsylvanians, the minstrel troup that performed at the Melodeon in San Francisco.
Previously, Judge Fagg thought that Johnson himself had composed the lyric. Johnson's booklet, Johnson's Original Comic Songs, second printing 1860, contains the song, lyrics only.
Woodward was a variety actor and singer.
An old actor, associated with Johnson from 1849 into the 1850s, in a sworn statement said Woodward wrote the song for Johnson, and that it was performed at the Melodeon in 1850. Later, Woodward sang the song up and down the Coast.

In Connelley's book, others were considered as the possible author.
1. Frank Smith, who accompanied ox-driver "Joe Bowers" to California. He said the ox-driver had a brother "Ike."
2. Mark Train, who did compose humorous songs, but did not get to California until 1864.
3. Johnson, of the minstrel troupe.
4. John A. Stone (discussed above).
5. "Squibob," George A Derby, a West Coast comedian and writer before Mark Twain.
6. Piker Joe Bowers, who went with Doniphan to Mexico and California; the song was sung by soldiers.
7. Frank Swift, later governor of California (discussed above)
(Correction, to 13 Feb 14- Frank Swift, not Smith).

These are discussed by Louise Pound, Western Folklore, vol. 16, no. 2, 1957, "Yet Another Joe Bowers.".


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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Mar 14 - 10:02 PM

It was a perfect day in the Sierra Foothills today. My friend Al lives two ridges south of me on the Georgetown Divide. I'm north of the North Fork American River, and he's south of the Middle Fork. As the crow flies, he's about 10 miles from me, but maybe 40 miles to drive. His home is not far from the Greenwood Cemetery where John A. Stone is buried. Al went to the cemetery today and took pictures for us. Here's Al's report:
    I visited the Greenwood cemetery with a friend. John
    A. Stone's grave was not hard to find using the picture you sent me. The grave is located near the center of the cemetery. There are a couple of pictures attached taken from the main entrance, showing my friend standing at the grave site.

    All the inscriptions are easy to read, and I have transcribed them
    below. There does not appear to be a foot-stone, as the grave next to
    him does have. The rock material of the outer headstone seems different than the face where the inscription is. It gives the appearance that the inscription is on the original stone, but that at some later time, the original might have been placed into the outer polished stone, possibly for preservation. The flat stone laying on the ground appears to be original also. Perhaps at one time the inscribed stone sat directly on the horizontal stone. I am not sure of this, however. Since you mentioned there might be an older stone buried beneath the soil, I decided to investigate. I took along a 8" long nail, courtesy of Georgetown Hardware, and pushed it into the ground around the visible gravestone. I was not able to find evidence of a buried stone using this method.

    Here is the inscription:

        John A. Stone
        Early song writer of California
        Known as
        Joe Bowers
        Author of Put's Golden Songster and
        Put's Original California Songster
        and others
        Native of Pike County, Missouri
        Crossed the plains by wagon in 1849
        Died at Greenwood, Calif. Jan 23, 1864
        In Memoriam



    This was an enjoyable outing. Thanks for asking me to help out.

    Al, Georgetown, CA




Higher Definition:

Click to display (joeweb)


Click to display (joeweb)


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Subject: ADD: Joe Bowers (Frank Swift)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Mar 14 - 11:41 PM

Q posted an excerpt above from an article from the Tombstone News. I'm not sure how the Website dates its displays. Q said the article was dated February, 2014. Now the same article is dated March, 2014. Whatever the case, here's the text of the entire article:
    Who Was Joe Bowers?
    By Ben T. Traywick
    World Renowned Author
    Frank Swift, later to become governor of California, was among the 200-odd Pike County emigrants in the train. Swift often wrote poems?or doggeral?and as he was quite fond of John Stone he wrote one poking gentle fun at the young fellow. He entitled it "Joe Bowers" and while sitting around the campfire one night, his friend ex-Lieutenant Governor of Missouri, R. A. Campbell, read it to the company at large. Soon everyone was convulsed with laughter. In a very short time the entire train had memorized the poem and a musician found suitable music and made it into a song called "Joe Bowers, All The Way From Pike."
    The song was sent back to the Salt River Journal in Pike County, where it was published. It made a tremendous hit wherever it was heard. It was speedily published and republished and soon sung from coast to coast under the title "Joe Bowers, All The Way From Pike," and here are the verses:

      JOE BOWERS
      All the Way from Pike

      (Frank Swift)

      My name is Joe Bowers
      And I've got a brother Ike
      I Came from Old Missouri
      And all the way from Pike
      I'll tell you why I left there,
      and why I came to roam,
      And leave my poor old Mammy,
      So far away from home.

