By HARVEY H. BOWERS
Assisted by Mrs. Nora E. Perkins And other members of the family,
and published January 16, 1939.
… According to Mr. Joe Bowers, oldest surviving member and brother of Adam Bowers, his grandfather, John Bowers, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War from Virginia. Since more than 50% of the war records were destroyed by fire in 1788 the name of his regiment cannot be positively established at the present date.
We know, however, that Samuel Bowers, son of John Bowers, Revolutionary soldier, migrated from Virginia to Franklin county, Tennessee, in the early 19th century and settled near the town of Winchester. Here he married Mary Custer, July 23, 1835, by whom he had six children: George, Marion, Michael, John, Mary, and Margaret. Mary Custer Bowers died March 31, 1851. On July 24, 1851, Samuel Bowers was married to Julian Francis, by whom he had fifteen children, five of whom died in infancy. Adam, Sarah, William, Nancy, Samuel, Susanna, Louisa, Virginia, Joseph, and Nathan lived to maturity. Julian Francis Bowers died March 20, 1880. On Dec. 7, 1882, Samuel Bowers was married to Elizabeth Luster from whom there was no issue.
Eight of the children of Samuel Bowers: Marion, Sam, Molly, Nancy, William, Nathan, Joseph, and Adam, — migrated to Texas after the Civil War, where they established homes and reared honorable families. Samuel Bowers, himself, came to Texas and spent his last years in the home of his son, Adam, dying at the ripe age of eighty-six years.
Joe Bowers, only surviving child, lives with his wife, Axie, and their children and grandchildren at Vernon, Texas.
The founding of the Adam Bowers family is of great interest to the present generation. It dates back to those pioneer days to which the haze of time gives a romantic setting.
The Westbound Stage Coach came to a stop at Ft. Worth, Texas, in the spring of 1875, and Adam Bowers, a tall, dark-haired young man, alighted on the western fringe of civilization. Thus Texas recruited another pioneer from Tennessee, the state of Sam Houston.
But Adam Bowers did not stay in Ft. Worth. He pushed on westward to Brock, or Blair Valley, a new settlement on the Brazos River, near the present town of Thorp Springs. Here he lived with his older brother, Marion Bowers, the first year or two. Other leading families in the Valley were the Conways and the Brocks. The Brocks had moved from Indiana to Texas, and the settlement was originally named for them.
The spring of 1876 was marked by heavy rainfall. The Brazos River was at flood stage. So when Mrs. Elizabeth Weir, a young widow with her two children, Willie and Sallie, arrived from far-away Florida, they were unable to cross the river and had to spend the night in Weatherford, the nearest town. She had come by train from Jacksonville, Florida, to Dallas, Texas, and from there to Blair Valley by stage coach, where her family, the Brocks, lived.
The next morning she hired a livery stable man to take them to the ford. Her oldest brother, Bill Brock, and another man met her on the north side of the river in a small boat and rowed them across to her waiting relatives and interested friends.
Whether Adam Bowers was among the latter is not known. But we do know that he was not long in discovering the presence of this twenty-two year old widow and that he made many calls to the Brock home. After a brief courtship, they were married December 21, 1876.
They lived in Blair Valley until February, 1879. On October 7, 1877, their new home was saddened by the death from pneumonia of little Sallie Weir, then three years old. Willie Weir was then six years of age. Three days later, on October 10th, the first child, Nora Ellen Bowers, was born. On January 4, 1879, Arthur Pierce Bowers was born.
About this time, Adam Bowers purchased a farm further west in Hood county near the present town of Tolar, and six weeks after the birth of their first son, Arthur, they established their new home in a log cabin, on a new frontier.
This western fringe of Hood county was a thinly settled section from which the Comanche Indians had just been driven or killed. The last battle occurred about the year 1878 at the head of Star Hollow, about six miles northwest of the Adam Bowers farm. Here a small remnant of this thieving, murdering tribe who refused to leave the country gathered under an overhanging cliff. The white settlers surrounded them and when all was ready, one of the men fired his rifle over the edge of the cliff, at which every Indian discharged his arrow. Before they had time to reload, the whites fired a solid volley over the cliff, and all the Indians but one were killed. A young man, thinking all were dead, ventured over the cliff and was pierced by an arrow from the last survivor, who in turn was riddled with bullets. This was the only casualty of the whites.
