BOWERS, Edward Augustus (1857-1924); CLEVELAND, President Grover (1837-1908)
Archive Comprising 1 Certificate Signed by President Grover Cleveland Granting Land in South Dakota to Conservationist Edward A. Bowers and 3 Supporting Documents
Washington DC: c.1889-1895. Archive. Sheet sizes variable. 1 US Timber-Culture certificate granting land in Aberdeen, South Dakota, to Bowers, signed in ink and affixed with the wax seal of the US Land Office; 1 brass-fastened collection of 4 typescript pages: "Application for Extension of Time by Edward A. Bowers"; 1 typescript letter corrected and signed in ink from J. McChesney to Bowers; and a small sheet with calculations titled "Dimensions in Planting Tree Claims"
A remarkable US government document signed in ink by President Grover Cleveland granting 150 acres of Dakota Territory to Edward A. Bowers, an important early advocate of environmental conservation. With three additional documents concerning Bowers and his Dakota parcel.
"'To encourage the Growth of Timber on the Western Prairies,' the claim of Edward A. Bowers has been established and duly consummated, in conformity to law, for the South East quarter of section eighteen in township one hundred and twenty-four. North of range sixty, West of the fifth principal Meridian in South Dakota containing one hundred and fifty acres." Edward A. Bowers helped create the forest reserves and the national forest system of the United States. He advocated for proper usage of federal lands, including the conservation of public timberlands. Bowers moved to the Dakota Territory for health reasons in 1882, where he would acquire 150 acres near Aberdeen, as granted by President Grover Cleveland, who was Bowers's fellow Democrat. Bowers at that time was serving as the Cleveland administration's Inspector of Public Lands and was charged with curtailing illegal fencing on public lands by large holders of cattle. A personal representative of the Secretary of the Interior L. L. C. Lamar, who signed the Timber-Culture certificate contained in the archive, Bowers traveled throughout the West trying land cases and supervising land officers. Bowers later taught at the Yale University School of Forestry from 1901 to 1917, where there is now a Bowers archive.
Sterling, et al. Biographical Dictionary of American and Canadian Naturalists and Enviromentalists, 95-96.