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Israel Burr Cowen is the answer for Week 291 of Orofino History Trivia a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.
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Monday: Came to Clearwater County in 1862
Tuesday: Mined awhile
Wednesday: Was sheriff
Thursday: Was Shoshone County Commissioner
Friday: Was postmaster in Pierce
Saturday: Was a legislator
Monday: Named after his father
Tuesday: Born in Buncombe, WI in 1828
Wednesday: Was a probate judge
Friday: Taught school for three months
Saturday: Died in 1922 and was buried in Pierce
Monday: Came by boat to Lewiston
Tuesday: His first name is also the name of country.
Israel Burr Cowen (sometimes spelled Cowan) was born in Buncombe, WI in 1828. He came west to California as part of the 1849 Gold Rush. After hearing of the gold finds near Pierce, he came by boat from San Francisco to Portland and up the Columbia and Snake rivers to Lewiston and then overland on to Pierce in what was then Shoshone County. For a few years after his arrival in 1862, he was involved in mining.
Later he held various postions of trust such as being sheriff, county commissioner, probate judge, Pierce postmaster and a legislator. He also taught school for a few months. He died at the Shoemaker Hospital in Orofino at the age of 93 in 1922, was embalmed at the Orofino Undertaker's Parlor and buried in Pierce.
A news article at the time of his death characterizes him as: "efficient, scrupulously honest, always courteous and commanding the confidence and respect of everyone."
Judge Israel B. Cowen (Photo courtesy of Clearwater Historical Museum)
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