|Posted By:||Tom Girardi|
|Subject:||Re: Evan F. Cowger & Susan Cline|
|Post Date:||January 29, 2005 at 20:44:03|
|Forum:||Fremont County, IA Genealogy Forum|
In the subject of this review we have one who has attained distinction in the line of his profession and has been an earnest and discriminating student and holds a position of due relative precedence among the medical fraternity of Fremont County. He is the pioneer representative of his profession in Riverton, where he arrived on the 17th of September, 1873. Since that time he has been actively engaged in the practice of medicine and now has a large patronage.
The doctor was born on the 30th of August, 1843, the year in which occurred the birth of President McKinley. He is a son of Rev. James Cowger, who was born in Highland county, Ohio, a grandson of George Cowger and a great-grandson of Gustave Cowger, who was of German-Russian parentage, their ancestors having been active in the wars of Russia and Germany one hundred and fifty years ago.
The doctor was reared in Iowa, acquiring his education in the public schools of the state. On the 25th of July, 1862, he offered his services to the government as a defender of the Union, enlisting in Company D, Nineteenth Iowa Infantry, with which he was connected until honorably discharged, on the 6th of July, 1865. He served under General Blunt on the frontier of Missouri for nine months, and in 1863 participated in the siege of Vicksburg, after which his regiment was attached to the Department of the Gulf and was stationed at Brownsville, Texas, for six months. Dr. Cowger was eventually commissioned second lieutenant of the Eighty-first United States Colored Infantry and served until November, 1866, with credit and honor. During that time he was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant.
On leaving the military service of his country Dr. Cowger returned to Abingdon, Jefferson County, Iowa, and began the study of medicine under the direction of Dr. R. J. Mohr, a prominent and well-known physician, who had served as a surgeon in the Tenth Iowa Infantry. Dr. Cowger is also a graduate of the Keokuk Medical College, of Keokuk, Iowa, and of the Ensworth Medical College, of Missouri. Well equipped for the practice of his chosen profession, he came to Riverton in 1873 and has since been classed among the leading practitioners in this part of the county. He has ever been a close student and is constantly adding to his professional knowledge by reading, study and careful thought.
On the 10th of August, 1865, Dr. Cowger was united in marriage to Miss Susan Cline, who was born in Fayette, Ohio, a daughter of James Cline, who resides in Abingdon, Iowa, at the age of ninety years. The Doctor has five children: R. J., who is a druggist by profession, but is now living on a farm in Fremont County; Mrs. Mary E. Mawhor, of Riverton; Anna L., who is engaged in clerking in the store owned by Kidd & Company; Ernest E., who was born in 1878 and served in the Thirty-ninth Iowa Infantry during the war with Spain and in the Philippines until honorably discharged; and Susie M., at home.
In his political views the doctor is a stalwart Democrat and ranks as one of the leading members of the party in this section of the state. He has often delivered addresses to further the interest in the cause and is recognized as a good stump orator. He served as county coroner, but has never sought or desired other official preferment. Socially he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias fraternity, the Modern Woodmen of America, the Grand Army of the Republic and Masonic fraternity. The success which attends his efforts is but a natural sequence, for his position soon became assured because he was an able physician, a man of sterling integrity and one who devoted himself to his profession and to the interests and welfare of those to whom he ministered as indeed he yet does. He is a physician of great fraternal delicacy and no man ever observed more closely the ethics of the unwritten code or showed more careful courtesy to his brother practitioners than does Dr. Cowger.
Dr. Cowger organized the Sidney Patriots of America in February 1897. Although newspapers have published about Tabor's role in the underground railroad, and Nacy Jaeckel has closely studied Manti in her thesis from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, any coverage of the Riverton pavilion story is meager. Only the story of Sidney's Josiah Harvey's brain, working behind the scenes of the probation in Iowa, is bleaker. Perhaps Nebraska will see Riverton as an adjunct to a story about William Jennings Bryan, or to the Greenback party along the Misssouri river.
The pavilion story would include at the minimum the years 1896-1900. With the help of "Coin" Harvey's son, Robert Halliday Harvey, the Riverton lodge was formed in the early summer of 1896. In August this appeared:
THE FREMONT COUNTY HERALD. 8/27/1896.
