Inventory of Cowles Family Letters

Photocopies donated by Sally Cowles, 118 E. Spoonville Rd., East Granby, Ct. –

Mar. 2005

Transcribed by Jennie McCormick, Worthington Historical Society – Apr. 2005

 

[Ed. – These 17 letters from 1820 to 1845 are to and from the parents and siblings of Rensselear W. Cowles who in 1818 married Laura Kilbourn and operated a general store at Worthington until his death in 1842. His father Rev. Whitfield Cowles and his step-mother Desire Brown Cowles lived in Hartford Co., CT His sister Mary Cowles married Byron Kilbourne. His step-brothers Madison, Sylvester Dering, Henry, and Ezra traveled selling their father’s weaving cards and clocks and at various times worked at R.W.’s store in Worthington. His step-sister Gloriana Havens Cowles visited Worthington and married Dorance Matthews, son of Lucy Kilbourn Matthews. Cynthia Cowles, R.W.’s oldest daughter, married Rev. Henry L. Richards at her father’s deathbed in 1842.]

 

1) May 29, 1820 – R.W. Cowles, Worthington to his father, Whitfield Cowles, Hartford, CT. – finances relating to weaving cards

 

2) July 31, 1826 – Sylvester D. Cowles, Worthington to his father Whitfield Cowles – describes journey to Worthington via Buffalo, Sandusky, and Delaware

 

3) Dec. 19, 1826 – R.W. Cowles, Worthington to his father Whitfield Cowles, Hartford, Ct. with attached notes from his brother Sylvester D. Cowles and sister Mary Cowles – family news, poor business prospects in Worthington, Mary teaching school in Worthington

 

4) Dec. 8, 1829 – M.[Madison] Cowles, Lancaster to his brother Sylvester Cowles, Worthington – selling clocks and business prospects for settling in various locations

 

5) Mar. 14, 1831 – R.W. Cowles, Worthington to his father Whitfield Cowles, Hartford, CT --

family news, business affairs, prospect of trip east, disgust with Jackson administration

 

6) June 25, 1832 – R.W. Cowles, Worthington to his brother Sylvester D. Cowles, Tariffville, CT -- family news, prospective buyer for military souvenirs, sister Gloriana teaching infant school, cholera scare in the east

 

7) Jan. 17, 1833 – R.W. Cowles, Worthington to his father Whitfield Cowles, Hartford, CT – family news, local manufacture of weaving cards reducing Cowles sales, Jacksonian politics

 

8) Mar. 1, 1834 – Elmore Hart, Western Ford to Madison Cowles, Worthington – bargaining for weaving cards

 

9) July 31, 1834 – R.W. Cowles, Worthington to his brother Madison Cowles, Fairfield, CT. – business affairs, prospects for Byron Kilbourn and their differing attitudes about wealth, building home on west side of street that is now oldest part of Worthington Inn, doctors at medical college

 

10) Nov. 2, 1839 – R.W. Cowles, Worthington to his brother S. D. Cowles, Chillicothe – business prospects or that he and Madison consider teaching school, Horace Pinney clerking in Worthington store

 

11) Nov. 9, 1839 – Ezra L. Cowles [youngest brother of R.W.], Worthington to his parents, Whitfield & Desire Cowles, Hartford, CT – family news and health, prices of local produce

 

12) Mar. 7, 1840 – Cynthia Cowles [dau. of R.W. & Laura Kilbourn Cowles], Worthington to Henry L. Richards, Granville – written after their engagement, two years before their marriage, reading history of Spain and expressing admiration for Queen Isabella

 

13) Dec. 27, 1840 – Gloriana Cowles Matthews [sister of R.W.] Eddyville, KY to her mother Desire B. Cowles, care of R.W. Cowles, Worthington – describing journey from Columbus to Cincinnati by stage and steamboat from Cincinnati to Eddyville, KY

 

14)  Sept. 2, 1841 – S.[Sylvester] D. Cowles, Milwaukee, WI to his mother Desire B. Cowles, Worthington – family news, questions about father’s estate [Whitfield Cowles d. Nov. 1840]

 

15) Apr. 9, 1842 – R. W. Cowles, Worthington to his brother William B. Cowles, East Granby, CT – family news, step-mother’s financial distress & desire to return to CT

 

16) Aug. 24, 1842 – Cynthia Cowles Richards, Worthington to her grandmother Desire Cowles, in care of William B. Cowles, East Granby, CT – family news, taking care of mother [her father R.W. Cowles died in May], Henry Richards offer of church in Columbus

 

17) Sept. 1845 – Gloriana Cowles Matthews [sister of R.W.], Milwaukee to her mother Desire B. Cowles, Tariffville, CT – family news, health, and Byron Kilbourn’s business in Milwaukee, pending death of Byron’s daughter Lucy Fitch

 

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