biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
W. A. Cowan, a well-known citizens of Oskaloosa, and senior member of the firm of W. A. Cowan & Co., millers, and proprietors of the Eureka Mills at Beacon, was born in Ohio, Dec. 25, 1850, and is a son of james P. and Clementina (Duer) Cowan, natives of Pennsylvania, who are now residing east of Beacon. The subject of this sketch was married, in 1878, to Miss Anna Rankin, a native of Terre Haute, Ind., and to them have been born two children, namely; Ethel Margery and Cornie May. Mr. and Mrs. Cowan are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Politically he is a Republican, and occupies the advance ground of the party on the question of prohibition. The Eureka Mills at Beacon was established in 1864, by Benjamin Roop, who operated it four or five years, when, by reason of financial embarassments, it passed from his ownership and fell into the hands of John White, now deceased, and has been operated by various parties since, up to the time it passed under the control of its present managers, W. A. Cowan & Co. The mill is a magnificent structure, 84x84 feet, and five stories high, the first two of cut stone, and the upper stories of brick, and was originally constructed with a view to its use as a mill and distillery. its cost was not far from $100,000. The present capacity of the mill for merchant milling is thirty-five barrels per day, and can be greatly increased at comparatively small expense. it is the intention of the present owners to enlarge their facilities in this direction, indeed trade has increased so rapidly since coming under the present management, that this is rendered absolutely necessary. In addition to the large custom work done at this mill they manufacture and put upon the market the popular Legal Tender and Golden Sheaf brands of flour, and handle three grades of Dakota flour. The gentlemen composing the firm are affable and popular, and are rapidly taking the lead in milling in ths county. The head miller is a gentleman of long experience in the business, and has few, if any, superiors in the state.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy