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The Stephen Bowers Papers,
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Custodial History
  • Processing Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Separated Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Stephen Bowers Papers,
    Dates: 1859-1961
    Collection number: MS.532
    Creator: Bowers, Stephen, 1832-1907
    Creator: Bowers, Demoss
    Collection Size: 3 boxes 26 folders, 1 scrapbook
    Repository: Autry National Center. Institute for the Study of the American West
    Los Angeles, CA 90065
    Abstract: The collection consists of personal notebooks, diaries, correspondence, essays and drawings by Rev. Stephen Bowers, and newspaper clippings.
    Physical location: Braun Research Library Manuscript Archives.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit URL:http://www.autrynationalcenter.org/research_application.php or contact library staff at (323).221-2164.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Braun Research Library, Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Braun Research Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item identification] Stephen Bowers Papers,, MS.532. Braun Research Library, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA

    Acquisition Information

    Donated to the Southwest Museum Library in 1916 by Stephen Bowers' son, DeMoss Bowers.

    Custodial History

    The collection are personal papers and manuscripts of Stephen Bowers, A.M., Ph,D. His papers were donated to the Southwest Museum Library in 1916 by Stephen Bowers' son, DeMoss Bowers.

    Processing Information

    Braun Research Library staff. Revised by James Foster, 2008.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Reverend Stephen Bowers, A.M., Ph.D., was born on March 3rd, 1831 on a farm in Greencastle, Indiana. He was the son of David Bowers and the father of DeMoss Bowers. He was a Methodist minister for 30 years and a Chaplain for the Union forces in the Civil War (67th Indiana Infantry). Due to his archaeological interests, especially those focused on Indians around Santa Barbara, Bowers came to California and resided in Santa Barbara and Ventura from 1894 to 1906.
    On November 17, 1899, Governor Harry F. Gage appointed Bowers as a geologist with the United States Geological Survey. Bowers also held the position of State Mine Examiner of California. He lectured on subjects ranging from the biblical to the scientific. He also served as president of the Ventura Society of Natural History and was a member of the Academy of Sciences in Philadelphia, Smithsonian Institution, and Philosophical Society of Great Britain. Bowers died in 1907 in Los Angeles, California.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection consists of personal notebooks, diaries, correspondence, essays and drawings by Bowers, and newspaper clippings. The notebooks and diaries are mostly geological notes taken during his surveys in California. There is also one notebook written during his time as a Civil War Chaplain and a printed pamphlet entitled "The Conchilla Valley and the Cahuilla Indians," written by Bowers in 1888. Other writings include topics on Oklahoma Gold Fields and the Santa Barbara Indians. The scrapbook includes newspaper and journal clippings and consists of articles about sermons, religion, and obituaries.


    The collection is arranged in its original order.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Bowers, Stephen, 1832-1907.
    Indians of North America--California.
    Mines and mineral resources.
    Cahuilla Indians.
    Chumash Indians.
    United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
    San Nicolas Island (Calif.)
    Coachella Valley (Calif.)

    Genres and Forms of Material


    Separated Material

    Photographic prints and negatives made from items in Folder 22 in Braun Research Library's Photographic Archives, object ID P.21936 to P.21940 and N.20181 to N.20195.