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.
Armstrong County Pennsylvania Biographies
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