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James Low(e) III (April 27-1816 - Sep 2, 1889) page


James8 Low(e) III of Clinton and Brighton, Maine

and Pittsfield, Pike County, Illinois


© 1999 by Bingham James Forrest Lowe [g.g.grandson of James Low(e)]

Email: Bingham J F Lowe @ Lowe Family Descendants.com

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James Low8 III



Giles0 Low                 unknown       (Wife: Syseley Wall, marr March 5, /1601/02)            of Brancepeth, Durham, England; Groton & Boxford, Suffolk, England

Thomas1 Low Sr       bapt. July 11, 1605 - Sep 8, 1677   (wife: Margaret Todd)             of Groton and Boxford, Suffolk, England / Ipswich, Massachusetts

Thomas2 Low Jr May 8, 1631 - April 12, 1712               (wife: Martha Boreman)          of Groton and Boxford, Suffolk, England / Ipswich, Massachusetts

David3 Low               Aug 14, 1667 - June 2, 1746           (wife: Mary Lamb)                   of Ipswich, Massachusetts

Caleb4 Low                abt 1707 - July 17, 1777                 (wife: Abigail Varney)              of Ipswich, Massachusetts

Nathan5 Low             Oct 1, 1742 - July 24, 1804            (wife: Lucy Lord)                      of Ipswich, MA / Boxford, Massachusetts

James6 Low Sr          July 17, 1770 - bef 1830                 (wife: Elizabeth “Betsy” Chase) of Boxford, MA / Clinton, Maine

James7 Low Jr          1796 - March 20, 1824                   (wife: Mary “Polly” Wyman)   of Clinton, ME (fought in War of 1812)

James8 Low III         April 27-1816 - Sep 2, 1889           (wife: Margaret (Huston) Montgomery) of Clinton & Brighton, Maine / Newburg Township,

Pike County, Illinois

Bingham James9 Low(e)       Aug 27, 1853 - Feb 10, 1923                (wife: Mary Della Culver)                    of Newburg township, Pike County, Illinois

      Frank Milburn10 Lowe    (b. Feb 18, 1873 in Newburg Township, Pike County, IL; d. 11/20/1956 in Williston, Williams County, ND) m. Louella Hoos Oct 25, 1894.

      James Culver10 Lowe       (b. March 29, 1875; d. 8/18/1895 in Newburg Township, Pike County, IL.) Accidently shot himself.

      Henry10 Lowe                   (b. May 18, 1877, Newburg Township, Pike County, IL; d. May 18, 1877Newburg Township, Pike County, IL)

      George Arthur10 Lowe     (b. Dec 7, 1878, Newburg Township, Pike County, IL; d. June 07, 1879, Newburg Township, Pike County, IL)

      Charles Doss10 Lowe        (b. Jan 21, 1880 in Newburg Township, Pike County, IL; d. 1/9/1963 in Melvindale, Michigan) m. Nettie Carrell Feb 3, 1898

      Edward10 Lowe                (b. July 24, 1882 in Newburg Township, Pike County, IL; d. June 17, 1956) m. 1) Ettie Carrell (2/25/1904); 2) Stella May Clough (9/8/1909); 3) Mabel (Reel) Hayden (12/5/1923)

      Pearl Della10 Lowe           (b. June 6, 1884 in Newburg Township, Pike County, IL; d. 12/17/1937 in Newburg Township, Pike County, IL) m. Allan Pinkerton Rhodes Feb 15, 1905

      Leland Stanford10 Lowe  (b. Nov 11, 1886 in Newburg Township, Pike County, IL; d. 5/15/1960 in Newburg Township, Pike County, IL) m. Alice Sackett May 16, 1906

      Lenna B.10 Lowe               (b. April 27, 1889 in Newburg Township, Pike County, IL; d. July 30, 1932) m. Fred Klemme. No issue.

      Arthur Bingham10 Lowe  (b. March 23, 1892 in Newburg Township, Pike County, IL; d. 6/20/1974 in Newburg Township, Pike County, IL) m. Mayme Elizabeth Landess Dec24, 1913.

      Paul Earl10 Lowe              (b. July 17, 1894 in Newburg Township, Pike County, IL; d. 11/19/1970 in Evanston, Cook County, IL) m. 1) Esther Anna Ward (3/9/1913); 2) Lillian Estelle McAllister (4/10/1941)

      Forrest Hugo10 Lowe       (b. Oct 7, 1899 in Newburg Township, Pike County, IL; d. 5/27/1943 in Newburg Township, Pike County, IL) m. Johanna Veronica Quigley on Aug 13, 1921


Like Moses leading his people out of the desert, James8 Low III brought his Family out of desolate, dreary Maine. James8 uprooted the Family tree from New England soil and planted it in the Midwest. Alright, perhaps the Moses analogy is a bit much, but although Pike County, Illinois in the 1830's was hardly the “land of milk and honey,” it was a substantial improvement over Somerset and Kennebec Counties, in Maine. Even James8 had described his former home as a “cold, barren and lonesome country.” Footnote

James8 is not only responsible for relocating his own Family line to Illinois, but also the families of his sister, Phebe8 (Low) Jones; his brother, William8 Low; his mother’s “second family” - the Jellersons; and several other Maine families.

