Fletcher Bowron Papers: Finding Aid

Processed by The Huntington Library staff in 1977; supplementary encoding and revision supplied by Xiuzhi Zhou in 2000, and Diann Benti in June 2017.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
© 2000
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


Overview of the Collection

Title: Fletcher Bowron Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1934-1970
Collection Number: mssBowron papers
Creator: Bowron, Fletcher, 1887-1968.
Extent: Approximately 22,000 pieces
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Email: reference@huntington.org
URL: http://www.huntington.org
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.
Language: English.

Access

Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Administrative Information

Publication Rights

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.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Fletcher Bowron Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Provenance

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.

Biographical Note

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.

Bibliography

Nunis, Doyce Blackman, Jr. ed., Los Angeles 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.

Arrangement

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)

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

Subjects

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.

Forms/Genres

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.


Collection Contents

 

Correspondence and papers

Box 1

Carbon copies of letters from mayor's office. 1939-1946

Box 2

Carbon copies of letters from mayor's office. 1947-1948

Box 3

Carbon copies of letters from mayor's office. 1949-1953

Box 4

Personal correspondence. 1934-1938

Box 5

Personal correspondence. 1939-1942

Box 6

Personal correspondence. 1943-1965

Box 7

Commendations (Index numbers 1-500). Jan. 1939-June 1940

Box 8

Commendations (Index numbers 501-775). Jan. 1941-July 1951

Box 9

Greetings (Index numbers 1-200). 1939-1943

Box 10

Greetings (Index numbers 201-500). 1943-1948

Box 11

Greetings (Index numbers 501-725). 1948-1950

Box 12

Index cards to Invitations

Box 13

Index cards to Invitations (continued)

Box 14

Invitations (Index numbers 3320-4200). Dec. 1944-May 1946

Box 15

Invitations (Index numbers 4201-4500). July 1946-Feb. 1947

Box 16

Invitations (Index numbers 4501-4800). Feb. 1947-Aug. 1947

Box 17

Invitations (Index numbers 4801-5075). June-Dec. 1947

Box 18

Invitations (Index numbers 5076-5350). Nov. 1947-May 1948

Box 19

Invitations (Index numbers 5351-5650). Apr.-Aug. 1948

Box 20

Invitations (Index numbers 5651-5850). Aug.-Nov. 1948

Box 21

Invitations (Index numbers 5851-6125). Nov. 1948-Feb. 1949

Box 22

Invitations (Index numbers 6126-6325). Feb.-May 1949

Box 23

Invitations (Index numbers 6476-6750). July-Sep. 1949

Box 24

Invitations (Index numbers 6751-7025). Oct. 1949-Mar. 1950

Box 25

Invitations (Index numbers 7026-7375). Mar.-Sep. 1950

Box 26

Invitations (Index numbers 7376-7675). Aug. 1950-Jan. 1951

Box 27

Invitations (Index numbers 7676-7950). Jan.-May, 1951

Box 28

Invitations (Index numbers 7951-8150). May - Sep. 1951

Box 29

Invitations (Index numbers 8151-8400). Sep. 1951-Feb. 1952

Box 30

Invitations (Index numbers 8401-8700). Jan.-Sep. 1952

Box 31

Invitations (Index numbers 8701-8925). Sep. 1952-Jan. 1953

Box 32

Invitations (Index numbers 8926-9200). Jan.-June 1953

Box 33

Speeches and Press Statements (with index at front). 1938-1941

Box 34

Speeches and Press Statements. 1942-1945 & 1946

Box 35

Speeches and Press Statements. 1946-1949

Box 36

Speeches and Press Statements (and miscellaneousness speeches). 1950-1953

Box 37

Elections - Correspondence, campaign literature, etc. 1945, 1947, 1949

Box 38

Elections - Letters of congratulation. 1949

Box 39

Election - Letters of congratulation and acknowledgment. 1949

Box 40

Election - Letters of congratulation and acknowledgment. 1949

Box 40a

Election Campaigns. 1938-1956

Box 41

Election - Book of Precinct Boards. 1953

Box 42

Special reports and speeches by Los Angeles County Counsel, Harold Woodworth Kennedy. 1955-1957

