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Below is a family biography included in History of Lee County, Iowa published by Western Historical Company in 1879.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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COWLES, PHILOTUS, carpenter and builder, and foreman of S. & J. C. Atlee’s shingle mill; was born in Unadilla, Otsego Co., N. Y., Oct. 10, 1816; he was brought up in that State, and learned the trade of carpenter and joiner; he came to Iowa; arrived at Ft. Madison May 3, 1838, and began working at his trade; he continued in the building business until the spring of 1863, and since then he has been foreman of the shingle mills at Atlee’s mills. Mr. Cowles is one of the earliest settlers and has lived here over forty-one years; he has been prominently connected with the Order of Odd Fellows, and was the member initiated in this Order in Fort Madison, and he is authority in all matters relating to the Order here; he has held the office of City Collector and City Marshal. He married Miss Jane Simmons, a native of the State of New York, Nov. 6, 1836; she died March, 1841, leaving one daughter — Melissa; for some years she has been in the B. & M. Land Office at Burlington. On the 5th day of January, 1842, he married Diana Freeman, a native of Rutland Co., Vt.; they have seven children — Elijah, Calvin, Samuel, Alva, Jane, George, Ella; Elijah and Calvin were in the army; Elijah enlisted in 1861, in the 7th Reg. Iowa Inf., Co. D; Calvin enlisted in the same company in February, 1862; he was wounded in the battle of Corinth; they both re-enlisted and served as veterans until the end of the war; Samuel enlisted in the 100-day service in the 45th Reg. Iowa Inf., Co. E.

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This family biography is one of 668 biographies included in The History of Lee County, Iowa published in 1879.  For the complete description, click here: Lee County, Iowa History and Genealogy

View additional Lee County, Iowa family biographies: Lee County, Iowa Biographies

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