Biography - Charles Cowle

CHARLES COWLE, the fortunate proprietor of one of the finest and best-managed farms in all Penn Township, is a veteran of the late war, who nobly devoted the opening years of his manhood to the service of his country and helped to preserve the Union. He was born in the beautiful New England city of New Haven, Conn., July 27, 1837. His father, Daniel Cowle, was a native of the Isle of Man, a son of Charles Cowle, who was also born on that island, upon which he spent his entire life engaged in agricultural pursuits on an estate that he had inherited. He reared three sons and one daughter.

The father of our subject was the only member of the family that ever came to America, his emigration to this country occurring when he was about twenty-five years old. He resided at first in New York, and also in New Jersey for a time, whence he went to New Haven, Conn., and later to Virginia, from which State he ultimately came to Illinois in 1841 by the way of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. He located in the southern part of Macoupin County, and was one of the pioneers of that section of the State. From there he removed to Madison County a few years later, and buying a farm lived there until 1865. In that year he came to this county and bought a tract of wild prairie in what is now Penn Township. He built upon his land, and in due time improved a good farm, which was his home until his death in 1878, when the township lost a useful citizen, who was greatly respected. During his residence at New Haven, he married Miss Rosanna Fanning, in whom he found a helpful wife and a devoted companion. She is still living on the old homestead. She is a native of Patterson, N. J., and a daughter of John and Catherine Fanning. Of her nine children six have been spared to bless her declining years.

Our subject, who was reared to agricultural pursuits, followed farming in Madison County until 1861. July 16, that year, he threw aside his work to volunteer for the defense of the old flag, and his name was enrolled as a member of Company I, Ninth Illinois Infantry. He went to the front with his regiment, and took part in the battles of Ft. Donelson, Shiloh, Jackson (Miss.), joined Sherman's command at Goldsborough, N. C., and went on the Atlanta campaign, doing his share of fighting in the important battles enroute to Atlanta, and in the engagements with the enemy around that city. He was honorably discharged at Atlanta on the expiration of his term of enlistment. Returning to Illinois, he re-enlisted the same fall, notwithstanding his past experience of the hardships of a soldier's life, as, with true patriotism, he was determined to see the contest between the North and South to its bitter end, if possible. He joined his regiment in North Carolina, and marched with the victorious army by the way of Richmond to Washington, where he took part in the Grand Review, and was honorably discharged for a second time from the service in July, 1865.

The Ninth Illinois Infantry to which Mr. Cowle belonged were in one hundred and ten engagements commanded respectively by Col. E. A. Paine, Col. A. Mersey and Col. J. J. Philips. At Corinth, in 1863, the regiment was mounted and remained as such until the expiration of the term of service, and took part in numberless skirmishes and battles. In the fall of the year that he left the army, Mr. Cowle came to Shelby County, and in 1868 bought the farm in Penn Township that he now owns and occupies. This is a valuable farm, and its finely tilled and highly productive fields yield him a neat income. Here he lives happy in a state of single blessedness, sometimes keeping bachelor's hall, at other times boarding, as his fancy dictates. He is much liked in his community, as he is invariably pleasant, neighborly and obliging, and he is trusted to the fullest exteut by all who know him, as he is always fair and honest in his dealings. Politically, he affiliated with the Republican party many years, but at present he is independent.

Extracted 17 Dec 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 578-579.

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