Samuel Houston Johnston (1826-1904) & Margaret C. Hickman (1836->1910)

Samuel Houston Johnston & Margaret C. Hickman are my 3x great grandparents, the parents of my 2x great grandmother Martha Josephine Johnston.

Samuel Houston Johnston was born January 17, 1826 in Monroe County, Tennessee. Sometimes he went by Samuel, and sometimes he went by Houston, but I will call him Samuel. It’s possible that his parents are Richard Johnston and Polly, as there is a Samuel born in 1826 in Tennessee  living them on the 1850 US Census in Ripley, Missouri. I can’t find record of Richard and Polly before or after this census.

Margaret C. Hickman was born in 1836 in Tennessee. Her parents are unknown. We only know her last name because Samuel’s obituary listed it.

Samuel & Margaret married February 9, 1856.

On the 1860 US Census, Samuel was 34 and Margaret was 24. They farmed in Colville, Benton County, Arkansas. They had 2 children: Martha, age 2 and James, age 8 months.

On the 1870 US Census, Samuel was 44 and Margaret was 34. They lived in Osage, Benton County, Arkansas. They had 4 children: Martha, age 12; James, age 10; Mary, age 4; Esther, age 2.

On the 1880 US Census, the family was back farming in Colville, Benton County, Arkansas. Samuel was 54 and Margaret was 44. They had 4 children: James, age 20; Mary, age 14; Esther, age 12; Annie, age 7.

The only family members I can find on the 1900 US Census are Martha in Springdale, Washington County, Arkansas with husband Thomas Cowan and their children, and James in Goshen, Washington County, Arkansas with wife Nancy and their children.

Samuel died February 11, 1904, at age 78, at Martha’s house in Springdale. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

His obituary as transcribed on his Find A Grave memorial:

JOHNSTON, Samuel H. – Samuel H. Johnston was born in Monroe County, Tennessee January 17, 1826 and died at the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Cowan, in Springdale, February 11, 1904. He was converted at the age of twenty-one years and joined the Methodist Episcopal church, South, continuing a member of that church until his death, with the exception of a period when he did not have access to it, during which time he was a member of the Protestant Methodist church. On February 9, 1856 he was married to Margaret Hickman. This union was blessed with eight children, four of whom are dead, and the other four are left to mourn the loss of their father. His last affliction was long and trying indeed. For eight months he was confined to his room, shut up in total darkness, having lost his sight about the time he became ill. He bore his sad affliction with christian fortitude and cheerfulness and died in great peace. The remains were interred in Bluff Cemetery Friday, services being conducted by Rev. J.W. House, pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church, South. The bereaved family take this means of expressing their heartfelt gratitude to all who, n any way, gave assistance during the illness and death of Mr. Johnston. [The Springdale News – Springdale, Washington County, Arkansas – January 29, 1904]

On the 1910 US Census, Margaret lived in Grady County, Oklahoma. She lived with daughter Mary, age 42, Mary’s husband John H. Sidwell, age 45, and their children. Mary was 75 and said that she’d had 11 children, 6 of which were living.

I don’t know when or where Margaret died.

The children of Samuel Houston Johnston & Margaret C. Hickman:

Samuel’s obituary said they had 8 children. Margaret reported on the 1900 US Census having had 11 children. I find only 5 of them:

Martha Josephine Johnston – My 2X great grandmother Martha was born about 1858 in Arkansas. She married Thomas B. Cowan on December 25, 1876 in Benton County, Arkansas. They had 4 children. They divorced. Martha married George Skeith in Washington County, Arkansas on April 20, 1907. After he died Martha married Isaac P. Brown on February 17, 1916 in Pittsburg, Oklahoma. Martha died in 1920 at age 62, and her Find A Grave memorial is here. Read more about Martha here.

James H. Johnston – James was born January 22, 1860. He married Nancy Boyd and they had 6 children. He died May 27, 1907 when he was 47 and is buried in Goshen, Washington County, Arkansas. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Mary C. Johnston – Mary was born about 1866 in Arkansas. She married John H. Sidwell in about 1883 and they had 8 children. The last record I have for her is the 1910 US Census when the family lived in Chickasaw Ward 1, Grady County, Oklahoma.

Esther Caldona Johnston – Esther was born March 9, 1868. She married William Alfred Pearce and they had 9 children. Their children were born in Arkansas except for 1 born in Texas. By 1920 they were in Idaho. Esther died November 23, 1960 at age 92 and she is buried in Bannock County, Idaho. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Annie Johnston – Annie was born about 1873 in Arkansas. The only record of her is the 1880 US Census.

