Second Monday Trade Days thriving at 122-plus years

This historic photo of downtown Bowie shows a typical Second Monday as traders filled the wagon yards.
The metal shed with roll-down sides was completed in late October and is located in the area known as the animal section. (Photo by Barbara Green)
The metal shed with roll-down sides was completed in late October and is located in the area known as the animal section. (Photo by Barbara Green)

By BARBARA GREEN
Longtime Bowie resident the late Marvin Brashear described Second Monday Trade Days “like one big family getting together once a month.”
Brashear went on to earn the moniker of “Mr. Second Monday,” for his involvement in the early days as the event transitioned from the downtown wagon yards to its present home on city property.
In 1989, Brashear told The Bowie News he recalled walking around the wagon yards when he was a boy as trade days marked 20 years of business. It had begun with a bunch of workhorses and mules, brought together to trade between farmers and ranchers.
Little did those hard-working folks know they were establishing a North Texas tradition that is nearly 125 years old.
Second Monday Trade Days happens the weekend before the second Monday of each month. It is located on the southeastern edge of the city on U.S. Highway Business 81, also known as Wise Street.
The market is one of the largest and oldest ones on the North Texas circuit. It welcomes, on average, about 5,000 visitors a month but can bulge the site with more than 10,000 on a good-weather month.
The idea for a center for barter and trade came in 1893 when a group of livestockmen and dealers from across Montague, Clay and Wise Counties conceived the need.

Read the full feature in the mid-week Bowie News.