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Bowser-Johnson Funeral Home records

Call Number: RH MS 678


The Bowser-Johnson Funeral Home records include funeral service records from an established Topeka, Kansas business.


  • Creation: 1931 - 1967


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of Bowser-Johnson Funeral Home

S. Newton Bowser, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, moved to Kansas in 1919, where he opened his first funeral home in 1920 in Parsons. While there, he established facilities in Coffeyville and Pittsburg, Kansas. In June 1930, Bowser opened the Bowser Mortuary in Topeka, Kansas. By 1941, when he established another funeral home in Lawrence, Kansas, Bowser had disposed of the two southeastern Kansas facilities. Bowser continued to operate the business until 1961, when his failing health led his wife, Pearl, to take over. Bowser died in 1967.

Native Topekan Larry D. Johnson began to work at the Mortuary in 1972 and, four years later, he and his wife Harriet bought the business from Mrs. Bowser. In 1979, Johnson changed the business' name to Bowser-Johnson Funeral Chapel. The business moved from its original Van Buren St. location closer to downtown Topeka in 1997, where it is still in operation.


1.25 Linear Feet (2 boxes + 3 microfilm reels)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The Bowser-Johnson Funeral Home records date from 1931 to 1967 and are arranged in one series: Business Papers, which consist almost entirely of funeral records. The only exception is a very small amount of miscellaneous financial information. A number of the funeral records are accompanied by photocopies; where this occurs, the copy immediately follows the original. Within the folders, the records are arranged alphabetically by the deceased's last name. Also in the collection are three reels of microfilmed funeral service records, located at RH MF 150.

Physical Location

RH MS 678

Physical Location

RH MF 150

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Larry D. Johnson, 1989.

Guide to the Bowser-Johnson Funeral Home Collection
Bowser-Johnson Funeral Home records
Finding aid prepared by mbw, 2006. Finding aid encoded by mbw, 2006. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2020.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Support for the processing of this collection was provided by the Dana and Sue Anderson African American Collecting Program Endowment Fund.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Bowser-Johnson Funeral Home records, Kansas Collection, RH MS 678, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States