      I used to court a gal there?
      Her name was Sally Black;
      I axed her if she'd marry me;
      She said it was a whack.
      Says she to me, "Joe Bowers
      Before we hitch for life,
      You ought to get a little home
      To keep your wife."

      "O, Sally, dearest Sally
      O, Sally, for your sake
      I'll go to California
      And try to make a stake."
      Says she to me, "Joe Bowers
      You are the man to win;
      Here's a kiss to bind the bargain?"
      And she hove a dozen in.

      When I got to that country
      I hadn't nary red;
      I had such wolfish feelings,
      I wished myself 'most dead;
      But the thoughts of my dear Sally
      Soon made those feelings git,
      And whispered hopes to Bowers?
      I wish I had 'em yit!

      At length I went to mining,
      Put in my biggest licks;
      Went down upon the boulders

      At length I got a letter
      From my dear brother Ike,
      It came from old Missouri,
      And all the way from Pike;
      It brought to me the darndest news
      That ever you did hear,
      ? My heart is almost bursting,
      So pray excuse this tear.

      It said that Sal was false to me,
      Her love for me had fled:
      She'd got married to a butcher,
      ? And that butcher's hair was red;

      And more than that, the letter said ?
      It's enough to make me swear-
      That Sally has a baby,
      And that baby has red hair!

    That song caused John Stone to lose his name entirely, for he became "Joe Bowers," and he stayed Joe Bowers.
    - He was an easy-going, jovial person, too lazy to work, too honest to steal. He hung around saloons and fandango houses, where he played his guitar and sang the songs he wrote. Eventually he became a strolling singer who wandered through the gold country singing for his food and redeye liquor.
    At infrequent periods Joe Bowers would reluctantly go out and mine awhile. Taking pick and shovel, he would half-heartedly dig a bit here and there, never finding much.
    However, Dame Fortune smiled upon poor Joe one time. In the summer of 1853, Joe made a rich strike not far from the town of Columbia. Likely by accident, he uncovered a piece of quartz loaded with gold. It weighed 722 pounds and brought him $15,000.
    With these newly-found riches, Joe Bowers went north to San Francisco, and there, in 1856, he published Put's Golden Songster, a small paperback volume that contains the best known collection of California songs ever published.
    Joe's wandering took him the length and breadth of the Mother Lode, where all the miners welcomed him and his songs with open arms. He wrote simple ballads that every Missourian traveling to the gold country felt expressed his own feelings of loneliness at being so far from home and loved ones. Bowers' songs had no literary worth; no composer would have praised his simple words and music. Still, his simple folk songs sink deep into the heart and warm the soul.
    Many a gold miner laughed at the misfortunes of poor Joe Bowers for he intended his songs to be humorous. But frequently tears rolled down the leathery cheeks of many a man when he heard the simple song, for they took him back to the green fields and forests of home and to the arms of his loved ones.
    Joe Bowers was destined never to make his fortune, never to go back to the beautiful Sally Black, never to see Pike County again.
    Romantic legend of the California gold country would have it believed that Sally Black did marry another and that this tragic news caused Joe Bowers to take his own life.
    The truth of the matter is that Joe became a drunk and just never did go back to Missouri. On January 23, 1864, Joe Bowers (John A. Stone) (Put), in a whiskey-soaked, despondent mood slashed his throat in his tiny cabin in Greenwood. His mortal remains rest under huge oaks and cedars in the tiny pioneer cemetery at Greenwood.
    John A. Stone lived and sang his songs in that mining town where everyone knew him by the name of "Joe Bowers", never dreaming that he had any other. All his published songs were under the name of "Put".
    In 1946 a new marker was placed over his grave, reading:
      John A. Stone,
      Early California Songwriter known as "Joe Bowers.'
      Author of Puts Golden Songster, and Puts Early California Songster.
      Crossed the plains from Pike County, Missouri, in 1849.
      Died Jan. 23, 1864."
    Few people today have ever heard of Joe Bowers, much less his last resting place. Still, he left something that will never be forgotten. Something that rates him now with the most renowned of his contemporaries. Those "somethings" are "Hangtown Gals," "The Horse Thief of San Joaquin," "Shady Old Camp," and, of course, "Sweet Betsy From Pike."


