Cass Cowan married Eliza Evans in Erath County, Texas in 1877. Eliza was the sister of my 2nd great-grandmother Nancy Elizabeth Evans Cook.
The following stories, information, pictures, etc. was submitted by Porter Long, a descendant of Cass and Eliza's.
WILLIAM CASS COWAN-
PIONEER MAN PASSES AWAY
[Lynn County News, Tahoka, TX, 2/15/36] W. C. Cowan, 83, Lynn resident since 1902, Buried Monday from First Illness Following an illness of nearly three weeks, the only serious illness he ever suffered in his life, W. C. Cowan, 83, native Texan and pioneer citizen of Lynn County, died at his home here about 4:30 o’clock Saturday afternoon. Death came as the result of Bright’s disease, which developed a few months ago, and an attack of heart trouble which set up a little more than two weeks before his death.
Almost from the beginning of the heart attack, physicians, members of the family, and friends became convinced that the aged man could not recover. It was amazing, however, how he continued to cling to life for days and days after Death appeared to be at the door. Remarkable too was the fact that although he had been virtually unable to talk for several days, he retained perfect consciousness and on Saturday morning, his power of speech returned and for thirty minutes or more, he talked, or “preached a wonderful sermon” as they expressed it, to the members of the family gathered around his bed. At mid-afternoon, his breathing became easier, and peacefully he went to sleep.
Funeral services were conducted at the Baptist Church at 3 o’clock Sunday afternoon by his pastor, Rev. George A. Dale. Harris & Applewhite, funeral directors, had charge of the burial arrangements, interment being in the Tahoka Cemetery.
William Cass Cowan was born in Titus County, Texas, June 16, 1852, during the administration of P. Hansborough Bell as governor, a little more than six years after Texas was admitted to the Union as a state and nearly nine years before the beginning of the Civil War. Although his educational opportunities were meager, Mr. Cowan succeeded in procuring a fairly good education for a young man of his day, and for six or eight years during his early manhood, before and after his marriage, he taught school in Erath and Stephens counties.
On September 20, 1877, at the age of 25, he was married to Miss Eliza Evans at Alexander in Erath County. This was during the first year of the administration of Dick Hubbard as governor of Texas, Richard Coke having just resigned as governor to become U. S. Senator from Texas. For about five years following their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Cowan resided in Stephens County, two miles east of Breckenridge, in the heart of the present oil field that lies adjacent to that city. Then they spent a few months in Anderson County, after which they located in Somervell County for a residence of three years. The next twenty or more years were spent in Haskell, Borden, Howard and Mitchell counties, and then in February, 1902, they came to Lynn county and settled here for the remainder of their lives. That was more than a year before Lynn County was organized.
In 1903, Mr. Cowan and about twenty other citizens formed a town site company and bought a section of land for the purpose of establishing a town. The original section selected and purchased was the section lying immediately north of the present original town of Tahoka, but this section became involved in litigation almost immediately, and the promoters abandoned it and bought the section to the south. The town was laid out on the north side of this section because water was more abundant here than elsewhere on the section. It is said that the first election ever held in Lynn County was held in Mr. Cowan’s residence. The county was organized in 1903 and the new town of Tahoka selected as the county seat. In that same year, the Lynn County News was established, and Mrs. Cowan was enrolled as the first subscriber, J. H. Dyer, who died here a few years ago, having been the second subscriber. He continued to take the paper until the day of his death and therefore read it for 32 years.
W. F. Humphries and Mr. Cowan’s daughter, Miss Bertie, were the first couple married in Lynn county, the ceremony having been performed on Sunday, October 4, 1903, an account of the wedding was published in the first issue of the Lynn County News, which made its appearance on the following Friday, October 9. Mr. Cowan was also a member of the first grand jury ever impaneled in Lynn County.
When Mr. Cowan came to Lynn County, there were no church organizations here. Religious services were often held in his home. Soon after coming to the county, he helped organized the first Baptist church here, he and Mrs. Cowan being "charter" members of this body. They have been members of this church ever since, and Mr. Cowan was a deacon of the church during almost its entire history up to the time of his death.
To Mr. and Mrs. Cowan were born ten children, five of whom are still living. The living are Troy B. Cowan, a resident of Lynn county until a few years ago when the family moved to Lubbock to be near the Tech College, Mrs. G. B. (Lula) warren of Amarillo, Mrs. W. F. (Bertie) Humphries of Overton but residing here temporarily, Mrs. S. W. (Annie) Cain of Canyon, and Mrs. Charles (Linnie) Harter of Happy. Besides his aged companion and children, he also leaves surviving him twenty grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren. All the children were present at his death and funeral except Mrs. Cain, who was seriously ill and not able to come.
Mr. Cowan was a useful citizen, a good neighbor, a faithful friend, a devout Christian, and a devoted husband and father. He will be missed greatly among the walks of men. The News joins many friends in expressions of condolence to all the bereaved.
William Cass Cowan's views on College
Lynn County New, 23 August 1907- "Mr. W. C. Cowan stated that if we would stay together that a college could be built [in Tahoka]. That nothing we could do would encourage such a desirable class of citizens to locate here, as a good college. He further stated that six or eight families would send their children away if we did not build this year, and if we ever intended to build, now was the time to do so. He thougt it would be of no use for ten or a dozen men to try and build, but, if 30 or 40 could get together, it would be a walk over. Mr. Cowan stated that Prof. Vinson of Abilene had made the proposition that if we would build a business college and give him sufficient interest, he would furnish the teachers and advertising that would build up a desirable patronage." W. C. Cowan was elected to a committee that day to "draw up articles of incorporation and secure subscribers for the shares that will be issued."
Be sure to read the story of Troy Blooming Cowan, the son of Cass and Eliza in the prior blog post to learn more.........
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My name is Vicky, and after researching my family history since 1999, I have found amazing stories that need to be told. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!