Dorothy was born on August 1, 1929 to Chester and Virgie Bowman while living on Cherry Street in Palmyra. When she was 2 they moved to Kauffman’s Hill near Water Works. She had to younger sisters, Gladys (Hartman) and Janet. Her father was a shoe cutter at Kreider’s Shoe Factory in Palmyra. He could not get insurance for her mother because she was sickly. For that reason, she never worked outside the home.
Dorothy attended Shady Grove, a one-room school house, through the 8th grade. Her teacher’s name was Erma Boger. She was a good speller. At the age of 6, she started wearing glasses. She was the only kid that wore them so she was embarrassed, hid them and put them on as she walked home from school. Her sister, Gladys had a bicycle that Dorothy would ride down to Waterworks to see her friend, Kathy Wampler.
She met Harold through a neighbor girl that had married Harold’s brother. She had “her eye” on Harold since she was 12 and wanted to date him when she was about 13, but she didn’t dare to, because she was too young. Finally, when she was 15, they started dating and would go to the movies. Harold loved the Westerns. He had a car and she wasn’t supposed to ride in it, but she did. When they passed her parent’s home, she put her head down so they wouldn’t see her. They never learned about it until after she was married. She kept a diary of their 184 dates, when they were and where they went. When the snow was deep and since there were no snow plows, Harold would just walk across the fields to date her.
Her father would not sign for her to get married but her motherdid. They got married in Manheim in September of 1945 at the home of Pastor Waser, who pastored the Steelstown Church. She was 16 and Harold was 19. She wore a pretty dress with a corsage on it.
Prior to her marriage, she worked at the shoe factory in Annville. She only worked one week because they laid everyone off under the age of 16. Her father asked her if she wanted to frame her check since it was her only one and it wasn’t much!
After their marriage, they lived in a cottage at Bindnagle Church near the Swatara Creek. When she was expecting their first child, the creek water was rising and the firemen made everyone evacuate. She grabbed the baby clothes she had and the next day their daughter,
Rose as born. They later moved up the road to another home along the Swattie. Their daughter, Nancy was born there. They rented a house at the Longenecker Fruit Farm near Coffeetown where their son, Curtis Wayne was born. Unfortunately, he only lived a few hours.
Harold’s parents shared a double house with Glenn Barnhart’s parents along Gravel Hill Road. Harold’s sister, Francis, attended the Hemperly School along with the Barnhart and Hebel kids. Harold worked on Barnhart’s farm and then on the Hershey turkey farm. Dorothy worked at Hershey Chocolate Factory 4 different times from 1971 – 1993 doing many different jobs, (men’s jobs sometimes). She worked in the cocoa, kiss and wrapping departments and for the last 15 years before retirement worked in the Rolos department.
She has 5 grandsons, Fred, Steve, Carl, Randall and Neal, 8 great grand-children and one great-great grandchild.
As a young person, she enjoyed playing croquet, throwing bean bags and riding bike. In later years her interests changed to counted cross stitch and she has put together and glued 22 puzzles. She enjoyed spending time with her sister, Gladys, shopping even though they didn’t always buy anything. She loved to do lawn work till past 80 years of age.
She attended Kauffman’s church and Harold’s family attended Steelstown church. Dorothy got saved on her 36th birthday at Mt. Lebanon Camp Meeting. Her aunt and uncle had a cottage there across from the tabernacle. After her salvation, Dorothy and her sister, Gladys would love to go to gospel concerts and hear Rev. Dave Barr preach. She remembers teaching the “little ones” in the basement of the old Ono church and showing them how to make a church using a milk carton. She has lots of favorite Bible verses.
Her advice for living is to pray a lot for people to be saved which she and Harold did. They traveled to many gospel camp meetings in Virginia, North Carolina and other states. Often her sister, Gladys and she would go to Landisville on Sunday nights to camp meeting.
Dorothy currently is living in Cottage 2 at 200 Bellann Court, Annville and would love to have you visit