My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Phelps County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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.

* * * *

David E. Cowan, circuit clerk and ex-officio recorder of Phelps County, Mo., was elected to his present position in November, 1886, by a majority of 207 votes. Mr. Cowan is a native of Phelps County, and was born December 7, 1858; he was educated in the district schools, and attended nearly two years at School of Mines at Rolla, subsequently remaining and assisting on his father’s farm until 1878, when he entered the teacher’s profession, following this for two terms near Edgar Springs, his birth place. The year 1879 he spent on the frontier of Texas, and from 1880 to 1886 he engaged in tilling the soil and dealing in stock. He is the son of Dr. Robert B. and Susannah B. (Lenox) Cowan, grandson of William B. Cowan, and great-grandson of William Cowan, who was a native of Scotland, and an attorney by profession. He was at one time an opponent in a law suit with Patrick Henry. William B. Cowan was a native of Virginia, as was also his son, Dr. Robert B. Cowan, whose birth occurred in Nodaway County in 1825. He was a graduate of Mary’s and William’s College, and was a very intelligent gentleman. In an early day he came West, locating in St. Louis, and afterward settled in Washington County, in Bellview Valley. Here he died in 1864, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Mary A. Bates, in Pulaski County. Dr. Cowan received his education in the common schools, and his medical education at McDowell’s Institute, in St. Louis, graduating as an M. D. at about the age of twenty-three. He settled in Phelps County, Mo., when a young man, and about 1854 he married Miss Susannah B. Lenox. She was born in Phelps County, Mo., in 1833, and is the daughter of Elder David and Elizabeth (Brown) Lenox, who were natives of Kentucky, coming to Missouri at an early date. Elder David Lenox was an Old School Baptist minister of this section of Missouri, and was a man of marked influence in church and society. He died during the war, in Arkansas. Dr. Robert B. Cowan died January 10, 1879. He was actively engaged in the practice of his profession from the time of graduating until up to within a short time of his death, being one of the leading physicians and surgeons of Phelps County for many years. He was quite successful, being the owner of 800 acres of land, 600 acres being in one tract. His wife is yet living, and is the mother of eight children, seven of whom are living: Elizabeth C., wife of W. W. Lenox, M. D., of Lake Springs, Dent Co., Mo.; David E.; Robert B., M. D., of Phelps County, Mo., and a graduate of the Missouri Medical College, at St. Louis; William H., farmer; John W., Travis J. and Francis M. David E. is a Democrat in politics, is a member of the Masonic order, and also a member of the I. O. O. F.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 71 biographies included in The History of Phelps County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Phelps County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Phelps County, Missouri family biographies, click here

To view a map of Phelps County, Missouri: Phelps County, Missouri Map

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.