 

Metropolitan Los Angeles History Project

 

Part 1 - Research material (including printed items)

Box 43

Master Index and Subjects: Agriculture-Aviation

 

Master Index

 

Agriculture

 

Air pollution (see Pollution, also Smog)

 

Architects

 

The Arts - Music - Theatre-Radio-Motion Pictures

 

Automobile Club of Southern California - Minutes of Board of Directors. 1900-1924

 

Automotive History

Box 44

Subjects: Aviation (continued)

 

Aviation

 

Aviation - Douglas Aircraft Co. (printed book, Flight Plan for Tomorrow

 

Aviation - Garrett Corporation

 

Aviation - Lockheed Aircraft Corporation

 

Aviation - Los Angeles - Department of Airports - Report

 

Aviation - Los Angeles Airways

Box 45

Subjects: Aviation (continued)-Chamber of Commerce

 

Aviation - North American Aviation, Inc.

 

Aviation - Northrop Corporation

 

Aviation - United Airlines (printed book, High Horizons by Frank J. Taylor

 

Beaches, Parks, Recreation

 

Bench & Bar (see also Legal)

 

Building

 

Chamber of Commerce

Box 46

Subjects: Charter-City Planning

 

Charter

 

Charter - Claude E. Hawley

 

Charter - Mayor

 

Chronological Lists of Events

 

Chronological Record of City Officials

 

Citizens Committee - Revenue & Taxation. 1948

 

Citizens Committee - Zoning. 1968

 

City Government - Information

 

City News Service

 

City Planning (see Planning & Zoning)

Box 47

Subjects: Civil Service-Fish & Wildlife

 

Civil Service

 

Climate

 

Consolidation

 

County Boundaries

 

County-City Officials (Correspondence)

 

Court (Early)

 

Court - Superior

 

Crime & Corruption

 

Economy

 

Education

 

Electricity

 

Engineering

 

Financial Institutions (Banking)

 

Fish & Wildlife

Box 48

Subjects: Flood Control-Hollywood

 

Flood Control

 

Flora - Native

 

Freeways

 

Grand Juries

 

Griffith, Van M. (Police Union)

 

Harbor

 

Haynes Foundation

 

Historic Preservation

 

Hollywood

Box 49

Subjects: Housing (mainly Public Housing)

Box 50

Subjects: Housing (including Elections on Prop. No. 10, etc.)

Box 51

Subjects: Housing (City Attorney's Opinions, etc.)

Box 52

Subjects: Industry-Los Angeles (magazine)

 

Industry

 

Japan

 

Japanese

 

Japanese American

 

Law

 

Legal (see also Bench & Bar)

 

Library

 

Los Angeles (printed magazine). 1964-1967

Box 53

Subjects: Los Angeles History-Mayors of Los Angeles

 

Los Angeles History (Misc.)

 

Los Angeles History (Misc. printed bulletins, etc.)

 

Los Angeles Bar Bulletin (printed). 1960-1968

 

Los Angeles High School

 

Los Angeles Year Book (printed). 1940-1962

 

Mayors of Los Angeles

Box 54

Subjects: Metropolitan Government

 

Metropolitan Government (printed material)

 

Metropolitan Government (miscellaneous reports)

Box 55

Subjects: Metropolitan Government - A Study in Integration (printed series)

Box 56

Subjects: Municipal League-Petroleum

 

Municipal League

 

Names to Contact

 

Oil

 

Oil Drilling

 

Personalities

 

Petroleum (see Oil)

Box 57

Subjects: Planning & Zoning (printed brochures)

Box 58

Subjects: Planning & Zonning (cont.)-Planning, Regional

 

Planning & Zoning

 

Planning & Zoning - Problem

 

Planning Commission - Accomplishments (printed). 1945-1960

 

Planning, Regional

Box 59

Subjects: Police-Public Housing

Box 59

Police (see also Griffith, Van M.)

