Theodore E. Cowles
Theodore E. Cowles, one of the proprietors of the White Star Tug line, was born September 14, 1826, and is a son of Benjamin Sedgwick and Cornelia (Van Stanford) Cowles, who, besides Theodore E., had the following children: Cornelius Van Stanford, born May 25, 1828; Harriet Ann, born January 14, 1830; Rosetta, born April 2, 1832; Henry Fonda, born February 7, 1835; Daniel Forbes, born August 24, 1836; and Benjamin Sedgwick, born November 6, 1841.
The founder of the Cowles family in America was John Cowles, who came from the West of England in the year 1635, settling in Hartford, Conn., in that year. In 1640 he was one of the eighty-four original proprietors of the town of Farmington, Conn., and one of the seven original founders of the Church of that place. His lot contained nine acres on the public green, and just south of the meeting house, was inherited by his three grandsons, and divided into three equal parts, a division which has been kept up to the present day. The old homestead is now occupied by the heirs of Timothy Cowles.
John Cowles married Hannah --- (her maiden name not being now remembered). They had seven children, viz.: Samuel, born in 1639; John, born in 1641; Hannah, born in 1644; Sarah, born in 1646; Esther, born in 1649; Mary, born in 1654; and Elizabeth, born in 1656.
Samuel, eldest son of John, married Abigail Stanley, January 14, 1660, and by her had the following children: Samuel, born May 17, 1861; Abigail, in 1663; Hannah, in 1664; Timothy, in 1666, Sarah, in 1668; John in 1670; Nathaniel, in 1673; Isaac, in 1675; Joseph, in 1677; Elizabeth, in 1680; and Cabel in 1682.
Nathaniel, the seventh of the above children, married Phoebe Woodruff, February 11, 1697, by whom he had three children, viz.: Nathaniel, born in 1698; Thankful, in 1700; and Timothy, in 1704. The mother of these dying in February, 1712. Mr. Cowles married Mary Andrews in 1713, by whom he had the following children: Benjamin, born in 1713; Joseph, in 1715; Phoebe, in 1718; Samuel, in 1720; Daniel, in 1722; and Nathaniel, in 1730.
Nathaniel, the ninth child of Nathaniel married Elizabeth ---- (her maiden name not being remembered), and by her had six children: Nathaniel, born in 1756; Elisha; Eliada; Benjamin, born in 1760; Joseph, born in 1763; and Isaac, born in 1765.
Benjamin, the fourth child of Nathaniel, moved to and resided at Corinth, Saratoga Co., N. Y. He married Rosanna Boardman April 11, 1790, and had nine children, viz.: Nathaniel, born February 12, 1793; Zina H., born March 29, 1795; Chauncey, born August 26, 1797; Hannah, born December 23, 1799; Orlando, born June 9, 1802; Benjamin Sedgwick, born March 17, 1805; Henry Elisha, born April 5, 1807; Daniel H., born January 1, 1810, and Rosetta, born November 23, 1813.
It may be proper here to note that Hannah, third child of the original John Cowles, was the grandmother of Gov. William Pitkins and the great-grandmother of Rev. Timothy Pitkins, of Hartford, Conn. Elizabeth, the youngest daughter of the original John, married Richard Lyman, and was the great-grandmother of Rev. Joseph Lyman, so long settled over the Congregational Church of Hartford, Connecticut.
Benjamin S. Cowles, father of the subject of this sketch, celebrated the eightieth anniversary of his birth March 17, 1885, and died June 27, 1894. Born in the town of Hadley, Saratoga Co., N. Y., he removed to Crescent in the town of Halfmoon, Saratoga Co., N. Y., and by his intellectual ability and genial disposition made many friends. He was chosen to fill the office of justice of the peace, which he held for many years, and he also served on the board of supervisors. He was a original member of the Baptist Church, village of Middletown, in the town of Halfmoon, Saratoga County, and in 1875 he removed to Glens Falls, N. Y., where he passed the remainder of his life.
Capt. Theodore Edward Cowles was born in the village of Middletown, N. Y., and was educated in the common schools. While he attended these schools he used to work in the summer season, and after finishing his education he worked on a farm one year for $5 per month. He began his career in connection with the canal as captain of a market boat running from Crescent, N. Y. , to New York, and the next year was captain of the canal boat running from Troy to Buffalo, continuing thus engaged for four or five years. Then he built a boat on Cayuga Lake, which he commanded on the Erie Canal, and after- ward built one canal boat and several tugs in Buffalo, remaining on the canal boat two years. Removing to Buffalo he became foreman for Toles & Sweet on their marble dock, remaining thus engaged one year. The next year he went into the tug business in Buffalo harbor and has been successfully engaged ever since. He has been connected with the White Star Tug line ever since.
Captain Cowles was married June 1, 1848, to Miss Mary A. Mullen, of Rochester, N. Y., by whom he had three children, viz.: (1) Cornelia Frances, born April 4, 1849, and married December 12, 1867, to Joseph Fowler, who at the present time is a practicing Physician and police surgeon at Buffalo, N. Y. Dr. Fowler and his wife have three children, viz.: Carrie Alma, born in 1868; Lillian Estelle, born in 1870, and Theodore Edward, born in 1872; (2) Mary Elizabeth, born April 15, 1851, and died May 21, 1857; (3) Harriet Rosetta, born June 21, 1853, and died April 11, 1855. The mother of these children died February 12,1855, and on April 26, 1856, Captain Cowles married Mary Cooney, of Canandaigua, N. Y. (who died June 7, 1890), by whom he had three children, viz.: (1) Mary Elizabeth, born March 25, 1860, and married on May 14, 1880, to Erastus Cole Knight, who at the present time is comptroller of the city of Buffalo. Mr. and Mrs. Knight have six children as follows: Winifred Alice, born May 25, 1882; Sarah Gertrude, November 11, 1883; Theodore Cowles, June 13, 1885; Erastus Cole, March 3, 1887; Florence Lennox, March 22, 1890; and Marion Elizabeth, July 22, 1892. (2) Florence Lydia, born May 5, 1861, and married July 22, 1878, to William C. Lennox, a wholesale commission merchant of Buffalo, N. Y. Mr. and Mrs. Lennox had two children, viz.: Florence Leone, born May 31, 1879; Frederick William, born February 26, 1884, and died July 18, 1884, (3) Benjamin Louis, born November 7, 1863, who is engaged in the excursion business in company with S. M. Sloan, under the firm name of Sloan & Cowles. Miss Carrie Alma Fowler, eldest daughter of Dr. & Mrs. Fowler, was married in 1894 to William Palmer, of the firm of Hickman & Palmer, attorneys at law of Buffalo. Mr. and Mrs. Palmer have one child, Joseph Fowler Palmer, born in 1895.
Captain Cowles is a member of the Royal Templars, of the Royal Arcanum, of the Knights of Honor, of the Buffalo Tug Pilots Association, and of Harbor No. 41, American Association of Masters and Pilots of Steam Vessels. Politically he is identified with the Republican Party, and knows of but one member of the Cowles family (which is very numerous in all parts of the United States) who is a Democrat. All of the members of this family in this country are descendents of the original John Cowles mentioned above, with the exception of the descendants of three brothers, Thomas, John and Henry, who came to this country in 1740, and settled in Virginia.
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This version of Volume II is based, with permission, on the work of the great volunteers at the Marine Captains Biographies site. To them goes the credit for reorganizing the content into some coherent order. The biographies in the original volume are in essentially random order.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.