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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 May 14 - 11:58 PM

The song Joe Bowers is in the Digital Tradition. According to the Tombstone News article above, Frank Swift, later to become governor of California, wrote "Joe Bowers" poke fun at John A. Stone - and that's how the name "Joe Bowers" ended up on Stone's gravestone.

But is it really clear that John A. Stone (Old Put) is Joe Bowers, or is this a mixup that happened somewhere along the way?

-Joe-

"Joe Bowers" does seem to be a sort of sequel to "Sweet Betsey from Pike." Here are the lyrics from the Digital Tradition:

JOE BOWERS

My name it is Joe Bowers;
I have a brother Ike.
I came from old Missoura,
All the way from Pike.

I used to know a girl there;
Her name was Sally Black.
I asked her if she'd marry me;
She said it was a whack.

She said to me, "Joe Bowers.
Before we hitch for life,
You'd better get a little home
To take your little wife.' '

"Oh Sally, dearest Sally,
Oh Sally, for your sake.
I'll go to California
And try and raise a stake."

When I got in that country
I didn't have a red;
I had such wolfish feelings
I wished myself most dead.

But the thughts of my dear Sally
Soon made those feelings git,
And whispered hope to Bowers,
I wish I had them yet.

At last a letter,
Enough to make me swear,
That Sally married a butcher,
And the butcher had red hair.

Before I got through reading,
At length the letter said:
Sally had a baby,
And the baby's head was red.

From Folk Songs of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shellan
Collected from John Vass, Hillsville, Virginia, 1958
DT #381
Laws B14
@parting @pioneer @infidelity
filename[ JOBOWERS
TUNE FILE: JOBOWERS
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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 May 14 - 04:54 PM

Here is "Joe Bowers" as printed in W. E. Connelley, Doniphan's Expedition, 1907 (except for last verse, from Gordon).

Lyr. Add: JOE BOWERS
Sung by J. Bailey

My name it is Joe Bowers and I've got a brother Ike;
I came from old Missouri, and all the way from Pike.
I'll tell you why I left there, and why I came to roam,
And leave my poor old mammy, so far away from home.

I used to court a gal there- her name was Sally Black;
I axed her if she'd marry me; she said it was a whack:
Says she to me, "Joe Bowers, before we hitch for life,
You ought to get a little home to keep your little wife."

"O Sally, dearest Sally, O Sally for your sake,
I'll go to California and try to make a stake."
Says she to me, "Joe Bowers, you are the man to win;
Here's a kiss to bind the bargain"- and she hove a dozen in.

When I got to that country, I hadn't nary red;
I had such wolfish feelings, I wished myself 'most dead;
But the thought of my dear Sally soon made those feelings git,
And whispered hopes to Bowers- I wish I had 'em yit!

At length I went to mining, put in my biggest licks;
Went down upon the boulders just like a thousand bricks.
I worked both late and early, in rain, in sun, in snow;
I was working for my Sally, it was all the same to Joe.

At length I got a letter from my dear brother Ike;
It came from old Missouri, and all the way from Pike;
It brought to me the darndest news that ever you did hear-
My heart is almost bursting, so pray excuse this tear.

He said that Sal was false to me, her love for me had fled;
She'd got married to a butcher, and the butcher's hair was red;
And more than that, the letter said- it's enough to make me swear-
That Sally had a baby, and the baby has red hair!

And now you've heard the story of Bowers and his woes,
I'll give to you the sequel and let the story close.
Smallpox had knocked the butcher out
When Joe soon wandered back, married Sally and the Shop,
And now he has the red-haired boy to drive the butcher cart.

Last stanza from Gordon 785 (Lib. Congress). Melody FAC 1 (Fife American Coll.), 520, sung by Jay Bailey.
Pp. 33-34, No. 12, with musical score; Austin E. and Alta S. Fife, 1969, "Cowboy and Western Songs; A Comprehensive Anthology. (1982 edition, Bramhall House.


