Cowan, James Hervey (Dec. 23, 1801-Oct. 25, 1871), merchant, was the son of James and Margaret (Russell) Cowan who married in Jefferson County, Tennessee, and removed to Knoxville in the early part of 1801. James Cowan's brothers, Nathaniel and Samuel Cowan, who conducted a store at Jonesboro were the first to establish a mercantile business in Knoxville. James, also opened a store but died in June of the same year.
James Hervey married, November 26, 1830, Lucinda Dickinson who had come from Amherst, Massachusetts, to teach in the Knoxville Female Academy of which her brother-in-law, Joseph Estabrook, was president. She was born April 18, 1811 and died April 27, 1849. They had two sons and five daughters. One son, Perez Dickinson Cowan, became a Presbyterian minister; was pastor of the Presbyterian church at Rogersville a number of years; also a contributor of historical sketches for newspapers. The other son, James D. Cowan, was a merchant who lived in a spendid mansion on West Cumberland Avenue, which is now the property of the University of Tennessee. His grandson, the late James D. Cowan, was for many years a trustee at Lawson McGhee Library.