Flourished: 1830-1840 Decatur, Illinois
Cowan moved from Randolph County to Macon County, Illinois in the early 1820s. He was one of the commissioners who located the county seat of Macon County. He and his wife were charter members of the Christian Church in Decatur in 1830, and Cowan served on the first board of trustees for the city of Decatur in 1836 and again in 1839. He was a carpenter. In 1840, he lived in Macon County in a household with six other persons.
John W. Smith, History of Macon County, Illinois, from its Organization to 1876 (Springfield, IL: Rokker's, 1876), 179, 221, 282; Mabel E. Richmond, comp., Centennial History of Decatur and Macon County (Decatur, IL: Decatur Review, 1930), 73; U.S. Census Office, Sixth Census of the United States (1840), Macon County, IL, 6.