Carroll County, Ohio
Genealogy and History

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Joseph G. Johnston
, district manager American Car and Foundry Co.; born, New Hagerstown, O., (Carroll Co) Jan 27, 1850; son of Francis and Caroline (Geiger) Johnston; educated in public schools of New Hagerstown; unmarried. Began active career as clerk in store in Ohio and continued until 1874; engaged in retail book business at Logansport, Ind., 1874-81; removed to Detroit, 1881, and has ever since been connected with the American Car and Foundry Co., formerly as superintendent of foundries, and as district manager since Feb 1907. Member Detroit Board of Commerce. Independent in politics. Presbyterian as to church affiliation. Office: Cor. Ferry Av. and Riopelle St. Residence: 24 E. High St. [The Book of Detroiters. Edited by Albert Nelson Marquis Copyright, 1908 - transcribed by Christine Walters]

John J. McCowan
Neosho and Wilson counties are admirably adapted to both farming and the raising of stock and their earnest, enterprising settlers have demonstrated the truth of this assertion by the accumulation of large landed estates and by the number and quality of the cattle annually shipped to the markets of the east. Instead of the small farmer, as of old, land barons are springing up in every township of the two counties whose estates number far into the hundreds of acres of land and stamp their owners as especially thrifty and successful and leaders in their honorable avocation. Conspicuous among those, and a gentleman whose residence in Neosho county almost entitles him to the distinction of being a pioneer, is John J. McGowan of this review. He came to Kansas in 1872 and took up a quarter of land on the west side of Neosho county which he patented and which formed the nucleus of his now splendid and extensive estate. Mr. McCowan was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania, of parents John and Elizabeth (Weik) McCowan. His birth occurred on the 12th of February, 1830 and when he was yet very young his father died leaving him the only child. His raising fell to the lot of an uncle, David Robb, an illiterate hard-working farmer, who moved out to Carroll county, Ohio, where our subject grew up and was educated. The latter was most sparingly done for there was little time for anything but labor, in the eves of his thrifty and exacting uncle. He settled in Logan county, Illinois, moving there in the spring of 1862 and abandoned blacksmithing, a trade which he learned in Carroll county, Ohio. Here he engaged in farming and, after awhile, the buying and shipping of stock, continuing both till his departure for Kansas. One of his first acts on coming to Neosho county was to start a bunch of cattle and he soon got into the business of shipping here. As he prospered he extended his business until he became well known and widely, over all the surrounding country. In later years he took his son into partnership with him and the two are among the strong firms of dealers and shippers in the county. Each has extended the limits of his homestead. In 1899 drillers prospecting for oil and gas tapped a valuable flow of gas on Mr. McCowan's farm, and also found an encouraging show of oil. An inexaustible [sic] bed of shale was opened up on his farm and this fact, combined with the abundant supply of gas, encouraged the organization of a stock company for the manufacture of brick. Of this company Mr. McCowan is a heavy stockholder and the investment has proven to be one of the best on his list. Although limitedly learned in books, Mr. McCowan possesses rare business judgment and keen foresight and has been peculiarly fortunate in identifying himself with enterprises which return a good profit. At seventy-two he is as active and takes the lead in his work just as he did at fifty, notwithstanding his affluence would justify his retirement. It is as essential to him that he get into his herd of Herefords and to personally inspect the other important interests of his farm as it is that he have such interests and this disposition will remain with him till the curtain is drawn and the shades of night settle down to eternal sleep. Mr. McGowan married Elizabeth, a daughter of Captain Hutson, a Mexican war veteran. Mrs. McGowan was born in 1832 and is the mother of three children, namely, Elizabeth, wife of Berry Wilson, of Los Angeles, California; Alice, wife of Walter Greasy, of Joplin, Missouri, and John, one of the leading farmers of Neosho county. Tioga township has few more successful and substantial men than is Mr. McGowan. Left an orphan in the morning of life, at its noontide he is completely absorbed in the work for which he was fitted and in the evening of life he is the proud possessor of a record of things accomplished and done and the esteemed of a wide circle of friends. [Source: History of Neosho and Wilson Counties, Kansas, Pub. by L. Wallace Duncan, Fort Scott, Kansas, Monitor Printing Co., 1902; transcribed by VB]


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