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.