Miss Sallie Bowman

Deep Creek Community Historical Marker

Marker Title: Deep Creek Community
Address: CR 4227, N of Aurora
City: Boyd
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: From Aurora, take Old Decatur-Aurora Road (CR 4227) about 4 miles north; cemetery is on dirt road just west of CR 4227.
Marker Text: Named for the natural landmark nearby. Settled about 1854 by pioneers Sam Woody and Tom McCarroll. Population grew as they were joined by several of Woody's former neighbors from East Texas. Along the creek, farmers raised cotton, corn, and cattle. In 1860 Tom McCright and Andrew Mann gave land for a cemetery, and local Baptists constructed a church, which doubled as a schoolhouse. Testimony to danger of frontier life is the grave of Miss Sally Bowman, who died in 1868. She was shot after a wild chase by Indians who surprised her as she tended her father's herd of fine horses. At her grave is a monument erected by the neighborhood. Other early settlers interred here include many veterans of the Civil War, 1861-1865. The community is noted as the boyhood home of Lawrence (J. L.) Ward, respected resident of Decatur Baptist College during 1900-1907 and 1910-1950. In the 20th-century, a nationally known ballet -"Winter at Deep Creek" -has recaptured the flavor of pioneer days. Produced by the American Folk Ballet, the dance was originated and choreographed by Burch Mann, a great-granddaughter of John Mann, one of the first settlers in the community.

    March 7, 1868, while Miss Bowman, a beautiful eighteen-year-old daughter of Dr. Bowman, was out grazing her father's horses a few miles from their home on Deep Creek in Wise County, suddenly several Indians came charging toward her. She was riding a very fast and fine horse, so she hurriedly dashed away toward their home. In the mad run for her life, her horse made a twenty foot jump and cleared a fallen tree, jumped wide ditches, etc. But such jumps, no doubt, broke down her horse, for when she was nearing the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jones, two Indians dashed upon her, and shot her dead. The Indians recovered the horses Miss Bowman was herding. She was buried in the Deep Creek Cemetery.

    Ref.: Several pioneer citizens of that section; and Pioneer History of Wise by Cliff D. Cates.

The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.

close