William Francis Bowen

WILLIAM FRANCIS BOWEN, M. D. One of the best known surgeons of Topeka is Dr. William Francis Bowen, who while a general practitioner of both medicine and surgery has manifested a particularly high degree of skill in surgery and is accounted one of the ablest operators in the state.

Most of his life has been spent in Topeka, but he was born in Wamego, Pottawatomie County, Kansas, December 25, 1872. His father, Frank C. Bowen, is a prominent and widely known man of Topeka and has long been identified with local politics and public affairs. Frank C. Bowen was born in Indiana, and came to Topeka in 1869. In that year he married Miss Emma G. Boyd, daughter of William Boyd, a pioneer settler of Shawnee County. In 1870 Frank C. Bowen and wife removed to Wamego, where he opened a book and stationery store. After several years in that business he returned to Topeka, and in 1874 resumed the same line of business in the Capital City. He was in business until his activities in politics caused him to sell out. Being a first class bookkeeper, he found his services in much demand as a deputy in various county offices, and has been almost continuously identified with some one of the offices in the courthouse at Topeka since 1880. In 1902 he was elected treasurer of Shawnee County, and was re-elected in 1904. His administration was one of thorough competence and efficiency, and his thorough familiarity with the details of the office made him so invaluable that he has ever since been deputy county treasurer. In the spring of 1916 he announced himself as a candidate for county assessor. There was a very strong and popular opponent for the nomination but he was chosen by a large majority in the August primaries and at this writing it seems his election in November, 1916, is assured. He and his wife have two sons, Harry Justice, who for many years has been a trusted employe of the W. A. L. Thompson Hardware Company of Topeka; and Dr. William Francis. Doctor Bowen was educated in the public schools of Topeka, and took a special course in the pharmacy department of the Kansas State University, from which he received the degree Ph. G. He is a graduate in medicine of the Kansas Medical College, which subsequently became the medical department of Washburn College. In 1912 Washburn College Medical Department conferred upon him the honorary degree Master of Surgery.

Doctor Bowen began practice in the office of J. C. McClintock in 1898. For eighteen years he has been connected with the staff of Christ's Hospital of Topeka.

About the time he began practice Doctor Bowen married Miss Edith Davis, daughter of Mr. J. W. Davis, an old and esteemed citizen of Topeka.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed by Peter & Tabitha, students from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, November, 1997.
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