 

Police - Deputy Auxiliary Program

 

Political History

 

Pollution

 

Population

 

Public Housing (see Housing)

Box 60

Subjects: Public Works-Sewer

 

Public Works

 

Publicity, Press

 

Real Estate

 

Religion

 

Retail Trade (see also Industry)

 

Rubbish Report

 

Sanitation & Refuse Disposal

 

Sewer

 

Sewer - Hyperion Report

Box 61

Subjects: Smog-Southern California Research Council

 

Smog

 

Southern California Research Council - Reports. 1961-1964

Box 62

Subjects: Street Railways (Manuscript)

Box 63

Subjects: Street Railways (Manuscript, continued)

Box 64

Subjects: Taxes-Transportation

 

Taxes

 

Telephone

 

Tourism

 

Towns & cities

 

Traffic (see also Freeways)

 

Transportation

(see also Street Railways)
Box 65

Subjects: Union Bank-Water and Power

 

Union Bank

 

Water and Power (Utilities)

Box 66

Subjects: Water and Power (continued)-Z and miscellaneous

Box 66

Water and Power - Metropolitan Water Department (printed brochures)

 

Whitnall, Gordon

 

Miscellaneous

 

Miscellaneous Information - Historical

 

1880 History of Los Angeles County

 

Part 2 - Bibliographic Section, etc.

Box 67

Index; Bibliography

Box 68

Research: Needs and accomplishments (correspondence, publicity, etc.)

Box 69

Some Approaches to the Study of Urban History - Notes, Memos, historical data by Judge Bowron

Box 70

Interviews

Box 71

City History: Suggestions on Methodology; Outline; Chapter Outlines; Drafts of Chapters, etc.

Box 72

Card index - Subject file (3 x 5 cards)

Box 73

Card index - Subject file (6 x 8 cards)

 

Clippings

Box 74

Clippings. 1943

Box 75

Clippings. Jan. - Apr. 1944

Box 76

Clippings. May - Sep. 1944

Box 77

Clippings. Oct. 1944 - Mar. 1945

Box 78

Clippings. Apr. - Aug. 1945

Box 79

Clippings. Nov. 1945 - Feb. 1946

Box 80

Clippings. Mar. - May 1946

Box 81

Clippings. June - Sep. 1946

Box 82

Clippings. Oct. - Nov. 1946

Box 83

Clippings. Dec. 1946 - Feb. 1947

Box 84

Clippings. Feb. - May 1947

Box 85

Clippings. June - Aug. 1947

Box 86

Clippings. Sep. - Nov. 1947

Box 87

Clippings. Dec. 1947 - Feb. 1948

Box 88

Clippings. Mar. - May 1948

Box 89

Clippings. June - July 1948

Box 90

Clippings. Aug. - Oct. 1948

Box 91

Clippings. Nov. - Dec. 1948

Box 92

Clippings, (filed by subject, A - C). 1951

Box 93

Clippings, (filed by subject, F - R). 1951 & 1950

Box 94

Clippings, (1950 filed by subject, R - Z & Misc.). 1950 and 1965

Box 95

Clippings, Misc. clippings and printed material

 

Photograph albums

Box 96

Trips to Argentina and Japan; Water System for Lerma, Mexico

Physical Description: 3 photograph albums
 

Oversize Items

 

Folder of campaign placards (printed)

 

Map (printed) - Los Angeles Planning Commission

 

Roll map of Los Angeles (printed by Thomas Bros.)

 

Addenda

Box 1 (Addenda)

Correspondence; Recall campaign

Box 2 (Addenda)

Campaigns, elections, speeches

Box 3 (Addenda)

Administrative issues as mayor

Box 4 (Addenda)

Awards, honors, special events

Related Material

See also, Oversize Folder 2.
Box 5 (Addenda)

Superior Court Matters; History Project; Trips

Related Material

For Superior Court Matters, see also, Oversize Folder 3; for Trips, see also Volume 50.
Box 6 (Addenda)

Biographical Material (with photograph); Invitations and programs, etc.

