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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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Wetumka, Hughes Co., OK

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Pictures & Records (27)

Wetumka High School Football Team - 1926
Wetumka High School Football Team - 1926
Source for photo: Mary Knight McGarr email icemom617@aol.com
The Oklahoman, 11 Mar 1928
The Oklahoman, 11 Mar 1928
Wetumka Cage Ace Nets 323 Points for Season; More than half of Team's Scoring Contributed by 16-year old Giant
Julie Bowden football uniform
Julie Bowden football uniform
Wetumka H.S.
The Oklahoman, 07 Feb 1929
The Oklahoman, 07 Feb 1929
17 straight for Wetumka
The Oklahoman, 24 Feb 1929
The Oklahoman, 24 Feb 1929
Julie Bowden is rated best basketball player in league
The Oklahoman, 15 Oct 1931 pg. 1
The Oklahoman, 15 Oct 1931 pg. 1
Ramsey's Savages pg. 1 of 2
The Oklahoman, 15 Oct 1931 pg. 2
The Oklahoman, 15 Oct 1931 pg. 2
Ramsey's Savages pg. 2 of 2
The Oklahoman, 28 Oct 1931
The Oklahoman, 28 Oct 1931
Savages Grab Edge is they beat Rangers
The Oklahoman, 28 Oct 1931
The Oklahoman, 28 Oct 1931
Savages vs. Rangers
The Oklahoman, 21 Nov 1931
The Oklahoman, 21 Nov 1931
Savages beat Hendrix 21-7
The Oklahoman, 12 Dec 1931
The Oklahoman, 12 Dec 1931
SE plays against 6 clubs
The Oklahoman, 10 Jan 1932
The Oklahoman, 10 Jan 1932
Bronco's face Redmen next
The Oklahoman, 3 July 1932
The Oklahoman, 3 July 1932
Holdenville Indians vs. Wewoka Oilers
The Oklahoman, 29 Sep 1932
The Oklahoman, 29 Sep 1932
Savages to produce a champion, SE to bid for the title
Photo of Julie Bowden and Prather Brown
Photo of Julie Bowden and Prather Brown
while playing for SE Savages
The Oklahoman, 16 Oct 1932
The Oklahoman, 16 Oct 1932
Savages roll over Ozarks, 41-0
The Oklahoman, 20 Oct 1932
The Oklahoman, 20 Oct 1932
The Title his goal !
The Oklahoman, 21 Oct 1932
The Oklahoman, 21 Oct 1932
Savages fear daring speed of Thompson
The Oklahoman, 27 Nov 1932
The Oklahoman, 27 Nov 1932
Bowden of Savages is co-captain of all-star team
The Oklahoman, 13 Dec 1932
The Oklahoman, 13 Dec 1932
Savages capable of extending boosters in tonight's clash
The Oklahoman, 28 Dec 1932
The Oklahoman, 28 Dec 1932
SE will pick new captains
The Oklahoman, 14 Jan 1933
The Oklahoman, 14 Jan 1933
Drake out of Boosters game
The Oklahoman, 10 Mar 1933
The Oklahoman, 10 Mar 1933
Bowden tries out for Dallas Steers
The Oklahoman, 19 Mar 1933
The Oklahoman, 19 Mar 1933
Savage Star off to join KC
The Oklahoman, 16 Sep 1933
The Oklahoman, 16 Sep 1933
Bowden to return to SE
The Oklahoman, 19 Sep 1933
The Oklahoman, 19 Sep 1933
Jim Thorpe planning 1934 play for All-Indian Nine
The Oklahoman, 18 Oct 1933
The Oklahoman, 18 Oct 1933
Bowden mentioned for the last time in SE Savages write up
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Stories

The start of Julie Bowden's athletic career

Wetumka, Hughes Co., OK

Wetumka High School Football Team - 1926

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.

Sixteen year old Junior, Julie plays all sports during high school at Wetumka

Wetumka, Hughes Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 11 Mar 1928

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.

Photo of Julie Bowden in football gear

Wetumka, Hughes Co., OK

Julie Bowden football uniform

Individual photo taken the same time as the group photo above. 

Julie was about 14-15 years old when this photo was taken.

