The number of circuits and preachers was increasing. The Niagra circuit was divided and the Ancaster portion given to William Case, who had returned to the country of his adoption after a brief sojourn in his native land, where he had been ordained the previous year. Bowman's Chapel was his chief appointment, a miles from the "Methodist Mountain," where the city of Hamilton has since grown. At Peter Bowman's home, for the long term of sixty-five years, Methodist preachers were always welcome. Bowman, like most of his neighbors, was U.E. Loyalist, and he was the first recording steward of the circuit.
The first class was formed by the Rev. James Coleman, in 1796. Among the early members were Ann Smith, Peter Bowman and wife, Jacob Smith and wife, and Duncan Spears, the first leader. After a short time Jacob Smith succeeded to the office and held it while he lived rejoicing in the oversight of children and grandchildren for forty years. Many of these early Methodists had belonged to Butler's Rangers, of Revolutionary fame.
The First Century of Methodism in Canada, Vol. 1 1775-1839, by J.E. Sanderson, M.A. William Briggs, Toronto, 1908.