Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I'm a Son of Kentucky After All


I am a Kentucky Colonel, lived in Kentucky for nine years, and have long thought of myself as an honorary son of the Bluegrass. It turns out I'm slightly more than that.

In 1808, several families of Cowderys came west from Connecticut to the newly opened Northwest Territory and settled in what is now Olive Township, Meigs County, Ohio. One of them was my great-great-great-great-grandfather, Jacob Cowdery Jr.

One of Jacob's grandsons was Josiah Simpson Cowdery. Josiah was born and raised in Olive Township but in 1865 or 1866, he and Sarah (his wife) lived briefly in Vanceburg, Kentucky. Their first son, Homer, my great-grandfather, was born there. By the birth of their second son, Heman, they were back in Olive Township.

Homer left Olive Township as a teenager and never went back. He worked on the riverboats for a time, then settled in St. Louis. My father spent most of his childhood in his grandparent's home on Roosevelt Place. Homer built the house himself with lumber salvaged from the 1904 World's Fair. After service in WWII, my father finished college and was sent by his employer to live in Mansfield, Ohio, where I was born and raised.

Although Homer wasn't there long, I can now truly say that I have Kentucky in my blood, and know I am better for it.

1 comment:

Stephen Grim said...

Chuck, I had no idea you were born and raised in Mansfield, OH. My father is from Ashland, OH right next door and I lived there for 8 years until I left for college in Cincinnati where I lived for 22 years which included many excursions into Kentucky. Both states are in my blood.