Thomas B. Cowan (1855-?) & Martha Josephine Johnston (1855-1920)

I have no pictures of my great great grandparents Thomas B. Cowan and Martha Josephine Johnson Cowan, and I’m missing quite a bit of information about them.

Thomas B. Cowan was born in Arkansas in May 1855 according to the 1900 US Census. His parents are John Gillespie Cowan (1827-1915) and Elvira Hubbard Cowan (1829-1919.) You can see their Find A Grave memorials here.

Martha Josephine Johnston was born in Arkansas in June 1855 according to the 1900 US Census. Her parents are Samuel Houston Johnston and Margaret Hickman. See her father’s Find A Grave memorial here.

Thomas and Martha were married December 25, 1876 in Benton County, Arkansas. Thomas was 20 and Martha was 18.

On the 1880 US Census they are farming in Colville, Arkansas.  Thomas is 24, Martha is 21, their son Charles E is 2 and their son Henry is 9 months old.

On the 1900 US Census they are in Springdale. Thomas is 45 and a carpenter. Martha is 45. Son Albert G is 18 and a day laborer. Daughter Mary M is 14. They’ve had 5 children, 4 of whom are living.

On the 1910 US Census, Thomas is 54, divorced, and living with his parents John and Elvira Cowan in Washington, Arkansas. He works as a carpenter in the housing industry.

Martha married George Skeith in Washington County, Arkansas on April 20, 1907. George was a widower with three grown children. On the 1910 US Census, Martha J was 52 and George Skeith was 63 (born in Scotland, a stock dealer). They lived in McAlester, Oklahoma with Martha’s daughter May Cowan who is 24, and adopted daughter Edna Johnson who is 16. George died in 1913, and his will refers to his wife as Josie.

Martha married Isaac P. Brown on February 17, 1916 in Pittsburg, Oklahoma. Isaac was a widowed carpenter with three grown children. Martha died in 1920 and her Find A Grave memorial is here.

I can’t find Thomas in 1920, but his parents have both passed by then. In 1930 he is still in Washington, Arkansas. He is 76, living alone and is a carpenter in a repair shop. I lose track of him after this.

Their children:

Charles E. Cowan – He was born in Arkansas in 1878, I have no record of him after the 1880 US Census when he is 2 years old.

John Henry Cowan – He was born August 5, 1879 in Benton County, Arkansas. He married Cora A. Smith in Washington County, Arkansas on January 22, 1902. They had 6 children. They were in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 1910 and in Tulsa, Oklahoma by 1920. John worked as a manager at a telephone company is 1910, as a warehouse foreman for Nichols Transfer Company in 1920, and as a farmer in 1930. He died in 1938 and his Find A Grave memorial is here. Cora died in October 1976 and her Find A Grave memorial is here.

His younger brother Albert worked for telephone companies most of his life, and I wonder if John didn’t get him started in that line of work.

Albert Gibson Cowan – He is my great grandfather, and you can read about him here.

Charlotte May Cowan – (Pictured with her daughter.) May was born in September 1885 in Arkansas. In 1912 married Ruby J. Cambron, a plumber, and they had 2 children. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

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