John Gillespie Cowan (1827-1915) & Elvira Hubbard Cowan (1829-1919)

John Gillespie Cowan was born August 29, 1827 in Tennessee. His parents are Robert Cowan and Elizabeth Colville. You can see Robert’s Find A Grave memorial here and Elizabeth’s here.

Elvira Hubbard Cowan was born July 21, 1829 in Tennessee. Her parents are Robert Hubbard and Elizabeth Whitlock.

On 1860 US Census, John & Elvira farmed in Osage, Arkansas. Isabel was 8, Emily was 6, Thomas was 4 and Robert was 1.

On the 1870 US Census, John 42 and Elviry was 41, and they were still farming in Osage, Arkansas. Isabel was 18, Emily was 16, Thomas was 14, Robert was 11, Elizabeth was 8, Martha was 4, William was 7 months old. Also in the house is Elvira’s sister Manerva Hubbard, age 24, housekeeper.

On the 1880 US Census, John is 52, Elvira is 50, Elizabeth E is 18, Martha A is 13 and William is 10. A laborer named Quinton Drewery, age 18, is also in the house.

On the 1900 US Census, John is 73 and Elvira is 71. Granddaughter Maude Hicks, age 9, lives with them. They are farming in Washington, Arkansas.

On the 1910 US Census, they are still in Washington, Arkansas. John is 82 and farming. Elvira is 81. Living with them is son Thomas B, age 54, a carpenter.

John died January 6, 1915 in Bent, Arkansas. His Find A Grave memorial is here. Elvira died July 11, 1918. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Their children:

Isabell Cowan – Bell was born April 2, 1852 in Arkansas. She married Alfred Deal Baggett, a farmer, in Benton County, Arkansas on November 28, 1878. She died October 31, 1879 giving birth to twins who also died. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Emma Josephine Cowan – Emma was born 1854 in Benton County, Arkansas. She married Dr. Dodson Christian, M.D. in 1872 and they had 4 children, two of which died in infancy, and one which was adopted. She died in June 1899 in Washington County, Arkansas. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Thomas B. Cowan – Read more about my great great grandfather here.

Robert Cowan –  Robert was born in May 1859 in Arkansas according to the 1900 US Census. He married Nannie A. Sharp on May 10, 1893 in Benton County, Arkansas. They had 4 children. By the 1910 US Census, Nannie is a widow, and she died in August 1944. I haven’t found a death record for Robert and I can’t find either of them on Find A Grave.

I’m confused about something. There’s a “sister” named Sallie Cowan living with Robert and Nannie in 1900, and living with widowed Nannie in 1910 noted as “sister-in-law.” I have identified the 7 children John and Elvira Cowan say they have on the 1900 census, and there is no Sallie. I found that Sallie married Haislip Alonzo McGaugh on November 3, 1921. (To further confuse the situation, he was previously married to Sallie Sharp, who I think is Nannie A Sharp’s sister. Sallie Sharp died April 27, 1921 and he made fast work of finding himself another Sallie, who had been living with his sister-in-law!) Sallie Lou Cowan McGaugh died December 21, 1943 in Benton County, Arkansas. Her Find A Grave memorial is here. Haislip Alonzo McGaugh and both of his Sallie’s are buried in Barron Cemetery in Bentonville, Arkansas. But how is Sallie Lou Cowan related to Robert Cowan?

Also interesting to note, there’s a Nannie A. Cowan buried in Washington County, Arkansas who was born the same year as Robert’s wife Nannie, and died the same year as Robert’s Nannie. But she is buried with Richard G. Cowan, I found their marriage record, and I find them together on the census.

Elizabeth Elvira Cowan – Elizabeth was born October 24, 1861 in Arkansas. She married James Monroe Hicks on December 23, 1886 in Benton County, Arkansas. They had 2 children, but one died as a toddler. Elizabeth died on January 5, 1896. Her Find A Grave memorial is here. On the 1900 US Census their daughter Maude Hicks, age 9, is living with Elizabeth’s parents.

Martha Anna Cowan – Anna was born 1867 in Benton County, Arkansas. She married Robert Bennett Reed on December 22, 1887 in Washington County, Arkansas. They had 4 children. Robert was a farmer and then became a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service and then was a farmer again, in Benton County, Arkansas. He died in 1922. She died October 31, 1956. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

William Hayden Cowan – William was born December 13, 1869 in Arkansas. He married Eva Jane Vaughn on August 3, 1893 in Washington County, Arkansas. They had 3 children. Eva died in 1913. William married Lizzie Martin by 1920 and had two stepchildren. He was a mail carrier in Lowell, Arkansas. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

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.