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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 May 14 - 08:07 PM

All texts are fairly close, but the earliest I've found does not have Joe returning to Missouri,

Lyr. Add: JOE BOWERS
1858, J. E. Johnson

My name it is Joe Bowers, I've got a brother Ike,
I come from old Missouri, yes, all the way from Pike,
I'll tell you why I left thar, and how I came to roam,
And leave my poor old mammy, so far away from home.
2
I used to love a gal thar, they call'd her Sally Black,
I axed her for to marry me, she said it was a whack;
"But," says she to me, "Joe Bowers, before we hitch for life,
You'd orter have a little home to keep your little wife."
3
Says I, "My dearest Sally, oh! Sally, for your sake
I'll go to Californy, and try to raise a stake."
Says she to me, "Joe Bowers, oh, you're the chap to win,
Guv me a buss to seal the bargain," and she threw a dozen in!
4
I shall ne'er forget my feelins when I bid adieu to all,
Sally cotched me round the neck, then I began to bawl;
When I sot in, they all commenced- you ne'er did hear the like,
How they all took on and cried, the day I left old Pike.
5
When I got to this 'ere country, I hadn't nary red,
I had sich wolfish feelins I wish'd myself most dead;
But the thoughts of my dear Sally soon made these feelins git,
And whispered hopes to Bowers- Lord, I wish I had 'em yit!
6
At length I went to minin', put in my biggest licks,
Come down upon the boulders jist like a thousand bricks;
I worked both late and airly, in rain, in sun, and snow,
But I was working for my Sally, so 'twas all the same to Joe.
7
I made a lucky strike, as the gold itself did tell,
And saved it for my Sally, the gal I loved so well;
I saved it for my Sally, that I might pour it at her feet,
That she might kiss and hug me, and call me something sweet.
8
But one day I got a letter from my dear, kind brother Ike-
It came from old Missouri, and all the way from Pike;
It brought me the gol darn'dest news as ever you did hear-
My heart is almost bustin', so, pray, excuse this tear.
9
It said my Sal was fickle, that her love for me had fled,
That she'd married with a butcher, whose har was orful red!
It told me more than that- oh! it's enough to make one swar,
It said Sally had a baby, and the baby had red har!
10
Now, I've told you all I could tell about this sad affar,
'Bout Sally marryin' the butcher and the butcher had red har.
Whether 'twas a boy or gal child, the letter never said,
It only said its cussed har was inclined to be a red!

Text: Johnson, J. E., 1858, Johnson's Original Comic Songs. San Francisco, Presho & Appleton Co.
Music: "Joe Bowers," in J. T. Hughes, Doniphan's Expedition, ed. W. R. Connelley (Topeka, Kan.: Connelley, 1907).


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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 May 14 - 08:11 PM

The above from:
Pp. 56-57, with musical score.
Richard A. Dwyer and Richard E. Lingenfelter, ed., 1965, The Songs of the Gold Rush. University of California Press.


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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: Rex
Date: 05 May 14 - 02:26 PM

Many thanks to Joe and Q. I have the above publications but the articles and grave site with photos is welcome news. You are getting in some impressive research.

Rex


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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: GUEST,AC/DC guy
Date: 23 Nov 16 - 03:16 PM

Hey guys,

I'm researching the life of John A. Stone, Joe Bowers or Old Put for a longer paper on songs and music of the California Gold Rush. To that end I was wondering where the article in the Tombstone News had its information from. Also, do any of you know if there is any hard evidence/proper sources regarding biographical facts on John A. Stone or are they all more or less anecdotal? Finally, what do we know about the Sierra Nevada Rangers?

Thanks so much guys!


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Subject: RE: Obit: John A. Stone -'Old Put' (Joe Bowers?) -1864
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Nov 16 - 04:42 PM

Boy, I dunno. The more I look into the story of John A. Stone, the less I know. I still don't know if I believe that Bowers and Stone are one and the same person, or that Stone committed suicide.
And I haven't come across anything about the Sierra Nevada Rangers, other than what is posted above. If you come up with more, please post it here in this thread.
-Joe-


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