Charles L. Bowden PapersCharles L. Bowden Papers

Charles L. Bowden Papers

Descriptive Summary

Title: Charles L. Bowden Papers
Creator: Bowden , Charles L., 1892-1952
Dates: 1883-1983
Dates: Bulk, 1937-1948
Extent: 9.0 boxes (6.25 linear feet), includes 311photographs
Collection Number: RBRL/315/CLB
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: The collection documents the growth and development of the City of Macon primarily during the administration of Mayor Charles L. Bowden (1938-1947). Included are City of Macon financial statements (1928, 1937-1938); Macon Hospital Commission files (1945-1952); correspondence and photographs documenting the commission of USS Macon (1945) and the Macon premiere of God is my Co-pilot (1945); copies of Bowden’s speeches and radio announcements; and general correspondence. Of note is the correspondence with Carl Vinson, especially in relation to the commissioning of the USS Macon. Correspondence between Bowden, his wife, Urney Fields Bowden, and their children, Charlotte and Patsy, illustrate family life in Macon in the 1930s and 1940s. The Bowden and Fields families are documented through genealogical research files and correspondence (1883-1889) between Urney Bowden’s grandparents, W. G. Fields and Emma Massey (-1902). The papers include correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, financial reports, speeches and announcements, publications and clippings, and memorabilia.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Charles L. Bowden, son of Charles A. Bowden (1953-1915) and Emily Matilda Britt (1854-1933), was born in Forsyth, Georgia on June 13, 1892. In 1908, he moved to Macon, Georgia and, in 1913, married Willie Pearl Minter (1890-1925). The couple had one daughter, Willie Eloise Bowden, born in 1914. In 1938, Bowden married Urney Fields and the couple had two children, Charlotte and Patsy. Bowden served as sheriff of municipal court (1915), Macon police chief (1917), Bibb County police officer (1922-1923), alderman of the second ward (1927-1934), and a member of Macon City Council. He also served a single term as a Bibb County representative in the Georgia General Assembly, but did not seek re-election. In addition to his duties a public servant, Bowden began working as a city salesman with Wofford Oil Company in 1923, rising to zone manager of the middle Georgia district, in 1932, and eventually district manager.

In 1937, Charles Bowden ran for mayor against former mayor Glen Toole and won. Bowden’s administration worked to pay down the city’s debt and build up a surplus. He served as president of the Macon Community Chest (1937-1939) and encouraged economic development and growth as a member of the Georgia Agricultural and Industrial Board. Bowden actively lobbied Congressman Carl Vinson, chairman of the House Naval Affairs Committee, to name a naval vessel for Macon, Georgia, the USS Macon (CA-132). He was also influential in the development and expansion of several military installments in the Macon area, including the Naval Ordnance Plant, Infantry Replacement Training Center at Camp Wheeler, Cochran Field, and Warner Robins Air Depot. After a long illness, Charles Bowden died in July 1952.

Scope and Content

The collection documents the growth and development of the City of Macon primarily during the administration of Mayor Charles L. Bowden (1938-1947). Included are City of Macon financial statements (1928, 1937-1938); Macon Hospital Commission files (1945-1952); correspondence and photographs documenting the commission of USS Macon and the Macon premiere of God is my Co-pilot; copies of Bowden’s speeches and radio announcements; and general correspondence. Of note is the correspondence with Carl Vinson, especially in relation to the USS Macon. A small amount of correspondence documents Charles Bowden’s career at Wofford Oil Company and his appointment to postmaster. Correspondence between Bowden, his wife, Urney Fields Bowden, and their children, Charlotte and Patsy, illustrate family life in Macon in the 1930s and 1940s. The Bowden and Fields families are documented through genealogical research files and correspondence (1883-1889) between Urney Fields Bowden’s grandparents, W. G. Fields and Emma Massey (-1902). The papers include correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, financial reports, speeches and announcements, publications and clippings, and memorabilia.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is organized into three series: City of Macon/Mayoral, Personal, and Photographs.


Administrative Information and Restrictions

Preferred Citation

Charles L. Bowden Papers, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia, 30602-1641.

User Restrictions

Library acts as "fair use" reproduction agent.

Copyright Information

Before material from collections at the Richard B. Russell Library may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permissions. Persons wishing to quote from materials in the Russell Library collection should consult the Director. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared by Russell staff, 2012.


Related Materials

Access Points

Letters.
Macon (Cruiser).
Macon (Ga.)--Economic conditions.
Macon (Ga.)--Politics and government.
Macon, Ga.
Mayors--Georgia.
Photographs.
Vinson, Carl, 1883-1981.
World War, 1939-1945--United States.

