Arthur Bowie

portrait
Contents

Personal and Family Information

Arthur was born on 10 MAY 1881 in Sanatobia, Tate County, Mississippi, the son of James W Bowie and Caniza Reeves.[Note 3]

He died on 17 MAY 1941 in Augusta, Woodruff County, Arkansas.[Note 4]

His wife was Eleanor Cornelia Simmons, who he married on 6 AUG 1907 in Newport, Jackson County, Arkansas. Their six known children were Theodora Happy (1908-1916), Arthur James (1910-1949), Billy Saxon (1915-1989), Doris Marion (1920-1987), Bobby Bennett (1925-2003) and Max Owen (1927-1993).

Pedigree Chart (3 generations)


 

Arthur Bowie
(1881-1941)

 

James W Bowie
(c1834-<1891)

   
 
   
 
 
     
 
 
     
 
   
 
 
     
 
 
   

Caniza Reeves
(1840-1906)

 

Elijah Reeves
(-<1850)

   
 
 
     
 
 
   

Anna NotKnown
(1815-?)

   
 
 
     
 
 

Events

EventDateDetailsSourceMultimediaNotes
Birth10 MAY 1881
Place: Sanatobia, Tate County, Mississippi
Address: Billy's Birth certificate #945, dated 15Nov1915. Arthur age 34, born Sanatobia, Miss Billy identified handwriting on birth certificate as that of his father Arthur. Certified copy dated Aug 17, 1942 in Possession of Arthur F Bowie 21Aug1997.
Birth Cert-Bowie,BillyS
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See Note 3
Death17 MAY 1941
Place: Augusta, Woodruff County, Arkansas
Age: 60 yrs, 11 months, 23 days
Type: murder
Address: Bowie's Liquor Store East Main Street, just outside city limits Augusta, Arkansas
Cause: Gunshot
Agency: 3 Robbers
WIDE SEARCH FOR SLAYERS OF A. BOWIE
Source: WIDE SEARCH FOR SLAYERS OF A. BOWIE
Date: 19 MAY 1941
Publisher: Newport Daily Independent Monday, May 19, 1941 Vol XLI, no 39

Doc-BowieA,Search or Slayers
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Death Cert - Bowie, Arthur
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Doc-BowieA --trial of murders Newspaper story and photos
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Murder Detail -Bowie, 1941
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Doc-BowieA -- murder trial
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Doc-BowieA -- captured slayers
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Doc-BowieAMurder & trial
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See Note 4
CensusEST 1900
Address: unable to find Arthur and Caniza in 1900 Buie/Bowie not in 1900Soundex or ancestor.com not found in 1900 city of Newport census line by line search
Census4 MAY 1910
Place: Newport, Jackson County, Arkansas
Age: 29 b Miss
Address: 321 Vine Street Union Twp, dweling 188, family 197
Agency: census, 1910 Ark
Census 1910 Arkansas, Jackson Cty Breckendridge ED 63 and Union ED 73
Source: Census 1910 Arkansas, Jackson Cty Breckendridge ED 63 and Union ED 73
Publisher: US Department of Commerence

Census9 JAN 1920
Place: Newport, Jackson County, Arkansas
Age: 39 born Miss
Address: 213 Elm Street dwelling 165, family 186
Agency: Census 1920, Ark
Census 1920 Arkansas, Jackson County , ED 71 Newport, ED 181 Breckendridge Twp
Source: Census 1920 Arkansas, Jackson County , ED 71 Newport, ED 181 Breckendridge Twp
Date: JAN 1920
Publisher: US Deptartment of Commerence

See Note 5
Census4 APR 1930
Place: Jackson County, Arkansas
Age: 49 b Mississippi
Address: 213 Elm Street dwelling 70 family 92 with wfie, 4 sons, daughter, daughter in law and 3 roomers
Agency: 1930 census Arkansas
Census 1930, Arkansas, Jackson Cty, Newport and Tuckerman
Source: Census 1930, Arkansas, Jackson Cty, Newport and Tuckerman
Date: APR 1930
Publisher: US Dept of Commerence

