Jowers, William George Washington (1812–1892)

By: Georgia Kemp Caraway

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: February 1, 1995

William G. W. Jowers, state senator and representative, was born in 1812 in Wadesborough, North Carolina, to James J. and Mary (Clark) Jowers. He was brought up in Tennessee and Mississippi, graduated in 1835 from the medical department of Transylvania University of Lexington, Kentucky, and settled in Monroe County, Mississippi, where he practiced medicine until he was elected to the Mississippi legislature; he served in the House during the winter of 1838–39. In March 1839 Jowers arrived in Nacogdoches, Texas, and enlisted for six months service in the Army of the Republic of Texas, which was engaged in excursions against the Cherokee Indians. With Martin Lacy, Cherokee County Indian agent at Fort Lacy, and John H. Reagan he took to Chief Bowl Mirabeau B. Lamar's letter stating that the Cherokees must move to the north of the Red River. He acted as assistant surgeon during President Lamar's administration of the Republic of Texas.

Jowers married Ann Lacy, daughter of Martin Lacy, in 1840, and in 1841 they moved to Crockett, Houston County, where he practiced medicine until 1846. Ann died, and Jowers married Pauline Catherine Tatum Beeson, a widow, on May 13, 1846. When Anderson County was separated from Houston County in 1846, he moved to Palestine, where he continued his practice until 1848. He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives for the Third Legislature in 1848 and served for two terms. In 1853 he was elected to the Senate of the Fifth Legislature. In 1855 he ran for lieutenant governor as the candidate of the American party, commonly known as the Know-Nothing party, but was defeated by Hardin R. Runnels.

In 1860 Jowers's wealth was valued at over $14,000 in real estate and personal property, including fourteen slaves. His family consisted of one daughter of his first wife, a daughter of Pauline's first marriage, and a daughter and two sons from his marriage to Pauline. During the Civil War Jowers raised and was captain of a company from Anderson County. Pauline died in 1862. In 1863 Jowers married Mrs. Almira Gardner.

He was elected to the state Senate in 1863 and 1866, to serve in the Tenth and Eleventh legislatures. In 1866 his own wealth had declined to $1,300, the value of a 200-acre farm on Cedar Lake, but his wife owned more than 3,000 acres. In 1869, after Almira died, it is reported that Jowers's son Dick met a pretty, black-haired, violet-eyed widow, and came home and told the judge that he intended to marry her. The judge asked who she was and where she lived, and proceeded to call on her the next day. Within a month the judge married Mrs. Elizabeth Lamon Hill. Bettie and Judge Jowers had five daughters. In 1870 the Jowers family was living on the farm again, and their holdings were valued at over $14,000 in real estate and personal property. Jowers was elected Anderson county judge in 1876 and served until 1884. He was reelected in 1889 and served until his death.

Judge Jowers was a founding member of the first Masonic lodge in Palestine and active in community affairs, particularly as a trustee during the establishment of the Palestine public school system. He died on June 10, 1892, and is buried at the old (pioneer) cemetery of Palestine.

Armistead Albert Aldrich, The History of Houston County, Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1943). Biographical Encyclopedia of Texas (New York: Southern, 1880). Pauline Buck Hohes, A Centennial History of Anderson County, Texas (San Antonio: Naylor, 1936).
  • Third Legislature (1849-1850)
  • Fourth Legislature (1851-1853)
  • House
Time Periods:
  • Antebellum Texas

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

Georgia Kemp Caraway, “Jowers, William George Washington,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 24, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995