Mother was born Ollie Mae Matthews, on May 3rd, 1901, to
John Tyler Matthews and Amanda Johnson Matthews in Howell, County,
Missouri (according to Fred near a town called West
At a very young age she and her family moved to Arkansas,
but then went back to Mo.. Her father was struck down with
either polio or a stroke and was paralyzed from the waist down for the
rest of this life. The family moved back to Arkansas and on Aug.
8th 1919 Mother married our father, William Lewis
Bowers. He was
in his mid thirties and had five boys from his first wife who died in
the great flu epidemic of 1918 along with a baby boy, who is
buried in the same coffin with her. The boys were, Walter Lewis
Bowers, Roy Andrew Bowers, Carl Johnny Bowers, Robert Eugene
Bowers (Robert died a few years later with a heart attack) and
William Dial (Rooster) Bowers, so Mamma raised our half- brothers
and the five of us, Fred Thomas
Bowers, Harry Jackson Bowers, Edith Mae
Bowers Krumholz, Lee Neil Bowers Kever (Me) and
Bowers. She did all this when times were hard, No electricity, heated
and cooked with wood stoves, and did the wash in a big old black wash
pot and wash board. Our father was nearly burnt to death when I
was about twelve years old and Mamma took care of him until he died in
1956. She still had one child at home, our brother Glenn Edward,
and times really got hard then. Mamma worked as a cleaning woman and as
a dish washer to put food on the table for her and Glenn Edward. I
didn't know things were so bad until I came home to stay with her for
awhile. Not too long after that she and Glenn moved to Peck, Kansas to
live with our Brother Harry. After Glenn finished High school, he
went into the Navy and Mamma moved to California and took care of
her brother until he died. She then moved back to Arkansas and
took care of one of her sisters until she died. From that point on she
lived in a mobile home next to me and we sort of took care of each other
until she had to go into a nursing home for the last three years of her
Mamma was a hard worker and there was not a lazy bone in her body.
She raised a big garden every year, had her own laying hens, did the
wash in the big black pot and did all this while raising nine
children. Daddy wasn't much on doing home repairs, so Mamma would
do them, along with hanging wallpaper and laying new floors, etc..
loved all of us very, very much and liked to have worried herself to
death over us. She saved every letter, gift, card and scrap of
paper from us and her friends.
She had her faults like everyone else, but if she liked you, she would
give you anything she had.
She out lived all her brothers, sisters and all but one stepson. Her
mind was good up until about three months before she passed away.
She started having mini-strokes and passed away on February 4,
1997. She was almost 96 years old. I miss her every day and
go visit her and daddy at the cemetery a lot.
really aren't any words to express how much we love and miss her.
She was a Great, Great Lady.
Below are some poems she wrote, that I didn't know anything about
until I found them after she passed away.
LEE NEIL BOWERS KEVER, DAUGHTER OF OLLIE MAE BOWERS