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Below is a family biography included in The History of Fayette County, Tennessee published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1887.  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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William P. Cowan, an enterprising merchant of La Grange, Fayette Co., Tenn., was born February 3, 1852, in Marshall County, Miss., and is a son of David P. and Lugenia (Bull) Cowan. The father was born in North Carolina in 1811 and died in Marshall County, Miss., in 1854. The mother was born in Middle Tennessee about 1834, and is still living with our subject, who was the only child. William P. Cowan, by his own efforts, secured a good education; then spent twelve years in farming, and then went into partnership with his cousin, John S. B. Cowan, of Moscow, in Fayette County, in the grocery business at La Grange, and continued for nine years. In 1882 he commenced the dry goods business in partnership with his brother-in-law, J. B. Sims, and since then has been a leading merchant of the place. They carry a stock valued at $3,000, and he owns a valuable farm of 450 acres in Fayette County. December 20, 1876, he was married to Miss Onora Sims, a native of South Carolina, born October 15, 1853, and they have had three children; one son died, two daughters are living. Mr. Cowan has never united with any church, though a firm believer in the Christian religion and a man of good morals and strict integrity.

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This family biography is one of 77 biographies included in The History of Fayette County, Tennessee published in 1887 by Goodspeed.  The History of Fayette County was included within The History of Fayette and Hardeman Counties of Tennessee. For the complete description, click here: History of Fayette and Hardeman Counties, Tennessee

View additional Fayette County, Tennessee family biographies here: Fayette County, Tennessee

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