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Kenneth "Kenny" Bowen Collection

Collection 244

Bowen, Kenneth F. “Kenny” (1926–2002). Collection, 1958, 1971–1996, n.d.

3.5 feet

Kenneth Francis “Kenny” Bowen was a native of New Orleans, born 9 February 1926. He was the son of Joseph F. and Hazel McNulty Bowen. Kenny Bowen was married to the former Ruth Butcher Bowen, with whom he had fourteen children. At the time of his death, at the age of 76 on 2 May 2002, he was married to Ann Humphries Bowen.

Bowen served in the United States Air Force during World War II and later attended Southwestern Louisiana Institute (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette). He received a Bachelor’s degree in music in 1948. He later attended Columbia University and received a Master’s degree. Bowen taught in the Lafayette Parish School System for eleven years. He was widely known for directing community chorus organizations including the LAGCOE men’s chorus and the popular Soundwaves. From 1955 to 1961 he served as executive vice president of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. In 1961 he opened his own advertising firm of Angers, Bowen and Associates.

Bowen was elected mayor of Lafayette in 1972 and served two consecutive terms. He then served a third term from 1992-1996. He began a progressive administration that returned Lafayette to a Mayor-City Council form of government under a new city charter that remained the form of local government under consolidation with Lafayette Parish. He worked on several special projects while he was mayor, including the Camellia Bridge, Convention Center, revitalization of Downtown Lafayette, and the expansion of the Lafayette City Utilities.

He belonged to several city and state organizations. He was president of the Louisiana Municipal Association, member and chairperson of various committees of National League of Cities and U.S. Conference of Mayors and member and director of numerous civic, arts, and patriotic associations. He was awarded the French Legion of Merit and was recognized by the organizations Jaycees, American Business Women’s Association, and Louisiana Garden Club Federation. In January 2002, he was inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame.

This collection contains mostly oversize photographs and certificates, correspondence, reports, general records, and speeches while he was in office.

Kenny Bowen donated this collection.


A. Personal Records 1-01 through 1-02
B. Documents 1-03 through 1-04
C. General Records 1-05 through 1-08
D. Financial Records 1-09 through 1-10
E. Correspondence 1-11
F. Report 1-12 through 1-13
G. Certificates 1-14
H. Publicity 1-15 through 1-23
I. Photographs 2-01 through 2-02
J. Speeches 2-03
K. Programs 2-04 through 2-05
L. Artifacts Box 3
OVERSIZE 26 items
[Note: Oversize Framed photographs are located on Range 19b (LaRm).]


