Transcribed from: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol.
II, page 43, 1923.
BOWDEN, RICHARD FLEMING is tax collector of Duval County, this being one of various offices
of public trust conferred upon him in his native city and county. The BOWDEN family has
been in Florida for several generations from pioneer times.
The birthplace of RICHARD F. BOWDEN was the old family home that stood at the corner of
Monroe and Cedar streets, Jacksonville. He was born there June 8, 1866, son of URIAH and
SARAH ANN (HOGAN) BOWDEN.. URIAH BOWDEN and his father were both born at Mandarin in Duval
County. SARAH ANN HOGAN was born and reared at Jacksonville, and lived there all her life.
She had the distinction of being the first white child born at Jacksonville. Her birthplace
once occupied the present site of the Duval Hotel at the corner of Hogan and Forsythe streets.
Both Hogan Creek and Hogan Street were named for her father.
R. FLEMING BOWDEN attended the public schools, but received most of his education in private
schools at Jacksonville. His father was for more than twenty years sheriff of Duval County.
Thus as a boy he became familiar with the varied details pertaining to the administration of
this office. Eventually he became deputy sheriff under his father, subsequently was appointed
sheriff to fill a vacancy caused by the removal of NAPOLEON B. BROWARD, and still later was
elected sheriff to fill out the unexpired term of Sheriff Pickett who died in office. At
the next election Mr. BOWDEN was chosen sheriff, holding that office consecutively for eight
years. Among the sheriffs of Duval County it was his distinction to be the only one elected
without opposition. Mr. BOWDEN was also a member of the City Council six years and among
other ordinances proposed and advanced by him was the Jim Crow law of which he is the father.
Retiring from the office of sheriff Mr. BOWDEN took up the real estate business. He has
been successful in his business affairs and is one of the county's largest taxpayers. He
is interested in the civic welfare of the city and county, is ready to respond to any public
duty, and has made a splendid record as tax collector.
Mr. BOWDEN is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity and Mystic Shrine, the Improved Order
of Red Men, Knights of Pythias and Loyal Order of Moose, and is active in the affairs of the
Jacksonville Humane Society and the Daniel Memorial Orphanage.
His first wife was Miss CARRIE L. TWEEDLE of Pennsylvania. She is survived by two children,
JAMES URIAH and MAY. A few years after the death of his first wife Mr. BOWDEN married Miss
FLORA M. GENTH, a former Jacksonville girl who had removed to New York. They have a
beautiful home, Point LaVista, three miles south of Jacksonville, on the south bank of the
St. Johns River.