TRUMAN COWLES, a well-known agriculturist residing on South Street, Hartford, was born Feb. 14, 1844, in Bethlehem, Connecticut, son of David M. and Alma (Merriam) Cowles. His father was a native of Bethlehem, followed farming at that place throughout his life, and died at the age of eighty-two years.
This worthy citizen was a devout Methodist, and helped to build the church at Bethlehem, where he served as deacon for many years. His wife, Alma Merriam, who died at age sixty-five years, was born and reared in Watertown, Connecticut, and taught school for some time previous to her marriage. Of their eight children six are living: Edward, a resident of Woodbury; Oliver; Wealthy, who married John Porter, and resides in Bethlehem; David, in Bethlehem; Horace, a resident of Litchfield; and Truman.
Our subject was educated in the common schools of Bethlehem, and assisted in farm work at the homestead until he reached the age of 21. He then spent a year in farming on Long Island, and in 1866 settled in Hartford, taking a position as clerk in a meat market. Six years later he engaged in a meat business on his own account, and for 23 years he had a market at No. 84 Main street. At the time of his retirement, in 1894, he was among the oldest business men in the city, and one of the best-known. He purchased 30 acres of land where he resides soon after going to Hartford, and in 1872 built his present residence. In 1873 he built a block in Alton Street, and he also owns and conducts the old homestead of 200 acres in Bethlehem.
In 1869 Mr. Cowles married Miss Martha McGee, who was born in Boston, Massachusetts, daughter of John McGee, a blacksmith, and his wife Jane (Sygh), a lady of Scottish descent, who died at the home of our subject at the age of the eighty-six. They had a family of 10 children, and three are living: Ann, who married Hugh Robinson, of Omaha, Nebraska; Hugh; and Martha, Mrs. Cowles. Our subject and his wife had had 11 children, of whom nine are living: Emily married in Mr. Snow, of Norfolk, Virginia, and has one son, Malcolm; Margaret married William Green, of Hartford, and has one son Alfred; Mary married Daniel Harrington, and has two children, Martha Jane and Lester; Elmer is at home; Louisa is in Norfolk, Virginia; Daisy is at home; Miss Cornelius is attending Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, NY; Truman D. is at home; William; Oliver died at the age of four years; and one died in infancy. The children were all educated in the South School and Public High School of Hartford, and at Wesleyan Academy, Wilbraham, Massachusetts. Mr. Cowles and his family attend the Congregational church, but Mrs. Cowles was reared in the faith of the Presbyterian Church, of which her parents were devout members.