Bowden Family of Brown County - Letters and Obits

Bowden Family of Brown County TX - Letters and Obits

Avis Barnes for his mother Margaret Bowden by Virgil Bowden:

March 15 1901

Mr. and Mrs. M.A. Barnes


Dear brother and sister,

I think I am dying now but I do not dread death in the least. I have just written Hence and Sarah a few lines requesting them to be religious and meet me in heaven and I want you both to be faithful and meet me there, for true religion is certainly a comfort in the dying hour.

Your sister

M.E. Bowden

Keep this letter

Written on back of the letter:

Ma held the pencil

While I signed her name &endash;


Letter to Avis Barnes, 1901, written by Virgil Bowden:

In the opening of Spring 1900, mother dreamed the following dream which I will give in her own words as near as possible, as follows:

"I dreamed that if I coughed hoarse when I woke up, that I might know I had consumption, when I woke I coughed hoarse like a child with the croup. I dreamed that I would die next Spring with consumption and I thought in my dream that we were all fixing to go some where. The wagon I was to ride in was ahead of all the rest. When we started from home, I thought to myself, 'This is the first time I ever rode in one wagon and my family following in another". We did not go very far until we came to a big gate, and the wagon stopped, and I looked in, and saw people lying all over the ground asleep in places like graves. There were about a dozen that were not asleep, and they said they were fixing a place for me to sleep like the rest. Then they commenced moving the spades and horse out of the way, and drove the wagon in. That was as far as my family could go with me and I thought how lonesome they would all be when they went back home without me. I went on from there by myself to the most beautiful city I ever saw. It was brighter than gold and the angels told me they need no sun nor moon to give light there, for the Lord god giveth light to the whole city."

This strange dream came true in every respect, so far as we could go and surely it was no less true beyond the grave. For on March 18, 1901 (being the next Spring) She died of consumption. When we reached the "big gate" at the graveyard, her grave was not finished, so they "were fixing" her a place to sleep like the rest. The wagon stopped outside the gate until the grave was finished. Then they drove the wagon in.

I took notice of every event from the time we left home, until we turned to leave the grave and everything was just as she had dreamed it would be.

I have written nothing more than what I feel sure Mother would approve of if she could speak from the celestial world.

Written for aunt Avis by her loving nephew,


Virgil Bowden

Eulogy letter written for Margret E. Bowden by Reverend J. W. Bowden:

Fallen asleep in Jesus at her home in Brown County, Texas.

Mrs. Margret E. Bowden (nee Roberts), born March 17th1850 in Bedford County, Tennessee, moved with her parents (John W. and Eliza Roberts) to Conway County, Arkansas when about 3 years old. Professed religion in her seventeenth year and soon after became a member of the M. E. Church, south, in which she lived a consistent member until called from the church on earth to the church in heaven which event occurred March 18, 1901 at 11:30 a.m. She was married to A. G. Bowden, Feb. 7, 1875 in Conway County, Arkansas. To them were born five sons and two daughters, three of the boys preceded her to the Beautiful City beyond, having died in infancy. She moved with her husband to Texas in the fall of 1891.

She was confined to her bed for nine months with that much- dreaded disease, consumption. She bore her sickness with great patience, several days before called to her long sought rest, of which she often spake, she called her husband and children to her bedside and gave Special directions concerning home affairs, telling them not to grieve for her, but live religious and meet her in heaven, also sending messages to her Brother and sisters and old friends in distant lands to meet her in heaven. A few hours before she closed her eyes to the things of earth to open them on the beautiful things of heaven, she received a letter from her Brother in Colorado. She asked her son (Virgil) to read it to her and answer it. Her bother had been insisting on her coming to see him and said "Sister imagine how nice it would be to ride with me in my Buggy drawn by my big fine mares. In answer to this she said, "Brother, that would be nice, but I will tell you something that will be nicer, the ride I shall soon take in heaven's chariot, and I hope you will ride on the same Chariot." At the close of the letter, she held the pencil with her pale, trembling, hand as her son signed her name. She had her burying clothes made several months before she left us and said to her husband, a short time before her departure, "everything is ready except the shoes and they can get them when they go after the coffin".

She gave faithful warnings to the irreligious and spoke many words of encouragement to the Christians who attended her bedside. She asked me to conduct her funeral service, her pastor assisting. She asked that the church all be present. A large number attended and we placed her lifeless form in the tomb to await the glorious resurrection morning. She is not dead, but sleepeth. Husband, children and friends, we know where to find her. Let us be true to God and some sweet day we will meet her over there, where there are no more partings.

J. W. Bowden

Birthday Card containing the following handwritten poem, sent to Ms. Avis Barnes by Virgil Bowden, Brownwood, Texas, August 3, 1942.

Speeding onward on Life's Journey
On toward the shining goal
May the Milestones, as you pass them
Each bring gladness to your soul

May the years that lie before you
Be more pleasant then the past
Birds and flowers and happy friendships
Blend to make your pleasures last

As you face life's golden sunset
Does it make your life worth while
Just to know We love you dearly
As you pass another Mile

Your Nephew,


Obituary: Marvin Tilden Bowden

Marvin T. Bowden, 71, Buried Last Week in Brownwood Cemetery

Final rites were read for Marvin T. Bowden, 71, who had been a resident of this county (Erath) for the past six years , on Thursday of last week at the First Methodist Church, Stephenville. Rev. John Wesley Ford officiated at the service.

The Brownwood chapter of IOOF Lodge had charge of burial in the Greenleaf Cemetery in Brownwood.

Marvin Bowden, son of Didama Elizabeth Nowlin and William Sebastian Bowden was born December 12, 1876, in Polk County Arkansas. He came to Texas in 1906 and settled in Brown County. He married Lora Day Routh and to this couple two children were born.

He was a member of the Methodist church since childhood and was affiliated with the local IOOF. His name is among those on the cornerstone in the Johnson Memorial Methodist Church building in Brownwood.

A retired furniture dealer, Bowden is survived by his wife; one daughter, Mrs. John Ficke of Stephenville, and two sisters, Mrs. P. V. Gibson of Amarillo and Mrs. G. N. Green of Shamrock.

The Stephenville Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Relatives and friends from out-of-town who attended the funeral of M. T. Bowden, last week included Mrs. A. F. Bowden, Glenn Bowden, Mr. and Mrs. Milton Bowden, Mr. and Mrs. Sherman Barror, all of Brownwood, Mrs. Dave Claitor of Temple, Mrs. P. V. Gibson, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Gibson of Amarillo, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Routh and daughter of Cement, Oklahoma, Mrs. J. M. Gilliam of Cyril, Oklahoma, Mrs. Genie Bowden and Mrs. Sam Steele of Fort Worth, E. M. Routh, Mr. and Mrs. Dick Teague and Mr. and Mrs. Jim Faulkner of Blanket.

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