Related Collections in this Repository

Georgia State Democratic Executive Committee Files

Related Collections in Other Repositories

William Fields Letters, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan


Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

 

I. City of Macon/Mayoral, 1925-1952 (Bulk, 1938-1948)

Extent: 70.0 folders 2 oversize scrapbooks
Scope and Content: This series documents the growth and development of the City of Macon primarily during the administration of Mayor Charles L. Bowden (1938-1947). Included are City of Macon financial statements (1928, 1937-1938); Macon Hospital Commission files (1945-1952); correspondence regarding the commission of USS Macon and the Macon premiere of God is my Co-pilot; copies of Bowden’s speeches and radio announcements; and general correspondence. Of note is the correspondence with Carl Vinson, especially in relation to the USS Macon. Photographs documenting the commissioning of USS Macon and God is my Co-pilot are located in Series III.
BoxFolder
11Correspondence, Charles Bowden, 1938-1940
12Correspondence, Charles Bowden, 1941-1947
13Correspondence, USS Macon Commissioning, 1943-1945
14Correspondence, Sidney Sullivan Award, 1947
15Correspondence, Students at Bellevue School, 1947 November
16Correspondence, Charles Bowden, 1948-1952
17Christmas cards
18Speeches and announcements [Automotive Safety Week, WMAZ (1938); war-time problems of municipalities; campaign (1937); Exchange Club program, WSB (1938); business; Mercer University (1938); WMAZ 5000 watt transmitter; Post War Program, WBML (1944); Carl Vinson; Post War Development, WBML (1944); Wartime Manpower Program, WMAZ (1942); Christmas (1938, 1943); Macon (1934); Independence Day; Ellis Arnall Campaign; War Chest, WMAZ; Kiwanis Club, WBML; federal government], 1937-1944
19Speech supporting Ellis Arnall campaign, 1942
110Speech by Maury Maverick to the Georgia League of Municipalities, 1942
111Announcement, Emergency Food Drive Program, WMAZ, circa 1946
112Speech supporting re-election of Carl Vinson, 1946 July 11
113Public Affairs Committee, Finances of the State of Georgia, WNEX, 1946 June 28
114Macon Hospital Commission, 1945-1947
115Macon Hospital Executive Committee, 1948-1952
116Statement concerning Macon Banks, 1928
117City of Macon audit, 1938-1941
118City of Macon financial statement, 1939-1947
119City of Macon audit, 1942-1946
120City of Macon daily cash report, 1945 February 8-9
121City of Macon audit, 1947
BoxFolder
OS1City of Macon analysis of expenditures, 1947 January-October
BoxFolder
122Macon Auditorium opening program, 1925
123Stribling Memorial Foundation Benefit Boxing Program, Macon, 1934
124Standing Committees of City Council, Macon, 1934-1935
125City of Macon, Mayor, Aldermen, standing committees card, 1936-1937
126Campaign, Charles Bowden v. Glen Toole, 1937
BoxFolder
OS2Scrapbook, 1937-1938
BoxFolder
OS3Scrapbook, 1937-1948
BoxFolder
127Dinner in honor of Blanton Winshop program, 1938
128Memorial service Harry Stillwell Edwards, 1938
Box
MapcaseOfficial map, City of Macon, disrtibuted by Macon Chamber of Commerce, 1940s
MapcaseDated Events War Map, invasion map of fortress Europe, 1940s
BoxFolder
129Independent Democrats of Bibb County leaflet, 1940
BoxFolder
OS12Macon Peaches poster [signed], 1940
BoxFolder
130Resolution to re-name Persons Building in Macon in honor of Robert T. Persons and G. Ogden Persons, 1940
131Continuity for Army-Navy E Award, Reynolds Corp. Naval Ordinance Plant, circa 1941
132Macon Housing News, Bowden Homes, 1941-1942
133Ribbon, Arnall delegate, State Democratic Convention, 1942
134Lanier High School military program, 1942
135Southern City, 1942 April
136Macon WPA Improvements, circa 1942
137Macon Chamber of Commerce annual report, 1942
138Proposal to close alley, Macon, 1942
BoxFolder
OS11Beloved Macon rhyme, 1943
BoxFolder
139Macon Community War Chest Unit Division, 1943
140Warner Robins Army Air Depot dedication, 1943
141Robins Field News, Vol. 1, no. 12, 1943 April 30
Box
MapcaseMap of property in the vicinity of the Mable White Baptist Church, Macon, Georgia, 1944 March
BoxFolder
142Launching of USS Macon , clippings, 1944
143Statement at launching of USS Macon, 1944
144USS Macon, memorabilia and program, 1944
145Story of Macon, 1944
146Macon police force request 6-day work week, 1944
147Correspondence, Premiere of God is my Co-pilot, 1944-1945
148League Leaves, Robert Scott celebration, 1945
149Warner Robins 38th Anniversary Army Air Forces, 1945
150Homecoming celebration for General Courtney H. Hodges, 1945
151Infantry Replacement Training Center, Camp Wheeler, 1945
15252nd annual meeting, Macon Chamber of Commerce, 1946
153Dinner to honor Eugenia Dorothy Blout Lamar, 1946
154Macon Digest, 1946 June
155Play Ball Macon Peaches scorebook, 1946
156City council meeting minutes, 1946 January 8
157Armstrong Reporter, Macon groundbreaking ceremony for fibreboard plant, 1946 June
158Mercer University commencement ceremony, introducing Carl Vinson, 1946 June 2
159Air Force Day proclamation, 1947
BoxFolder
OS13Bibb Manufacturing Co. honors Central of Georgia Railway Co., Nancy Hanks II, 1947
BoxFolder
160Voter registration, 1947
161Macon pension and retirement plan, 1947
162Macon Chamber of Commerce, Industrial brief, 1947
163U.S. Navy Citation Award certificate, Charles Bowden, 1947
164Oath of City officers, 1947
165Macon Progressive Democratic Club, 1948
166Story of Riverside Cemetery, Macon, 1948
167Georgia Dinner in honor of Bibb Manufacturing Co., 1950
168Vehicle registration, war rationing gas stamps
169Naval Aviation Citation certificate, Charles Bowden
170Memorabilia [includes ticket stubs, invitations, placards]
BoxFolder
OS2USS Macon launching buttons, name badge, keys
Box
3Clippings
 

