BOWERS, JOHN HENRY
BOWERS, JOHN HENRY (1817–1907). John Henry Bowers (Bauers) was born near Colmar, Alsace, on November 6, 1817. He attended the University of Mühlhausen before 1835, when he went on a cruise to China and India and, observing how the English Army doctors treated cholera, became interested in medicine. Bowers landed in New York in January 1836, took a boat for Galveston, Texas, and was en route from Columbia to join the Texas army at the time of the battle of San Jacinto. In ministering to the wounded he attended and befriended the captive Mexican general Antonio López de Santa Anna. Bowers also attended Gen. Sam Houston and became his close friend. Houston gave him a painting of himself, which later burned in Bowers's home. Bowers joined the army and served in a military hospital at Houston in the late 1830s. He became a protégé of Dr. Ashbel Smith, with whom he studied medicine and who sent him to the University of Louisiana (later Tulane University), where he received a degree in medicine.
Bowers practiced at Houston and around Galveston and cared for Smith's patients in the latter's absence. He became part owner of the first drugstore in the Republic of Texas, which opened in Columbus in 1844. During a yellow fever epidemic in 1844 he used the vessels Dayton and Scioto Belleqqv as hospitals. He joined the Texas troops for service in the Mexican War and in February 1849 opened his practice at Brownsville. He practiced there until 1851, when he moved to Columbus and married Anne Griffith. During a cholera epidemic in 1851 and 1852 he used medicines he had secured years before in India. He was among the first to diagnose a yellow fever epidemic in 1873.
He died on September 4, 1907, at Columbus and was buried there in the Odd Fellows Cemetery. His manuscript observations on epidemic disease in Texas and collections of his letters are in the Texas State Library and the Barker Texas History Center.qqv
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, "Bowers, John Henry," accessed May 27, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbo44.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history every day,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles