Angus Bowmer was the founder of the Ashland Shakespeare Festival. He'd been a professor at Jefferson State Ashland in the 1930s when he realized an old building would work as an Elizabethan stage. Under Bowmer's guidance, the Festival grew from a local affair to a very sizable event for the State of Jefferson over the next decades. When Bowmer retired, he was succeeded by Jerry Turner as producing director.
Even before World War II, the Ashland festival brought the state of Jefferson a measure of credit. The state WPA Guide discussed the festival, although it misspelled Bowmer's name as "Bowman". For his part, Bowmer was amused, proclaiming that "Fame is getting your name spelled wrong in the history books." Jerry Turner discussed this anecdote with Governor Bill Williamson in 1980.