Helen Tulloch Bowles (Jitney Jane) Collection.

Helen Tulloch Bowles.

ca. 1905-1977, bulk 1914-1932.

87 photographs (71 photographic prints, 16 nitrate negatives): b&w; 8 x 10 in. or smaller.
3 albums (908 photographic prints): b&w; 25 x 31 cm. or smaller.
1 item (34 p.): ill. (13 mounted photographic prints); 28 cm.

Photographic prints: OP12129/0-80.
Nitrate negatives: 87:16479/29-44.
Albums: C018/PA1-3.

San Diego History Center
Booth Historical Photograph Archives
P.O. Box 81825
San Diego, CA 92138

Gift of Julia Tulloch Major (Helen Tulloch Bowles’s niece), 1983 (443-D).

Open for research.

For permission to reproduce or publish, contact the curator of the Booth Historical Photograph Archives of the San Diego Historical Society. Reproduction or publication of any part of this collection must include the following information next to the image(s) or in a special section of credits: Helen Tulloch Bowles (Jitney Jane) Collection, San Diego Historical Society, Booth Historical Photograph Archives.

Arrangement: (1) loose photographs, manuscript, clippings, ephemera, and collection notes; (2) albums; and (3) nitrate negatives. Related materials: typed transcript of oral history interview with Helen Bowles; Ethel Tulloch clippings and correspondence transferred to Research Archives (MS210); and postcards transferred to Postcard Collection (C094). Forms part of: San Diego History Center Original Print Collection.

Known as “Jitney Jane” after she became San Diego’s first woman commercial driver in 1914, Helen Tulloch Bowles drove a jitney bus and then an automobile stage until 1918 or 1919. She was born in Washington, D.C., in 1890 and moved to San Diego in 1907. Her parents were Seymour W. and Jessie S. Tulloch. She also had an older brother and sister, Thomas H. and Ethel W. Tulloch. Her first husband Leo Hurley died in 1925. She later married William J. (Chester) Bowles and operated a cattle ranch in Lakeside for 40 years until her death in 1978.

Photographs and other items chronicle the early life and work of San Diego jitney bus driver Helen Tulloch Bowles (Jitney Jane). The collection includes many photographs of camping and sightseeing trips, picnics, horseback rides, and outings throughout San Diego County’s back country, California, and the West during the early 1920s. It also contains an unpublished manuscript with mounted photographs that documents a 200-mile horseback ride taken in 1932 through San Diego County by Helen Tulloch Bowles, her husband William Bowles, and nephew Page H. Tulloch. Many images focus on desert, canyon, mountain, river, ocean, and other nature scenes. Other images include portraits and snapshots of Tulloch family members, friends, and pets. Work related items include Helen Tulloch’s San Diego Auto Bus Association membership card, her business card, newspaper clippings, and photographs of various automobiles she owned and used as jitney buses, including her first, a 1913 Ford. There is also a studio portrait of her dressed in her driving clothes.

Buses — California — San Diego.
Horseback riding.
National parks & reserves — California.
Back country (San Diego County, Calif.) — Photographs.
San Diego (Calif.) — Women.
Women — Work.


Box 1
Folder 1 Notes
Handwritten inventory of the collection (26 p.), possibly compiled by the donor Julia Tulloch Major (Helen Tulloch Bowles’s niece).
Folder 2 OP12129/0-80
Photographic prints. Includes portraits and snapshots of Helen Tulluch Bowles (Jitney Jane) as a young woman before moving to San Diego, dressed in her driving clothes, and standing beside various early model automobiles she used for jitney bus service. Also, driving and camping in San Diego County’s back country, Arizona and the Grand Canyon, the Tulloch family home on Front Street, snapshots of Helen’s father Seymour Tulloch and her sister Ethel, St. Paul’s Church at 8th and C streets, and Ethel Tulloch receiving a certificate[?] from fellow postal workers.
Folder 3 Manuscript
Unpublished manuscript “Three Cavaliers” (34 p.) with 13 mounted photographic prints documenting a 200-mile horseback ride taken in 1932 through San Diego County by Helen Tulloch Bowles, her husband William Bowles, and nephew Page H. Tulloch.
Folder 4 Clippings and ephemera
Chiefly newspaper clippings and ephemera related to Helen Tulloch Bowles and her years as a jitney driver. Includes her business card, a 1917 issue of Sunset magazine with a profile of Helen Tulloch in an article “Interesting Westerners”; and a 1910 San Diego Sun news story about Helen Tulloch and another woman stopping a runaway horse on 4th Street. Also, a news story about efforts by her husband W.J. Bowles to organize a volunteer defense group to patrol San Diego County’s back country during World War II.
Folder 5 Clippings and ephemera
Miscellaneous clippings and ephemera related to other members of the Tulloch family. Includes Seymour W. Tulloch’s obituary and a stock certificate he owned for shares in the Panama-California Exposition of 1915. Also, a newspaper profile of Helen Tulloch Bowle’s nephew (her brother Thomas H. Tulloch’s son) U.S. Navy Lt. Page Tulloch, skipper of the PT boat assigned to General Mark Clark during the Battle of Salerno; and a typed poem “Sea Ferrets” by Page Tulloch.
Box 2
Folder 6 PA1
Album with 218 black-and-white snapshots from 1922. Documents various trips throughout California and San Diego County, including trips Helen Tulloch took with her first husband Leo Hurley to Eureka and Big Bear Lake. Also, a family trip to Yosemite, a trip to Cuyamaca, Hurley Ranch, and Balboa Park. Chiefly scenic views, most with captions.
Folder 7 PA2
Album with 40 black-and-white photographic prints, enlargements by Helen’s mother Jessie S. Tulloch. Subjects include various family trips and outings throughout California and the West from 1922-1923, the “auto log” and General Sherman redwood tree in Sequoia National Park, views of Palm Canyon, Helen and Ethel on horseback, camping in Riverside County, and a family picnic near Cuyamaca. Some photographs evidently removed.
Folder 8 PA3
Album with 650 black-and-white snapshots from 1914-1925. Subjects include family trips and outings throughout San Diego County’s back country, California, and Arizona; desert, mountain, river, shore, and other nature scenes; picnics, horseback riding, and camping; family members, friends, and pets; Helen Tulloch’s San Diego Auto Bus Association membership card, newspaper clippings, and photographs of the various automobiles she owned and used as jitney buses, most of them numbered and named, including her first, a 1913 Ford (OP12129/63 and 87:16479/13); interior and exterior views of her house in La Mesa; Balboa Park, and the 1923 eclipse of the sun. Of special note, two photographs of James Earle Fraser’s plaster statue The End of the Trail near Visalia, California [a recreation of his original sculpture, it had been displayed at San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 before being purchased by the Visalia].
Cold room
Folder 9 87:16479/29-44
Nitrate negatives. Chiefly mountain and desert scenes.