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Sowden, William P. Papers, 1872-1920.
MANUSCRIPT 2393-2400
Collection Overview


Papers, 1872-1920
William P. Sowden papers, 1872-1920


Sowden, William P., 1851-1927, creator


The collection consists of the personal and professional papers of William P. Sowden, an attorney and notary public in Dutch Flat, Placer County, California, ca. 1890-1920. The documents relate to Sowden's legal practice as a small town attorney and mostly date from 1898 to 1907. They consist largely of "proofs of labor" on, and deeds to, mining claims, and suits for the collection of monies owed various individuals and businesses, primarily the Munro Company. Dutch Flat had a significant Chinese population, which is reflected in Sowden's papers by immigration documents and civil cases. A few of the immigration documents include portrait photographs of the individuals named. There are only a few criminal cases -- a major one in 1898 involved the shooting of Ah Sam by Robert Gawthorp over monies owed for the lease of a mining claim. Also of note are records pertaining to the local chapter of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Auburn Encampment No. 20.
The collection is divided into two series: Personal papers and Professional papers. Personal papers include: Financial (receipts, invoices, promissory notes); Civic and political activities (speeches, letters, editorials); IOOF (1893-1910 -- correspondence, speeches and memorials, financial documents, semi-annual reports, blank forms).
Professional papers include: Correspondence (incoming, 1890-1920; outgoing, 1897-1913; to and from others); Financial (invoices and receipts); Miscellaneous notes (legal notes, pleadings, unidentified cases, legal forms); Client files (Individuals, Chinese, misc., mining enterprises; Notary records (affidavits, 1897-1918). Note: The client files are arranged under a single party to the suit and other parties to the suit have not been noted. Therefore, materials for any one individual or corporation may appear throughout the collection and not be so identified. Much of the material is fragmentary and in no case does any file represent a complete case history.


1872 (issued)


2393. Personal papers. -- 2394. Professional papers: Correspondence; Financial; Misc. -- 2395. Clients: A - Frasier. -- 2396. Clients: Frost - Kuffel. -- 2397. Clients: Lyon - Snyder. -- 2398. Clients: Southern Pacific - Williams. -- 2399. Clients: Chinese; Misc.; Mining: A - Mount Charles. -- 2400. Clients: Mining: Rawhide - Misc; Notary records.


Sowden, William P -- 1851-1927 -- Archives
Lawyers -- California -- Dutch Flat -- Archives
Notaries -- California -- Dutch Flat -- Archives
Independent Order of Odd Fellows. -- Auburn Encampment No. 20 (Dutch Flat, Calif.) -- Archives
Dutch Flat (Calif.) -- History
Chinese -- California -- Dutch Flat -- History
Gawthorp, Robert -- Trials, litigation, etc
Munro Company -- Trials, litigation, etc


William P. Sowden was born in England on 11 June 1851. He arrived in California about 1870. Several documents in the collection indicate he may have practiced law in Santa Clara County before serving as a Justice of the Peace in Nevada County during the late-1880s to early-1890s. During the mid-1890s he relocated to Dutch Flat, where he was an attorney and notary public until 1920. He was active in the IOOF and in politics, serving as a delegate to the Placer County Republican Convention in 1898. During this period, his wife died and he was occasionally in poor health. In 1920 he moved to the IOOF Home near Saratoga, Santa Clara County, where he died at 76 years of age on 27 June 1927.
William P. Sowden papers, 1872-1920.
Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library.


legal case and case notes

Physical Description:

8 ms. boxes (ca. 1100 items) : ill., ports.




MANUSCRIPT 2393-2400



Copyright Note:

Unrestricted. Please credit California State Library.