Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
JAMES S. COWDEN. James S. Cowden was born in Greene county, Missouri, September 11, 1851. He is a son of James A. and Margaret A. (Steele) Cowden, both natives of Tennessee, where they grew to maturity and were married and there made their home until 1842, when they emigrated to Greene county, Missouri, locating on a farm. Here the father found a country little developed and he endured the hardships incident to life in a new country, but was a man of courage and a hard worker and in due course of time established a home for his family, but died in early life, in 1851, when his son, James S., was an infant. He also left two other small children, Mary married Robert Pace, a ranch man of Calexico, California, and they have two sons and two daughters; John F., who is connected with the Heer Dry Goods Company, of Springfield, Missouri, married Malissa J. Walsh and they have one child, Cora Lee. The mother of these children was a woman of rare fortitude and industry and she accepted the discouraging situation with good grace, after the death of her husband, and reared her children in comfort and respectability, giving them such educational advantages as those early days in the rural districts afforded, and kept them together. In 1861, she married again, her second husband being W. R. Patterson, and she lived to an advanced age, her death occurring in 1897, and her remains repose in the cemetery at Pleasant Hope, Polk county, this state.
James S. Cowden grew to manhood on the old homestead, where he was born in a log cabin. Being ambitious to own the farm left by his father, he began buying out the other heirs when eighteen years of age, and he remained there, successfully operating the farm until in the early seventies. He continued farming in his native community until 1893, also ran a saw-mill for some time during this period and at the same time raised and handled live stock, buying and shipping to the markets. He made his home
in Springfield from 1890 until 1893, then purchased the Bennett Robinson farm, ten miles north of Springfield, to which he removed and on which he lived three years, then located in Morrisville, Polk county, for the purpose of educating his children in the college there. Several years later he purchased a large farm near Brookline, Greene county, and moved thereto, where he has since maintained his home, and he still owns three hundred and twenty acres of this place, which is one of the best improved and most productive farms in the township. In 1908 he purchased a residence in Springfield, at the corner of Walnut and Main streets, which was subsequently destroyed by fire. A few years ago he purchased a tract of valuable land in Arizona, where he spends a part of his time, engaged in raising alfalfa and cattle. He has been a general farmer and stock man all his life, and is regarded as one of the best judges of live stock in the western part of Greene county, where the major portion of his life has been spent. He often feeds large herds of cattle for the market. He has also engaged to some extent in road contracting work, in fact, has built more good roads than any one man in this part of the county.
Mr. Cowden was married in July, 1877, to Sarah E. Wallace, who is a daughter of Allen and Mira Wallace, an old and highly respected family of Greene county. Mrs. Cowden is one of seven children.
Four children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Cowden, named as follow: Christy is living in Phoenix, Arizona; Maude married William C. McClure, a farmer of Republic, this county, and they have three children, Dwight, Mary and Marjorie; Claude W., a ranch man and stock man of Arizona and is manager of the large Glendale Cattle Company; Efton Ray is associated with his brother in the cattle business in Arizona. The two sons and the eldest daughter are unmarried.
Politically Mr. Cowden is a Democrat. He is an advocate of good roads, and has given both time and money in this worthy cause in his vicinity.
Springfield-Greene County Library