COWLES (COWLS), SAMUEL (ca. 1774-22 Nov. 1837) pioneer Cleveland lawyer and businessman, was born in Simsbury, Connecticut, the son of Joseph and Sarah Mills Cowles. A graduate of Williams College, he practiced law in Connecticut for some 15 years before coming to Cleveland in 1818. In 1819, he and ALFRED KELLEY organized the Kelley & Cowls law firm which was dissolved in 1822. In 1825 Cowles formed a partnership with Sherlock Andrews which lasted until he retired in 1832. As a lawyer, Cowles acted as an agent for land sales in the area, which included choice lots on Ontario, Lake (Lakeside), and Water (W. 9th) Streets and almost 4,000 acres of farm land in Rockport Township. Cowles himself acquired extensive landholdings and was one of the early settlers who profited from the city's growth. His home on Euclid Ave. near E. 6th St was a village landmark. After his death, his widow sold the property, which extended from Euclid to Prospect Avenues, for $7,000. By 1915, its value had increased to about $900,000. Actively involved in organizations that served to knit the community together, Cowles helped found the First Presbyterian Society of Cleveland, the Cuyahoga County Colonization Society, and the Cuyahoga County Agricultural Society, among others. He also served on the board of school managers which monitored the progress of Cleveland's early public school system. A month before Cowles died in 1837, he was appointed judge of the Common Pleas Court.
Cowles married Cornelia Whiting of Lenox, Massachusetts in 1832. They had no children. He died in Cleveland and was buried in ERIE STREET CEMETERY.