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History of
Clermont County, Ohio

Illustrations and Biographical Sketches
of its
Prominent Men and Pioneers
Louis H. Everts
Press of J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia



A. T. Cowen
A. T. COWEN, named after Allen Trimble, one of Ohio's most distinguished Governors, and who occupied the gubernatorial chair in 1822, and from 1826 to 1830, is the son of ex-sheriff Michael Cowen, who intermarried with Mary Ann Roudebush, and was born in Batavia, Ohio, Feb. 13, 1834, in the house now occupied by Daniel G. Dustin.  Here he received the rudiments of a good common-school education under that famous old-time teacher, Charles M. Smith, and under Professor D. W. Stevens, the noted classical educator, of Milford, completed his preparation for college.  He entered Delaware University, and graduated with high honors in the class of 1855, which embraced many students who have since become eminent in the various professions, and among whom may be mentioned Rev. T. M. Gatch, D. D., President of Williamette University, at Salem, Oregon, ex-Governor Elbert, of Colorado, and Rev. George S. Savage, D. D., on of Kentucky's most prominent divines and educators.
     In 1860 his Alma Mater conferred upon him the degree of Master of Arts, an honor given only to graduates who have achieved distinction.  He read law for two years, and attended the Cincinnati Law College, from which he graduated in April, 1858, and at the same time was admitted to the bar by the Hamilton County District Court.  He opened his office at Milford, and in the summer of that year was appointed by Judge Shepherd F. Norris, of hte Clermont Common Pleas Court, to the office of prosecuting attorney of Clermont, made vacant by the resignation of Charles H. Collins, and in October of the same year (1858) was elected to fill that office for two years, and re-elected for another term in 1860.  During his four years and a half of service many important criminal causes were tried, in which his ability and strong legal powers were pre-eminently displayed.  In 1866 he was elected Probate judge of the county, and the next year removed to Batavia.  In 1869 he was re-elected, and his six years' administration in the Widows' and Orphans' Court is an honorable monument to his learning and fidelity as an upright judge.  In 1876 he was elected a Common Pleas judge of the first subdivision of the Fifth Judicial District, composed of the counties of Adams, Brown and Clermont, to fill the unexpired term of Judge T. Q. Ashburn, resigned, and in 1877 was elected for a term of five years as additional judge of same subdivision, which position he now fills.
     Judge Cowen possesses that sagacity which cannot be misled sophistry, the integrity which nothing can shake, the stern impartiality which forgets the parties and looks only as the cause, and the dignified courtesy which rebukes levity while it wins respect.
     Few attorneys and public men give much attention to literature;  but he has carried the feelings of his student days into his active life, has continued his studies, and is conversant with the works of she best authors.  He has been greatly interested in the cause of education, and as a director of the Milford schools was mainly instrumental in building the fine school edifice of that town.  From mayor of Milford (which position he held two years) to the bench his public record has been without a blot.
     In 1872, jointly with his brother, Dale O. Cowen, he purchased of Hon. H. V. Kerr, The Clermont Sun, which he edited until 1875, when he sold out his half interest in his youngest brother, Willis M.
     He married, in October, 1861, Miss Kate A. Brown, daughter of Carson and Catherine Brown, of Hamilton County, who, with their four children, Mary, Allen, Mabel, and Bessie, compose his happy household.  For fifteen years he has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd-Fellows, and has passed all the chairs in Clermont Lodge, No. 49, at Milford, and for some time belonged to the encampment at Batavia.  In 1869 he took the Masonic degrees in Batavia Lodge, No. 109, F. and A. M.: that of Entered Apprentice on July 17th, of Fellow Craft on August 21st, and of Master Mason in September.  In Batavia Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, No. 112, he was advanced to the honorable degree of a Mark Master, elected and presided in the chair of Past Master, received and acknowledged as Most Excellent Master on November 16th, and exalted to the Royal Arch degree on November 18th.  He was elected Worshipful Master of the Symbolic Lodge for many years 1872, 1873, 1874, and 1875, and again in 1879, and is still in the East.  He was High Priest of the Chapter in 1877 and 1878.  For nearly ten years he has been a Royal and Select Master, belonging to Connell Council, No. 18, of Felicity, the only council in the county.  Judge Cowen is largely indebted to his mother for his success in life; for to her good lessons in his youth, her motherly admonitions in subsequent years, and her kind counsels and advice he ever listened lie a loving and dutiful son, and his honorable life bears ripe fruit springing from the seeds planted by a wise mother's benign instructions.
Source: 1795 History of Clermont County, Ohio, Publ. Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts - Press of J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia - 1880 - Page (betw. pp. 250 & 251)