Census6 APR 1940
Place: Augusta, Arkansas
Age: 60 born Miss
Address: ward 1, dwelling 120 with wife, 4 children, 2 Lodgers oldest son near in Dwelling 310
Census 1940 Arkansas, Woodruff County, Augusta City
Source: Census 1940 Arkansas, Woodruff County, Augusta City
Authors: US Federal Census
Date: APR 1940

Burial1941
Place: Newport, Jackson County, Arkansas
Age: 59 yr, 11 months
Address: N35° 36.854’ W91° 16.150’ Walnut Grove Cemetery, south 1/2 of lot 145, Block C, original section Find A Grave Memorial# 37178641 with mother, wife, and 2 daughters
Agency: gravestone and death cert
Cemeteries -Jackson County Arkansas
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Grav-BowA
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Walnut Grove, Lot description and burials, by Walter Heard
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Caniza + others
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Other EventABT 1891
Place: Tupelo, Jackson County, Arkansas
Age: 10
Address: Arrived Jackson Cty
Cause: unknown reason, James location and status not known
Obit - Bowie, Carriza
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Doc-Bowie, Doris Mulholland letters to BBB
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See Note 6
Other Event16 APR 1901
Place: Newport, Jackson County, Arkansas
Address: Earliest Document Newport Weekly Independent, April 1901
See Note 7
Other Event1917
Place: Jackson County, Arkansas
Age: 36
Type: Deed
Address: Plat Book Twp 9 North Range 2 West Breckenridge Twp, Section 17 40 acres SW corner of NW corner Section 17
Cause: Film Strip 281, Item 5 Atlas and Plat Book
Agency: Newport Library, Jackson Cty Misc Records
Dwg-Jackson County Ownership Plats
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See Note 8
Other EventSEP 1918
Place: Newport, Jackson County, Arkansas
Age: 37
Type: Military Service
Address: Draft registration card with signitature
Draft Registration - Bowie, Arthur
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Attributes

AttributeDateDescriptionDetailsSourceMultimediaNotes
Occupation1906Merchant in Newport, NLR, and Augusta
Place: Newport, Jackson County, Arkansas
Age: 25
Agency: Advertisement in Newport Independent
A Bowie Liquor Store in East Augusta, abt1939
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ABowie Groceries ad, 1906
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Doc-Bowie, various locations
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See Note 9
See Note 10
See Note 11
ReligionMethodist
Place: Newport and Augusta
Type: taught men's Sunday school class for many years
Agency: First Methodist Church

Multimedia

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ABowie Groce...
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A Bowie Liqu...
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Obit - Bowie...
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Bio-Bowie, A...
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Murder Detai...
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Doc-BowieAMu...
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Doc-Bowie, N...

Notes

Note 1

unable to find in the 1900 census of Jackson County 3/1/03 ???

unable to find in 1900 on Ancestry.com 2/17/04

1901 newspaper suggests Arthur may have been in LittleRock at least early in 1901. Also documents that he began work for Otto Bowen in April 1901, so the family story about Arthur going to Salt Lake City for Mr Bowen would be after 1901, if true at all.

Note 2

Notes dated May 25, 1977

Billy's story in response to questions by son Arthur at Magnolia Street home in Augusta.

In 1935 Billy was 19 and began selling life insurance in Newport. His first day commission was $265, but instead of returning to selling the second day, he went with granddad at the old man's instance to Augusta to open a liquor store. The store was to occupy what is now Harris Department Store, next to Cannon Drug.

Billy went to work sweeping hay off the floor and out of the way. Granddad begin processing the first delivery, that is checking invoice against order and delivery.

Billy made first sell right out of the case, he remember it as either a pint or half pint of wiskey, but couldn't quite recall the brand. For two weeks the two of them lived in the back end of the store during the week and went back to Newport on the weekend.

They moved the whole family to Augusta at the end of two weeks and lived in the house on Mulberry Street just south of the libary. That would be center of the block, between Methodist Church and Dick Gregory home.