While there was an extraordinary migration from Massachusetts to Maine during the 18th century, there was a major migration from Maine during the 19th century. The result of the second migration seems to be that a lot of Maine residents moved west - initially to what is now the Midwest (e.g., Ohio, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa) and eventually to points further west (Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and California). Many of these ‘pioneers’ had, like the Low Family, received land grants in the Midwest.

From James8 Low III are descended the various branches (or at least ‘twigs’) of the Low(e) Family which are now scattered in Pike County, Illinois; Chicago; Arizona; California; North Dakota; Montana; Michigan; Florida; North Carolina; Texas; Washington, D.C.; New York; and probably every other State in the Union.

James8 left us an extraordinary record of his life. He kept a series of journals in which he recorded both business and personal notes. He also kept Family pictures of relatives left behind in Maine and photos of his Family in Pike County. He stored these items in a leather trunk in which he also kept letters he’d received over the years, his eyeglasses and shaving kits, newspaper articles, canceled checks, deeds, receipts, and numerous other personal mementoes. Sadly, one or two of his journals are missing. They are for the period of about 1840 through 1852. Hopefully, someone in the family still has them and will allow them to be copied.


James Low III’s Journal #6, page 183. Important dates.

From a historian or genealogist’s perspective, the trunk and its contents are beyond value. As a member of the Low(e) family and as one who treasures Family heirlooms, old Family photos, letters, and the like, I can tell you that my first experience looking through the trunk bordered on the religious. I was stunned and deeply, deeply moved. James8 Low III immediately became more than the name of a long-dead ancestor. He became a real person. He became my great-great grandfather.

Upon the death of James8, the trunk and its contents were inherited by his eldest son, James “Nim”9 Low, who also added a few mementoes of his own to the trunk’s contents. These included an 1890 tax collection journal in which he recorded almost everyone in the Newburg and Pittsfield area and the amount of taxes he collected from them. Because the 1890 censuses for the entire country were destroyed by fire, this journal is of great value to anyone researching Pike County. James “Nim”9 also included a journal dedicated to the disposition of his father’s estate.

When “Nim”9 died in 1927, the trunk was passed on to “Nim”9's second son, Lindon Leslie10 Low, who, having no children, left the trunk to his cousin, Floyd Leroy11 “Tom” Rhodes (Pearl Lowe10, Bingham9, James8-6, Nathan5, Caleb4, David3, Thomas2-1) when he died in 1955.

Floyd11 Rhodes gave the trunk to his sister, Mary Grace11 Rhodes, who was, by then, living in Melvindale, Michigan. The trunk remains in her possession to this day.

In August and September of 1997, Bingham James Forrest12 Lowe (Barbara Joanne11 Lowe Holley, Forrest Hugo10 Lowe, Bingham9, James8-6, Nathan5, Caleb4, David3, Thomas2-1) made two trips to Michigan to review and attempt to preserve the contents of the trunk. Using a computer scanner and a portable computer, each photograph, letter, note, document and every page of all ten journals was carefully scanned and stored in digitized form, thus permanently preserving the items. All available Family photos, collected from dozens of Family members, have also been stored in this format. Many of the photos date back to the 1840's. The entire collection, including all Family photos, is available on CD-ROM to any Family member for the asking. And please ask. The more members of the Family that have the CDs, the better the chance is that these valuable Family records will survive for future generations.

James8 Low III made his first trip to Pike County, Illinois in 1831 Footnote , when he was only 15 years of age. Though it is possible that James8 made the trip by himself, it is far more likely that he was accompanied by his stepfather, Bingham Jellerson, or one of his older cousins.

James8 made several trips between Illinois and Maine during the period from 1831 to1838, though he spent most of his time in Illinois. His oldest surviving journal begins with his 1838 trip to Illinois Footnote , and as he did not intend to return to Maine for some time, he obtained a letter of reference from the town fathers of Brighton, Maine before he set off for the Midwest.

James8 left Brighton, Somerset County, Maine on Wednesday morning, September 19, 1838. His trip took him first to Skowhegan, Maine, where he arrived later that day. At 5:00am on Thursday, September 20, 1838, he continued his journey arriving at Hallowell, Maine at 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon.


Letter of reference given to James8 Low III by the ‘town fathers’ of Brighton, Somerset County, Maine in 1838.

From Hallowell, James8, boarded a steamboat at 3:00pm and traveled South on the Kennebec River, down the Atlantic coastline past our ancestral home of Ipswich, Massachusetts, and finally to Boston, where he arrived at 5:00am on Friday, September 21st. Within an hour, he was on a rail car heading southwest to Providence, Road Island, where he arrived at 9:00am.

