He was born at New Haven, Conn.,Oct. 31, 1836. Removed to Iowa 1853. Joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in Dubuque, Iowa, 1855. Graduated from Cornell College 1860; from Garrett Biblical Institute 1865. Joined the Wisconsin Conference and remained till 1880, being in Summerfield the last three years. Then joined the Kansas Conference, and in 1886, the Pittsburg. Received the degree of D.D. in 1880 from the Garrett Biblical Institute.
Dr. Cowles has served the most important churches in these Conferences, with a growing and marked success, both as Pastor and Presiding Elder, and in some instances has been returned for a second term,after a lapse of the usual time.
His success has been very marked in all departments of pastoral and church work.
– Biography by Ralph Lane Lawrence, 1952