BOWMAN, TEXAS. Bowman is a small community located on Holliday Creek about eight miles southwest of Wichita Falls in northeastern Archer County. Settlers, many of German descent, arrived to farm in the area in the mid-1880s and included the Priebe, Mahler, Ford, Brown, Decker, Koenig, Bachman, and Dowlen families. They began a cemetery in 1885 and opened a school by 1888, which also became the site for Evangelical Church services. Eventually the growing community, originally called Springtown, was named Bowman in honor of Bishop Thomas Bowman of the Evangelical Church. A post office opened in 1892 with William H. Bachman as postmaster. He also operated a general store, and the community included C. W. Anthony, a physician; J. W. Dowlen, a justice; and Charles F. Priebe, a constable. By 1896 the town reported a population of 150, and the school had approximately eighty pupils. In 1897 a church was built.
The construction of Lake Wichita led to the closing of Bowman's post office in 1900 and forced the community to move. The church and school were relocated about a mile to the south, but families lost considerable farmland. The school reopened in 1902 and continued until 1925. In 1929 Bowman, located near State Highway 79, consisted of about twenty-five families, the church, and the cemetery. The town also boasted the biggest commercial daisy garden and largest peach orchard in the state. In 1932 Bowman Church merged with the First United Brethren in Wichita Falls, and the church building was sold in 1940. During the second half of the twentieth century the old school was used as a community center. By the late 1970s Bowman also had a fire station, but some of its former territory was part of the newer town of Lakeside City. Historical markers were erected for Bowman Church and Bowman Cemetery in 1970 and 1986 respectively. No population figures were available until 2000, when the community of Bowman reported 200 residents.
Archer County Family History Committee, Archer County Family History: Shortgrass Saga (Wichita Falls, Texas, 1986). Jack Loftin, Trails Through Archer (Burnet, Texas: Nortex, 1979). Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin (Bowman Cemetery, Site of Early Bowman Church).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Laurie E. Jasinski, "BOWMAN, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlb73), accessed February 12, 2016. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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