Box 7 (Addenda)

Photographs - [Armed services?]

Box 8 (Addenda)

Photographs - [Armed services?]

Box 9 (Addenda)

Photographs - A - Bo (with index)

Box 10 (Addenda)

Photographs - Br - D (with index)

Box 11 (Addenda)

Photographs - L - P (with index)

Box 12 (Addenda)

Photographs - U - Y (with index)

Box 13 (Addenda)

Photographs - Miscellaneous

Box 14 (Addenda)

Clippings, printed material, etc.

Box 15 (Addenda)

Magazines and miscellaneous printed items

 

Bound volumes of Bowron's addresses (with 2 index vols.). 1938-1953

Volume  1

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1938 September-March

Volume  2

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1939 April -September

Volume  3

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1939 October-December

Volume  4

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1940 January-May

Volume  5

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1940 June-December

Volume  6

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1941 January-June

Volume  7

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1941 July-December

Volume  8

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1942 January-June

Volume  9

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1942 July-December

Volume  10

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1943 January-June

Volume  11

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1943 July-December

Volume  12

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1944 January-June

Volume  13

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1944 July-December

Volume  14

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1945 January-June

Volume  15

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1945 July-December

Volume  16

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1946 January-March

Volume  17

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1946 April-June

Volume  18

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1946 July-September

Volume  19

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1946 October-December

Volume  20

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1947 January-March

Volume  21

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1947 April-June

Volume  22

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1947 July-September

Volume  23

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1947 October-December

Volume  24

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1948 January-March

Volume  25

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1948 April-June

Volume  26

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1948 July-September

Volume  27

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1948 October-December

Volume  28

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1949 January-August

Volume  29

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1949 September-December

Volume  30

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1950 January-March

Volume  31

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1950 April-June

Volume  32

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1950 July-December

Volume  33

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1951 January-April

Volume  34

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1951 May-August

Volume  35

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1951 September-December

Volume  36

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1952 January-June

Volume  37

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1952 July-December

Volume  38

Addresses by Mayor Fletcher Bowron. 1953 January-July

Volume  39

Index. Radio Programs by Mayor Bowron. 1938-1945

Volume  40

Index. Radio Programs by Mayor Bowron. 1946-1953

Volume 41

Album of phonograph records of Testimonial dinner honoring Fletcher Bowron at the Greater Los Angeles Press Club. 1951

Volume 42

A Decade of Progress (letters commemorating Fletcher Bowron's 10 years as mayor of Los Angeles). 1948, Sep. 17

Volume 43

Tenth Anniversary Salute (letters of tribute to Fletcher Bowron). 1948, Sep. 26

Volume 44

Mayor Fletcher Bowron - 14th Anniversary. 1952

Volume 45

Mayor Fletcher Bowron (letters presented by his co-workers). 1953

Volume 46

Scrapbook of clippings. 1939-1940

Volume 47

Scrapbook of photographs, clippings, etc., re Civilian Defense. 1942-1944

Volume 48 (oversize)

Scrapbooks of clippings [Volume 1 of 2]. 1950-1953

Volume 49 (oversize)

Scrapbooks of clippings [Volume 2 of 2]. 1950-1953

Volume 50 (oversize)

Scrapbook - Mayor Fletcher Bowron, Around the World Trade Tour. 1951

Volume 51 (oversize)

Memorial scrapbook containing obituaries, tributes, etc. [Volume 1 of 2]. 1968.

Volume 52 (oversize)

Memorial scrapbook containing obituaries, tributes, etc. [Volume 2 of 2]. 1968.

Volume 53 (oversize)

Photograph album honoring Fletcher Bowron

Physical Description: 5 rolled photographs
 

Oversize folders

Folder Oversize 1

Campaign cartoons

Physical Description: (6 pieces)
Folder Oversize 2

Citations, honors, etc.

Physical Description: (23 pieces)
Folder Oversize 3

Certificates and photos re Superior Court. 1917-1939

Folder Oversize 4

Ephemera

Plaques

2 mounted plaques