Allison, Nathaniel Thompson. History of Cherokee County, Kansas, and Representative Citizens. Chicago, IL: Biographical Publishing Co., 1904. Online index created by Carolyn Ward, instructor at USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, and State Coordinator for The KSGenWeb Project.

Hon. W. R. Cowley

HON. W. R. COWLEY, general attorney of The Long-Bell Lumber Company, which has its headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, has been identified with this corporation since its inception at Columbus, Kansas, in 1875. Mr. Cowley was born in Lincolnshire, England, in 1843, and was eight years old when he came to America, accompanying his parents, who located at Hudson, Ohio, where both subsequently died.

Mr. Cowley attended the schools of Hudson and Akron, Ohio, until the age of 16 years, when he entered the Christian College at Oskaloosa, Iowa, where he completed the literary course in 1868. His entrance into business was as a surveyor at Montezuma, Iowa, where he spent one year as surveyor of Poweshiek County, and then engaged, for two years, with the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad Company, platting and appraising lands for them in Western Iowa. He afterwards commenced the study of law at Montezuma, and was admitted to the bar. Thereupon he located at once in Columbus, Kansas, where he entered into practice.

Prior to this, Mr. Cowley had made a fine war record for himself, first, as a member of the 84th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., under Col. William Lawrence who afterwards became Comptroller of the United States Treasury. With this regiment he served four months on guard duty, along the Potomac River. He then returned to Iowa and enlisted in the 15th Reg., Iowa Vol. Inf., under Col. W. W. Belknap, and served for two years, being honorably discharged without having suffered either wounds or imprisonment.

After locating in Columbus, Mr. Cowley went into partnership with the late Boyd Hutchinson, and later the firm of Cowley & Hampdon was formed; still later, he was associated with M. V. B. Bennett. From January, 1879, to January, 1883, he served as county attorney for Cherokee County, but since 1883 he has given practically his whole time and attention to the affairs of The Long-Bell Lumber Company, traveling in their interests about 2,500 miles per month. He still retains his pleasant home in Columbus, where he and family have many agreeable social connections.

Mr. Cowley married Florence J. Smith, who was born at Oskaloosa, Iowa, and was one of his classmates at the Christian College. They have three sons and one daughter, viz.: Frederick, Minnie, Lawrence L. and Clare J. Frederick, who was born in Iowa, is a farmer and stock-raiser of Cherokee County; he served three years as a member of the State Sanitary Live Stock Commission, being the youngest member ever elected. Minnie is the wife of C. S. Huffman, of Columbus; Lawrence L., who is a graduate of the Lawrence High School, the State University and the State Law School, is now an attorney at Perry, Oklahoma, and holds the position of territorial attorney for The Long-Bell Lumber Company, and general attorney for the Minnetonka Lumber Company. Clare J. graduated from the State University in June, 1904, just before coming of age, and will enter the lumber business, both he and his brother, Lawrence, being stockholders in the Minnetonka Lumber Company. All three of these young men possess the qualities and education which insure their future prominence.

Politically, Mr. Cowley is a Republican. Fraternally, he is connected with a number of the local orders, and formerly was active in G. A. R. affairs. He is a member of the Christian Church. On account of his being a representative man of the section, and an orator of more than usual eloquence, he has frequently been chosen as the speaker for public occasions, and has made addresses at the Old Settlers' Reunions. His notable efforts were his Garfield and Sherman memorial addresses and his address at the first Decoration Day celebration at Columbus.

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