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Eugene B. Bowen Papers

Call Number: MS030

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence from 1908-1964, photographs, negatives, postcards and memorabilia. The subjects of the correspondence include honorary degrees, trustee business, dedications, building proposals for the theater and bridges at Tufts, Adams High School, chimes, Mr. Bowen's last will and other personal and business topics. There are also newspaper clippings including his obituary.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1875 -- 1964
  • Creation: 1875 -- 1964


Language of Materials



This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. No documentation is available regarding the intellectual property rights in this collection.

Biographical / Historical

Eugene Bucklin Bowen (1855-1952), E1876, was a benefactor and lifetime trustee of Tufts. His gifts include the Bowen Lions outside Barnum Hall, Bowen Gate, and the Bowen Chimes.

Born in Adams, Massachusetts, on November 22, 1855, Bowen moved to Cheshire, Massachusetts, before beginning high school. He was the son of Henry C. Bowan and Susan Elizabeth Bucklin. At Tufts, Bowen held the only remunerative position the college had to offer a student at that time, ringing the old College Bell on top of Ballou Hall. While he had intended to provide Tufts with a new, larger bell, the Class of 1898 presented the college with such a bell at their tenth reunion. Bowen was also manager of the Tufts football team. After being one of fourteen men to graduate from the School of Engineering in 1876, Bowen briefly served as principal of the high school in Adams, Massachusetts, before returning to work at his father's hay and grain business for the rest of his professional career.

A faithful attendant of Tufts' commencement exercises and alumni days, Bowen presented the college with a pair of lion statues to stand guard outside of Barnum Museum in 1923, and donated the Bowen Gate in 1925. He also provided the funds for the memorial tablets of Hosea Ballou and Austin B. Fletcher, one of his classmates, at the north entrance of Ballou Hall, while sponsoring the construction of the columned porch at that entrance. During alumni festivities, Bowen, a descendant of eleven Revolutionary War soldiers, would don the uniform of the color guard of the Massachusetts State Society, Sons of the American Revolution, and parade around the campus with a replica of the 1776 Bennington Battle flag.

In 1924, Bowen was made a life trustee of the college. The class of 1926 invited him to be an honorary member of their class, to honor his loyalty to Tufts on the fiftieth anniversary of his graduation. He had been the organizer and past president of the Berkshire Tufts Club, in addition to his duties as a trustee. 1926, he donated a set of chimes to be played from the tower of Goddard Chapel.

Bowen died April 19, 1952, at his home in Cheshire, following a long illness. At the time of his death, he was the oldest living Tufts alumnus, and the only living member of the class of 1876.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 letter size document box )


This collection is organized into two series: Subject Files and Memorabilia.

Custodial History

Half of the collection was donated Martha Jennisonin 2001, the other half consisted of three folders originally part of the Vertical Files.

Processing Information

Processed by Krista Ferrante, 2006-01-04. In creating this manuscript collection, the vertical file folders were interfiled with the donated papers.

When the Vertical Files were created decades ago, original order or provenance was not maintained. In the case of Bowen's VF folders, correspondence files were loosely arranged by chronology whereas one subject file contained various drafts of his last will. Interfiling donated and VF material, two series were created: subject files and memorabilia. Subject files consist of (chronologically filed) correspondence and material related to Mr. Bowen's last will and obituaries (to which any obituaries and press releases found elsewhere were added). Memorabilia included photographs and papers that were found in the VF folders but were not related to any of the correspondence.

The collection has been rehoused in acid free folders for preservation. No material was weeded.

Processing status

This collection is processed.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States