The Cowden Family, p. 371

COWDEN. The grandfather of the present generation, John Cowden, was born in eastern Pennsylvania of Scotch-Irish parents, who had settled in the State several years prior to his birth. He was united in marriage with Anna Sloan, and soon afterward moved to Washington county. They settled on a farm in Mt. Pleasant township, a part of the original George Washington survey, where the remainder of their lives was passed.

John Cowden, father of our subject, and son of John and Anna (Sloan) Cowden, was born in Mt. Pleasant township, this county, passing his boyhood on the home place. In 1820 he married Mary Kelso, also a native of this township. She was a daughter of Mark and Martha (Ewing) Kelso, natives of Allegheny county, Penn., who came to this county in pioneer days and died here. Mr. and Mrs. John Cowden began their wedded life on the farm now occupied by their son Robert, where the following children were born: Elizabeth, Joseph (a farmer of Cecil township), Mark K., Margaret B. (married R. B. Miller, of Canonsburg, and died in 1886), Jane, John, Robert and Mary (widow of Rev. R. C. Welch, pastor of the Buffalo U. P. Church; she is living in Philadelphia, and has three sons: Robert Lincoln, a U. P. minister, in Iowa; James M., an assistant U. P. minister, in Philadelphia, and John C., attending the medical college at Philadelphia). Mr. Cowden followed farming all his life. He was an active Whig, and in church connection he and his wife were members of the U. P. Seceder Church at Hickory. He died in 1854, his wife in 1883.

Mark K. Cowden was born September 27, 1827, on the home farm in Mt. Pleasant township, receiving his education in the subscription schools of the vicinity. In early life he was united in marriage with Jane, daughter of Andrew and Elizabeth (Bell) Thompson, early residents of Chartiers township. Mr. and Mrs. Cowden began life on the farm where they yet reside. This contains 204 acres of well-cultivated land, and also a good gas well. They also own about seventy-eight acres near Hickory and are interested in sheep growing. They are members of the U. P. Church at Venice. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Cowden are: John (who lives in Hickory, married to Elizabeth Boyce), Thompson (living near Hickory, married to Sarah McKnight), Elizabeth (residing in Houstonville, wife of Harry McNary), Robert, William, Lida, VanEmmon, Mary (Mrs. Joseph Little, of Cecil township), and Joseph Alexander (a farmer of Mt. Pleasant township, married to Anna Cummins). Mr. Cowden votes with the Prohibition party.

ROBERT COWDEN was born November 10, 1835, on the farm in Mt. Pleasant township, which is yet his home, and received a district-school education. In 1859 he was united in marriage with Margaret, daughter of Samuel and Mary A. (Miller) Allison, natives of Beaver county, Penn., who settled in Mt. Pleasant township about 1855. To Mr. and Mrs. Cowden children were born as follows: Elizabeth (wife of John Peacock, of Houstonville), John (deceased in his fifteenth year), Emma (wife of Robert Smith, of Mt. Pleasant township), Margaret, Jennie A., Robert and Joseph. The four last named living at home. The mother of this family died in February, 1877, and on September 15, 1880, Mr. Cowden married Margaret McDonald, a native of Beaver county, Penn., to whom one child, McDonald Cowden, was born. Mrs. Cowden is a daughter of John and Margaret (Barclay) McDonald. Mrs. McDonald resided in Washington county, prior to her marriage, after which they settled in Beaver county, Penn., the birthplace of Mr. McDonald. Both parents died in that county, the mother passing away in 1887. Robert Cowden inherited the old homestead of 260 acres, to which he has added about as much by purchase, all being in a good state of cultivation. He devotes considerable attention to stock, raising a high grade of Black-top Merino sheep. In politics he votes the Republican ticket, and in church relations he and his wife are members of the United Presbyterian Church at Venice.

Text taken from page 371 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).

Transcribed June 1997 by Marilyn K. MacKendrick of N. Charleston, SC as part of the Beers Project.
Published June 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at

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