While I don’t consider myself much of a storyteller or very good at historical work, I really do try to take Pioneer day as an opportunity to look back at people in my pioneer heritage worth honoring. So consider this bit of family history part of the upcoming pioneer day celebration.
When Billâ€™s brother, Jim Ed, went away to college at Stephen F. Austin, as part of his hazing, a man held him down and shaved his head. Jim Ed went home humiliated, and said heâ€™d had enough of school and these sorts of shenanigans. Bill got the boyâ€™s name and then took off. He got in his car  and drove to the school and began asking around for the young man whoâ€™d held his brother down. The man, not knowing who Bill was, came out extended his hand to Bill, and said “What do you want to talk about?” He took the manâ€™s hand, breaking his finger, and said “Iâ€™m not here to talk boy, Iâ€™m here to whoop your ass.” Jim Ed had no more problems with hazing at school.  However, Jim did have some trouble with his brother.
You see, Jim eventually went into the military as a doctor, and in this experience, he became exposed to the Mormon Church. After teaching out of Jesus the Christ for over a year at the local Presbyterian Church, Jim Ed was baptized. Bill did not like this betrayal one bit. In fact, Bill came over to Jimâ€™s house with a rifle to let his brother know heâ€™d disgraced the family. While coming with a weapon, Bill settled for a fist fight in the front yard with Dr. Cowart, and went his own way.
For Good Old Boys in Texas, when the local authorities disappoint, you stomp your foot and head to Austin, and Bill, not being satisfied with the skirmish in his brotherâ€™s yard, and used to taking matters into his own hands, decided he would go to Salt Lake City (from Texas) to let the higher ups have it, and see if he could prove the church false and reclaim his brother. So, a man on a mission, he stormed into Church Headquarters with a cigar hanging out of his mouth, and demanded to see the authorities. After some time, it was Elder Hartman Rectorâ€™s office he was brought into, and the two began to discuss the Gospel. Several hours passed. Billâ€™s tone shifted from antagonistic to interested, and he began confessing his sins to Elder Rector. More hours passed.  Eventually, Bill said “Well hell, I reckon I ought to be baptized too.” and after handing over his cigar to Hartman, who stowed it in his desk, he was escorted over to the Tabernacle where he was baptized.
Bill went on to serve faithfully in the church as a member of a Bishopric, limiting his antagonizing remarks to letting his home teachers know they needed to “cut their damn hair” on occasion. He was active in the church the rest of his life.
Over 20 years later when my father in law took my wife to meet Hartman Rector at a conference, her father asked him, “Do you remember Bill?” To which he said, “You mean that cigar chomping, pistol toting cowboy from Texas? I had to take his cigars away!”
Thatâ€™s my Pioneer Heritage. 
 Some of Billâ€™s greatest incidents in family lore involve cars. Once, while driving along the road, some teenagers were playing “leap frog” with Bill’s old pickup, passing Bill, then slowing down so he would have to pass them, only for their little car to zip around his truck, pointing and laughing, and slow down again. Bill became angry, pulled his pistol out of his glove box, and put 5 bullet holes in the back of their car. As they pulled over in shock, Bill made it a point to point and laugh as he drove by. Another time, Billâ€™s truck had died in the road in Houston, and Bill was rather frustrated working at its repair, when a car pulled up behind him and began honking at the car parked in the middle of the road. Bill walked back to the car, looked down in at the driver, reached into the car, ripped the manâ€™s keys from the ignition and threw them as far as he could into a nearby field.
 Jim Ed actually ran into the man 50 years later at a school reunion, at which point the man remembered being attacked by Bill Cowart. His pinky finger had healed crooked, and heâ€™d had that crooked finger to remind him of Bill for all that time, but hadnâ€™t known Jimâ€™s last name or the reason heâ€™d been in the fight in the first place.
 I would give anything to see Elder Rectorâ€™s Journal entry from that day.
 You can read about Bill’s mother here.