"The Honorable William H. Cowles is a prominent representative
of the business interests of Plantsville, where he carries on
operations as a liveryman, merchant and dealer in coal. He is
a man of keen perception, great sagacity, and unbounded enterprise,
and, to these characteristics may be attributed his success.
Mr. Cowles was born in Southington March 19, 1850. His
father, Charles Augustus Cowles, was born January 1, 1808, and
was married September 24, 1839 to Mrs. Delia V. (Stedman) Bradley,
widow of Charles Bradley. The children born to them were Charles
B.; Frederick A.; Jane L., wife of Alfred N. Parmalee; and Fanny
M. The father acquired a competence in trade in the South, became
a large landowner in the vicinityof Plantsville, Conn., and
was extensively engaged in farming. He died in Plantsville June
Addison Cowles, the paternal grandfather of our subject,
was born in Southington, Feb. 17, 1770, and was married, Feb.
24, 1800 to Phebe, daughter of Dr. Jesse Cole. He lived in Plantsville
Center, where his wife died March 13, 1824, aged 46 years, and
his death occurred Feb. 23, 1828. His father, Ashbel Cowles,
was born in Southington Sept. 29, 1740, and was married April
29, 1769, to Rhoda, daughter of Jared and Rhoda (Judd) Lee.
He lived west of the Plantsville Cemetery. He was an extensive
reader, possessed a very retentive memory, and was well versed
in historical facts and dates. He held several offices, serving
as constable as well for years, first selectman in 1792, and
also held the military rank of captain. He died Sept. 19, 1815.
He was a son of Josiah Cowles, who was born in Farmington November
20, 1716, and was married November 11,1739, to Jemima Dickinson.
Soon afterward he located in what is now the town of Southington,
where he bought land extensively. His wife died Oct. 19, 1746
and he was again married, November 22, 1748, his second union
being with Mary, daughter of Samuel and Mary (Pynchon for) Scott,
of Southington. He was a man of great energy of character, took
a leading part in church and the society matters, held several
important town offices, and held the military rank of captain.
He was the father of 18 children, and his descendants are numerous
and scattered. Josiah Cowles died June 6, 1793. His father,
Thomas Cowles, was born in Farmington Feb. 4, 1686, and was
married Jan. 6, 1714, to Martha Judd, eldest daughter of Thomas
and Sarah (Freeman) Judd, of Waterbury. He resided in Farmington,
where he died March 11, 1751. His father, Samuel Cowles, was
born in Farmington March 17, 1661, and was married May 12, 1685,
to Rachel Porter. He lived in Farmington, where he died Oct.
14, 1748. He was a son of Samuel Cowles, who was born in 1639,
and was married Feb. 14, 1660, to Abigail, daughter of Timothy
Stanley, of Hartford. They made their home in Farmington, and
he was one of the 84 proprietors of that town in 1672. He died
April 17, 1691. His father, John Cole, was one of the first
settlers of Hartford, but soon after 1640 he located in Farmington,
and while residing there was induced to change his name to Cowles,
in order to avoid the inconvenience of being taken at times
for another John Cole, living in the same place. From that time
the descendants of his eldest son, Samuel, have spelled the
name Cowles. John Cole was a farmer, and a deputy to the General
Court in 1653 and 1654. In 1662 he removed to Hadley, Massachusetts,
where he died in September, 1675. He married Hanna ???, who
died in Hartford, March 6, 1683, aged 70 years.
The subject of this sketch passed his boyhood in Plantsville,
where he attended the common schools, and later he was a student
in the Amenia (N.Y.) Academy. Since 1876 he has been engaged
in the coal, livery, and trucking business in Plantsville, and
now enjoys an excellent trade. His political support is always
given to the men and measures of the Democratic Party, and he
has been called upon to serve as a member of the board of selectman
of Southington, and also to represent the town in the State
Legislature. Fraternally he is a member of the Knights of Pythias.
On Sept. 21, 1881, Mr. Cowles was united in marriage with Miss
Mary K. Messenger, a daughter of John and Mary (Shupp) Messenger,
of New York, and to them have been born two children, Clarence
A and Harold L." (p. 152-153)