II. Personal, 1883-1983

Extent: 38.0 folders
Scope and Content: A small amount of correspondence documents Charles Bowden’s career at Wofford Oil Company and his appointment to postmaster. Correspondence between Bowden, his wife, Urney Fields Bowden, and their children, Charlotte and Patsy illustrate family life in Macon in the 1930s and 1940s. Urney Bowden’s diary and memorabilia from her 1937 road trip from Montezuma, Georgia to California can be found in this series. The Bowden and Fields families are documented through genealogical research files and correspondence (1883-1889) between Urney Fields Bowden’s grandparents, W. G. Fields and Emma Massey (-1902). Includes 19th century clothing handmade by the West and Fields families in Macon County, Georgia.
BoxFolder
21Bowden, Minter, and Britt genealogy
22Correspondence, Emma Massey and W. G. Fields, 1883-1887
23Correspondence, Emma Massey and W. G. Fields, 1888-1889
24W. G. Fields bills and receipts, 1890s
25W. G. Fields bills and receipts, 1890s
26W. G. Fields and Emma Massey remembrance cards, 1902, undated
27Georgia Normal and Industrial College class night, 1909
28Correspondence, S. T. Lofley, 1884, 1886
29Correspondence, Charles Bowden, 1913, 1922
210International Association of Machinists, 1913-1919
211Pistol Toters Association, 1914
BoxFolder
OS14Certificates, 1919, 1949, 1966
BoxFolder
212Petitions to retain Charles Bowden and Wilse Birdsong as members of the police squad, circa 1922
213Notebook recording Macon crimes and misdemeanors, 1922-1923
214Fraternal Order of Eagles certificate, 1924
215Deeds, 1925-1926, 1939-1940
216Wofford Oil Company Service Station Stock Sheets, 1925-1930
217Wofford Oil Company, 1927-1949
218Sport-O-Grafs, Sharkey v. Stribling, 1929
219Marble White Memorial Baptist Church, 1929
220Beverly Terrace, Sarasota Florida, 1929-1945
221Urney Fields bachelor’s in education, 1932
222Correspondence, Urney Fields, 1933-1981
223Correspondence, Charles Bowden and Urney Fields, 1935-1936
224Diary of my trip west, Urney Fields, Montezuma, Georgia [travel diary from Georgia to California], 1937
225Trip [Thomaston, Georgia to California], 1937
Box
MapcaseExchange Club Convention, Atlanta, official program and map, 1939 June
BoxFolder
22622nd annual convention Kiwanis International, Georgia District, 1940
227Exchange Club, Macon, Georgia, directory, 1944
228The Fifth Freedom, Exchange Club, 1944 September 28
229Al-Sihah program, 1945 July
230Correspondence, Charlotte and Patsy Bowden, 1947-1958
231Resolution honoring Charles Bowden, Exchange Club, 1947
232Correspondence, Postmaster Charles Bowden, 1948-1953
233Memorial book, funeral Charles Bowden, 1953
234Rutherford Jr. Garden Club, 1951-1952
235Montezuma High School 50th anniversary, 1978
236Judge Julie L. Fields campaign, 1983
237Japanese centavo, Philippines, 1940s
238Confederate money, 1860s
BoxFolder
OS2Exchange Club buttons, ribbons, 1930s-1940s
19th century clothing handmade in Macon County, Georgia, by the West and Fields families, 1880s
Box
OS4Pink cape
Box
OS5Pantaloons, camisole, and dress
 