Wetumka Highschool Basketball Team, Forward

Wetumka, Hughes Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 07 Feb 1929

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

Wetumka, Hughes Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 24 Feb 1929
In 1929, he was rated best basketball player in the East Central League.  In the Fall of 1928, Bowden was named the greatest all-round grid performer in the district.

Bowden recruited by Southeastern State Teachers College

Durant, Bryan Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 15 Oct 1931 pg. 1
2 images

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

Durant, Bryan Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 28 Oct 1931
Julie mentioned in this article as playing as Fullback for the Savages.  The Wetumka boy played a fine defensive game, as well as blocking superbly and snared several passes out of the air for good gains.

Savages vs. the Rangers at Southeastern Homecoming Game

Durant, Bryan Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 28 Oct 1931

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

Durant, Bryan Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 21 Nov 1931
Julie Bowden, a young husky, hailing from Wetumka, led the Savages of Southeastern Oklahoma Teachers College to victory over Hendrix College, 21 to 7, in Young Memorial Stadium.  Bowden carried the ball three times over and Wetumka's favorite son was on the sidelines when the Warriors braced in the 3rd period and clearly outplayed the Savages.  Bowden returned in the 4th quarter and with assistance from Timmons and Fulsom, the scoring was resumed.  Bowden and company counted 12 first downs to eight for Hendrix.

Southeastern Savages vs. 6 different Clubs on Trip

Durant, Bryan Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 12 Dec 1931
Julie Bowden, Captain of team took a trip with the team to play against Pittsburg KS Teachers, Maryville MO Teachers, KC Athletic Club, SW Univ. in Winfield, KS and Hendrix College, Conway, AR.

Bronco's vs. Redmen (Savages)

Durant, Bryan Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 10 Jan 1932
Julie mentioned in this article while playing on Southeastern's basketball team.

Holdenville Indians vs. Wewoka Oilers

Holdenville, Hughes Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 3 July 1932

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

Durant, Bryan Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 29 Sep 1932
In this article, Julie is described as one of the greatest athletes the state has produced.  He is noted as a 198 pound old war plow horse plowing and crashing through with knees high and driving like an engine.  He can pass and punt with the best of them.

Photo of Julie Bowden & Prather Brown

Durant, Bryan Co., OK

Photo of Julie Bowden and Prather Brown
Photo of Julie (left) and Prather Brown (right) while playing for the Southeastern Savages in Durant.  Prather Brown is mentioned in the article above.

Savages vs. Ozarks, winning 41-0

Durant, Bryan Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 16 Oct 1932
Big Julie Bowden mentioned in this article while playing for SE Savages.  He apparently scored 4 goals.  Pictured here is the title of article only.

Julie Bowden, a 200 pound battering ram while playing football for SE Savages

Durant, Bryan Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 20 Oct 1932

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

Durant, Bryan Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 21 Oct 1932
Captain Julie Bowden was in the staring lineup for this game weighing in at 197 pounds.  He is mentioned a couple of times in this article.

Julie Bowden plays his last football game with SE Savages

Durant, Bryan Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 27 Nov 1932

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)

Durant, Bryan Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 13 Dec 1932
The Savages basketball team is led by Julie Bowden.  With Big Julie Bowden, captain, the Savages have a club able to stay with the fastest independent club.  Bowden will pair with Lee Lewis at forwards, Norman Holt is the Savage center while Jay Stephenson and D. M. Ethridge are the guards.

Julie Bowden graduates next Spring from Southeastern

Durant, Bryan Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 28 Dec 1932
All-State fullback for 4 seasons and all-state captain for 2 years, Julie Bowden of Wetumka will be graduating next Spring, 1933, SE will be picking new Captain for their football team.

Julie Bowden, all-round athletic giant

Durant, Bryan Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 14 Jan 1933
Julie is mentioned in that last paragraph of this article.

Julie ends his career at Durant and trys out for professional baseball career

Oklahoma

The Oklahoman, 10 Mar 1933

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

Durant, Bryan Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 19 Mar 1933

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

Durant, Bryan Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 16 Sep 1933

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

Holdenville, Hughes Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 19 Sep 1933

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

Durant, Bryan Co., OK

The Oklahoman, 18 Oct 1933
Even though, Julie didn't play for the SE Savages during the 1933-34 season, he was mentioned in this article three times.

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 icemom617@aol.com, http://gosavagestorm.athleticsite.com/article.asp?articleID=227, social security index and CA death index.

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