John-Geline MacDonald Bowman
John-Geline MacDonald Bowman, photograph courtesy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch
The Library of Virginia honored John-Geline MacDonald Bowman as one of its Virginia Women in History in 2006.
The Virginia Women in History Digital Trail is made possible by the Library of Virginia and American Evolution: Virginia to America, 1619–2019.
Backstory and Context
In 1919 Bowman was a founding member and from 1920 to 1923 president of the Virginia Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, and she served as president of the Richmond affiliate from 1926 to 1928. In 1931 and 1933 she was elected president of the National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs. During the Great Depression she used her position as federation president to oppose a plan to restrict employment of married women by the federal government. Bowman was also a member of the Southern Woman’s Educational Alliance and supported increased opportunities for young women to obtain advanced education at William and Mary and other public colleges and universities. A talented public speaker, she took part during both World Wars in campaigns to sell war bonds, and during the 1930s she campaigned for the Democratic Party. Her daughter, Geline Bowman Williams, served as mayor of Richmond from 1988 to 1990.