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William Alvin Bowles papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS SC 2956

Scope and Contents

Includes diaries, correspondence, scrapbooks, library materials, photographs and ephemera regarding his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the Maori people in New Zealand.


  • 1906-1910


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from William Alvin Bowles papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

William Alvin Bowles (1886-1926) was a farmer and active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The oldest son in a family of eight children, William Alvin Bowles was born April 22, 1886 on a small ranch in Nephi, Utah. William worked on the family’s ranch and farm until his departure in the fall of 1906 for New Zealand where he served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Following his return from New Zealand in the spring of 1910, William married Catherine Bailey on November 17, 1910 in the Salt Lake City, Utah, LDS Temple. Like William, Catherine was born and raised in Nephi. Following their marriage, William and Catherine lived in Salt Lake City for three years, where William was foreman on a large farm owned by a Mr. Gunn. During this period, Catherine kept the farm accounts and prepared dinner for Mr. Gunn. After the birth of their daughter, Virginia Bowles, the family returned to Nephi where William farmed and worked for the Bonneville Lumber Company.

William and Catherine had three children: Virginia Bowles Keeler, Catherine Bowles, and Geraldine Bowles Barker. Throughout his life, William took an active role in the ecclesiastical activities of his local Mormon ward (the Nephi Center Ward) and stake (the Juab Stake). William served as a ward clerk, a stake missionary, and as a counselor in the Mutual Improvement Association. Remembered by his wife and children as a loving husband and father, William died of a ruptured appendix on October 3, 1926.


3 boxes (1.5 linear ft.)

1 carton (1 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



William Alvin Bowles papers includes personal mission diaries, his mission library, including hymn books, a dictionary, and scriptures; mission photographs; and related mission ephemera.


Arranged in four series: 1. William Alvin Bowles diaries. 2. William Alvin Bowles library materials. 3. William Alvin Bowles photographs. 4. William Alvin Bowles ephemera.

Other Finding Aids

More detailed finding aid available in repository or from the curators in Special Collections.

Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.

Custodial History

Donated in 2004.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; 2004.


Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history. (19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy 5.VII, August 2007).

Processing Information

Processed; GlendaLynn Ainsworth, student processer; 2009.

Register of William Alvin Bowles papers
John M. Murphy, curator
February 2004
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States