Born in Clinton County, Ohio, Cowgill attended the common schools. He moved with his parents to Indiana in 1836. He studied law in Winchester, Randolph County. He moved to Wabash County, Indiana, in 1846. He was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Wabash. He served as member of the Indiana House of Representatives in 1851 and again during the special session of 1865. He served as treasurer of Wabash County 1855-1859, and provost marshal of the eleventh district of Indiana 1862-1865.
Cowgill was elected as a Republican to the Forty-sixth Congress (March 4, 1879-March 3, 1881). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1880 to the Forty-seventh Congress. He resumed the practice of his profession in Wabash, Indiana, where he died February 10, 1903. He was interred in Falls Cemetery.
12px This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
|United States House of Representatives|
James L. Evans
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 11th congressional district
| Succeeded by|
George W. Steele
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