James Samuel Cowan
By Karen Cuccinello
James is a Hobart native who served our country during the Great War then went on to run the family farm and participate in civic affairs. His photo is housed in the Stamford Village Library history room.
James was born on May 22, 1899, to Henry and Abbie (Carroll) Cowan. He was educated in Hobart schools, attended Mercersburg Academy, PA and was graduated from Cornell University in 1922.
His WWI Registration card 1917-18 states his age was 19 and he was a farmer/student in Hobart of medium height and build, blue eyes and light brown hair. WWI Military Service- James Samuel Cowan #4,344,773, inducted Ithaca on October 7, 1918, served as student Army Training Company at Cornell University, Ithaca until discharge on December 16, 1918.
He married Mary Wissinger on June 20, 1921 or 1923, at Birmingham, AL. They had three children: Eleanor (Mrs. Charles Todd), Marjorie (Mrs. Robert MacDonald) and James H.
From the news: he was a captain of the Hobart Hayseeders baseball team 1931; charter member of the “Cross Brook Gang” who went on Adirondack Safaris that began in 1934 – 1950’s (this was a congenial group of Stamford and Hobart men whose hearts were mostly in the highlands, a-chasin’ the deer; president of the West Branch Rod and Gun Club 1945; manager of the newly formed artificial breeding association unit 1945; member or officer of the Hobart/South Kortright Board of Education 1947-1960; made a run for the Town of Stamford supervisor nomination on the Republican ticket 1950; director of the National Farm Loan Association of Sidney 1950; Hobart Justice of the Peace 1954 – 1960; president of the National Farm Association of Oneonta 1958; member of the United Presbyterian Church in Hobart; the Hobart Fire Department; and director of Herd Improvement.
January 22, 1953 (Times Union, Albany)- At the dinner last night State Agriculture Commissioner C. Chester DuMond presented citations for three “Century Farms” owned by the same families for more than 100 years. One of the farms is owned by James S. Cowan of Hobart, Delaware County. (owned since 1801 in Township)
Mrs. James H. (Margaret) Cowan’s 2011 obituary states that the farm was sold in 1981.
May 15, 1960 – Justice of the Peace James S. Cowan, 60, of the Town of Stamford, died at Community Hospital in Stamford following a long illness. Mr. Cowan was a lifelong farmer.
Mrs. Mary (Wissinger) Cowan, 68, of Hobart, died April 6, 1972, at Manatee Memorial Hospital, Bradenton, FL, after a long illness. All three children survived. Both are buried in Locust Hill, Hobart.