WILLCOX Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees


Lewis Bowman was born in 1924, to Dick and Carla Peach Bowman in Old San Carlos, Arizona. Lewis says, “They call it old San Carlos because the town no longer exists. It is at the bottom of San Carlos Lake at the junction of the Gila and San Carlos Rivers.” When the Coolidge Dam was built the Apache Indian Agency was moved to the town of Rice and the town was renamed San Carlos.

He attended grammar school in “new” San Carlos and completed his high school education in Globe. After attending the University of Arizona for a semester, he entered the U. S. Army Air Corps as an aerial navigator on B-17’s and later a flight engineer on the B-29’s.

After being discharged from the Army in 1946, Lewis returned to work for his Uncle Ed Bowman on the Hook and Line Ranch near the Coolidge Dam. It was during this time he married his childhood sweetheart Barbara “Barbie” Butler. They had two children, David and Doug.

In 1950, Lewis managed Steve Bixby’s registered Hereford Ranch in Globe, Arizona, and in 1956, he went to work for Betty Lane in Willcox, Arizona. It was there he developed his own herd of Polled Charolais and Charbray cattle. These cattle were the first Polled Charolais cattle to be recorded in the United States. In 1960, Lewis moved his Charolais herd to Herford, Arizona and was there until 1973. He also served as a deputy sheriff out of the Willcox substation, was a cattle buyer, sold insurance and real estate.

In 2008, Lewis was named the Pioneer Stockman of the Year by the Arizona National Livestock Show Board of Directors. After the death of his wife in 1994, he became an author. In his books, Bumfuzzled and Bumfuzzled, Too, he has recorded a large portion of the Arizona cowboy and rodeo history. Lewis has been featured in The American Cowboy magazine and the TV program Arizona Highways.