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.

Myrtle Bertie Hinson Cowan (1879-1971)

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(Scrapbook pages created in Close To My Heart’s Studio J.)

This is the final installment of my series on the children of my great great grandparents Isaac Newton Hinson (1849-1925) and Louisa Cumi Harp Hinson (1852-1918). You can read about their family here.

My great grandmother Myrtle Bertie Hinson Cowan (1879-1971) is the 5th of 10 children. She was born August 13, 1879 in Whitener, Arkansas. She married Albert Gibson Cowan on March 16, 1902 in Washington County, Arkansas. My grandfather Wallace Paul Cowan was born January 25, 1903. The marriage ended in 1904 but I haven’t found divorce records. You can read about my experience figuring out what happened to Albert Gibson Cowan here.

Bertie, age 29, is found on the 1910 US Census living with her son Paul, age 7, in Springdale. They live with her parents Isaac and Cumi, her sister Clopie, her brother Lin and his wife Annie. She is working at home as a dressmaker. She is listed as married.

My grandfather never mentioned that his mother remarried, but in the Arkansas Marriage Index I found Bertie Cowan marrying Henry T. Troutt on April 7, 1912. I can’t find a divorce record for this marriage either, and I’m not 100% sure it’s her. But I am 90% sure since there is a Henry T Troutt buried in Bluff Cemetery, Springdale, with his wife Amanda who died in May 1911.

The 1920 US Census finds Bertie, age 33, and Paul, age 16, living with their father/grandfather Isaac in Springdale. Bertie is divorced and not working. Paul is a delivery boy for a grocery store.

The 1930 US Census finds Bertie, age 48, working as a saleslady at a variety store. Paul is 27 with no occupation listed. They were enumerated in the census on May 19, 1930 and Paul married Ellen Cecelia Barber in Platte County, Missouri later that same year. He spent time in Kansas City during 1929 and 1930, working various jobs, and living in what he referred to as Ma Terry’s Boarding House at 2512 Prospect.

Back to Bertie. She is found in the 1940 US Census at age 56, living alone, with no occupation listed. She spent her last years in a nursing home in Springdale. I know from letters she wrote to Paul that Albert Cowan’s relatives visited and cared for her throughout her life. Tom Cowan served as a pallbearer at her funeral, but I don’t know where it fits into the family tree. Cora Cowan (married to brother-in-law John Henry Cowan) sent her dresses while she was living in the nursing home, and Mildred Cowan Stiles visited and wrote to Paul that she wasn’t happy with the conditions. I don’t think Paul visited much if at all, and I know that my great grandmother never met me. I was 3 when she died.

HINSON BertieBertie died September 1, 1971 in Springdale and is buried in Bluff Cemetery. I have a letter from Paul’s cousin Theda Baggett Collins imploring him to purchase a headstone for her grave, but I don’t think he did. I can’t find a memorial for her on Find A Grave.

 

 

Her child:

Wallace Paul Cowan – My grandfather Paul was born January 25, 1903 in Springdale, Arkansas. He married Ellen Cecelia Barber in 1930 and they had 2 children. He died February 2, 1988 and Ellen died February 2, 1990. His Find A Grave memorial is here. I’ve done other posts about Paul, including filling stations he worked at, photos he took from the water tower in Springdale, and Marshall Auto Store where he worked.