III. Photographs, 1905-1952

Extent: 311.0 photographs
Scope and Content: The majority of the photographs are of Mayor Charles L. Bowden and the City of Macon. Many of the photos were used in newspaper and magazine articles related to events in Macon, including the premiere of God is my Co-pilot. There are also many photos of the commissioning of USS Macon (1945).
BoxFolder
239Commemorative 1st day stamps, 1951-1952
240Postcards (blank)
Extent: 8
BoxFolder
OS18City Hall Park, Macon, circa 1905, 1934
Extent: 3 (4x6”) b/w
BoxFolder
241Camp Wheeler, Macon, Georgia, 1917
Extent: 6 (8x10”) b/w
242Trip, California and Mexico, 1925
Extent: 14 (3x4.5”) b/w
243Charles Bowden with 3 unidentified women, Canada, 1920s
Extent: 1 (7.5x9.5”) b/w
244Charles Bowden in Shriner outfit; group of Shriners, 1930s
Extent: 4 (5x8”) b/w, 1 (5x7”) b/w
245Charles Bowden with a car, 1930s
Extent: 5 (2.5x3.5”) b/w, negative
246Shriner trip, 1930s
Extent: 22 (various size) b/w
247City of Macon, 1930s
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
248City of Macon from above, 1930s
Extent: 1 (7x9”) b/w
249Gas stations, Macon [?], 1930s
Extent: 2 (7x9”) b/w
250Parade, Macon, 1931 April 16
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
251Macon Fire Department Drill Tower, 1938 [?]
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
252City of Macon, Cherry Street [?], 1938
Extent: 2 (3x4.5”) b/w
253Sale of $375,000 debt certificate of City of Macon, 1939 July 15
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
254Photo album [includes USS Macon, premiere “God is my Co-pilot,” various events], 1940s
Extent: 91 (8x10”) b/w
255Carl Vinson, Charles Bowden, Herschell Lovett, Charles Bloch, 6th district Democratic Convention, 1940s
Extent: 2 (8x10”) b/w
256Charles and Urney Bowden at Macon Hospital at birth of daughter Charlotte, 1940s
Extent: 5 (8x10”) b/w
257Charles Bowden at Warner Robbins T Award, 1940s
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
258Janis Paige portrait, 1940s
Extent: 2 (8x10”) b/w
259Charles Bowden welcomes French Angel Maurice Tillet, 1940s
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
260Charles Bowden receiving the Algernon Sidney Sullivan Award from Mercer University, 1940s
Extent: 2 (8x10”) b/w
261Urney Bowden with daughters Charlotte and Patsy, 1940s
Extent: 4 (8x10”) b/w
262Charlotte and Patsy Bowden, 1940s
Extent: 4 (8x10”) b/w
263Portraits of Charles Bowden at his desk and in his office, 1940s
Extent: 6 (8x10”) b/w
264Portrait of Charles Bowden, 1940s
Extent: 4 (4.5x6.5”) b/w
BoxFolder
OS16Charles Bowden portrait, 1940s
Extent: 2 (8x10”) b/w
BoxFolder
265Charles Bowden signing city debt certificates, 1940s
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
266Macon City Hall, 1940s
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
267Exchange Club dinner, 1940s
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
268James Farley, W. A. Patillo, Charles Bowden, Macon, 1940
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
BoxFolder
OS15Price Library and City Hall, City of Macon, 1940s
Extent: 3 (8x10”) b/w
BoxFolder
269Charles Bowden meeting with woman in mayor’s office, 1941
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w, 1 (6x7”) b/w
270Charles Bowden presiding over City Council meeting, 1941
Extent: 1 (6x7”) b/w
271Charles Bowden mowing his lawn, 1941
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
272Charles Bowden with Macon YMCA basketball team, 1941
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
273Charles Bowden inspecting a city project, 1941
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
274Charles Bowden boxing, Macon, YMCA, 1941
Extent: 3 (8x10”) b/w, 1 round b/w
275Camp Wheeler, Macon, Georgia, 1941
Extent: 8 (8x10”) b/w
276Charles Bowden with family, 1941
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
277Charles Bowden shaving, 1941
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w, 1 round b/w
278Charles Bowden with daughter Charlotte, 1941
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w, 1 (6x7”) b/w
279Charles Bowden with family, 1941
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
280Alderman John Jones, Henry Harris, and Charles Bowden, 1941 January
