Cowen, Webster Co., WV

Cowen, often called " The Savannah of the Mountains", is a beautiful & thriving town situated in Glade district of Webster Co., on the B & O railroad, about 38 miles east of Sutton. It is situated in a beautiful country called Welch Glades, embracing 1000 acres of flat land, with a gentle sloping country surrounding the town. It is watered by Glade run which empties into the Gauley river. The town occupies an altitude of 2,225 feet above sea level. The first white settler in that region of country was a German named STROUD whose family was murdered by the Indians about the year 1785 or 1790. Stroud's Glade is named after this man. Some of the early settlers in the Glade before the Civil War were Caleb GARDNER, Arthur HICKMAN, Jas. HAMRICK, John WOODS, Major REYNOLDS & several families of the MORTONS settled on Stroud's creek.

Mr. Caleb GARDNER who has reached the good old age of 90, moved from Augusta Co. to the Glade in 1853. We found Mr. GARDNER to be a very intelligent & hospitable gentleman. He had quite a varied experience during the Civil War. His home was burned, all his property destroyed, as what that of several of his neighbors, by the Federal soldiers. There was a battle fought on his farm called the Gardner battle.

Cowen is only a few miles drive from the famous Salt Sulphur Springs in Webster County. The KESSLER Bros. have a hospital building at Cowen. Dr. D.P. KESSLER who lives there, enjoys a very large & luerative practice. He is also interested in coal lands & mining. The town was established in 1895 & a few years later incorporated. Its first mayor was M.L. SHRIVER & the first council consisted of C.D. HOWARD, Luke FITZSIMMONS, Wallace HOLDEN, D.P. KESSLER & E.H. ISENHART.

Cowen addendum: Interesting piece of history about Cowen since we are talking about places. There was a real wild west shoot out down there, complete with Texas cowboys, blazing guns, heroic trainmen, and brave lawmen (maybe in white hats but I doubt it) that is chronicled by Jim Comstock in volume Supplement 10 & 11 and in the CLARKSBURG DAILY NEWS of JULY 10th, 1905 titled " SANGUINARY CONFLICT ON EXCURSION TRAIN", for you that have access to newspaper archives. I encourage all to try to find this and read it because it gives a glimpse of the life in that part of the country at the turn of the century. Quite a thriving place really. Also, the town was named for JOHN F. COWEN, a West Virginia and Pittsburg Rail Road wheel who did a lot for the state (really) by joining the Rockefeller bunch in promoting lesser charges for longer train hauls than for short ones...after being gouged by Mr. Rockefeller for a number of years with the same kind of skullduggery. I encourage you to look up the story of the "COWEN MASSACRE" Interesting tale..... Dave

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