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Fowler, Andrew Jackson (1815–1885)

Thomas W. Cutrer Biography Entry

Andrew Jackson (Jack) Fowler, jurist, teacher, legislator, and Confederate Army officer, was born near the Caldwell County, Kentucky, town of Princeton on November 11, 1815, the youngest son of Clara (Wright) and Godfrey Fowler, Jr. In 1836 he graduated from LaGrange College in Alabama, then regarded as the finest Methodist college in the south. He read law in the office of his brother Wyley Paul Fowler in Smithfield, Kentucky, before moving to Clarksville, Texas, late in 1837 to join two other brothers, John H. Fowler, who had settled Pecan Point in Red River County in 1817, and Bradford C. Fowler, who served as a sergeant in one of James W. Fannin, Jr.'s companies during the Texas Revolution. Sam Houston Dixon and Louis W. Kempcredit Andrew Fowler with having served at the battle of San Jacinto, but their conclusion is almost certainly based upon a mistranscription of the name Andrew Fogle.

Fowler was living in Clarksville when he was appointed chief justice of Red River County on June 27, 1839, by Mirabeau B. Lamar. He was reappointed on January 30, 1840. At that time he owned no taxable property. On February 10, 1840, he married Martha Susan Glenn at old Fort Houston near Palestine; the couple had nine children. Fowler moved to Paris in 1840 and represented Lamar County in the House of Representatives of the Sixth Congress, 1841–42. He took part in a number of Indian campaigns between 1838 and 1841. In the fall of 1841 he commanded a company of volunteers in Col. Edward H. Tarrant's regiment, through the Cross Timbers as far as the Clear Fork of the Brazos River. In 1845 he was appointed by his brother Littleton Fowler to the post of professor of mathematics and ancient languages at Wesleyan Male and Female College in San Augustine, where he taught for a year. In 1848 he was appointed chief justice of Henderson County, and on December 25 of that year became the first district attorney of Van Zandt County, then the Ninth Judicial District. The 1850 census listed him as a farmer in Anderson County with real estate worth $1,000. He later founded Hill College near Athens and Rusk Creek Academy in Navarro County and taught courses in the sciences until the latter school was closed in 1861 by the coming of war.

Although a Whig, a Unionist, and supporter of Sam Houston, during the Civil War Fowler served as lieutenant colonel of Col. Thomas Coke Bass's Twentieth Texas Cavalry; he saw duty in Arkansas, Indian Territory, and Texas before being exempted due to his age. He subsequently returned to Lamar County and became tax assessor and collector. After the war, Governor Edmund J. Davis appointed him judge of the Tenth Judicial District, which encompassed Anderson, Kaufman, Henderson, and Van Zandt counties, a position he held until replaced under the Constitution of 1876. Fowler died at his home in Lindale, Smith County, on March 31, 1885. He was survived by two of his children.

Mrs. James J. Arthur, ed., Annals of the Fowler Family (Austin, 1901). Compiled Index to Elected and Appointed Officials of the Republic of Texas, 1835–1846 (Austin: State Archives, Texas State Library, 1981). Wentworth Manning, Some History of Van Zandt County (Des Moines, Iowa: Homestead, 1919; rpt., Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Hunter, 1977). Texas House of Representatives, Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses, 1832–1845 (Austin: Book Exchange, 1941).


  • Education
  • Educators
  • Classics and Philosophy
  • Math
  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Politics and Government
  • Judges

Time Periods:

  • Republic of Texas
  • Civil War

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Thomas W. Cutrer, “Fowler, Andrew Jackson,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed January 24, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: