LIVED HERE FIFTY YEARS
Former Newspaper Editor, Post-Master and Business Man Has Answered the Last Call
Colonel Joseph H. Cogswell, for over fifty years one of the best known citizens of Titusville, a veteran of the Civil War, former postmaster and for twenty-seven years associated with the late H. C. Bloss and W. W. Bloss in the editing and publishing of the Morning Herald, died yesterday afternoon at 4 o'clock.
While Colonel Cogswell was 87 years of age last September, he was remarkably active for one of his years. It was not generally known that shortly before Christmas he suffered a slight indisposition, but rallied quickly and was about the streets as usual in a few days, seemingly as well as ever.
On Monday morning Colonel Cogswell rose at an early hour, as was his wont, and was about the lower part of the home on West Main street. His daughters, Mrs. George R. Harley and Miss Louise Cogswell, found him lying on the floor soon after. He was assisted to bed and a physician was called. He seemed to be doing well, but Monday night bronchitis developed and since Tuesday it had been understood by the family that there were very slight hopes of his recovery.
Colonel Cogswell was born Sept. 2, 1828, at Brighton, N. Y., near Rochester, being descended of New England stock. Both of his grandfathers and two of his great-grandfathers served in the war of the Revolution.
HIS SCHOOL DAYS
Mr. Cogswell was educated in the Brighton village school and later entered the Clover Street seminary of Brighton, one of the better know of the private institutions of learning in the days before the mid-century.
After leaving school he went to Rochester, where he learned the trade of printer. Here he stayed for two years, when he began teaching school. In 1851 he believed that he had a call to the law, but the next year found him back in the work of teaching. It was while he was teaching in 1853, that he was united in marriage to Miss Julia E. Brewster, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Brewster, the former one of the best known attorneys in Onodaga county, New York.
ENTERED UNION ARMY
Mr. Cogswell continued teaching for several years, but the outbreak of the Civil war in 1861 found him ready to answer the call of Abraham Lincoln. In 1862 he recruited Co. A., One-Hundred and Fiftieth New York volunteers and, became its captain.
The regiment was mustered in on September 6, 1862 as a part of the Eighth corps, Middle department; then the Twelfth corps, Army of the Potomac, and later the Twentieth corps, Army of the Cumberland.
FOUGHT AT GETTYSBURG
As a part of the Twelfth corps, the 150th regiment took part in the second day's fight at Gettsburg and under General Sickles, did valiant work in saving the right wing of the union army from being crumpled up when Sickles broke the line of battle and advanced into a position where his lines were infiladed by the fire of the Confederates.
As a part of the Twentieth corps, Army of the Cumberland, Colonel Cogswell led his men behind General William Tecumseh Sherman, through the campaign in the south before Atlanta and then in the ever famous "march to the sea," reaching Savannah just in time to be ordered north to "round up" General Johnston's army, which was trying to effect junction with General Lee's legions when they were forced to evacuate Richmond and Petersburg. He was mustered out on June 8, 1865.
WAS BREVETTED COLONEL
Colonel Cogswell, during all these three years, bore his part bravely and well. For distinguished bravery in action, he was advanced from captain to major on November 30, 1864, and then to lieutenant-colonel on April 22, 1865. On Sept. 21, 1866, he was brevetted colonel for "gallant and meritorious service during the war."
After returning home from the great struggle in the south, Colonel Cogswell went to Rochester, N. Y., and was attracted by the oil excitement to this section of the country. His choice of this city as a place where he would make his future home was determined still further by the fact that two cousins, the late William W. and Henry C. Bloss, had come to Titusville earlier in 1865 and had established the Titusville Morning Herald.
CAME TO TITUSVILLE
Colonel Cogswell arrived in Titusville on September 1, 1865, and a few days later effected a partnership with W. W. and H. C. Bloss and became a part owner of the Morning Herald.
This partnership continued until 1872, when William W. Bloss retired from the firm. Colonel Cogswell and H. C. Bloss continued the business, however, until June 30, 1883, when he retired and left H. C. Bloss sole editor and proprietor of the Herald.
SERVICE AS POSTMASTER
On April 8, 1869, Mr. Cogswell was appointed postmaster by President Grant. He served the community in that capacity four terms, holding commissions under President Grant, Hayes and Arthur.
Mrs. Cogwell died May 11, 1903, and the deceased is survived by two daughters, Mrs. George R. Harley and Miss Louise Cogswell of this city, and one son, J. H. Cogswell Jr., of Protection, Kansas.
Colonel Cogswell was a man whose retentive memory made him an invaluable aid to anyone wishing to know something of the history of Titusville and its people. He literally remembered everything. Even in his latter years, at a time when most men's minds begin to be clouded by the mists of age, Colonel Cogswell's memory was wonderful. Details of incidents that occurred over fifty years ago could be told with the accuracy of a historian. His training as a newspaper man supplemented a naturally keen wit and memory and on many occasions he proved himself a perfect "mine of memories," to which his friend could refer with absolute confidence.
As a veteran of the Civil war, Colonel Cogswell remembered the parts played by nearly every regiment in the Union service. His three years of warfare wore spent among some of the most terrible battles and he never tired telling stories of events which occurred during the stirring days when the Union was fighting for its life.
A HAPPY REUNION
On July 1, 1913, Colonel Cogswell went to Gettsburg and there met all the surviving members of Co., A., 150th New York volunteers, whom he had invited to gather with him on the historic ground of Culp's Hill. The letters of invitation were accompanied by a white silk ribbon on which was printed the red star of the Twelfth corps and an inscription which made the men who wore it conspicuous as having born the brunt of fighting at a time when the forces of the Confederacy threatened to outflank the Union army and send Meade reeling backward into Maryland.
Colonel Cogswell was a wonderful reader for a man of his years. He read every serious book published in recent years and his conclusions after finishing their perusal were wonderfully clear and forceful. His home on West Main street is a veritable library of utmost value to the historian. History was his delight and for many years he kept up with events in this and in foreign lands in a manner that was wonderful. In politics Colonel Cogswell was always a stalwart Republican, affiliating with that party at its inception and never wavering in his support of its candidates in national and state elections.
IN FRATERNAL LIFE
Colonel Cogswell was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic but never transferred his membership to this city from Rochester, N. Y., where he joined just after coming out of the service. He was a life member of Oil Creek Lodge of Masons. He was a member of the Loyal Legion and had been since 1903 a member of the session of Presbyterian church.
The funeral will probably be held Friday afternoon at the Presbyterian chapel and the remains will be taken to Rochester on Saturday morning for interment in the Brighton cemetery.
In addition to the members of the immediate family, the remains will be accompanied by Rev. Samuel Temple and J. M. Bloss. The funeral party will be met at Rochester, N. Y., by J. H. Cogswell, Jr., of Protection, Kansas. -- Titusville, (Pa.) Herald
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!
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