Nine months later the city voted itself dry, so the store was closed and all moved back to Newport.

Other notes from other times, and various sources...

apparently tried to open stores in Little Rock area two times and was burned out both times.

First attempt was in Little Rock, second was in Levy or what is now North Little Rock. At least the Levy store was known to be arson and a complete loss. No dates on these attempts.

Arthur (1881-1941) worked in a store in Newport at first, Otto Bowen is name I remember today 1/30/03 but not certain. The 1906 newspaper ad also implied that he had worked for someone in another grocery store for nearly 9 years. Family tradition holds he went to Salt Lake City, UT when about 12 years old and worked for about three years, again probably for Otto Bowen.

This seems to be contradicted by newspaper report: About People-Mainly; April 16, 1901, maybe 1902. From microfilm roll at Ark History Comm M Film New 00519 roll 01.

Arthur Bowie who came up from Little Rock Tuesday to take a position with the Cash Grocery was taken sick Wednesday and has been unable to be at the store.

Note 3

Bobby's birth certificate also shows Mississippi as birthplace

Carriza obit in 1906 and advertisement from same time both say Arthur was a native of Mississippi.

Census 1910 and 1920 both show Mississippi and age indictates 1881

Marriage Record age 26 in 1907 also indicates 1881

Mickey's birth certificate and Arthur Obituary give Stillwater, Oklahoma as bithplace, both are much later and based on Cora 's statement, not Arthur.

Note 4

The three robbers that first knapped Arthur Bowie and then killed him in a second robbery a few weeks later in May were captured, convicted in August, two sentenced to life and one excuted in November.

Kay Bowie remembers seeing a bust of one of the killers in Pulaski County Courthouse and thinks he was the first person excuted in Arkansas's electric chair.

Mickey's notes indicate he was first person elecutruted in the circuit court district.

Note 5

nephew Robert F Seaton, emunator

Note 6

Family traditionial story: Arthur and Mother Carriza Bowie arrived in Jackson County in a wagon about 1891. Arthur lived with and raised by Ben F Simmons, said to have changed ciiapers on future wife Eleanor Cornelia Simmons while living with Ben.

Carriza Obituary in 1906 "came to Arkansas fifteen years ago. Newport has been the family's home for twelve years." This indicates 1891 for arrivial in Arkansas, three years with or near Ben Simmons, Tupelo and into Newport about 1894

Doris letters to BBB 7/1971 and 7/5/1980--James and Caniza arrived Jackson county together with three children. He died and is buried on Simmons farm, she had TB, spent a year in Salt Lake City in santimorium but returned to newport. She lived in Millie Kelley Boarding house in Newport.

Note 7

newspaper column: About People-Mainly April 16, 1901, maybe 1902.

From microfilm roll at Ark History Comm M Film New 00519 roll 01

Arthur Bowie who came up from Little Rock Tuesday to take a position with the Cash Grocery was taken sick Wednesday and has been unable to be at the store.

Same column, Friday Sept 13, 1901 , back page:

The grocery establishment of Otto M. Bowen's, known as the Cash Grocery, has been enjoying trade expansion until the limits of a one store building are no longer sufficient. The partition is now being torn down between the store and what has been a warehouse, mang one big store, where the large stock, which Mr Bowen purchase while in St. Louis, may be stored. The proprietor is a hustler and an accommodating gentleman, who deserves the success he has achieved.

Note 8

copy in possession of Arthur F Bowie 1/28/03

Plats were researched for Simmons family south of Tupelo in sectons 31, 32, and 33.

A. Bowie shown on 40 acres north of Tupelo in section 17. Familar names with family ties surround the track. Vaugh to east, McDonald on north and Harris east.

Note 9

from ad with Picture in Newport Independent Mrs Bowen had saved copy and gave to Mickey years ago. passed to AFB by Bobby.

A.Bowie

Staple and Fancy Groceries

Newport has the reputation of having some of the best grocery stores to be found in the state and among these fine and well equipped stores is Bowies.

