Overview of the Collection
Scope and Content
Overview of the Collection
Title: Fletcher Bowron Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1934-1970
Collection Number: mssBowron papers
Approximately 22,000 pieces
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Abstract: This collection contains papers related to the life and career of
Los Angeles Mayor and Superior Court Judge Fletcher Bowron (1877-1968). It includes official
correspondence kept during Bowron's term as mayor of Los Angeles from 1938-1953, reports,
and information on his election campaigns. There is also source material gathered for his
Metropolitan Los Angeles History Project (1973), particularly in the fields of public
housing, city planning, and transportation.
Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department.
For more information, contact Reader Services.
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from
or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The
responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining
necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
[Identification of item]. Fletcher Bowron Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino,
Gift of Mrs. Fletcher Bowron, September 18, 1974. The addenda was the gift of Mrs.
Fletcher Bowron, January 21, 1977, September 19, 1983, March 1984, May 31, 1984, January
5, 1985, and November 20, 1985.
Fletcher Bowron (1887-1968), who was mayor of the city of Los Angeles, California, from
1938 to 1953, came into office as a reform candidate in a recall election. His goal was to
eradicate political corruption and establish a professional municipal government. For 15
years he was continually reelected to this important position-fifteen years of tremendous
growth and unusual problems for the Los Angeles area.
Mayor Bowron had spent the years 1911 to 1917 as a newspaper reporter, followed by a return
to college for a law degree, two years in private practice, then six years as Judge of the
Superior Court of Los Angeles County. During his terms as mayor, World War II brought the
sudden expansion of war-related industries to Los Angeles and the immediate need for
laborers, public housing, mass transportation, and pollution control. As mayor he worked not
only for solutions to these problems but also for the creation of long range city planning
and commercial development.
After his years as mayor, Bowron was reelected to the bench as Judge of the Superior Court.
In 1962 he retired and devoted himself to a Metropolitan History Project. When Judge Bowron
passed away in 1968, the project continued under the supervision of Mrs. Bowron and reached
its fruition in the publication of the bibliography of Los Angeles history,
Los Angeles and Its Environs in the Twentieth Century, with Doyce
B. Nunis, Jr., as editor.
Nunis, Doyce Blackman, Jr. ed.,
and Its Environs in the Twentieth Century,
Ward Ritchie Press, Los Angeles, 1973.
(With Foreward by Mrs. Fletcher Bowron)
Scope and Content
The collection contains letters, documents, manuscripts, photographs and ephemera related to the life and career of Los Angeles
mayor and Superior Court judge Fletcher Bowron.
It includes official correspondence kept during Bowron's term as mayor of Los Angeles, reports, and information on his election
campaigns. There is also source material gathered
for his Metropolitan Los Angeles History Project, particularly in the fields of public housing, city planning, and transportation.
The papers are divided into three main sections. The first consists of carbon copies of
Bowron's letters while he was mayor of Los Angeles, personal correspondence (1934-1965),
reports, and information on the election campaigns of 1945, 1947, 1949, and 1950. The second
section pertains to Bowron's Metropolitan Los Angeles History Project. The source material
he gathered is filed alphabetically by subject and contains information on city planning and
zoning, public housing, sanitation, transportation, water and power and many other topics.
Following this are the notes, outlines, drafts, bibliographical material, card index files,
etc., for the project. The third main section consists of boxes of clippings which are
arranged in folders in chronological order, some with listings of subjects. There are also
three photograph albums and some memorabilia.
In the addenda there are 38 bound
volumes containing addresses by Mayor Bowron from Sept. 1938-July 1953 as well as oversize awards, albums and maps.
The collection has been retained in its original order and folder numbering system to
correspond with the card index files that came as part of the papers.
The collection is organized as follows:
- Correspondence and papers (Boxes 1-42)
- Metropolitan Los Angeles History Project
Part 1 - Research material (including printed items) (Boxes 43-66)
Part 2 - Bibliographic Section, etc. (Boxes 67-73)
- Clippings (Boxes 74-95)
- Photograph Albums (Box 96)
- Oversize items
- Addenda (Boxes Addenda 1-15, Volumes 1-53, and Oversize Folders 1-3)
Bowron, Fletcher, 1887-1968.
California. Superior Court (Los Angeles County)
Los Angeles Metropolitan History Project.
City planning -- California -- Los Angeles.
Judges -- California -- Los Angeles County -- Archives.
Mayors -- California -- Los Angeles -- Archives.
Public housing -- California -- Los Angeles.
Public works -- California -- Los Angeles.
Sanitation -- California -- Los Angeles.
Transportation -- California -- Los Angeles.
Water -- California -- Los Angeles.
Water-supply -- California -- Los Angeles.
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Politics and government.
Clippings files -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th century.
Letters (correspondence) -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th century.
Photographs -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th century.
Research (document genres) -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th century.