Alexander McGowan

Alexander McGowan (sometimes spelled "McGowen," 1817–1893) was a foundry owner, Mayor of Houston, Texas, and a Chief Justice of Harris County, Texas.

Early lifeEdit

Alexander McGowan was born in Duplin County, North Carolina on July 5, 1817. He was raised by foster parents and spent most of his youth in Montgomery, Alabama. He came to Houston in September 1839, opening a tin shop shortly after arriving. He married Sarah Christopher in 1841, and together they had eight children.[1]


McGowan graduated from tinner to hardware manufacturer, and eventually established a foundry in Houston. He sold his castings and hardware to people in various parts of Texas. He made the castings that Gail Borden used in his machine for making condensed milk.[1] McGowan's foundry manufactured the boiler tubes for the first electrical power plant in Houston.[2]

Political LifeEdit

In 1845, McGowan was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention for prepare for the annexation of Texas to the United States. He served as Chief Justice of Harris County. He was Alderman for the City of Houston for several terms, and a Mayor of Houston for three terms. He was Tax Assessor for Harris County, and served as Harris County Treasurer.[1]


McGowan died December 26, 1893. He was buried at San Felipe, Texas.[1]

Preceded by
Cornelius Ennis
Mayor of Houston, Texas
Succeeded by
William King
Preceded by
Horace D. Taylor
Mayor of Houston, Texas
Succeeded by
Joseph R. Morris


  1. ^ a b c d A History of Texas and Texans, Including a Biographical Sketch of the Cities of Houston and Galveston. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company. 1895. pp. 467–469.
  2. ^ Aulbach, Louis F (2011). "Buffalo Bayou: an echo of Houston's Wilderness beginnings". Houston: Louis F. Aulbach. p. 340. Missing or empty |url= (help)