|Birth: ||Aug. 26, 1852|
|Death: ||Jul. 1, 1903|
Son of Samuel Bowers and Julia Ann Francis.
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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."
Grave Stone Inscription
"Precious ones from us have gone
Voices we loved are stilled
A place is vacant in our home
Which never can be filled
God in his wisdom has recalled
The boon his love has given,
And thou their bodies molder here
Their souls are safe in heaven."
Created by: Darron
Record added: Jun 22, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14676106
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