PHILLIP COWDIN. The preservation of family history is a matter to which most intelligent people of the present day are giving especial attention, and the subject of this notice is one of those who appreciate its propriety and importance. He is usually to be found at his pleasant homestead, comprising 160 acres of well-cultivated land on section 33, township 16, range 11, a part, however, lying on section 34. He has been a resident of this township most of the time since coming to this county, in the spring of 1857, and is one of the self made men who by their own efforts have accumulated a competence for their declining years.
Mr. Cowdin is past sixty-nine years of age, having been born Jan. 12, 1820. His native place was Worcester County, Mass., and his father, Phillip Farrington Cowdin, was a farmer by occupation, and a native of the same county as his son. The paternal grandfather, Thomas Cowdin, served for a brief time as a Revolutionary soldier, being the son of a commissioned officer of the same war, and who bore the same name. The latter, Capt. Thomas Cowdin, was born on the Atlantic while his parents were crossing from Ireland. They located in Worcester County, Mass., and were represented by a large number of descendants, many of whom lived an died in the Bay State, of which one brother and two sisters of our subject are still residents.
Both Thomas Cowdin, Sr., and his son, were farmers by occupation, and lived to an advanced age. Both became fathers of large families. Thomas Sr., had twelve children. Thomas, Jr., married Miss Mary Farrington. She also was born and reared in Massachusetts, and had a brother, Lieut. Jacob Farrington, who was a commissioned officer under King George III. Thomas Cowdin, Jr., and wife, after their marriage spent their lives at the old farm constituting land upon which their ancestors first settled when coming to this country, as members of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They also reared a large family, of whom Phillip Farrington Cowdin, the father of our subject, was the second son and fourth child. His life passed in a simple and uneventful manner until he attained to a man's estate, and he was then married in his native county to Miss Eunice Sawyer, who was born in Fitchburg, Mass., and was of ancestry similar to that of her husband.
After their marriage the parents of our subject settled on the old farm where the father and grandfather before them had lived and died, and where they also spent the remainder of their lives, both being within a few years of fourscore when gathered to their fathers. They are remembered as people of more than ordinary worth and intelligence, and were the parents of nine children, five sons and four daughters, four of whom are yet living, including the eldest and youngest child. Phillip, our subject, was the youngest but one of the family, and the first who came to this county was Putnam, now deceased. He made his way to the West early in the thirties, and died here. Phillip is the only one now living in the West.
Our subject was reared, educated and married in his native county, his bride being Miss Emily Pratt, their wedding being celebrated at her home in Massachusetts. Mrs. Cowdin was born in Fitchburg, Mass., July 26, 1823, and is the daughter of Levi and Emily (Fuller) Pratt, natives of Worcester County, and of New England parentage. Levi Pratt was the son of David Pratt, who, the records indicate, served in the Revolutionary War, and who later settled down on a farm in Worcester County, after having been married to Hepsibah Fay. Both he and his wife lived to be quite aged.
After his marriage Levi Pratt, with his young wife, settled down on a farm near Fitchburg, where his death took place at the age of fifty-seven years. His wife Emily, had preceded him to the better land when forty-seven years old. She was the daughter of Benjamin and Phebe (Poor) Fuller, who were born and spent their entire lives in the Bay State. Mrs. Cowdin was the third child and second daughter in a family of six boys and five girls born to her parents, eight of whom are now living. She was well reared and educated, and is the only member of her family in this State. The six children born of this marriage of our subject is recorded as follows: John Prescott, who resides in the West, is married and the father of one child; Anna F. became the wife of Isaac Houston, and they live on a farm in Sherman County, Kan.; Frank P. operates a farm in the same township as his father; Sarah E., Lincoln P. and Grace are at home with their parents. John P. and Anna, also Grace, have followed the profession of teachers. Lincoln was graduated in the Business College at Jacksonville.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Cowdin form a bright and interesting group, and reflect great honor upon their parentage and training, and both parents and children attend the Congregational Church, and uniformly give their encouragement to the projects having in view the moral and social elevation of the people around them. Our subject cast his first Presidential vote for Clay, and politically is a decided Republican.