WILLIAM R. COWLEY GRAVESTONE PHOTO
Columbus Daily Advocate, Wednesday, July 15, 1914, Pg. 1
DEATH ENDS LONG
WILLIAM R. COWLEY PASSES
AWAY THIS MORNING IN
RESIDED HERE FORTY YEARS
Highly Successful Lawyer and
Man of Rare Scholarship—
Funeral Friday Forenoon.
William R. Cowley died this morning at 5:30 o’clock at his home at 634 East Maple Street. He was 71 years 2 months and 22 days old at the time of his death. While he had been in poor health much of the time the last year or more he was active most of the time up till last Sunday noon when his condition took a marked turn for the worse and culminated in death this morning.
The funeral services will be held from the residence Friday morning, July 17 at 10 o’clock. Interment will be made in the city cemetery.
Mr. Cowley is survived by his wife, Mrs. Florence J. Cowley; one daughter, Mrs. C. S. Huffman of Columbus; three sons, Wm. Frederick Cowley, of near Columbus; Laurence L. Cowley, of Okmulgee, Okla. and Clare J. Cowley, of Kansas City, Mo. A son and a daughter, Sidney C. Cowley and Anna Cowley died some years ago. Mr. Cowley is survived also by two sisters, Mrs. Lottie Akers, of Akron, Ohio, and Mrs. Anna Blackburn, of Hudson, Ohio; and a brother, Abram Cowley, of Waterloo, Iowa.
The passing of Mr. Cowley occasions sincere grief on the part of the community and all will join in deepest sympathy with the family. Mr. Cowley during forty years residence here made an impression upon the community which will be lasting. He was a man of exceptionally strong mentality. Availing himself of all the educational opportunities possible in his youth he laid the foundations of a broad scholarship which he continued to develop until the closing days of his life.
Throughout his life Mr. Cowley was a student. He built up one of the finest libraries in the west, containing many rare volumes. He took great delight in the study of these volumes and his philosophical, analytical mind found other valuable material in travel and in contact with men.
Mr. Cowley ranked high as a lawyer and was exceptionally well read in the texts and other related literature.
He was an equally deep and thorough student of the bible and bible history and particularly during the years since his retirement from the active practice of law did a great deal of studying along this line and few men were better informed than he concerning the history and literature of the Christian religion. Mr. Cowley was active in the work of the church. He frequently spoke from the pulpit and his exceptional scholarship made his sermons of great interest. Both in the pulpit and in the court room Mr. Cowley was a power as an orator.
The most notable phase of his professional career was his connection with the Long-Bell Lumber Co. For thirty-three years he was general attorney for that company. Starting as attorney for R. A. Long when he was laying the foundation for what has since become one of the biggest enterprises of the west. Mr. Cowley played an important part in its development. Even after his retirement from active duty as general attorney for the Long-Bell Co. Mr. Cowley was frequently consulted by Mr. Long, who had the ness and decency in public affairs ments and his good judgement.
Mr. Cowley combined with the a man who is devoted to the intellectual life and at the same time is highly effective in practical affairs. His was a well rounded life. He was a gentleman, unfailingly kind and courteous. He was a man of deep convictions and ardent supporter of cleanness and decency in public affairs. He never hesitated to declare himself on these issues but he did it without rancor, without abuse of individuals.
Mr. Cowley combined with the coutlines and scholarship of the last gentlemen the alertness and progressiveness of the present and this fusing of the best elements of the two made him a man who towered above the common level.
Mr. Cowley was a devoted member of the Christian church and contributed much in many ways toward building up this denomination in this section of the country. But he was by no means a narrow denominationalist and enjoyed fellowship with Christian people of all denominations.
William R. Cowley was born in Lincolnshire, England, April 23, 1843. He left England in company with his mother and two brothers and two sisters, April 2, 1851. They reached Hudson, Summit county, Western Reserve, Ohio May 4, 1851 and were met there by Mr. Cowley who had come over the year before.
In September 1860 W. R. Cowley, then in his seventeenth year, settled in Linn county, Iowa, He taught a three months school that winter.
When war was declared he offered to enlist in the Ninth Iowa but was rejected on account of his age and size. He taught school in Linn county again in the winter of 1861 and 1862.
In April 1862 Mr. Cowley went to Akron, Ohio and entered the high school at that place. After being in school only two weeks he and a schoolmate became a member of Company C, Eighty-fourth Ohio infantry, under President Lincoln’s call for 100-days men. They were discharged at the end of 120 days at Delaware, Ohio.
Mr. Cowley then returned to Iowa and taught school in Linn county. He commenced higher education in the Christian college at Oskaloosa, Iowa, March 18, 1863. He taught school the next winter and intended to return to college at the close of the term but instead re-enlisted into Co. C, Fifteenth Iowa infantry about April 28, 1864. This regiment was with the Seventeenth army corps under Gen. Frank P. Blair, which went from Clinton, on the Tennessee river by Pulaski, Tenn. Huntsville and Decatur, Ala., over the mountains of Alabama and Georgia to Rome, Georgia. They joined Sherman’s army at Kingston and were with it all through the Atlanta campaign, marching to Savannah, Ga., from there to Columbia, S. C. and from there to Goldsboro, N. C. , to Richmond, Va., and then discharged and mustered out at Davenport, Iowa, August 6, 1865.
Mr. Cowley was placed in the position of sergeant major at Savannah, Ga., and filled that place until appointed commissary sergeant in that position.
In September 1865 he returned to college at Oskaloosa, Iowa. Soon after the close of the college year he came to Kansas, arriving at the junction of Lightning creek and the Neosho river, spending six weeks at the home of Sidney S. Smith, his father-in-law.
In company with Mrs. Cowley he then went to Montezuma, Iowa. He was elected county surveyor of Poweshelk county in 1870 and served two years. During the spring, summer and fall of 1872 he was employed by the land department of the Rock Island railroad making plats and appraising land. His headquarters were Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Mr. Cowley came to Columbus to live January 23, 1873, and made this his home continuously.
Mr. Cowley was admitted to the practice of law in January 1873. He was twice elected county attorney.