At the time Adam Bowers arrived this section was settled by a few scattered pioneers, — Joe Cherry to the north on Stroud’s Creek; Nath Davis, three miles to the south; and William Powell, to the east on Squaw Creek.
Only a small strip of land had been cleared on the new farm and mother’s brother, Uncle Jim Brock, spent the first year with them helping to clear the land for cultivation. In a few years another log house, (still standing), was built to the north and a family by the name of Stocton came to live in it and help to clear the shenery. Later, another cabin was built to the south, and was occupied by a family by the name of Hanson. With more help the land was rapidly developed into a prosperous farm.
Thus Adam Bowers carved a home for himself and his children from the primeval wilderness.
Cattle played an important part in the welfare of those early settlers. The range was open and everyone had stock running loose, with only a mark and brand to protect them. The Bowers’ mark was, “Crop off the left ear and two under-bits on the right.” The brand was, “L.I.B.” –taken from mother’s name. She was called “Lib”, short for Elizabeth.
Four children had the distinction of being born in the old log cabin: James Nathan was the first, born November 7, 1880; Charles Thomas, born February 27, 1882; Naoma Francis, born January 31, 1884, and Cora Belle, born March 22, 1885. The remaining five children were born in the new house built in 1886: Joseph Edward was born December 29, 1886; Harvey Henry, December 27, 1888; Effie, December 21, 1891; Nellie, December 14, 1894, and Allie Pauline, December 26, 1897.
This new house was the best in that section at the time. But the old log house was used for cooking and eating until a kitchen could be built on the west side. Other additions were built in later years, and when completed it was an eight-room house with spacious hallways and two old-fashioned rock chimneys with fire-places, one in the north and one in the sough rooms. Around these fire-places were spent many happy winter evenings. It was about the north hearth-stone that for many years father used to read the old Bible and lead the family in prayer. Here the stranger found warmth and recounted his adventures to our listening childish ears. In this house a large and happy family grew to manhood and womanhood. When the older children grew up it was the meeting place for the young people of the community. Here, life-long attachments were formed, and, later of course, wedding ceremonies were said. In fact, the old home, which is still standing, holds memories too sacred for words. If, as Edgar A. Guest has said,
“It tales a heap o’ livin’
In a house to make a home”,
this house was truly a home.
This record would not be complete without a brief mention of Uncle Wash Edwards, the old negro ex-slave, who lived with the family for many years. Uncle Wash did not know his age, as there was no record of his birth, but when he died at an extreme age he was mourned by all who knew him.
Another event of great importance was the building of the Ft. Worth & Rio Grand Railroad in 1888. Adam Bowers had built on the frontier and for several years had hauled his cotton and other farm products to Ft. Worth, fifty miles away, which was the nearest market. Now market facilities were brought to his very door. In fact, the railroad was built across the farm only fifty yards north of the house. The writer has been told that when he was one year old he was held up in his mother’s arms to see the first railroad train come through.
This, of course, meant a complete change. New settlers came, and soon Tolar, a small pioneer village, sprang up one mile east of the farm. New homes, schools, and churches were built, and a semblance of civilization was established.
Early in their married life, Adam and Elizabeth Bowers united with the church, and with their children were faithful attendants upon divine worship. One of our earliest memories was of the old camp meeting ground, with the brush arbor, at Asbury. Here spirit-filled men of God preached the Gospel, and the people with shouts and praises gave religious experience a reality that has largely been lost in our day. Our family were charter members of the Presbyterian church at Tolar, and Adam Bowers was an Elder in that church until his death on July 1, 1903. Mary Elizabeth Bowers was a faithful member until her death May 20, 1920.
We of this generation and the generations to follow may be justly proud of such a background. The most precious heritage is the influence of a Christian home and the memory of God-fearing parents. This heritage is ours and should give us courage to meet the issues of our day.
We have set down in these pages a brief statement of the record of Adam Bowers, the home he built in the wilderness, and the family that he and his wife reared. We are conscious that this record is incomplete. We have merely begun a task which the coming generations must continue. Like the relay races of ancient Greece when the runner, bearing the lighted torch aloft, fell exhausted, a fresh runner seized the torch from his falling hand and continued toward the coveted goal. So we must soon place the torch, so nobly lighted, in other hands. We charge you, hold it aloft and bear it forward to new and shining goals!
