Biography of Robert W. Cowan
Armstrong County, PA Biographies

ROBERT W. COWAN. The Cowan family of this county, on the paternal side, is of Irish extraction, and the subject of this sketch is a son ofJames and Sarah (Porterfield) Cowan, and was born in North Buffalo township, Armstrong county, Pennsylvania, November 11, 1844. His paternal grandfather, John Cowan, was born in county Down, Ireland, and settled in 1802 at Cowan's, Armstrong county. He was a farmer by occupation, a democrat in polities and a member of the United Presbyterian church, He had a family of nine children, four sons and five daughters, one of whom, James Cowan (father), was born April 14, 1806, in Armstrong county, where he always resided. He followed farming and was a republican in politics, while prior to that party's organization be was an old line whig. He was honored by his party, at different times, with an election to every one of the township offices. During the late civil war be was an "enrolling officer," He was a Presbyterian and one of the trustees of the church of that denomination at Kittanning until his death, which occurred October 11, 1867, when lie was in the sixty second year of his age. On June 11, 1833, be married Sarah Porterfield, and to their union were born eight children, four sons and four daughters: John, born in 1834; James C., born in 1835; Samuel was born in 1837, enlisted in Co. H, 8th regiment, Pa. Reserves, was taken prisoner at the Weldon railroad and sent to Libby prison, then to Belle Isle and finally to Salisbury, where he died; Nancy J., born in 1839; Alvin, born in 1841; Robert W., Rosanna, born in 1846; and Sarah, who was born in 1848.

Robert W. Cowan remained with his parents until he attained his majority. He received a common school education and has been engaged in farming ever since leaving school.

On January 6, 1870, he married Emeline L. Anderson, daughter of Henry Anderson. To Mr. and Mrs. Cowan have been born five children, three sons and two daughters: James P., born July 6, 1872; Rose A., born May 12, 1876; Henry A., born December 15, 1877; Robert E., born June 20, 1880; and Mary T. R., born January 1, 1886.

Robert W. Cowan is a republican in politics and a stanch advocate of temperance. He is a Presbyterian and during the last five years has been an elder in the First Presbyterian church at Kittanning.

Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia
of Indiana and Armstrong Counties, Pennsylvania
Samuel T. Wiley, Historian & Editor
John M. Greshan & Co.
Philadelphia, 1891

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