"The silver speech made by Mr. Harvey of Chicago, in Riverton last Thursday night was one long to be remembered. For two and one-half hours he held the attention of over 1200 people to perfection. No man in the United States can successfully take the opposite stand on the financial question and none are eager to meet him in a joint debate. It is hard to beat down stubborn facts with scorn and derision, and that is the most popular argument the opposite side has...Mr. Harvey, accompanied by his son Robert, who has been stopping here for some time, left on the evening train for Chicago..."
August 1897 saw the pavilion being built for the approaching encampment. Each year of the ending century saw its encampment, but in 1900 "Coin" Harvey retired and soon Dr. Cowger joined him in retirement in Monte Ne, Ark. This flurry of activity closed with the son, Robert Harvey, stopping in Riverton on his way home from the State University of Nebraska in June 1900.
The Riverton pavilion was built for the use of the Patriots of America (its real name) whose organization comes from William Hope "Coin" Harvey (born 185l in Putnam co., WV). Harvey became discontent over the financial condition of the country and labored to disseminate his views over the country. Because of the strength of the First Patriots in Fremont County, "Coin" visited Riverton several times, lecturing at the Pavilion. Harvey retired to Monte Ne, Ark., in the Ozark Mountains about 1900.
FROM THE ARKANSAS TRAVELER. Monte Ne, Ark., January 1, l906.
Editor Herald: The Christmas festivites are over, and peace and quiet have again settled down on Monte Ne. To one unacquainted with the people and customs of Arkansas, the past week at Monte Ne has been most interesting. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were devoted to sports. Wednesday and Thursday the sport consisted of fox, coon and possum hunting. There were three races after live foxes and three races of what they call here drag races. The live foxes were all caught within two miles of the point at which they were liberated. These foxes had all been caught several days before the races and were kept in boxes until wanted. There were some ninety dogs; all of them said to be thoroughbred fox hounds. Some of them were black, some white and the others ranged in all the colors and shades between. Their training seems to have been perfect and their owners were quite sure in each case, that they had the best dogs in the race. The trophy, a fine hunters horn, was to be given to the owner of the dog which won the greater number of races. The dogs were all chained and each fox hunter held his own dogs. The fox which had been previously liberated at a designated spot would leave the vicinity as rapidly as possible. The dogs were lined up about one hundred yards from the point where the fox was liberated and after giving it fifteen minutes the start, were at the word go, unchained and were expected to find the trail of the fox, which they did in short order and in a very noisy manner, all yelping at once. Ninety dogs can make heaps of noise. The judges on fast horses kept up with the dogs and were present when the fox was caught and marked the dog which caught it, by tying a handkerchief around its neck. This was my first experience in fox hunting, but I am compelled to say, that even to an old fellow like myself, it is very exciting sport.
I will now describe a drag race. The fox caught as was described is skinned and a long rope is attached to the hide; a man on horseback holds the end of the rope and rides around a circle of two or three miles, (which in this case surrounded Monte Ne,) and the dogs are liberrated near the commencement of the trail, which they find and follow the same as in the race after the live fox. Judges are placed at the end of the trail, which is crossed by a wire and the dog first passing under the wire is said to be the winner of the race. After all the races were run , the judges decided which dog was entitled to the horn. The winning dog was owned by County Clerk C. D. Manley, of Cassville, Missouri.
There were large crowds here each day. People were here from Tennessee, Louisiana, Illinois, Kansas, Indian Territory, Iowa, Indiana and Missouri. There were quite a large number of ladies from some of these states present.
Yours Truly, E. F. Cowger.
THE FREMONT COUNTY HERALD. January 5, l906.
We have received a letter from Dr. E. F. Cowger, who is sojourning in Arkansas, enjoying fox hunts and listening to the "Call of the Wild." He is feeling better than when he left. He concludes his letter by saying: "Mr. Harvey (Coin) is sitting near me and says 'Give them my kind regards'."
THE FREMONT COUNTY HERALD. January 1, l906. "Letter From the Arkansas Traveler".
