Cowles, John G. W.; financier; born, Oberlin, O., March 14, 1836; son of Rev. Henry and Alice Welch Cowles; educated in public and preparatory schools of Oberlin; entered Oberlin College, graduating in 1856; studied for the ministry, earning money for education by teaching; graduated from the Oberlin Theological Seminary in 1859; married, in 1859, to Lois M. Church, of Vertmontville, Mich.; issue, two daughters, living, and two sons, deceased; second marriage, to Miss Beatrice Walker, of Brantford, Conn.; issue, one daughter, Jeanette, born in 1905; preached in the Congregational Church of Bellevue from 1859 to 1861; joined the army then; elected Chaplain of 55th O. V. I.; in the fall of 1862; resigned as Chaplain, and became the pastor of the First Congregational Church, Mansfield, in 1865; went to the church in Saginaw, Mich.; after six years, and on account of ill health, gave up the ministry and came to Cleveland, and for 3 years was editorial writer for the Leader; gradually drifted into the real estate field and had a prominent part in the large real estate deals of the city; mgr. of the real estate interests of John D. Rockefeller and Charles F. Brush, for eight years; served as pres. Cleveland Trust Co.; pres. Cleveland Chamber of Commerce (1896); pres. Park Board Commission (1900); trustee Oberlin College since 1874; LL. D., 1898; member Ohio Commandery of the Loyal Legion, Army and Navy Post, G. A. R.; Republican; member and deacon of Plymouth Congregational Church until its recent abandonment.
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