|JOHN H. COWARD, boot and shoe maker, Oregon; born in Wisbeach, Cambridgeshire, England, Oct. 30, 1824; his only schooling was an attendance of part of two winters at Upwell, Tenn.; at 15, he left his father’s farm on Exmore Drove, and was apprenticed to learn his trade; since that day he has devoted himself, body and soul, to his profession, with a degree of success second to that of no living man; until his emigration, he worked in London and elsewhere.Married, in Cambridge, Dec. 26, 1851, Miss Martha, daughter of Rev. Francis Chapman; she was born Sept. 8, 1822, in Cambridge. Resolved to better his fortunes in Republican America, he was among the third vessel load of emigrants landed at Castle Garden; this was Aug. 3, 1855, and he brought his family at once to the house of Charles Hunt, Rutland; three months later, he located in an unfinished house in Oregon Village, so open that was common for them to remove tubs full of snow from the rooms during the winter. Began business in the old Bennett show shop, and in 1859, built a home of his own. Mr. Coward has not been off the shoe-bench ten days since his landing here, twenty-five years ago; is a Methodist Episcopalian, with this wife, also a Good Templar; has six children-John, Martha, Frank, Fred, Hattie and Cassius; the second born died when two years old. Mr. Coward is a born Republican. His splendid work in fine boots attracted the attention of leading men of Madison years ago, his first customers for patent-leather boots being Delaplaine and Burdick of that city; his shop is now well lined with lasts made to conform with the shape of different feet, many of them for noted men of the county and State.JOHN H. COWARD (from Methodist history notes)
For 8 years after the Church was built in 1862, the great hymns and anthems were sung without accompaniment, under the capable direction of Mr. John H. Coward. Mr. Coward was born October 30, 1824 in England. He had naturally a fine tenor voice, which combined with study and a gift for leading made him popular in musical circles. Mr. Coward conducted the music of our Church for many years.