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
281Charles Bowden and dancer Sally Rand at Georgia House of Representatives, 1941 February
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
282Charles Bowden mowing the lawn, 1941 June
Extent: 1 (6x7”) b/w
283John Jones, Charles Bowden, and O. B. Newman, WBML, 1941 October
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
284Mess shack, Camp Wheeler, Macon, 1942
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
285City of Macon, Cherry Street [?], 1942
Extent: negatives
286Charles Bowden donating blood, 1942 July
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
287Dedication of Brig. Gen. A. R. Emery Highway, 1943
Extent: 2 (8x10”) b/w
288Charles Bowden presenting Mrs. Robert L. Scott, Jr. with a tea set, 1943
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
289Charles Bowden presenting deed to lands, where Warner Robins Air Depot is located, to Gen. W. H. Frank, 1943
Extent: 1 (4x5”) b/w
290Charles Bowden at Warner Robins Air Depot dedication, 1943 April 26
Extent: 1 (4x5”) b/w
291Charles Bowden with Jennings Randolph, 1944
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
292Urney Bowden commissioning USS Macon, 1944
Extent: 1 (4x5”) b/w
293Phil Bucheit receives award from Dr. Holmes Mason, YMCA Membership Drive, 1944 February
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
294Phil Anderson, Ellis Arnall, Charles Gavrett, Hamilton Holt, Charles Bowden, County Officers Association, 1944 March
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
295Infantry Replacement Training Center, Camp Wheeler, 1944 March 9
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
2963rd birthday Salvation Army USO, 1944 May 7
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
297Aviation clinic, Macon, 1944 October 3-4
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
298Charles Bowden reading a large telegram, War Loan Drive, 1945
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
299Charles Bowden addressing 15,000 officers of the Infantry Replacement Training Center during V-J ceremonies, 1945
Extent: 1 (4x5”) b/w
2100Cinderella party, Robins Field Service Club, 1945
Extent: 5 (8x10”) b/w
2101Major Will H. Fields, Tokyo, 1945
Extent: 1 (5x7”) b/w
2102God is my Co-pilot, Col. Robert L. Scott and film crew visit Macon, 1945
Extent: 18 (8x10”) b/w, 8 (7x9”) b/w
2103Charlotte and Patsy Bowden with Dennis Morgan, premiere of God is my Co-pilot, 1945
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w, 3 (7x9”) b/w
2104Urney Bowden and daughters, Charlotte and Patsy, choosing Mrs. Bowden’s outfit to wear at commissioning of USS Macon, 1945 August
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
2105Commissioning of USS Macon, 1945 August 26
Extent: 2 (8x10”) b/w
BoxFolder
OS17Commissioning of USS Macon, 1945 August
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w, 10 (11x14”) b/w
BoxFolder
2106Charles Bowden receives first x-ray in Macon’s $81,000 health movement, 1946
Extent: 2 (8x10”) b/w
2107Street sweeper machine, 1946
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
2108Charles Bowden, John Jones, John Owings, Bob Miller playing golf at Bowden Memorial Golf Course, 1946
Extent: 4 (8x10”) b/w
2109King and Queen of annual May Festival of Burke School, 1946
Extent: 3 (8x10”) b/w
2110Opening game of Macon Peaches, Charles Bowden throwing out first pitch, 1946
Extent: 1 (5x8”) b/w
2111Charles Bowden playing golf with John Owings and Robert Miller, 1946
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
2112Gallant Bess in Mayor’s office, 1946 December 20
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
2113Charlotte and Patsy Bowden, 1947
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
2114YMCA meeting , H. K. Burns, Gov. M. E. Thompson, Mark Smith, Dr. Lanier [?], Charles Bowden, 1947
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
2115Charlotte Bowden and Norman Ketchie watch Charles Bowden sign proclamation for American Education Week, 1947 November
Extent: 1 (5x7”) b/w
2116Governor Talmadge, Oil Progress Week, 1949 October
Extent: 1 (8x10”) b/w
2117Unidentified photographs, 1930s-1940s
Extent: 6 (8x10”) b/w, 1 (4x5”) b/w, 1 (3x4”) b/w