Personal papers of former San Jose city attorney Archer Bowden. The bulk of the papers relate to his service in the U.S. Army
during World War I. Belden was born in 1885 to California pioneers Nicholas and Sally Trimble Bowden, and worked in private
practice and as city attorney for both San Jose and Oakland.
A native of San Jose, Archer Bowden was the oldest of five children born in 1885 to California pioneers Nicholas and Sally
He served with the 348th field artillery in the U.S. Army during World War I as captain in overseas service.
Before the war, Bowden worked as an assistant district attorney and San Jose City Clerk; after the war he joined his father
Nicholas Bowden’s law firm. In 1920 he was appointed San Jose city attorney by City Manager C. B. Goodwin.
In 1930 he was also appointed to the board of military and veterans affairs by Governor Young, to succeed Allen B. Bisby,
and as a director of the California League of Municipalities, he achieved a reputation as an authority in city administration.
In 1942 he took a temporary leave of absence to serve as trial lawyer for the San Francisco regional Office of Price Administration.
A year later he returned to his San Jose position, but was forced to resign shortly thereafter. In 1945 he became an assistant
city attorney in Oakland.
Bowden and his wife Francis returned to San Jose in July 1952. Bowden died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot to the head
at age 68 on February 12, 1953.