The cook and housewife have learned that when they have racked their brains to think of something to tickle the palate of their guests it is best to stop worring and go down town and ask Bowie. He not only knows all of the good things to eat, but he has them in stock and will deliver them prompty to any part of the city.

Mr Bowie is a native of Mississippi, but came to Arkansas 15 years ago when but a boy. For the past ten years he has been devoting his entire time and thought to the grocery business. About 15 months ago he established the present business, and its growth has been far beyond his expectation. Although but a young man, Mr Bowie ranks with the business men of the city and is always..........

Note 10

Billy help father establish liquor stores twice in Augusta. First was 1935 in downtown in or near building that became Canon Drugstore. City voted dry, forced closure of first try.

Letter Billy to Arthur dated May 14, 1969 and notes of conversation dated 5/25/77 both in possession of Arthur F Bowie 6/2/98

Arthur opened liquor stores in Little Rock and Levy (North Little Rock) at some unknown time. Both stores were destroyed by fire. Arson, probably by competators, was suspected in both cases.

His second attempt at establishing a liquor store in Augusta was more successful. In 1937 he bought the small lot and building on what was then highway 64 east of Augusta.

The family moved to Augusta but did not sell their house on Elm Street in Newport. The Augusta home may have been rented, located on North Third Street, half a block south of the courthouse and half a block north of Presbyterian Church. Jewell Chalfant lived accross the street with his grandson Jimmy Bowie- she told story of how Arthur loved his grandson and would often walk and play with him on the sidewalks along N Third Street.

When Augusta expanded it's city limits eastward, the plot of land with Bowie's Liquor Store was excluded because he had been forced to move once, the city didn't want to make the Bowies move a second time.

The Business was financially successful for many years, but within two years it was robbed at least twice and Arthur Bowie was murdered there in an robbery. Billy was mustered out of the Army when his father was killed, and ran the store many years. Arthur died without a will and Billy said it took him nine years to settle the estate and pay off the debts. Cora and the three younger children moved back to Elm Street home in Newport- Doris was in University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and may not have ever spent much time in Augusta, she married the year after her father was killed.

Note 11

BBB notes: Dad's grocery store folded during the depression. He did quite a bit of business on credit and when the depression hit he simply kept many people from going hungry. He tried to move to Levy and start again but the store and all his merchandise burned. As he left to haul the merchancise to Levy he took all the charge tickets covering the money others owed him and burned then in back of the store. As late as 1958 people came to Mother with money to pay long over due debts. No telling how many people simply forgot their debts.

Dad opened another business. That of dealing in furs, shels for buttions, pecons, pearls, and other items he could sell. During the winter months he paid people along the river to shell pecans. This lasted a few years and he went into the liquor business at Augusta, Arkansas. We moved back and forth 5 times.

Sources

  1. Census 1910 Arkansas, Jackson Cty Breckendridge ED 63 and Union ED 73
    Source: Census 1910 Arkansas, Jackson Cty Breckendridge ED 63 and Union ED 73
    Publisher: US Department of Commerence
  2. Census 1920 Arkansas, Jackson County , ED 71 Newport, ED 181 Breckendridge Twp
    Source: Census 1920 Arkansas, Jackson County , ED 71 Newport, ED 181 Breckendridge Twp
    Date: JAN 1920
    Publisher: US Deptartment of Commerence
  3. Census 1930, Arkansas, Jackson Cty, Newport and Tuckerman
    Source: Census 1930, Arkansas, Jackson Cty, Newport and Tuckerman
    Date: APR 1930
    Publisher: US Dept of Commerence
  4. Census 1940 Arkansas, Woodruff County, Augusta City
    Source: Census 1940 Arkansas, Woodruff County, Augusta City
    Authors: US Federal Census
    Date: APR 1940
  5. WIDE SEARCH FOR SLAYERS OF A. BOWIE
    Source: WIDE SEARCH FOR SLAYERS OF A. BOWIE
    Date: 19 MAY 1941
    Publisher: Newport Daily Independent Monday, May 19, 1941 Vol XLI, no 39