University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the John Henry Bowers Family Papers, 1854-1949



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Bowers, John Henry
Title: Bowers, John Henry Family Papers
Dates: 1854-1949
Abstract: Correspondence, account books, medical notebooks, a literary notebook, scrapbooks, and news clippings comprise the John Henry Bowers Family Papers, 1854-1949, which relate to both Bowers’ career as a physician and his family affairs.
Accession No.: 1961
Extent: 3 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

John Henry Bowers, born in Alsace in 1817, attended the University of Mühlhausen until 1835. After attending university, Bowers traveled to China and India to observe English Army doctors as they treated cholera. While on this trip, Bowers became interested in medicine. In 1836, Bowers came to Texas with the intention of joining the Texas Army, however, he arrived too late for the battle of San Jacinto. While attending wounded soldiers, Bowers managed to befriend both Sam Houston and the captive Antonio López de Santa Anna. Bowers’ mentor, Dr. Ashbel Smith, encouraged Bowers to pursue a degree in medicine. Bowers obtained his medical degree after attending both the University of Louisiana and Tulane University. Bowers practiced medicine in Galveston, Houston, Brownsville, and Columbus. Furthermore, in Columbus in 1844 Bowers helped open the first drugstore in Texas. In addition to his medical career, Bowers served in the military during the Mexican War. Bowers died at his home in Columbus in 1907.

Sources: Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. “Bowers, John Henry,” http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/BB/fbo44.html (accessed June 29, 2010).


Scope and Contents

Correspondence, account books, medical notebooks, a literary notebook, scrapbooks, and news clippings comprise the John Henry Bowers Family Papers, 1854-1949, which relate to both Bowers’ career as a physician and his family affairs. The papers primarily concern Bowers’ medical practice in Columbus, Texas, including his accounts and medical notes. The papers document cholera and yellow fever epidemics in Texas during the mid 19th century. The papers also contain letters and scrapbooks relating to his family life.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Bowers, John Henry, 1817-1907--Archives.
Bowers, H. R.--Archives.
Smith, Ashbel, 1805-1886.
Subjects
Medicine--History--Texas.
Places
Columbus (Tex.)
Galveston (Tex.)
Houston (Tex.)
Brownsville (Tex.)
Colorado County (Tex.)

Related Material

See also the Ashbel Smith Papers.


Separated Material

Some material has been separated to the Texas Collection and the Newspaper collection.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

John Henry Bowers Family Papers, 1854-1949, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

Processed by JMH, April 1961; March 1969. Revised by Lynn Bell, November 1984.

Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.


Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Inventory

box
2Q89 Correspondence
Letters, 1876-1925
Letterpress and record book, 1858-1868
Account Books
1854-1869
box
2Q90 1868-1886
box
2Q91 1881-1896
box
4K607 Account book/scrapbook, 1854-1857
box
4K608 1859
box
4K609 1882
box
2Q92 Rhetoric book, 1874-1877
Medical notebooks, 1882-1883
Poems and recipes, 1878-1879, undated
Scrapbooks:
1911-1949
Scrapbook material
box
2Q93 Scrapbooks (three)
box
2Q94 Scrapbooks (three)