Glenbow Museum - Where the World Meets the West

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Bowlus family fonds

1877-1944, predominant 1915-1944

Physical Description:
50 cm of textual records

C. George Bowlus, 1858-1925, and his brother O.W. (Ollie), 1854-1933, were born in Illinois, USA and orphaned as children. They were brought up by an uncle and attended Wheaton College. George went into banking and Ollie built bridges and railroads. Ollie married, moved to Iowa and had two children. George married Hattie Ann Johnston, 1857-?, of Byron, Illinois. They had five daughters: Verna (Gordon), 1882-1967, Ola Frank (Rice), 1885-?, Ruth McKinley, 1896-?, Bess Johnston (Ford), 1889-?, and Harriet Alice, 1887-?. The family moved to Nebraska ca. 1885. Ollie and George invested in land near Strathmore and Blackie in 1907-1908. Ollie moved his family to High River in 1908 and became the secretary of the first High River United Farmers of Alberta (UFA). George moved to Blackie in 1914, engaged in mixed farming, and had a dairy with Ollie. Hattie and Verna joined him temporarily in 1915. In 1916, Hattie and Ruth moved to Blackie, where Ruth would later teach school. Harriet, who had worked in business in the USA, joined her mother and sister to work on the farm after George's death. Verna and Bess remained in the USA. Ola and her husband, Ernest M. Rice, farmed near Blackie, but later returned to the USA.

Scope and Content:
The fonds consists of family farm diaries (1915-1944) kept by George, Hattie and their daughters, which include account entries; Doane College, Crete, Nebraska yearbooks (1922, 1925); and mandolin music books C. George acquired in the 1870s.

Source of Acquisition:
Gift of Harrit and Ruth Bowlus and Bessie Ford, 1980.

The material is in English.

No restrictions on access.

Finding Aids:
Inventory available. Please consult before requesting material.

View finding aid / scanned documents:

Call Numbers:
(M=manuscript; N&P=photos; R=sound recordings; S=slides; F=films)
M 5789

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