Thomas B. Cowan (1855->1930) & Martha Josephine Johnston (1855-1920)

updated February 2019

Thomas B. Cowan and Martha Josephine Johnson Cowan are my 2x great grandparents, the parents of my great grandfather Albert Gibson Cowan.

Thomas B. Cowan was born in Arkansas in May 1855 according to the 1900 US Census. His parents were John Gillespie Cowan and Elvira Hubbard Cowan, and Thomas was the 3rd of their 8 known children. He had two older sisters, and three younger sisters and two younger brothers. You can see his parents’ Find A Grave memorials here. Read more about the family here.

Martha Josephine Johnston was born in Arkansas in June 1858. Her parents were Samuel Houston Johnston and Margaret Hickman, and Martha was the oldest of their 5 known children. She had one younger brother and three younger sisters. See her father’s Find A Grave memorial here. Read more about the family here.

On the 1860 US Census, Thomas was 4 and he lived with his parents and siblings in Colville, Benton County, Arkansas. Martha was 2 and she too lived with her parents and siblings in Colville, Benton County, Arkansas.

On the 1870 US Census, Thomas was 14, and he lived with his parents and siblings in Osage, Benton County, Arkansas. Martha was 12 and she too lived with her parents and siblings in Osage, Benton County, Arkansas.

Thomas and Martha were married December 25, 1876 in Benton County, Arkansas. Thomas was 21 and Martha was 18. In 1878, they had son Charles. In 1879, they had son John. Also in 1879, Thomas’ sister Bell died.

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

Son Charles died sometime after that census, with that being the last record I find of him.

In 1884, they had son Albert. In 1885, they had daughter May. In 1896, Thomas’ sister Elizabeth died, and in 1899 his sister Emma died.

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

Martha’s father Samuel died in 1904, and she was listed as married in his obituary. Sometime after that, Thomas and Martha divorced. In 1907, Martha’s brother James died.

On the 1910 US Census, Thomas was 54, divorced, and he lived with his parents John and Elvira Cowan in Washington, Arkansas. He worked 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 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 wa 24, and adopted daughter Edna Johnson who was 16. George died in 1913, and his will refers to his wife as Josie.

In 1915, Thomas’ father John died.

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.

In 1919, Thomas’ mother Elvira died.

I can’t find Thomas in 1920. In 1930 he was still in Washington, Arkansas. He was 76, lived alone, and was a carpenter in a repair shop. I lose track of him after this.

The children of Thomas B. Cowan & Martha Josephine Johnston:

Charles E. Cowan – Charles 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 – John 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 January 8, 1938 at age 58. 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.

My beautiful picture

Albert Gibson Cowan

Albert Gibson Cowan – My great grandfather was born March 27, 1884 in Benton County, Arkansas. He married Myrtle Bertie Cowan on March 10, 1902 when he was 17 years old. They had a son and divorced. Albert married Izora Beatrice Shirley on September 3, 1912 when he was 28 years old. They had 4 children. He died December 17, 1963 in Nevada, Vernon County, Missouri at age 79. Read more about him here and here and here. His Find a Grave memorial is here.

Charlotte May Cowan & her daughter Virginia Cowan Cambron

Charlotte May Cowan – May was born in September 1885 in Arkansas. On May 7, 1912 she married Ruby J. Cambron, a plumber, and they had 2 children. She died in 1960 at age 75. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Albert Gibson Cowan (1884-1963) & Myrtle Bertie Hinson (1879-1971)

updated January 2019

Albert Gibson Cowan & Myrtle Bertie Hinson are my great grandparents, the parents of my grandfather Wallace Paul Cowan.

Bertie was born August 13, 1879 in Whitener, Arkansas. Her parents were Isaac Newton Hinson and Louisa Cumi Harp. You can read about them here. When Bertie was born, she joined older brothers and two sisters, and three more brothers and two more sisters followed. Bertie, age 9 months, was found on the 1880 US Census, living in Prairie, Madison County, Arkansas. She lived with her parents and four siblings. In 1884, her brother Zimri died, and in 1887, her brother Polk died. Bertie was found on the 1900 US Census in Springdale, Washington County, Arkansas. She was 20 years old lived with her parents and four siblings.

