Crime and Punishment: the true case of Meddie Bowles

Program set for the October 9 meeting of Friends of the Library

(Rockwall) September 24, 2012 – The marker for Luther Watson Bowles sits in the hot September sun at the intersection of two driveways in the Rockwall Memorial Cemetery.  It is not very different from all the other gray granite tombstones, showing the family name and the names of the husband and wife.  The engraving shows that Luther Bowles was born in 1875 and died December 12, 1949.

The casual observer might nod and comment on Mr. Bowles’ 74-year lifespan – and maybe note that he was born only 10 years after the end of the Civil War.  But if you are visiting the cemetery with someone who lived in Rockwall during the 1940s and ‘50s, you might hear more about the life and death of Luther Bowles.

You might learn that a meek, mild-mannered Rockwall housewife ended up on trial for her husband’s murder in 1950.  Does this explain why the marker shows that Meddie Lee Bowles was born in 1902 but there is no date of death?

According to all who knew her, Meddie Bowles would never cause harm to anyone.  This bizarre tale unfolds the strange circumstances of Luther Bowles’ death and the aftermath that followed.  The story proved to be a scandal that shocked the residents of Rockwall in the 1950s.  Was she found guilty?  Hear the exciting details of this case at the October 9th meeting of Friends of the Rockwall County Library.

Popular Rockwall presenter, Sheri Fowler, will entertain us with the true story of Meddie Bowles.  Fowler is Second Vice-President of Programs for the Rockwall County Historic Foundation, and is a past-president of Friends.  She holds degrees in Journalism and Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas, Austin.  She is a former assistant editor with Texas Monthly magazine and has served as a freelance writer and columnist for numerous publications including The Dallas Morning News.  Fowler is currently Executive Director of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing, with the Rockwall Independent School District.

Friends meets six times a year and all meetings with the exception of the Christmas Luncheon in December, are held in the Community Room of the Rockwall County Library.  The group works to promote the interest and welfare of the Library and profits from their various fundraising events supplement the County library budget, paying for special children’s programming, adult literacy programs, subscriptions and other items.

Meetings start at 11 a.m. and visitors are invited; however reservations are required for all and must be received by Tuesday, October 2. Contact Leigh Plagens, 972-771-8976 or .

Submitted by Nell Welborn, Friends of the Rockwall County Library.

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