Donald "Don" Leroy Cosens was born in St. Thomas, Ontario, on April 4, 1935, to Charles Roy Cosens and Viola Lulu Cosens (nee Smith). Cosens attended Myrtle Street Public School and St. Thomas Collegiate Institute in St. Thomas, and later, Westervelt Business School in London, Ontario. He married Lynda Karen Gloin of Yarmouth Centre, Ontario, on July 20, 1968, and they had two children, Mark and Josie (married Mike Nichol).
Don worked for about three years at Clevite Corp, then became a law clerk at Stafford and Fanjoy Law Firm in St. Thomas, in 1960. A few year later, in October 1962, Cosens began working at the Elgin County Registry Office. He was appointed Senior Deputy Registrar three years later, and retired from the registry office in 1994 after a 31-year career. In 1969, Cosens also established an auction business, from which he retired in 1989, and his son, Mark Cosens continued this business.
Cosens was involved in many local organizations in various capacities, including various masonic fraternal organizations and the Independent Order of Oddfellows. He served on various boards, including as a Member of the Board of the Canadian Red Cross, Member and President of the Board of Directors of the St. Thomas Cemetery Company, Member and Vice-President of the Board of the St. Thomas Mausoleum Board, and Trustee of the Talbotville Cemetery Board. He was also an active member on the Resoration Committee of the Old St. Thomas Church.
Cosens had an interest in genealogy and local history, and was a member of the Backus-Page Tyrconnell Heritage Society, Heritage Port, the Elgin Historical Society and the Elgin County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. He also served as Director of the St. Thomas Jumbo Foundation and was Vice-Chairman of the St. Thomas Jumbo Centennial Committee.
Don Cosens died on March 15, 2019, shortly before his 84th birthday. He is buried at Union Cemetery.
Collection was purchased from the Estate of Don Cosens.
Scope and Content
Collection contains historical material pertaining to the history of Elgin County, which was collected by Don Cosens throughout his lifetime. Material includes photographs, postcards, business records, records from local families and individuals, ephemera, land records, estate records, scrapbooks, newspapers and newspaper clippings, fire insurance plans, art and reference material and books. The collection also contains material that reflects Don Cosen's personal involvement in a number of local organizations, as well as personal photographs.
The collection is arranged into the following series: