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Family & Biographical Pages


Clyde "Peanut" Cowell in front of his barber shop, Maloy

Born January 12, 1885, a mile and half east of Maloy [Clyde "Peanut" COWELL's] parents were Elias and Mary WILDMAN COWELL. He was an only child.

He attended ten grades in Maloy and later graduated from Capital City Commercial College and Barber College, both in Des Moines.

Peanut was a baseball player extraordinaire and a barber.

He played shortstop but could play wherever he was needed. He was fast as lightening (sic) and very clever in deceiving the opposition; like bunting to the pitcher and running to third base - with the pitcher screaming "He's out!" while his teammates all advanced a base. He played with several minor league teams. Luke HART had a try-out for him with the St. Louis Cardinals, but he turned it down because of a commitment he felt toward his aging mother. She ran the hotel in Maloy (located where Howard JACKSONS now [1987] live), on the corner south of [the] barber shop.

At that time major league players were paid only about $3000 a year and Peanut could make that barnstorming. He did, and played with such later major league players as Bob ADAMS of the Pittsburg Pirates, Red DONAVAN and Everett "Yam" YARYAN with the White Sox. Also Homer SUNNY of Gentry, Missouri who played for Cleveland. YARYAN was a Diagonal native.

Pate SIMMONS, who in later years became a newscaster for KFNF in Shenandoah, and Peanut were good friends and played ball together. He made many friends in his travels including two black men who visited him on occasion in Maloy.

Clyde "Peanut" COWELL was a great storyteller and, as mentioned, was a Maloy barber. The story goes that if he got going on one of his yars, you might run out of hair before it was finished.

He knew all the trainmen on the Chicago Great Western that went through Maloy and if his baseball team was winning he would run out in the street and wave his barber towel, even if he had a customer in the chair. The trainmen, in turn, would give the whistle if theirs was.

Peant was an avid fisherman. He spent many happy hours with his good friend Father CULHANE on a pond bank.

Clyde COWELL passed away July 1963 in his sleep at his home south of the shop. He is buried by his parents in the Shay [Platte River] Cemetery.

The Elias COWELL Family

Back Row, left to right: Jair COWELL (1870-1949), Wayne COWELL (1972-1911), Clyde COWELL (1885-1963), Frank COWELL (1882-1916), and Alvin M. "Allie" COWELL (1874-1949)

Front Row, left to right: Sudie COWELL, Elias COWELL (1841-1927), Mary (WILDMAN) COWELL (1847-1942), and Artie (COWELL) MATTHEWS (1878-1917)

NOTE: Jair COWELL was interred at Platte River Cemetery near Maloy, Ringgold County, Iowa. Wayne COWELL, Frank COWELL, Clyde COWELL, and Artie Blanche(COWELL) MATTHEWS were interred at Platte River Cemetery, Benton Township near Maloy, Ringgold County, Iowa. Alvin M. "Allie" COWELL was interred at Clearfield Cemetery, Ringgold County, Iowa.

Mary (WILDMAN) COWELL, the daughter of Manassah and Rachael WILDMAN, married Elias COWELL on October 20, 1867, Davistown, Pennsylvania. They were the parents of eight children; William is not in the photograph. Mary and Elias were interred at Platte River Cemetery near Maloy, Iowa.

SOURCE: Maloy, Iowa Centennial History: 1887 - 1987 p. 150.

Courtesy of Mount Ayr Public Library

COWELL Family photograph Courtesy of Sharon Lafferty

Transcription and Notes by Sharon R. Becker, August of 2011

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