David McGowan


DAVID McGOWAN, a prominent business man of Steubenville, Ohio, and a member of the wholesale grocery firm of McGowan Brothers, was born in Steubenville, January 17, 1838. He was the son of David and Mary M. (Reed) McGowan, the former of whom was born in county Down, Ireland, in the year 1799, of Scotch-Irish descent, and was the son of William McGowan, with whom he came to America in 1814. After a brief residence in the city of New York, they came directly to Jefferson county, Ohio and located in Salem township. William McGowan had previously made a trip to America but owing to his inability to make proper disposition of his property interests in Ireland, he did not remain. That was in about the year 1790. Before coming to America in 1814 he had been a merchant by occupation, but after locating in Jefferson county, Ohio he turned his attention to farming, and followed it until his death which however was only a short time as he lived only a few years after locating in Salem township. His son, David McGowan, who became the father of our subject, spent his youth in Salem township, Jefferson county, Ohio and in Washington county, Penn., being employed during the time, at farm work. He was married in about 1826, to Mary M. Reed, and shortly after located in Steubenville, Ohio where he spent the rest of his life. In 1828 he engaged in the grocery business and he did a business of that kind in Steubenville about forty-five years. He was a devoted member of the United Presbyterian church, and in his late years, he was an ardent republican, being an intimate friend of Edwin M. Stanton. He died in July, 1873. The mother of our subject was born in Washington county, Penn., in 1802 and was the daughter of Robert Reed. She resided in her native county until her marriage to Mr. McGowan and after that spent the rest of her life in Steubenville, Ohio. She bore to her husband seven children, of whom our subject was the fifth, and of whom five are still living. She died in May, 1866. She also was a member of the United Presbyterian church. The son, David McGowan whose name precedes this history has spent his entire life, thus far, in Steubenville. He received hsi early education in the public schools of the city and also in a private academy, a school that formerly existed. At eighteen, he began to learn the jeweler's trade, and served an apprenticeship of three years. He then entered the wholesale and retail grocery store owned by his father, as a clerk, and book-keeper. In 1864, he became the partner of his father, and his brother William McGowan, also became a member of the firm about the same time. The firm under the name of McGowan & Sons, continued until July, 1873, when it was terminated by the father's death. About six weeks following his death, his brother William also died, leaving him as the only surviving member of the firm. In the following fall, his brother, Robert McGowan, became his partner, and the firm, under the name of McGowan Brothers has done an extensive wholesale grocery business ever since. It has built up a large trade, and no firm in the Ohio valley has a more honorable reputation. Mr. McGowan was married October 3, 1865 to Ella Easton, daughter of Rev. John S. Easton, D. D., of the United Presbyterian church. Their marriage occurred in Scroggsfield, Carroll county, Ohio, where the father of Mrs. McGowan was engaged as pastor. The latter is now deceased, having died in Allegheny City, Penn., in 1878. Mr. and Mrs. McGowan have had five children, as follows: John E., Sarah D., Jeanette W., David and Helen, all of whom are living except Sarah D., who died aged ten months. Our subject and wife are consistent members of the United Presbyterian church. In politics the former is a republican. He has served one term as a member of the city council, and for the past seven years, he has been a member of the board of water works trustees. He is a man of pleasing manner and address, and his business qualifications are of a very high order. Both in social and business circles he stands very high. He has been vice president of the Steubenville National bank since its organization.

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