Monte Ne, Ark., Dec. 23, l905.--Editor Herald: I am with Hon. W. H. Harvey, who is building up a health and pleasure resort at this place, and knowing that he has many friends in Fremont County, believe that they will be interested in hearing something concerning him and his work here.
Monte Ne is located on a lagoon which is supplied with water by fifteen springs which emerge from the foot of a high bluff. The stream is almost as wide as one of the Nishnas and is from one to eight feet deep; the water being so clear that the bottom is plainly visible at the deepest point. The water is pure and cold. The steam affords splendid facilities for boat riding. The Monte Ne hotel is a two story frame building built on a stone basement, which is practically another story. It has 36 rooms and 187 feet of porches. There are three acres of park connected with the hotel. This building belongs to Mr. Harvey; but is operated by Mr. Southerland and his wife who are very kind and attentive to the comfort of their guests. Besides this hotel, there are two other houses of entertainment in the town. One in particular which I wish to mention: this is the Club House hotel. It was built at the cost of many thousand dollars. It is called Missouri Row. It is 305 feet long and 46 feet wide and contains 43 rooms each sixteen feet square. The building is constructed with hewn logs six inches thick. The partitions between the rooms are of the same material. In the center and at both ends it consists of two stories, but the remainder is but one story high. There are 1400 cubic feet of concrete work, consisting of floors and chimneys in it and 575 feet of porches. There are forty open fire places in which wood is burned.
Each room is supplied with water raised by hydraulic power from one of the springs. The rooms are all finely furnished with a porcelin wash bowl and the bed and other furniture is of the best quality. It is expected that the Christmas festivities at this place will be immense. There will be a fox hunt, a coon and possum hunt and a fiddlers' contest. The committees are hard at work making the necessary arrangements. The exercises will take place Wednesday and Thursday of Christmas week. Yours truly, E. F. Cowger.
THE FREMONT COUNTY HERALD. Nov. 1, l900.
The Board of First Patriots met at the court house in Sidney on October 27th, l900., J. T. Harris was chosen chairman and C. V. Frazier secretary.
The resignation of Dr. E. F. Cowger as County Patriot was, on motion, taken up, and after due discussion it was voted not to accept his resignation.
On motion, it was decided to keep the organization intact.
The following resolution was offered and adopted: Whereas, the Board of First Patriots appreciating the painstaking and efficient supervision of P. of A. for the past four years by our present County patriot, Hon. E. F. Cowger, do hereby resolve that we, as a board of First Patriots tender him a vote of thanks.
Co. "D", 19th Iowa Infantry; was a lieutenant in Co. "E", 81st U.S.C. (a colored unit); was wounded at Prairie Grove. After the death of his first wife, Dr. Cowger lived in Mont Ne, Arkansas, where his political friend, "Coin" Harvey, lived. For years, Dr. Cowger was active in the Greenback party, and then in the Patriots of America organization--for which group he appears the leader in building the Riverton pavilion which is now on the list of Historic Places in America. On 9/13/1900, the FREMONT COUNTY SUN of Sidney said the Doctor was determined to end all political involements.
Dr. Cowger was the leader of the Patriots of America when their pavilion was built in Riverton, Iowa. Dr. Cowger was closely associated with "Coin" Harvey - that is known - but to what extent he led the Patriots in Fremont County HAS NOT been known, nor for how long he might have remained in this position. 1896 - 1900 easily covers the period when the pavilion was constructed, and here we have a public record showing his influence. The Riverton Pavilion has been on the Historical Register for quite a few years.
Riverton, Iowa Centennial 1970
Cowger, Evan F., physician and surgeon, was born August 30, 1843 in Rushville, Indiana. Came to Riverton, September 1873. Graduated at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Keokuk, Iowa. Specializes in surgery. Married Susan Crane on August 10, 1865. Parents of four children: Mary E., Richard J., Annie L., Edward E. Elected as County Coroner on the Greenback ticket in 1879.
Just prior to building the Riverton pavilion, Dr. Cowger gave a speech outlining his views on the money problem, as he saw them, to the Riverton silver club. The FREMONT COUNTY HERALD of October 1, l896 printed his entire speech, taking more than one entire page of the paper.