Source: Biographical Memoirs of Wabash County (1901), 242-244
AMOS COWGILL, the progenitor of the Ohio and Indiana families, was born in Frederick county, Va., a son of John and Catherine (Shepard) Cowgill, she being a native of Pennsylvania.
Amos Cowgill married Edith Mendenhall, of Guilford county, N.C. The maternal grandfather, Nathan Mendenhall, was born in North Carolina, of Scotch parentage, and was a millwright and farmer. he was a man of powerful physique and a great athlete, but in disposition was kindly and generous. Both families were connected with the Society of Friends.
The early history of this family in America dates with the coming to this country of three brothers in company with William Penn, the founder of the Quaker settlement in Pennsylvania. Like that great philanthropist they were staunch members of that grand type of humanity whose influence has been felt in all parts of the world. One of the trio returned to England. The remaining two settle in Virginia, one of them in Fairfax county, and it is from these have descended the numerous representatives now in Virginia and Pennsylvania and scattered throughout Ohio and Indiana.
John Cowgill was born in the Old Dominion, and was of English lineage. He had two brothers who served in the Colonial army during the Revolutionary war, and each reared a large family of children. By occupation he was a farmer and followed that pursuit throughout his business career, dying at the age of seventy-three years.
Amos Cowgill left Virginia because he believed slavery to be wrong, and nothing which his conscience did not approve as right would he tolerate in the least degree. He had a family of fifteen children, eleven of whom lived to maturity, as follows: Calvin; Dr. Hiram, deceased; Lydia, widow of Thomas Wallace, now deceased; Olive Ann, widow of Dr. John A. Marine; Abi, widow of Isaac Thorn; Dr. Nathan, deceased; Catharine, wife of Jacob Harter; Rowena, wife of Joseph B. Harter; and Ellen, widow of George Rhodes.
Calvin Cowgill, who was the enterprising president of the Wabash Natural Gas Company, of Wabash, Ind., for a number of years, belongs to that class of progressive and energetic men to whom the wonderful development of the west is due. His excellent business ability, keen discrimination and sound judgment have brought to him a handsome competence, and demonstrated the fact that success is not a matter of genius but the result of earnest and well-directed labor.