This Week in
Methodist History August 12
In 1900 as today newspaper editors filled Sunday editions with feature stories. On Sunday, August 12, 1900, the
Daily Post did just that with a story based on the new church building at
McMahan’s Chapel that was dedicated two weeks earlier. The Post printed images of Littleton Fowler,
Littleton M. Fowler, and Ellis Smith (father, son, and grandson). The image of Littleton Fowler is familiar to
Texas Methodists since it is the only image any of us has ever seen of the
pioneer Texas Methodist preacher. The
caption for the picture reveals its source.
The image credit in the Post says that after Littleton Fowler’s death, someone in
Tennessee sent L. M. Fowler an image that
had appeared in a magazine. The image is
a side view, but thankfully contains much more detail than a silhouette. The story gets more interesting---the caption
reveals that the artist did not include Fowler’s ears in the original. A photographer was called in to superimpose
L. M. Fowler’s ears upon his father’s image!.
The picture caption reveals another detail this writer has not seen in other sources. It says, “The old gentleman was also hairless and the wig he has on in the picture is now in
Nacogdoches.” Is the “old gentleman” Littleton Fowler or
L. M. Fowler?” Littleton Morris Fowler
was born Oct. 15, 1844. Littleton Fowler
died in January 1846 when he was 43 years old.
Although 43 is not old by today’s standards, the “old gentleman” must be
referring to Littleton Fowler. L. M.
Fowler was still alive when the article was written, and would have no reason
to leave his wig in Nacogdoches.
The Sunday feature in the Post thus reveals that the one image we have of Littleton Fowler has been altered from the original.
The feature article also tells the exciting story of one of the McMahan Chapel members , William Scurlock, (misspelled in the article)and his escape from the Fannin Massacre during the Texas Revolution. See the images and read the exciting escape story at