Wednesday, June 17, 2015

One of The Early Iowegians

I have blogged about this family a few times in the past and they are one of the first of my ancestors to push into the territory that would later become the state of Iowa. Of all my third great grandparents, 30 of the total 32 of them are buried in this state and the two that made the mistake of being buried outside of its borders are only outside by less than a 100 yards. It has been my goal to visit the graves of all of them and as many of the prior generations also buried here that I can. Thus while in the area due to my daughter with time to kill, I swung south to visit the graves of my four times great grandparents the Reverend Salmon Cowles and his wife Polly (Mary) Miner Cowles. They immigrated to Iowa territory six years before it would become a state due to Salmon's calling as a Presbyterian minister. He started out preaching in West Point, Iowa before extending his services all over southeast Iowa all the way to a little village of Des Moines which would eventually become the capital city of the state. As he aged, he went back to West Point and carried out his days preaching in the church shown below, the first brick church in the state. It was locked when I arrived but I was able to look in through the windows and see that it still looked very much like it probably did back in the mid 1800's. I could imagine Salmon standing up at the pulpit preaching his sermons to the town folk sitting in the plain wooden pews. Little did he know that his granddaughter would marry into the "Abbey" family shown in the previous post and nearly three quarters of a century later, I entered into the world and "blogged" about him and his church still standing.


sage said...

If you are ever in Dubuque or another city with a Presbyterian Seminary, you should check out their library and check out the old directories of the Presbyterian Church (they'd probably be found in the reference room). That should give you information about your great-great granddaddy--such as birth/death, schools attended, churches served, etc. It might help to find out if this congregation was a Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, A United Presbyterian Church of North America (they joined together in 1958) or a Cumberland Presbyterian (most of these joined the main body in the 1920s but there is still a small denomination of them, mostly in TN, KY and MO). Those, I think, would be the main groups of Presbyterians in Iowa in the era

Ed said...

Sage - I really should do that someday. I have a few other ancestors of the cloth whom I would like to learn more about too.

Former Mayor of the Former Mount Sterling said...

I've sung in that church many times, including at their anniversary celebration a couple of years ago.