Springfield State Capital clipping
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At the head of the colored men in the house is Colonel George F. Bowles, of Natchez, who ably represents a white and colored constituency of Adams county. Colonel Bowles is in many respects a remarkable man. He is a native of South Carolina, having been born at Charleston, June 20, 1844. Receiving a common school education in South Carolina and Tennessee, he adopted the law as his profession, and was admitted after the close of the war to the bar of Tennessee. In 1871 he removed to Mississippi and located at Natchez and commenced the practice of his profession, having been admitted to the Mississippi bar early after his arrival in Mississippi. Although well qualified for public office, Colonel Bowles has never been an office seeker, although he has been repeatedly honored by his people with positions of trust. His first public trust was as a member of the school board of the city of Natchez. He was then elected chief of police of that city, resigning soon afterwards to accept the more congenial office of city attorney, and in 1887, 1889 and 1891 was unanimously elected to represent his county in the lower house of the legislature. The last time he was elected defeating his white opponent, Chas. R. Byrnes, by a handsome majority. He was a delegate to the Chicago convention in 1884, and will head the Mississippi delegation at Minneapolis this year in the interest of President Harrison. He was nominated a couple of years ago to represent Adams county in the state constitutional convention, but declined the honor. It is not as a politician, however, that Colonel Bowles has won his greatness, but as a benefactor of his race. In 1887 he associated himself with several others and organized the Universal Brotherhood, a benevolent organization to care for the sick and destitute, bury its dead and aid its members in benevolence. Colonel Bowles was elected its supreme commander, which position he still holds, and under his able management the order has grown to a membership of over 65,000. Last summer, in New York city, he was elected major general, commanding the Uniform Rank of the Colored Knights of Pythias of the world, comprising a body of over 25,000 men. Last March a colored bar association was formed in Mississippi and Colonel Bowles was made its president. But the association in which he takes the greatest pride is the Interstate Mutual Benefit Association. This association is doing a great and good work in providing an easy and cheap means for all who become members to secure their own homes, or to pay off existing mortgages, debts and claims and it is gratifying to know that it is being taken advantage of by many colored people throughout the country, for whose benefit it was established. It is most beneficent in its purposes and is doing a great work in aiding the colored people to secure their own homes, thus making of them better citizens and inspiring in them an ambition for a higher and more refined civilization, as well as encouraging thrift and industry amongst them, ends that deserve the encouragement of all. Of this association Colonel Bowles is the chief ruling spirit. Its headquarters are at Natchez, where with master hand, he controls the organized destines of the 50,000 members of the order, and he does it in such a manner as to insure its steady growth. Altogether, Colonel Bowles is a remarkable man gifted to a remarkable degree with exceptionable executive ability, and truly a prominent member of the Mississippi legislature said to me today, "If that man had a white skin, he would be a leader of this house."
Springfield State Capital, “Springfield State Capital clipping,” Mississippi State University Libraries, accessed March 1, 2024, https://msstate-exhibits.libraryhost.com/items/show/316.
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