CHARLES BRADLEY COWLES, who is actively identified with the business interests of Southington as agent for the Hartford Life Insurance Company in Plantsville, was born in Southington, Sept. 12, 1840. His father, Charles Augustus Cowles, was born Jan. 1, 1808, and was married Sept. 24, 1839, to Mrs. Delia Victoria (Stedman) Bradley, widow of Charles Bradley. The children born to them were Charles B.; Frederick A.; Jane L., wife of Alfred N. Parmalee; and Fannie M.. The father acquired a competence in trade in the South, became a large land owner in the vicinity of Plantsville, Connecticut, and was extensively engaged in farming. He died in Plantsville, June 6, 1873.
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 Jared and Rhoda (Judd) Lee. He lived west of Plantsville cemetery. He was an extensive reader, possessed a very retentive memory and was well versed in historical dates.. He held several offices, serving as constable 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, Nov. 20, 1716, and was married Nov. 11,1739, to Jemima Dickinson. Soon after marriage 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, Nov. 22,1748, his second union being with Mary, daughter of Samuel and Mary (Pynchon) Scott, of Southington. He was a man of great energy, took a leading part in church in society matters, held several important 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 until about 1716, when he removed to Kensington, 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. His wife, Hanna, died in Hartford, March 6, 1683, aged 70 years.
Charles B. Cowles, whose name begins this article, grew to manhood in Plantsville and was provided with excellent educational advantages, attending Professor Glendenning's Boarding School, Stamford, and Lewis Academy, Southington. At the breaking out of the Civil War, in 1861, he joined the boys in blue as color bearer of Company I, 12th Connecticut V.I., for three years' service, and re-enlisted at New Iberia, Louisiana, with his regiment, in 1863. For two years he was detailed on detached duty, recruiting and taking recruits to the front. After three years and 11 months of service, he was honorably discharged at Hartford. Returning home, he engaged in merchandising in Plantsville for three years, then spent several years in farming, and for the past 20 years has represented the Hartford Life Insurance Company. He is a wide-awake, enterprising business man, and has met with well-deserved success in his undertakings.
On January 15, 1868, Mr. Cowles was united in marriage with Miss Carolina V. Moss, a daughter of Aaron and Abigail (Hitchcock) Moss, of Milldale, and they have three children: Lillian Moss; Edward Aaron; and Emily Moss, who married Nelson G. Landon, and has one daughter, Lucy Elizabeth. Mr. Cowles' political support is given to the men and measures of the Republican Party, and he is a member of Trumbull Post No. 16, G. A. R.. Mrs. Cowles is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and is eligible to membership in that order through her great-grandfather, Amasa Hitchcock, who was a lieutenant in the Revolutionary war.