COWDEN, FREDERICK H., proprietor of the Harrisburg stoneware pottery, was born at Linglestown,, Dauphin county, Pa.,November 23, l843. Mr. Cowden belongs to an old and honored family, and is the fifth generation in his line of descent in this county. The original ancestor of the family in America is Matthew Cowden, who came from the north of Ireland, and settled in Chester county, Pa., about l730, and moved to Dauphin (then Lancaster) county in l746, where he resided until his death. His son was Col. James Cowden, who commanded a company in the Revolutionary army. After the close of the Revolutionary war, he lived in Lower Paxton township, and was engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death, which occurred in l810. Matthew B. Cowden, son of Col. James Cowden, above mentioned, and grandfather of Frederick H., was a prominent farmer in Lower Paxton township, and at one time served as associate judge of the county. He was a soldier in the war of l812, and died in Lower Paxton township in l862. John W. Cowden, father of Frederick H., followed farming in his early life, and qualified himself for the business of surveying. In l857 he became a resident of Harrisburg,, and shortly afterwards was appointed assistant city engineer. In connection with Hother Hage and Alexander Hamilton, he laid out the city of Harrisburg. About l859, he was appointed city surveyor, and honorably filled the office until his death, in l872. Mr. and Mrs. John W. Cowden had nine children, of whom seven are living: Margaret, wife of Samuel Hamilton, of Beaver, Pa.; Frederick H.; Sarah, wife of Homer H. Cummings, of Harrisburg; Elizabeth B., wife of M. R. Beck, of Beverly, N. J.; Matthew B., city engineer; Ellen J., wife of Stephen Hubertis, of Harrisburg and Josephine W. His wife, Mary E, (Hatton) Cowden, died in may, l872.
When Frederick H. Cowden was two years old, his parents removed to a farm about three miles from Linglestown, where he received his primary education. At thirteen years of age he removed with his parents to Harrisburg, and completed his education in the city schools. He learned the pottery trade, and with the exception of one year spent in the army during the late war, he has been continuously engaged in this business for thirty-four years. In l867 he became partner in this business with his father and Isaac J. Wilcox. Since l88l he has conducted the business solely in his own interest. He has made the Harrisburg pottery a successful manufacturing establishment and Harrisburg stoneware justly celebrated throughout Central Pennsylvania.
Mr. Cowden was married at Chanceford, York county, Pa., Dec. l, l869, to Miss Sarah Elizabeth Reed, daughter of Samuel N. and Sarah J. Reed, of Chanceford. They have four children, John W., Florence, Mabel Barnett and Frederick H., all residing in Harrisburg. Mr. Cowden represented the Forth ward one term as school director. In l864 he enlisted in company C, Two Hundred and First Pennsylvania volunteers, and served one year, being honorably discharged at the close of the war. He is a member of Post 58, G. A. R. He and his family attend the Pine Street Presbyterian church.