Jessie Beatrice Bowie was born on 11 Jan 1909 in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. He father was Elias A. Bowie (1874-1970), sometimes referred to as Elias Bowie, Sr., of Longview, Gregg County, Texas. He mother was Hattie Bryant (1888-1944), of Corpus Christi, Nueces County, Texas. In 1931, she married Quentin Vennis Harold Manson (1913-1987), who was from Rockdale, Milam County, Texas. Their marriage produced one son and ended in divorce. In 1940, Jessie Bowie married Exa Givan in Rockport, Aransas County, Texas. In 1964, she was married to George Tidwell in Pasadena. Los Angeles County, California.
Mrs Tidwell worked as a household domestic servant in Texas, New York, and California. She saved and managed her money well, which enabled her to travel in luxury around the USA and to Europe. In the late 1950's, she took the first regularly scheduled jet flight from New York to Frankfurt, Germany, returning home aboard the S.S. United States.
In Texas, she lived with her mother's extended family around Corpus Christi and Rockport. Later she moved to Houston. In Rockport, she was a homeowner, but refused to pay the property tax because her son was not permitted to attend school with white children. At the time of her death, she had yet to pay a vent to the Aransas County authorities.