James Cowie, Jr., president of the Exchange State Bank, manager of the Royal Salt Company, and well known business man of Kanopolis, Kan., was born September 9, 1865, at Kilsyth, Stirlingshire, Scotland, a son of James and Elizabeth Barrowman Cowie, both of whom were natives of Scotland. He received his early education in the schools of his native country, and then entered the engineering school of Glasgow University, where he graduated with the class of 1883. The same year he came to the United States with his parents, locating at Streator, Ill., where he compiled a map of that city. In 1885 he entered the engineering department of the H. C. Frick Coal and Coke Company, of Mt. Pleasant, Pa. After being associated with this concern five years Mr. Cowie resigned to become superintendent of the Connellsville Coke and Iron Company, but in 1892 severed his connections with it to go to Dolomite, Ala., as superintendent of the mines of the Woodward Iron Company, located there. For two years he held this position, then for ten years was superintendent at Blue Creek, Ala., for the Tennessee Coal and Iron Company. In 1902 Mr. Cowie came to Kanopolis as assistant superintendent of the Royal Salt Company, and four years later, when his father resigned as superintendent, he succeeded to that position. In 1906, with his father and W. M. Benton, Mr. Cowie organized the Exchange State Bank of Kanopolis, with a capital of $10,000. He became the first president of the institution, which position he still holds. From the first the bank prospered under the careful guidance given it by Mr. Cowie, who has keen business insight and is regarded as one of the most conservative and prosperous bankers of central Kansas. In 1912 the bank had surplus of $3,600 and deposits of $50,000. Politically, Mr. Cowie is a supporter of the Republican party. He is a Blue Lodge Mason and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. For some time he has served as president of the board of trustee of the Presbyterian church, of which he is a member.
In 1892 Mr. Cowie married Jennie, the daughter of Richard Thompson, a mine superintendent, of Cumberland county, Maryland. They have three children: James Cowie III, a student of Emporia College; Richard and Martha. Mr. Cowie is a gentleman of genuine worth who has many warm personal friends and stands high in the regard of his business associates.Pages 99-100 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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