Box 1  
1-01 Biography: Résumé; Sixteenth and Eighteenth Mayor, A Profile, n.d.
1-02 Biography: Louisiana Political Museum, inducted 2002. Includes pamphlet, news clippings, correspondence, etc.
1-03 Documents: Home Rule Charter, City of Lafayette, July 6, 1976
1-04 Documents: Proclamation, Bowen encouraged and supported the creation of a Commission on the Needs of Women, 1 May 1980
1-05 General records: list of Bowen’s accomplishments, 1992-1993
1-06 General records: “Conveyance Book,” 1987, 1994 [act of exchange of property]
1-07 General records: transcription of conference call, 20 October 1994
call between Mayor Bowen, Wayne Neveu [Foley & Judell], V. Jean Butler, Anna Blackenridge, and Debra Amacker [Louisiana Housing Finance Agency]
1-08 General records: Lafayette Parish Government - Funding Benefits Loss [documentation], 1988
1-09 Financial records: cash contributions, 1992 [schedule A-1 attachment]
1-10 Financial records: Budget comparison, 1970/80; 1987/88
1-11 Correspondence: 1980-1996
1-12 Report: Annual report of City of Lafayette, 1994
1-13 Report: Mayor’s Report, Section H - Utilities, 1992
1-14 Certificates: Acadiana chapter - Hill 141, Vietnam Veterans of American, 1992; Proclamation, Commission of the Needs of Women, 1 May 1980; U.S. Conference of Mayors, “Kenneth Bowen” participating in graduate program for Mayor’s Leadership Institute, April 1979
1-15 Publicity: news release, [Bowen endorses no one] 11 November 1995; 2 June 1996
1-16 Publicity: flyers, pamphlets, miscellaneous, 1994, n.d.
1-17 Publicity: editorial series, Daily Advertiser, Goals, 1996
1-18 Publicity: City of Lafayette, January 31, 1978; Daily Advertiser, Editorial Series, February 12-22, 1978
1-19 Publicity: City of Lafayette, department of Administration, n.d.
1-20 Publicity: Memorial Lafayette, “souvenirs”, Juin, 1994
1-21 Publicity: “Mayors of Lafayette”, 1884-1976; 1884-1980; “Sheriffs of Lafayette Parish”, 1888-1976
1-22 Publicity: news clippings: 1976-1992
1-23 Publicity: news clippings: 1990-2002
Box 2  
2-01 Photographs: 1973, n.d.
2-02 Photographs: 1973, 1992-93, n.d.
2-03 Speeches: by Bowen, including farewell speech, 1992, 1996, n.d.
2-04 Program: Frem F. Boustany Convention Center, Mayor Bowen, master of ceremonies, n.d.
2-05 Program: 26th annual Gulf Coast Oil Center, 15-18 June 1978
Box 3  
1. Plaque: Kenny Bowen - John Phillip Sousa, Award - Northside Band, 1971
2. Plaque: Kenny Bowen - LISA charter member, 20 June 1958
3. License Plate: “GOLDWATER”
4. T-shirt - “Bowen for Mayor”
5. Reserve Table Signs: “Family & Friends of Kenneth Bowen”; “Best Wishes to Kenny Bowen”, n.d.
OVERSIZE: These are located on Range 19b (LaRm)
1. Declaration of Independence, presented by the Sertoma club of Lafayette. FRAMED
2. Photographs - Valery Giscard d’Estaing - President of the French Republic and Mrs. Valez Giscard d’Estaing.. FRAMED.
3. Certificate - Charter member - committee on the Needs of Women at Lafayette, 6 September 1979. FRAMED.
4. Sketch - Poitiers - Paris Chez Basset. FRAMED, IN COLOR.
5. Certificate - State of Louisiana, Executive Department, Colonel on the Staff of Governor Edwin W. Edwards and as Aid de camp, Governor’s Staff, 31 March 1975. FRAMED.
6. Photograph - Edwin W. Edwards. FRAMED, IN COLOR
7. Certificate - State of Louisiana, Executive Department - Member, Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Criminal Justice, 31 May 1972. FRAMED.
8. Certificate - Honorary Citizen of New Orleans - The International City, 14 August 1975. FRAMED.
9. Certificate - Commonwealth of Kentucky, Commissioned a Kentucky Colonel, 28 February, 1928. FRAMED.
10. Certificate - State of Louisiana, Executive Department - member, Governor’s Committee on Intergovernmental Relations, 18 May 1972. FRAMED.
11. Sketch - Jefferson Street - Looking North. Autographed.
12. Photographs with letter, White house meeting, 1976. FRAMED.
13. Photograph of City. ?. FRAMED.
14. Poster, Bowen for Mayor. UNFRAMED.
15. Sketches of military in action. UNFRAMED
16. Wooden painted plaque, City of Lafayette, Heart of Acadiana, Kenneth F. Bowen, Mayor, 1975, by P. Sahuc.
17. Photographs, Bowen
18. Record albums: Lafayette High Boy’s Chorus, “Drink to me only with thine eyes”; Lafayette High Chorus, “Miss Brevis”; Lafayette High Girls Chorus, “Somewhere a child is singing”.
19. Painting - Gilbert Laloux
20. Certificate - State of Louisiana, Executive Department, member, Governor’s Commission on intergovernmental Relations, 17 January 1977.
21. Photographs - barges, lake, city of ?
22. Document - $1,000,000,000 Lafayette Public Power Authority, Lafayette Electric Revenue Bonds, Series, 1977
23. Painting - Blue and white, not identified.
24. Painting - Colour defining a square
25. Photograph - Jimmy Fitzmorris - autographed.
Same - Bowen and group
26. Photograph - Bowen and group, April 1976.