John-Geline MacDonald Bowman
While living at 1904 Hanover Avenue early in the 1920s, John-Geline MacDonald Bowman began managing the Expert Letter Writing Company, a direct-mail advertising firm that eventually grew to be one of the largest in the South.
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.