“Like leaves of the trees
Now green in youth, now withering on the ground,
Another race the following spring supplies,
They fall successive and successive rise,
So generations in their course decay,
So flourish these, when those have passed away.”
ADAM PIERCE BOWERS GENEALOGY
JOHN BOWERS, 1776.
SAMUEL BOWERS, son of John Bowers, b. June 4, 1811, d. January 15, 1897.
ADAM PIERCE BOWERS, son of Samuel Bowers and Julyan Francis, b. August 26, 1852, d. July 1, 1903. M. Mary Elizabeth Weir Dec. 21, 1876.
MARY ELIZABETH WEIR, b. July 16, 1854, d. May 20, 1920.
William Stonewall Weir, son of Mary Elizabeth Weir, b. Sept. 21, 1872. M. Dora Meeker Dec. 14, 1893.
Nollie Maude Weir, daug. Of Wm. And Dora Weir, b. Apr. 11, 1895. M. Reubin M. Noblitt Apr. 25, 1917.
(Children) Lester Eugene Noblitt, b. Apr. 4, 1920.
James Reubin Noblitt, b. Mar. 1, 1924.
Zuma Earl Weir, daug. Of W.S. and Dora Weir, b. Jan. 14, 1901. M. Gledco Spencer Sanders June 3, 1924.
(Children) Dona Lee Sanders Sept. 12, 1932.
Dwight M. Weir, son of W.S. and Dora Weir, b. Apr. 13, 1903, m. Elizabeth Rhodes, Mar. 12, 1929.
(Children) Dwight M. Weir, Jr., b. Mar 12, 1932.
Jessie Merle Weir, daug. Of W.S. and Dora Weir, b. Aug. 9, 1905. M. Bonnie L. Coppick Jan. 6, 1935.
Mildred Lee Weir, daug. Of W.S. and Dora Weir, b. Aug. 12, 1909. M. Bryan Pollard Gardner Jan. 6, 1935.
(Children) Gary Dean Gardner, b. Mar. 6, 1937.
Nora Ellen Bowers, daug. Of Adam and Elizabeth Bowers, b. Oct. 10, 1877. M. William Foster Perkins Jan 4, 1899.
Schley Perkins, son of Wm. F. and Nora Perkins, b. Oct 15, 1899, d. Dec. 29, 1900.
Anna Lee Perkins, daugh. Of Wm. F. and Dora Perkins, b. Nov. 4, 1901. M. Wingate Clemons Lucas June 6, 1922.
(Children) Billy Wingate Lucas, b. Aug 27, 1926.
Nancy Ann Lucas, b. Feb. 9, 1929.
William Foster Perkins, Jr., son of W.F. and Nora Perkins, b. Jan. 24, 1901. M. Mary Ruth Sewell Dec. 26, 1935.
NOTES FROM MARION C BOWERS:
Francis Marion Bowers father was Samuel Bowers, b. June 4, 1811, d. Jan 15, 1897
Francis Marion’s mother was Mary Custer, died March 31, 1851
Georgia Ann Connaway Bowers (wife of Francis Marion) b. Jan 9, 1852, Coose Co., Alabama; d. Sep 10, 1932, buried at Huckaby. Married Dec 28, 1871 at Kimbell, Hill County, Texas
Her parents were John Monroe Connaway, b. May 30, 1829, d. July 28, 1878; buried Blair Valley.
Alcy Ann Jackson Connaway, b. March 19, 1828; d. Aug 28, 1899; m. Feb 11, 1849; buried at Huckaby.
Her mother was Mary Connaway, b. abt. 1779; d. Jun 4, 1883, buried in family cemetery
Her father was Wright Jackson, b. abt. 1800 NC. Who married Elizabeth Walters, b. abt. 1805 in SC.
Subject: Tolar, Adam Pierce Bowers
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 08:46:30 -0600
From: Mikhael Bowers email@example.com
Organization: Jewish Defense League
Organization: Hood County Genealogical Society
I copied this about 10 years ago and just found it, transcription made last night, hope you can use it:
Gideon M Bowers