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Joseph Henry Bowdon Sr. papers

Identifier: SC-Cent. Misc. Mss. 11

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a speech given by Joseph Henry Bowdon Sr. at Centenary College of Louisiana’s Founders Day address in 1964. Titled “Sidelights on the History of Centenary College,” it contains details about the college during the 19th century as well as Bowdon’s ancestors connected to Centenary. The collection also includes correspondence dated 1965 between Bowdon and Hugh D. McCool about the location of Centenary College in Brandon Springs, Mississippi, during the 1840s.


  • 1964 - 1965


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Physical rights are retained by the Centenary College of Louisiana Archives and Special Collections. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.

Biographical / Historical

Joseph Henry Bowdon Sr. (1896-1980) was born near Pelican, Louisiana. He attended Centenary College of Louisiana for three years, then transferred to Southern Methodist University and earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1921. Bowdon served as principle of Istrouma High School (Baton Rouge, La.) before returning to Southern Methodist University to earn a bachelor of divinity degree in 1925.

In 1925, Bowdon joined the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. He was appointed to serve as pastor of the following congregations (some dates are approximate): Zachary (1925), Jackson (1926), Keener Memorial in Baton Rouge (1927-1928), Ponchatoula (1929-1931), Arcadia (1932-1934), First Church in Lake Charles (1941-1947) First Church in Alexandria (1952-1956), Carrollton Avenue in New Orleans (1957-1961), and Henning Memorial in Sulphur (1962). He also served as presiding elder (position later renamed district superintendent) of the following: Baton Rouge District (1935-1941), Shreveport District (1948-1951), Lafayette District (1966-1967). From 1963 to 1965, Bowdon served as the area director for the Louisiana Conference. In 1968, he retired from the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Bowdon was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Centenary College of Louisiana (1947) and served on Centenary’s board of trustees (1946-1980; life member since 1968).

In 1925, Bowdon married Hazel McGuffey (1898-1976). They had two children: Rev. J. Henry Bowdon Jr. and Louise Bowdon Mayo.


1 Folders

Language of Materials



Arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection donated by Joseph Henry Bowdon, Sr. in 1976.

Finding Aid to the Joseph Henry Bowdon Sr. papers
Chris Brown
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Centenary College of Louisiana Archives and Special Collections Repository

2911 Centenary Blvd.
Shreveport LA 71104 US
(318) 869-5462