Historical Bowie building renovations recreates memories

Resident pieces together history through renovating building

Bowie resident working to preserve building

BOWIE, Texas (TNN) - A real estate developer is making sure history is never forgotten and the legacy of one downtown Bowie historical building continues to live on.

The Chapman Building located in the heart of downtown, sat condemned and vacant for 20 years until one man decided to take a chance by bringing the building back to life.

“He’d be very proud,” said James Hobdy, grandson of James Chapman.

Hobdy says while he was too young to remember when his grandfather owned the general store, he does remember the stories he was told as a child.

“Somebody came running in and said Mr. Chapman Francis has fainted at the front door and granddaddy said well just leave her there she needs the rest,” said Hobdy.

The store was a staple in the Bowie community and all five of the Chapman children worked there.

“He carried a lot of different things, he carried clothing as well as anything hardware, that sort of thing,” said Hobdy.

After the Chapman building was sold, the structure sat vacant for 20 years until it was purchased and went through renovations.

“I looked up and I saw these rusted tin ceilings and it was just like wow there’s a lot of history there I saw these wood floors and I thought wow there’s a lot of history there,” said Brad Sherman, owner of Chapman Building.

However when renovations were completed in 2019, Sherman was still left wondering about the family behind the Chapman name, until a mysterious letter was sent.

“I got on Facebook and there it was and I got an address,” said Hobdy.

“I wrote him back and we set up a time to meet and he came out about a month later and brought me some pictures of his grandfather,” said Sherman.

Sherman says he hopes by renovating the Chapman building, he will inspire others to bring the beauty back to more buildings in downtown Bowie.

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