Willie Dee Bowers
Willie was born in Magazine, Arkansas. While very young he worked on Katie’s fathers farm located somewhere at the foot of Bokoshe Mountain I.T.. He married Katie Smith and they started their family there in a log cabin. One day Willie was plowing a field with a team of mules. Katie was crying and hoeing weeds in the cotton fields. He came to her and asked what was wrong. She said that they both worked so hard, him plowing and her weeding and that they didn’t seem to be making any progress financially or in their way of life. He told her to put down her hoe and to go to the house and that she wouldn’t have to hoe cotton ever again, He moved to Spiro, Oklahoma and opened a butcher shop which he worked at for some time. Then he moved to Bokoshe, Oklahoma and again opened a butcher shop. Willie was a pretty good carpenter also and he built several houses in and around Bokoshe. He also hauled coal for a time. He contracted to build a gymnasium in Bokoshe. He built another in Hodges and one other in another town. Elmer, my father, his oldest son worked with him on these building projects. Elmer was a good mechanic also and had an idea to start a gas station and garage in Bokoshe. Willie convinced him to allow him to participate in the operation. Willies youngest son Delmar soon came into the business. Business was good but Willie was not a very good financial manager and after a while the business began to fail, Willie had allowed customers to buy on credit accounts and these soon became un-collectable, Willie, Elmer and Delmar leased a coal mine in Milton, Oklahoma which they operated for a while. Their prime contract was with a school district to provide “smokeless coal". Soon Delmar left the business then Elmer and took a job as a mechanic at another garage repairing automobiles. Willie moved to McAlester to work at the Army Ammunitions Depot. Elmer traveled to Santa Barbara, California. He obtained work at the Falcon mercury mine in the mountains above Santa Barbara. Elmer went back to Bokoshe to visit Willie and Katie only to find them packing preparing to move to National City, California to be near his youngest daughter and her husband Bill Milam who worked for Mueller Trucking Co. Willie bought some property in Palm City, California and built a home and lived there for many years. He then built a duplex and a single family dwelling in Chula Vista, California. He sold that property and in the deal traded for a home and some other property on 9th. Street Imperial Beach, California where he and Katie lived until their death.