Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day ... A man worthy to remember

Dr. Edward Howard Cowan (E.H.) began his medical practice in Crawfordsville in 1873 and practiced here for more than fifty (50) years.  As if this isn't amazing enough, he also was the surgeon general of the National Grand Army of the Republic, Crawfordsville's first city health officer, a school board member for nine years, Montgomery County's last survivor of the Civil War (135 Ind, listed as Co. H under Capt. McClelland), and it is also probable he is the last survivor of the Wabash College roll of honor of students and alumni who served with the Union Army.

Tintype photo of E.H. Cowan taken in 1873 when he began his medical career.

In the Crawfordsville Journal Review (3 Aug 1942) it is stated that Dr. Cowan was admired and loved by all who knew him for his wit and humor, for his wide knowledge, his sincere friendliness and kindness, and for his wonderful philosophy that kept him "many years young"  (he lived to be 95).

Below is Rev. Arthur, Ray Townsky, Dr. E.H. Cowan and Rev. Gronseth at a Memorial Day Celebration at Wesley (Wayne Township) on June 2, 1940  (Dr. Cowan would have been 93).                     

This link will retrieve numerous photos from Dr. Cowan's collection:

Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May.  It was formally known as Decoration Day and commemorates all men and women, who have died in military service for the United States.  Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day and it is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season.  Read more about Memorial Day.

This link will take you to more information in the library's images database regarding the Civil War: Civil War information.

So whether you eat hot dogs or cheeseburgers, watch baseball or go swimming ... this day is also to honor those who fearlessly fought for future generations.

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