William J. Flowers biography

WILLIAM J. FLOWERS. The mail service of the village of Chico and its rural community is being presided over by the gentleman named in the introduction to this article. While he was for seventeen years identified with the agricultural interests of the locality actively, his standing as a citizen and his political qualifications commend him to the patrons of the Chico office and his appointment as postmaster was made by the department July 25, 1900, and he took charge at once and soon became a citizen of the town.

Mr. Flowers was born in Gibson county, Tennessee, November 18, 1833, a son of John Flowers, who went there with his parents a youth and died in 1859. The latter was born in Simpson county, North Carolina, in 1812, of parents Henry and Dicy (Barfield) Flowers, people of English extraction and tillers of the soil, whose other children were: Wiley, Blake, Edward; Annie, wife of Ben Keene; Polly, who married M. S. Wilks; and Dicy, who never married. The father lived to an advanced age and died in 1854, while the mother’s death occurred about 1840.

John Flowers passed through life as a farmer and became a man of means and standing in his community. He married Margaret Gregory, who died in 1854, and Thomas J., who died at Chico in 1903, was their second child. William J., our subject, being the first. Then followed Martha, who died in Green county, Arkansas, as the wife of James Dickson; Dicy, who lives with her brother of this review; Mary C., wife of B. A. Keene, of Tennessee; Adaline, wife of D. F. Halliburn, of Tennessee; Maggie, widow of Robert Wiley, of Tennessee; Sarah, Mrs. R. Sikes, of Chico, Texas; Malinda, who married J. W. Boyett and lives in Tennessee; and Lucinda, who lives in her native state as Mrs. Brad Halford.

The log cabin schoolhouse with puncheon benches, the goosequill pen and the old blueback Webster were the things William J. Flowers had to do with while getting an education. In those days almost any book of history was used as a text book, the life of Davy Crockett coming for a share of popularity among the pupils. He put in his summers always in the field and never missed a crop and made his home under the parental roof until he established a home of his own. He lived in the proverbial log cabin for some years and was undisturbed in the quiet of his home, save for the troubles of the Civil war period when conditions occasionally forced his retirement to the brush to evade the conscript officer of the Davis government. While the county where he lived was almost wholly disunion he remained true to the stars and stripes.

He left Tennessee in January, 1884, and purchased an eighty acre tract of Cooke county school land which he improved and was identified with till his removal to Chico to become postmaster of the place. In the office he succeeded Mr. L. Williams and his granddaughter, Ora Flowers, in his assistant and chief of staff.

February 26, 1857, Mr. Flowers married Susan A. Sims, a daughter of James T. Sims, middle Tennessee folks. Mrs. Flowers passed away in Chico February 14, 1905. Their married life, extending over a period of nearly a half century, was rich in the associations and fruits of united effort, and by her fidelity and Christian helpfulness she was and is still remembered as a woman worthy of respect and veneration. She was the mother of William H., of Wise county, who married Josie Crocker, and has children: Ora, Henry M., Connie, Edgar, Annie, Ruby, Nolia, Bessie, Armon and Glenn.

Mr. Flowers became a Republican during the war period, voted the ticket from Grant to Roosevelt and grows daily stronger in the faith. He was made a Blue Lodge Mason in 1873 and has long been a member of the Baptist church.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas, Vol. II (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), pp. 277-278.