Henry and Elizabeth Cowles had no children, but the legacy of their $319,000 donation to Fergus Falls Area Dollars for Scholars ensures that they will have an impact in the lives of Fergus Falls students for decades to come.  This donation also enabled the Dollars for Scholars endowment fund to reach the $1 million mark.

Mr. Cowles died in the mid 1990s, while Mrs. Cowles died in 2007.  The couple, known to friends as Hank and Sis, included the Fergus Falls Area chapter of Dollars for Scholars in their will, and the first Cowles Memorial Scholarship was awarded in 2008.  The annual scholarship was designated for a student pursuing an engineering career or a career in medicine.  In the spring of 2011, Dollars for Scholars received an additional donation when the trust of Mrs. Cowles was disbursed and that brought the total Cowles donation to $346,500.

Mr. and Mrs. Cowles moved to Minnesota from Ohio in the 1940s when Mr. Cowles began working for Otter Tail Power Co. as an engineer.  They stayed in Fergus Falls after his retirement, and long-time friend Solveig Halbakken describes them as "a delightful couple who appreciated both good friends and good conversation."  Though they did not have children, Halbakken said Mrs. Cowles "loved young people and encouraged their dreams."

Wise investments and a conservation lifestyle made it possible for Mr. and Mrs. Cowles to generously support the causes they believed in, including young people and the Fergus Falls Public Library.  Larry Dorn of Dorn & Company said the Cowles' generous gift to Dollars for Scholars "sets an example of what can be done."

The Board of Directors of Dollars for Scholars is extremely grateful that Henry and Elizabeth Cowles considered our organization to be one of their worthy causes.