Albert was born March 27, 1884 in Benton County, Arkansas. His parents were Thomas B. Cowan and Martha Josephine Johnston. You can read about them here. When Albert was born, he joined two brothers, and a sister followed. Albert, age 16 and working as a day laborer, was found on the 1900 US Census living in Springdale, Washington County, Arkansas with his parents and his sister.

Bertie and Albert married on March 16, 1902 in Washington County, Arkansas. Albert was only 17 years old, and Bertie was 22. My grandfather Wallace Paul Cowan was born January 25, 1903. The marriage ended in 1904 but I haven’t found divorce records. (Albert’s parents divorced sometime between 1904 and 1907. His mother married two more times.) You can read about my experience figuring out what happened to Albert Gibson Cowan here.

Bertie, age 31, was found on the 1910 US Census living with her son Paul, age 7, in Springdale. They lived with her parents Newton and Cumi, her sister Cleopie, her brother Lin and his wife Annie. She was working at home as a dressmaker. She was listed as married.

Albert, age 26, was found on the 1910 US Census living in Lawton Ward 3, Comanche County, Oklahoma. He was a boarder, working as a telephone lineman.

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. Bertie was 32 and Henry was 52. I can’t find a divorce record for this marriage either, but it apparently didn’t last long.

On September 3, 1912, Albert married Izora Beatrice Shirley in Custer County, Oklahoma.  Albert was 28 years old going into this marriage, and Izora was 20. They had a son in 1915 and a daughter in 1918.

In 1918, Bertie’s mother Cumi died, and in 1920, her sister Vernia died.

On the 1920 US Census, Bertie, age 41, and Paul, age 16, lived with Bertie’s father Newton in Springdale. Bertie was marked as divorced and not working. Paul was a delivery boy for a grocery store.

Albert was found on the 1920 US Census living in Kiowa, Roger Mills, Oklahoma. He was 36 and worked as a manager at a telephone company. That year, his mother Martha died.

In 1925, Bertie’s father Newton died.

Albert and Izora had daughters born in 1921, 1923. By 1923, they had moved from Oklahoma to Chilhowee, Johnson County, Missouri.

The 1930 US Census found Bertie, age 51, working as a saleslady at a variety store. Paul was 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.

Albert lived in Chilhowee, Johnson County, Missouri on the 1930 US Census. He was 46 and worked as a lineman at a telephone company. Sometime over the previous decade, their daughter Ada had died. Albert’s father Thomas died in 1930.

In 1938, Albert’s brother Thomas died. Albert and his family moved to California.

Bertie was found on the 1940 US Census at age 60, living alone, with no occupation listed. In 1945, her brother Thomas died; in 1946 her sister Cleopie died;  in 1949 her brother Dan died; in 1952 her brother Lin died; in 1959 her sister Ada died; and in 1970 her last living sibling, sister Belle, died.

Albert was found on the 1940 US Census at age 56, was a “trouble shooter”, and lived in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California with his wife and three children. In 1943, Albert’s wife died. In 1960, his last living sibling, sister Charlotte, died.

Albert returned to Missouri sometime after his wife’s death. He died on December 17, 1963 at age 79. He was a patient at the Missouri State Hospital in Nevada, Missouri at the time of his death. His Find a Grave memorial is here.

Bertie 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.

Bertie died September 1, 1971 in Springdale at age 92. She is buried in Bluff Cemetery. I have a letter from Paul’s cousin Theda Baggett imploring him to purchase a headstone for her grave, but I don’t think he did. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

The child of Albert Gibson Cowan & Myrtle Bertie Hinson:

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 at age 85 and Ellen died February 2, 1990 at age 81. 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.

The children of Albert Gibson Cowan & Izora Beatrice Shirley:

Albert Gibson Cowan, Jr. –  He was born June 16, 1915 in Oklahoma. He married Grace Irene Redfield on September 7, 1940 in Los Angeles, California. They had a son. Albert died October 24, 2002 in California at age 87.

Ada M. Cowan – She was born about 1918 in Oklahoma. The only record I have of her is the 1920 US Census.

Sonora Joe Cowan – She was born about 1921 in Oklahoma. She married Addison L. Chrisman on April 27, 1946 in Los Angeles, California. They had two children. Sonora died November 15, 1973 in Issaquah, King County, Washington at age 52.

Marjorie B. Cowan – She was born July 5, 1923 in Missouri. She never married and had no children. She died October 15, 1997 in San Bernadino, California at age 74.  Her Find a Grave memorial is here.