COWAN, David C.
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, p 1124
David C. COWAN, a general merchant at Poplar Grove, Boone County [IL], was born in Fall River, MA, 01 Jan 1851. He is the son of Robert COWAN who was born in Buteshire, Scotland, where also his grandparents were born and spent their entire lives. Robert COWAN was the only member of the family who came to America, emigrating hither when a young man. He was engaged in the cotton mills in Fall River and Bernan [County], RI, residing in the East until 1848, at which time he came to IL. Making a short stay here, he returned to New England, and in the spring of 1851 came with his family to Boone Tonwship where he had purchased land. There was a log house on the place, in which the family resided, and here Mr. COWAN engaged in farming until his decease.
Our subject's mother, who bore the maiden name of Mary CARMANT, was a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and the daughter of Alexander and Elizabeth CARMANT. She is a present residing in Poplar Grove and is the mother of four children: Robert; Mary E., Mrs. E. B. BALL; David C., and Emma J., the wife of Arthur G. EDGELL. Our subject was an infant when his parents removed to the Prairie State [IL] and received his education in the district schools of this vicinity. When 19 years of age, he began teaching school, thus being employed for three terms. At the expiration of that time he entered the State Normal School at Normal [McLean County], IL, and after a course of two years was again engaged as a teacher at Bulkley, Iroquois County. Three years later, he came to Poplar Grove, Boone County, IL, and in company with his father-in-law engaged in the lumber business and later as a hardware merchant.
In 1884 Mr. COWAN went to the Territory of Dakota and pre-empted a tract of Govenment land in Clark County [now in SD], and after a residence there of one year returned to his place and engaged in the mercantile business. He carries a large stock of general merchandise, and by his courteous treatment of customers is well liked by all who know him and has a good share of patronage.
Julia WEBSTER, who was born in Boone County, IL, became the wife of our subject in 1872. She is the daughter of Willet S. and Mary J. (WHEELER) WEBSTER, and by her union with our subject has become the mother of two children: Mabel A. and Frank C. Mr. COWAN is a member of Poplar Grove Lodge Ancient Order of United Workmen, and is a demitted member of the Masonic lodge at Buckley. A Republican in politics, he cast his first Presidential vote for Hayes, and in local affairs has served as a member of the County Board of Supervisors for six years, five years as County Superintendent of Schools, and as a member of the Republican County Central Committee, has often represented his party in county and district conventions.
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.