An Oklahoma Athlete, Glen "Julie" Bowden (1911-1983)
Julie Bowden was a country boy, born and raised in Wetumka, Oklahoma. He was an All-State football player at Wetumka High School among participating in other sports there. He was recruited to Southeastern Teachers College in Durant by Runt Ramsey who was Julie’s coach in both basketball and football during his four year collegiate career. Some sports writers called him the “Human Steam Roller” and the "It" man of sports. He was inducted as a charter member of the Southeastern Athletic Hall of Fame on January 29, 1977.
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The start of Julie Bowden's athletic career
1911-1926 | Wetumka, Hughes Co., OK
Glen Wadie "Julie" Bowden was born June 25, 1911 in Wetumka, Hughes Co., Oklahoma. He was the son of Marcus Berry Bowden and Ida Maud Cullins.
He is featured here in this photo with the "Wetumka High School Football Team" in 1926. Front row - third from the left. Even at age 15, he was much larger than the guys sitting next to him.
Photo of Julie Bowden in football gear
1926 | Wetumka, Hughes Co., OK
Individual photo taken the same time as the group photo above.
Julie was about 14-15 years old when this photo was taken.
Sixteen year old Junior, Julie plays all sports during high school at Wetumka
11 Mar 1928 | Wetumka, Hughes Co., OK
Julie at 16 years of age, weighed 175 pounds, was 6 feet tall wearing No. 10 gloves and No. 11 shoe. He was rated as the best punter and passer in the conference football, twice making the all-conference team. He also played on the schools baseball team and juggles the weights for the track squad.
Featured here Julie was mentioned in a newspaper article why playing for the Wetumka Basketball Team.
Wetumka Highschool Basketball Team, Forward
7 Feb 1929 | Wetumka, Hughes Co., OK
Julie was a starting forward while a Senior at Wetumka H.S. He was 17 years old when featured in this newspaper article and photo. Front row, middle.
He was made Captain of the Oklahoman's Second All-State Team in Football season of 1928. He was also voted the most outstanding player in the East Central Conference in Football Fall of 1928. He and his teammates won the Stillwater Class "B" State Baseball Tournament, the Tulsa University Baseball Tournament and the East Central Baseball Championship. He played third base and hit in fourth place.
In Track he runs the 440, high jumps, puts the shot, hurls the discus, and does any other odd jobs in the meet that may be necessary for the Wetumka School to win, as he can broad jump around 19 feet.
He likes one sport about as well as another, probably preferring basketball and baseball to others.
Julie is rated Best Basketball Player in East Central League
24 Feb 1929 | Wetumka, Hughes Co., OK
Bowden recruited by Southeastern State Teachers College
1929 | Durant, Bryan Co., OK
Julie Bowden attended Southeastern State Teachers College from 1929-1933.
He was recruited to Southeastern by Runt Ramsey who was Julie’s coach in both basketball and football during his four year collegiate career.
He was named to the all-conference football team four straight years-the only player in Southeastern’s history to accomplish that. He led the state in scoring in 1931 and was the only unanimous all-conference selection his junior and senior years. He was the captain of the Savage football and basketball teams. He was a second team all-conference selection in basketball.
Bowden was a fullback who played a linebacker position on defense. He was a triple threat back who could do it all. He was a great runner, an outstanding receiver, and an excellent punter.
In addition to his heroics in football and basketball, he was an excellent baseball player.
There is two pages to this newspaper article which mentions Julie. Julie is stated as being a 198 pound running, tearing, smashing human battering ram Fullbackand one of the best all-round athlete in the State.
Playing football for the Southeastern Savages
24 Oct 1931 | Durant, Bryan Co., OK
Savages vs. the Rangers at Southeastern Homecoming Game
28 Oct 1931 | Durant, Bryan Co., OK
Julie Bowden, steam roller for the Savages, and who made the other touchdowns against Ada, has forgotten his old ankle injury and looks like the all-state fullback of 1930 again.
Bowden Outstanding Star for Southeastern, scoring 3 touchdowns against Hendrix
21 Nov 1931 | Durant, Bryan Co., OK
Southeastern Savages vs. 6 different Clubs on Trip
12 Dec 1931 | Durant, Bryan Co., OK
Bronco's vs. Redmen (Savages)
10 Jan 1932 | Durant, Bryan Co., OK
Holdenville Indians vs. Wewoka Oilers
3 Jul 1932 | Holdenville, Hughes Co., OK
Julie played baseball with the Holdenville Indians during his Summer break from college.
Bowden leading their heavy artillery into action with 2 home runs, the Holdenville all - Indians avenged a former defeat by winning, 12 to 5, over the Wewoka Oilers.