M. Cowen
MICHAEL COWEN was born Aug. 16, 1804, at Morrison's Cove, in Bedford Co., Pa., and was reared on a farm until about eighteen years old, when he learned the art of weaving, in which he became proficient.  He had the usual advantages of the country boys of his day, receiving a good common-school education, and excelled in arithmetic and penmanship.  His father, who owned four hundred acres of bottom-land, was a man of considerable note, and had come to America when a lad of nine years from the north of Ireland, and was of rigid Presbyterian stock from the line of the "old Covenanters" of Cromwell's time.  His mother was of German extraction, whose thrift and domestic graces have made the Pennsylvania house-wife proverbial for tidiness and comfort.
     In 1827-28 he removed to Ohio, and located at Batavia, at Duckwall's Mills, where he opened the first weaver's factory or shop in Clermont County.  He boarded at David Duckwall's, and carried on his trade until his marriage, on Aug. 11, 1831, by William Highland, a justice of the peace, to Miss Mary Ann Roudebush, daughter of Jacob Roudebush, one of the first settlers in Northern Clermont, in 1799, and whose ancestors were Knickerbocker Dutch, originally from Amsterdam, in Holland.  He now moved into Batavia village, and bought the property where D. G. Dustin now resides, and where his first child was born, Judge Allen T. Cowen.  Afterwards he located at Perrin's Mills, and in 1837 removed to Tate township, where he purchased the farm now owned by John L. Fisher, and afterwards lived in Wigginsville.  While in Tate township he resumed his weaving business, and all through this county, in most of the households, will be found to this day specimens in coverlets and other weavings of his skillful handiwork before the invention of machinery transferred this honorable business to the large manufacturing centres of our land.
     In 1841 he was elected sheriff of the county; was re-elected in 1843, and served four years, being the first sheriff to occupy the present jail building, which was rebuilt after the fire during ex-Sheriff Edward Frazier's administration.  The county never had a more efficient sheriff than he, and the senior members of the bar speak in warm praise of his promptness in the faithful discharge of his duties, and of the suavity and affability that characterized him as an officer, true to all trusts committed to his care, and of the strongest integrity.  At the expiration of his term of office he settled in Jackson township, was then strongly Whig in its politics, but such was Michael Cowen's standing and popularity as a man that, Democrat as he was, and closely identified as he had ever been with partisan politics, he was elected justice of the peace by ten majority, after a bitter fight, over John Dickey, the leading and most prominent Whig in the township.
     In 1849 he removed to Milford, where he bought the well-known "Miami House," which hotel he kept in good style and to the satisfaction of the public until his death, which occurred on Aug. 16, 1854, occasioned by congestive chills.  He several times revisited the boyhood scenes of his old Pennsylvania home and birthplace, and upon these occasions often walked from Pittsburgh across the mountains.  He was a Jeffersonian and Jackson Democrat, and no man was better posted in the nomenclature of Clermont politics than than he, or excelled him in the dexterous management of a political campaign.  He was a remarkable shot with the rifle, to excel in the use of which at that time was a proud mark of distinction, and in his latter years he astonished the young hunters by the dexterity, skill, and precision that distinguished him in the handling of this firearm.  Of an iron will, resolute purpose, and inflexible honor, he left the impress of his character upon his three children, all living, to wit:  Judge Allen T. Cowen, Dale O., and Willis M. Cowen, the last two children, publishers, and proprietors of The Clermont Sun.  His father, an old Covenanter, believed in the doctrine that it was highly important that children should be taught to acquire habits of industry, for whatever their habits were while young, such for the most part would they continue to be in after-life.  He knew children were apt to think it a great hardship to be obliged to devote so much time to occupations, at present, perhaps, disagreeable to them, but he further knew that they ought to be made to believe that their tasks were not only intended for the informing of their minds but for the bending of their wills, and he knew that good habits were as easily acquired as bad ones, with the great advantage of being the only true way to prosperity and happiness.  Hence, although a wealthy farmer possessing broad acres, he gave his son Michael a trade which threescore years ago was one of the most honorable and lucrative then followed.  He was singularly fortune and blessed in his choice of a life companion, Mary Ann Roudebush, who still survives him as a widow, and resides with her eldest son, Judge Cowen.  A woman of remarkable intellectual powers, the descendant of a family noted for its ability, tact, and wonderful business qualities, her domestic graces and social powers proved of invaluable service to her beloved husband, and she was enabled to greatly assist him in his eventful life, and upon her in a large degree is the meed of commendation to be richly bestowed for the training given to her three excellent sons, all among our best citizens in professional and business life.
Source: 1795 History of Clermont County, Ohio, Publ. Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts - Press of J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia - 1880 - Page (betw. pp. 250 & 251)



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