Journals of James Bowman

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Collection of handwritten journals of James Bowman.

James Bowman was one of the most significant agriculturalists in Guelph's history.  He was the early Canadian leader in the breeding of Aberdeen Angus cattle and exhibited widely, winning major prizes at the St. Louis World's Fair, the Chicago International, the Canadian National, the Royal Winter Fair, and the Guelph Winter Fair, among many others.

In 1890 he purchased the Thomas Sandilands farm known as "Maxwellton" on the western edge of Guelph (Paisley Road). He renamed it and the house "Elm Park" and it is one of the finest in the region, having been designated by the city.

James Bowman was several times president of the Ontario and Canadian Aberdeen Angus Associations. He was inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1962. Wesley Ham, Vice-President of Beatty Bros. Ltd. and owner of Glen Angus Farms, purchased half of Jameas Bowman's Aberdeen-Angus herd in 1942. 

Handwritten journals give details of Bowman's cattle breeding and sales, his prizes, the innumerable visitors to the farm, as well as the general daily routines which included Suffolk Down sheep and Clydesdale horse raising, and growing grain and root vegetables as cattle feed. They also give a detailed history of the development of a large and extended family, as well as his involvement in the life of the city of Guelph at local churches, the school board (trustee of Macdonald Consolidated School for 27 years), Ontario Agricultural College, and his dealings with local professionals and businesses.


October 31, 1866 - January, 1944

Types of Materials

  • Photographs
  • Unpublished Material and Manuscripts


52 cm

How to Access This Resource

XR1 MS A737

Appointments are required to view this material and can be made through Archival & Special Collections.

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