SE Savages fighting for the football championship in Collegiate Conference
29 Sep 1932 | Durant, Bryan Co., OK
Photo of Julie Bowden & Prather Brown
1932 | Durant, Bryan Co., OK
Savages vs. Ozarks, winning 41-0
16 Oct 1932 | Durant, Bryan Co., OK
Julie Bowden, a 200 pound battering ram while playing football for SE Savages
20 Oct 1932 | Durant, Bryan Co., OK
Described as a 200 pound battering ram in this article. It states Julie will lead the SE Savages against the Central Bronco's in Friday night's important OK Collegiate Conference game at Durant. Bowden, in his four years of competition, hopes to win a place in the annual cast-west game on the Pacific coast and his work against the Bronco's, defending conference champions, will have a vital bearing on his prospects of making the California trip.
Julie is pictured in this article running with the football.
Savages vs. Central Bronchos
21 Oct 1932 | Durant, Bryan Co., OK
Julie Bowden plays his last football game with SE Savages
27 Nov 1932 | Durant, Bryan Co., OK
Given a "unanimous" vote in the 1932 selection of the all-Oklahoma Collegiate conference football team. Julie Bowden and "Terrible" Terry Thompson, outstanding backs of Southeastern and Central State colleges, respectively, lead the team as co-captains.
197 pound Bowden, placed at fullback where he gave the Savages of Durant offensive strength as a ball-carrier and punter. Julie is listed as a graduating Senior and playing his last game in a Savage football suit.
Savages vs. the Boosters (basketball)
13 Dec 1932 | Durant, Bryan Co., OK
Julie Bowden graduates next Spring from Southeastern
28 Dec 1932 | Durant, Bryan Co., OK
Julie Bowden, all-round athletic giant
14 Jan 1933 | Durant, Bryan Co., OK
Julie ends his career at Durant and trys out for professional baseball career
10 Mar 1933 | Oklahoma
Julie makes a try out for the Dallas Steers in the TX League company.
Last season, he played with the Holdenville Indians in the Denver Post Tourney and was named best player in the meet. He was selected on the all-tourney team, of course, as centerfielder.
Savage Star off to join Kansas City Blues baseball team
19 Mar 1933 | Durant, Bryan Co., OK
Julie Bowden leaves Sunday for Kansas City, where he has accepted a contract with the KC Blues baseball team.
He plans to return to SE College for the first term next fall to complete his degree.
Bowden to return at Southeastern College
16 Sep 1933 | Durant, Bryan Co., OK
Julie has enrolled to return to SE College to work on his B.A. degree. He withdrew from school early last Spring to play baseball and failed to receive his degree in the Spring.
He will not be playing football for SE.
Julie Bowden plays baseball and tours with Jim Thorpe
19 Sep 1933 | Holdenville, Hughes Co., OK
Julie Bowden was one of the players touring with "Oklahoma All-Indian baseball club" with Jim Thorpe. Jim Thorpe and the ball players met with Babe Ruth and toured the states of KS, IN, IL, OH, PA, NY, NJ, MD, CT, RI, MA, ME, VT, NH and DE.
The club left here on May 20, 1933 and returned last week (Sep 1933). They played 128 games, winning 87 and losing 41.
Bowden mentioned one last time in SE Savages write up
18 Oct 1933 | Durant, Bryan Co., OK
About the author, sources, etc.
Glen "Julie" Bowden was the half-brother of my grandfather, Opal Cullins Kirkpatrick. After the death of O.C.'s father, his mother married Julie's father and had more children from her second marriage. Julie is from this second marriage.
While attending Southeastern, Julie played for the (Holdenville Indians) Harjo Indians who won the national semi-pro tournament in Denver, Colorado. He was chosen as the outstanding player in the national tournament. After graduation from SE, he considered signing a contract with the Dallas Steers, a farm club of the Chicago White Sox but eventually signed with the Kansas City Blues Baseball team. He also toured with Jim Thorpe and played baseball touring 13 states playing 128 baseball games during the 1933 season.
Julie Bowden was a great college athlete. Some sports writers called him the “Human Steam Roller” and the "It" man of sports. He was inducted as a charter member of the Southeastern Athletic Hall of Fame on January 29, 1977.
After Julie's sports career, he moved to California and at one time worked as an oil driller in Southern California. In 1952, he was was living in Gardena, Los Angeles Co., CA. He died 16 Jun 1983 in Santa Rosa, Sonoma Co., CA.
I never had the opportunity to meet Julie and he died before I got interested in genealogy but I do remember seeing his sports pictures in my grandmother's photo albums while growing up. I'm sure there is much more to Julie's life story. Perhaps a closer relative of his will see this page and decide to add to it.
He married Edna Thomason who was born 15 Mar 1915 and died 18 Jan 1994 in Sonoma Co., CA. nfortunately, I do not know if they had any children. Once this information is learned, I will update this page.
Thank you for reading Julie's story. Please email us with any updates. ~Melinda
Sources: Census, various family members, Mary Knight McGarr email firstname.lastname@example.org, http://gosavagestorm.athleticsite.com/article.asp?articleID=227, social security index and CA death index.