Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Henry Chandler Cowles, died 1939, obituary in The Chicago Naturalist

1939 Obituary in magazine "The Chicago Naturalist", Volume 2, Number 3, 1939 or perhaps 1940.  [All I have is a photocopy of the double page showing photograph and obituary]

Henry Chandler Cowles

Dr. Henry Chandler Cowles, Emeritus Professor of Botany at the University of Chicago, died September 12, 1939.

Dr. Cowles was associated with the Chicago Academy of Sciences for many years, having given lectures before its membership on many occasions beginning in 1899.  Later he was elected to Life Membership and was a Vice-President from 1922 until 1934, when he was forced to resign because of ill health.  In recognition of his many valued services, he was elected a Fellow of the Academy in 1934, shortly after his retirement from active work.

He was a great teacher of botany and made important contributions to that science, and was active in may scientific organizations.  For many years he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Geographic Society of Chicago and its President from 1912 to 1914.  

During the years in which Dr. Cowles was President and Professor Cox Chairman of the Board of Scientific Governors, the Academy expanded its activities and added materially to its collections and increased its services to the public.  In his quiet way, he accomplished a great deal, and his delightful personality and keen humor endeared him to all.  We have greatly missed him since it became impossible for him to take an active part in our work and wish to express to Mrs. Cowles and her daughter our sincere sympathy.

                                                                                                                      N. S. Davis III

From online research, I found that Henry Chandler Cowles was born in Kensington, Connecticut on 27 February 1869, the son of Henry Martyn Cowles and his wife Eliza (Whittlesey) Cowles.  He married Elizabeth Julia Waller in Louisville, Kentucky in 1900.   She was born in Kentucky in 1880, the daughter of William Absalom and Mary Arabella (Senteny) Waller.  

Although most of the online sources I found gave Elizabeth Julia (Waller) Cowles' death year as 1929, I think it more likely that she outlived her husband, judging from the wording in the obituary.  I found one site where her death was given as "aft 1929".  It's possible that all the other sources fed off this one, except they dropped the all-important "aft".  

Then again, it's possible that she did die in 1929, as the online sources say, and Henry remarried a woman who already had a ["her"] daughter.   But if that were the case, it seems as though the obituary would also have mentioned the daughter of Henry and Elizabeth, born in 1912, who outlived her father; she died in 2010.  

If you have any corrections, additions or insights regarding the information presented above, please leave a comment in the comment box or contact me directly.

Thanks for stopping by!

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