Glendale, California Biographies

Archibald T. Cowan

        Archibald T. Cowan. There is no Glendalian, who has taken a more active interest in the past ten years’ 300 per cent progress and development of “the fastest growing city of its kind in the United States” than Archibald T. Cowan, who has been owner and proprietor of the Glendale Evening News since March 1913. When Mr. Cowan purchased the Evening News it was a weekly paper. He selected for its new home the Wilson block at 304 East Broadway and the enlargement of the printing plant, and development of the paper into a progressive daily reflect the growth of the City of Glendale.

        Mr. Cowan’s ancestors were Scotch, his father and mother, David and Agnes (Taylor) Cowan, being natives of Glasgow, Scotland. Upon coming to the United States they resided on a farm at Morrison, Whiteside County, Illinois, and it was there that Mr. Cowan was born March 18, 1861. He was the second of a family of five children: Robert, the oldest of the family, died at Rockford, Illinois, in 1903; Margaret, who died when five years of age; Mary, the wife of H. S. Parker of Highland Park, Los Angeles, and Elizabeth, who also resides in Highland Park.

        Following his grammar and high school education, Mr. Cowan attended the State Normal School at Valparaiso, Indiana; then followed thirteen years in the teaching profession, the final period of which he served as principal of schools at Millageville, Illinois.

        It was at the close of his teaching career that Mr. Cowan took up journalism, purchasing a weekly newspaper at Millageville and acting in the capacity of editor and publisher for seven years.

        From Millageville, he went to Polo, Ogle County, Illinois, and published the Tri-County Press for twelve years. The columns of the Press represented activities in Ogle, Carroll, and Whiteside Counties and Mr. Cowan is widely known throughout this territory for his successful development and management of the Tri-County newspaper.

        In the fall of 1912 Mr. Cowan came to California and while in the west he was inspired to buy a western newspaper, so returned to Illinois, and after disposing of his holdings he brought his family to California. It was after a thorough survey of Southern California newspapers and their fields and possibilities that Mr. Cowan came to Glendale and purchased the Weekly News from J. C. Sherer.

        Realizing the future of Glendale and possibilities of his paper, Mr. Cowan began a systematic development of the business, starting with extensive additions to the mechanical department and then enlarging his reportorial staff and administrative corps, with the result that on August 23, 1913, the Glendale Evening News came into being.

        Steady progress has marked the growth of the Evening News, which is conducted as an independent Republican newspaper and has received wide recognition as one of California’s progressive newspapers.

        Continued growth gave rise to the need for larger and more adequate quarters and in June 1920, Mr. Cowan moved his business to the present commodious rooms at 139 South Brand Boulevard, where now the Glendale Evening News is published and an extensive job department is in operation.

        An idea of the extent of the activities of the Evening News office may be gained from the fact that a force of nearly fifty people is employed in the various departments, which demand a weekly payroll approximating $2,000.

        Mr. Cowan was married in Clinton, Iowa, August 17, 1887, to Rebecca L. Parker of Fulton, Illinois, and they have four children: Robert H., Ida E., Gilbert A., and Waldo E., the three sons being associated with their father in the Evening News office. Robert and Gilbert are both capable newspapermen, having had experience on large city papers in different parts of the country. They are both heads of departments in the Evening News office and share with their father in the success of the business.

        Gilbert Cowan enlisted in the Aviation Corps, November 1917, and later transferred to the intelligence department at Washington, D. C., where he served until mustered out January 1919.

        The daughter Ida was formerly on the staff of the Evening News and Waldo, who has just completed his course at the Glendale Union High School, assists in various departments at the News office.

        “A Home Paper for a Home City” was the motto adopted by Mr. Cowan upon assuming the ownership of the Evening News, and during the past nine years, he has conducted his newspaper in the spirit of his motto, endeavoring to make it in reality a home paper for a home city.

From History of Glendale and Vicinity by John Calvin Sherer. The Glendale Publishing Company, c. 1922 F. M. Broadbooks and J. C. Sherer. Pgs. 444-446.