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No.: PR1240
TITLE: Bowen family fonds
CREATOR: Bowen, John Campbell Bowen, Edith Bowen, Ruth
DATE RANGE: 1899-1981
EXTENT: 1.92 m of textual records. - 167 photographs. - 2 photographic postcards. - 1 poster. - 1 transcription disk.
Includes 167 photographs, 2 photographic postcards, 1 poster, and 1 transcription disk.
HISTORY/BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: John Campbell Bowen was born October 3, 1872 in the Osgoode Township of Ontario to Peter Bowen and Margaret Poapst; he grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. He studied at Brandon College, in Brandon, Manitoba, where he graduated with a degree in theology in 1904, and McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario. While at McMaster, he met Edith Oliver, who was attending Moulton Ladies College in Toronto, Ontario; she was the daughter of Reverend George Lesley Oliver and Margaret McIntyre Oliver. John and Edith were married on October 25, 1906 in St. Mary’s, Ontario. They had two daughters, Margaret Gwendolyn and Emma Ruth. John was an ordained Baptist minister, whose pastorates included Dauphin, Manitoba; Strathcona Baptist Church in Edmonton, Alberta; and Broadway Baptist Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He then became the secretary to the Education Committee of the Baptist Union of Western Canada. Returning to Edmonton in 1912, he entered the life insurance business with Mutual Life Assurance Company of Canada. During the First World War, he served as a chaplain for the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He was elected to Edmonton City Council in 1920 and 1921. He was a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from 1921 until 1926, and was the Liberal house leader in 1926. John unsuccessfully ran for Edmonton mayor in 1928. He was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Alberta by Lord Tweedsmuir, Governor General of Canada on the advice of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, effective March 23, 1937. In 1939 he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Alberta. He resigned as Lieutenant Governor in 1950 for medical reasons. John C. Bowen died on January 2, 1957, at Edmonton, Alberta. Mrs. Bowen died February 20, 1975. Ruth moved to Victoria following her mother’s death.
SCOPE AND CONTENT: The fonds primarily consists of the records of John Campbell Bowen, but also of his wife, Edith Bowen and daughter, Ruth Bowen, and includes correspondence, sermons, notes, speeches and broadcasts, reports, memoranda of information, pamphlets, programs, certificates, diplomas and scrolls, newspaper clippings, diaries, daily journals while John Campbell Bowen was Lieutenant Governor including a number of materials from the 1939 royal visit, Government House visitors book, visitor calling cards, appointment cards, photographs including John C. Bowen and his family as well as the interior of Government House and a First World War propaganda poster. There is also a transcription disk of John C. Bowen receiving the Legion of Merit for encouraging the cooperation of American and Canadian Forces during the Second World War recorded by CKUA in 1948.
PHYSICAL CONDITION: The records in PR1977.0187 have been damaged by water, mildew and rust.
RELATED RECORDS: For records relating to John Campbell Bowen’s term as Lieutenant Governor, also see the Office of the Lieutenant Governor fonds at the Provincial Archives of Alberta. Photographs of John C. Bowen as Lieutenant Governor can be found in accession PR1970.0469. An additional tape recorded interview with Edith Bowen can be found in GR1972.0128.
GENERAL NOTE: Information for the biographical sketch is taken from the records and from the Legislature Library’s web publication “Lieutenant Governors of the Northwest Territories and Alberta, 1876-,” The Honourable John C. Bowen, 1937-50,, accessed October 15, 2004. Some of the photographs can be located the Provincial Archives of Alberta reference prints, in the A file under the number A.17,468 and in the BL file under the numbers BL.252/1-3. Included in accession PR1977.0187 were the records of the Oliver family fonds.
RELATED ITEMS: A17468 (Lt. Gov. John C. Bowen and Gov. Gen., the Earl of Althone, talking to WW II veteran patient)
PR2009.0215.0002.43 ([Ruth Bowen Freund and daughter Margaret Carol])
PR2009.0215.0002.44 ([Bowen family portrait at Government House, Edmonton])
PR2009.0215.0002.45 ([Bowen family portrait at Government House, Edmonton])
PR2009.0215.0002.46 ([Group portrait at Government House garden party])
PR2009.0215.0002.47 (Government House)
PR2009.0215.0002.48 ([Sitting room, Government House])
PR2009.0215.0002.49 ([Sitting room, Government House])
PR2009.0215.0002.50 ([Bowen family portrait])
PR2009.0215.0002.51 ([Christmas tree in Government House])
PR2009.0215.0002.52 ([Bison head in Government House])
PR2009.0215.0002.53 ([Bowen family portrait])
PR2009.0215.0002.54 ([Bowen family portrait])
PR2009.0215.0002.55 ([Group portrait at a Government House garden party])
PR2009.0215.0002.56 ([Group portrait at a Government House garden party])
PR2009.0215.0002.57 ([Group portrait at a Government House garden party])
PR2009.0215.0002.58 ([Group portrait at a Government House garden party])
PR2009.0215.0002.59 ([Ruth Bowen Freund having breakfast in bed with daughter Margaret Carol])
PR2009.0215.0002.60 ([Sitting room in Government House])
PR2009.0215.0002.61 ([Lassie in a sitting room, Government House])
PR2009.0215.0002.62 ([Bowen sisters])
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