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Kissin Kuzzins is an East Texas query column entering its 45th year. It appears weekly in two East Texas newspapers: The Lufkin Daily News and The Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel. Queries are free, but they must pertain to a Texas ancestor. They may be submitted by e-mail, snail mail or by FAX to 936-552-8999. Please remember to include your snail mailing address
July 26, 2015
What do you know about Reverend Littleton Fowler? He was an important early pioneer Methodist minister who came to the Republic of Texas in October 1837. He was one of a team of three ministers in the Republic of Texas.
The earliest Fowler ancestor was John Fowler, a Quaker landowner and colonizer from Henrico County, Virginia, who died around 1683. His surviving son, Godfrey, inherited rich land in the colony and added to the family wealth through further land purchases. Godfrey’s son Joseph moved the family to Wake County, North Carolina sometime before 1743. Joseph’s Fowler’s grandson, named Godfrey after his father, married Clara Wright in the middle 1790s and later the couple moved to Smith County, Tennessee. Their son Littleton was born 12 September 1803.
In 1808 the Methodist General Conference adopted a system of “delegated conference” composed of several districts, presided over by a bishop and made up of delegates selected by seniority from among the itinerants.
Little Fowler’s career path followed the basic Methodist model. His parents were Presbyterians, and he joined that church in 1819 or 1820. Soon afterwards he converted to Methodism and began studying for the ministry.
The Board of Foreign Missions in New York had finally acted on William Travis’ letter and decided to call for volunteers to go to Texas as missionaries. Fowler volunteered for the mission sometime between December 1836 and April 1937.
For Fowler, 1841 was a bad year. His work as presiding elder was cut short early on by sickness. Fowler took a break from his ministerial duties, resorting to farming for a living. During his extended hiatus from preaching, Fowler kept in contact with his fellow ministers and received some invitations to appear at Camp Meeting and other events.
Poor health followed Fowler throughout his life. He passed away by February 1846. His early Methodist ministry helped establish the Methodist denomination in Texas.
Nolan Eugene Boles, an SFA student compiled a book dealing with the life of Little Fowler, Father of Texas Methodism. If you would like to read more about Fowler, this book is available from Ericson Books, Nacogdoches.
The following is taken from JUDGES OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS 1836 - 1846: FULLER, MATHIAS B. A Rusk County Justice of the Peace from 1841 to 1846, Mathias B. Fuller was born about 1806 in Georgia. He and his wife Susan (born about 1807 in South Carolina) had eight children by 1860. Tabitha, born about 1830 Georgia; Ann, born about 1832 in Georgia; Mark, born about 1835 Georgia; Harriet, born about 1847 Georgia; Josephine, born about 1839 Georgia; Martha Texana, born about 1845 Texas; Susan Malvina, born about 1847 Texas; and Matthew B., born April 1856 Texas.
Another early obituary from Nacogdoches County:
Wednesday, August 21, 1901
John Tindall, son of Leonard and Mary Tindall, of Red Oak Community, “passed from death into life eternal” at 8:30 o’clock in the morning of August 8, 1901.
John was born in Nacogdoches County on the 22nd day of October 1877, being therefore at the time of his death 23 years, 9 months and 16 days old. Scarcely a year ago he had a severe attack of slow fever which came very near proving fatal, but he had fully recovered and was, up to the time of his misfortune, the very picture of health.
On the night of the 6th inst. John, in the company of his sister, had started to North Church where a protracted meeting was in progress and on the way his horse became frightened, threw him off, and in the fall sustained injuries from which he never recovered.
He was born an raised in this community and was known for his pious manner, his gentle demeanor, and his exemplary habits.
If we only record the achievements of the social life of John Tindall and his record as a Christian gentleman, our sketch would be very incomplete.
His obedience to those in authority, his humble life as a citizen, his love for home and family, and his undying devotion to the principles of truth are the grandest features of his eventful life. He joined the Missionary Baptist church as Shepherd in 1898 and has since lived an upright, consistent Christian life.
The writer stands in a position to know the sterling qualities of this young man perhaps better than almost anyone else, having been associated with him as teacher and pupil for the past eight years.......
He was pure in his life, honest and upright in his dealings, and as chaste as a woman in his conversation......
Loved ones, sorrow not for him for he is not dead but only sleeping the sleep of the righteous to awake in the beautiful morning of the resurrection in that bright beyond where pain and suffering entereth not..