Category Archives: Bowie

Baptistery Artist Mary Cree Cosby

Mary Cree Cosby moved to Bowie with her husband in 1909.  In 1935, at the age of 56, she created her first baptistery painting.  The painting was for the First Baptist Church of Bowie.  The news of her special talent spread by word of mouth, and she was soon commissioned to do baptistery paintings in several churches throughout Montague County.

Mary Cree Cosby working on one of her baptistery paintings.  Photo courtesy of Vicki Jones.

Mary Cree Cosby working on one of her baptistery paintings. Photo courtesy of Vicki Jones.

Cosby also painted the one located in the Buckner Orphans Home in Dallas, Texas.  Her work, which can be found in churches in Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas, became so well-known that people traveled to Bowie to watch her at work in her studio.

She completed 411 such works during her career, and the vast majority of her paintings depicted the Jordan River flowing directly into the baptistery.

From Bowie to Texas Governor: James Allred

James Burr V Allred was the 33rd governor of Texas.  He was born in Bowie, Texas in 1899 to Renne and Mary Allred.  He and his four brothers all became attorneys.

Photo courtesy of Montague County Historical Commission

Photo courtesy of Montague County Historical Commission

His political career started when he was appointed district attorney in 1923 in Wichita Falls, Texas.  While in this position he prosecuted several high-profile cases.  One of which was the Collier murder case.  Frank Collier, the mayor of Wichita Falls, was charged with murder in 1925.  His 17-year-old daughter, Mary Frances, secretly eloped with Buster Robertson.  She managed to keep her marriage hidden from her father for several months, but once he found out he filed for an annulment on her behalf.  But before the courts had a chance to legally eliminate the union, Collier took matters into his own hands and shot and killed his son-in-law.  Due to his popularity and high esteem in society, Collier was only sentenced to three years.  Allred felt this was grave injustice.  He then filed a murder charge against Mrs Collier as she had accompanied her husband that fateful day.  Testimony at the trial indicated that she was fully aware of her husband intentions toward Robertson.    Mrs Collier received a sentence of ten years.  Such acts of due diligence by Allred proved his character.

At the age of 31, he was elected as the state’s attorney general in 1930.  He served two terms in that position.  He was elected governor of the state of Texas and served from 1935-1939.  Upon completion of his gubernatorial term, he held a position as a federal district judge.

Allred married Jo Betsy Miller in 1927.  They had three sons: James, William and Sam.