Biography of James A. McCowen
Lawrence County, Pennsylvania Biographies

JAMES ALLEN McCOWEN, who has lived in Enon Valley, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, nearly all his life, is a well known citizen there and has conducted a blacksmithing establishment with good success. He was born June 16, 1837, on the old homestead and in the old stone house erected by his grandfather in 1816. He is a son of Josiah and Matilda (Correy) McCowin, and grandson of James McCowin, from whom he takes his first name.

James McCowin, the grandfather, was a son of Allen McCowin, with whom he came to Beaver County at a time when the country was sparsely settled, wild game abounded and Indians largely inhabited this region. Here he passed the remainder of his days. He was the father of the following family: Samuel;. Josiah; James; Allen; John; Thompson and William, twins; Harvey, the inventor of the hayfork, after which the modern hayforks are all patterned; and Martha. All are now deceased.

Josiah MeCowin was born on the old home place near Enon Valley, in the little old log cabin which then adorned the place, in 1799, and spent all his days in this section. He early in life followed the trade of a stonemason, but his later years were devoted to agricultural pursuits. He was joined in marriage with Matilda Correy, who was born in Little Beaver Township, and they were parents of the following children: Margaret, Cora, Matilda, Sarah Ann, Elizabeth, and Lena, all deceased; Mary, wife of William St. John; Martha Jane, wife of Barney Finnigan; Samuel, who was living in the West when last heard from; Josiah, Harrison, and James Allen.

James Allen McCowin spent his boyhood days on the home farm, and in early life assisted his uncle in the manufacture of hayforks. At the age of nineteen years he started to learn the trade of a blacksmith with Montgomery Madden at Petersburg, Ohio. He then worked in most of the coal works in the vicinity, continuing until he enlisted for service in the Union Army during the Civil War. He enlisted as a member of Company I, One Hundred and Thirty fourth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, under John W. Hague, and worked at his trade in the army until he was incapacitated by the kick of a government mule. He was then honorably discharged and returned to Enon Valley, where he opened a shop. He has been engaged actively at his trade here ever since, except during the years 1867 and 1868, when he farmed the home place and looked after the interests of his mother. He has always been a man of great industry, and during his long and useful career in Enon has accumulated a handsome competency.

April 15, 1858, Mr. McCowin was joined in marriage with Susan Kale, a daughter of Jacob Kale, a prominent early resident of the community, and they became parents of the following children: Presley, who married Catherine Crowl; Alice, wife of J. Augestine; Owella, wife of M. Martin; Robert, who married Bella Shellenbarger; Kitty, wife of Benjamin Thomas, both now deceased; Edwin, who. married Mamie Dickson; and two who died in infancy. Politically, Mr. McCowin is a Republican.

20th Century History of
New Castle and Lawrence County
Edited By: Hon. Aaron L. Hazen
Richmond-Arnold Publishing Co.
Chicago, Ill., 1908

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