James8 departed Providence at 6:00pm and arrived, by train, in New York at 8:00am. His train trip from Providence cost him $2.00.

He spent the day in New York, leaving the following day, Saturday, September 22nd, 1838 at 11:00am for Philadelphia where he arrived at 9:00pm that night. James8 does not indicate how he got from New York to Philadelphia, but since it took 10 hours, it could not have been by train. He may have been a passenger on one of the many carriages that shuttled between the two cities. Regardless, he paid $4.00 for the ride.

From Philadelphia, James8 headed, on foot, for Pittsburgh, leaving at 6:00am on Sunday, September 23rd, and arriving in Pittsburgh on Thursday, October 4th. His 318-mile walk took him 11 days and cost him $6.00 in expenses along the way.

He left Pittsburgh the next afternoon, arriving five days and 60 miles later in Wheeling, West Virginia, where he arrived on Tuesday, October 9th.

In Wheeling, James8 found not only transportation, but a paying job. He was hired by Mr. John Fink to work on the flat boat “Billy New Love” which would be sailing down the Ohio River. The “Billy New Love” left Wheeling on Thursday, October 11th, and arrived in Cincinnati, Ohio on November 1st, twenty-one days later.

Still working on board the flat boat, James8 continued on to Louisville, Kentucky, where he arrived on Saturday, November 10th, 1838 and was paid $21.50 for 31 ½ days of work.

The next day, on Sunday, November 11thJames8 departed for Quincy, Adams County, Illinois. He almost certainly traveled part of the way on the Ohio River from Louisville to Evansville, Indiana. From there, he would have had to go on foot the rest of the way.

He arrived in Quincy 15 days later, on Monday, November 26th, 1838. According to his own record, the entire trip from Maine took him 69 days.


Once in Quincy, he began boarding at the home of Mr. Dufner, at the rate of $3.00 per week. His first purchases in Quincy seem to have been a “coffy mill,” an iron candle stick, and two cotton towels. A month and a half later, in mid-January of 1839, he would get around to having his clothes washed.

On, December 1, 1838, James8 found a job working for the Clark & Co. Mill near Quincy, and began boarding at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ebenezer Clark.

Over the next year, James8 worked for the Clark & Co. Mill and also for the mill owned by E. B Kimball. For both employers he cut wood (2 to 3 cords per day), hauled it, and stacked it. Clark & Co. paid James8 75¢ per cord of wood. E.B. Kimball paid James8 at the rate of $20 per month.


For some reason, James8 moved back to Mr. Dufner’s boarding home, for one day, on December 24th, 1838. On Christmas day, James8 was back rooming at Ebenezer Clark's home. From time to time over the next few months, he would occasionally room for a day or two at Mr. Dufner’s, only to return to the Clark home. This occasional change of residence probably had to do with the location of the day’s work or, perhaps, James8 stayed at the Dufner’s home whenever he had to go into Quincy for some reason.

James8 paid Mrs. Clark to wash his clothes from time to time. She typically charged him about eight cents per garment. As a pair of new boots, such as the pair James8 bought on May 18, 1839, only cost $4.00, Mrs. Clark’s fee for laundry service was about on a par with today’s dry cleaners.

Some items that James8 purchased were surprisingly inexpensive, others shockingly dear. For instance, on August 12, 1839, he purchased 8 yards of linen for a mere $2.00. Paper, on the other hand, was very expensive. On March 12, 1839, James8 bought five sheets of letter paper at 25 cents per sheet.

In addition to earning his money working at the mills, he also made some extra money as a merchant. James8 would buy various common items, probably in Quincy, and then resell them to the other “lumberjacks” and others who lived in the countryside. Mrs. Clark, for instance, purchased from James8 such items as combs, buttons, handkerchiefs, hooks, needles, and thimbles between April and November of 1839.

Also during this same year, James8 did a little bit of moonlighting, from time to time, at another mill in Quincy which was owned by Samuel Homes. James8 chopped, stacked and planed wood 4½ days for him in September; 11 days in October; and 9 days in November. And on November 4, 1839, James8 sewed 150 grain sacks for Mr. Homes.

Another responsibility on his shoulders was his role as a road commissioner for Pike County. It could not have been easy to work three jobs in Adams County while holding a public office in Pike County. As the following letter Footnote shows, there were often items needing attention:


Pittsfield, May 16, 1839

Mr. James Low:

I came in town this morning and the first Col. Rof (?) met me with a complaint about the bridge on the Griggsville road & G.F. Edwards the mail contractor says he has employed Gilmore to prosecute the Road Commissioners and he says he thinks it can be repaired so that it will do to cross until fall for 15 or 20 dollars. You had better make such repairs as will last until the Board meets when I shall be able to get an affirmative. I shall leave home and be gone some two weeks more or less- Yours, B.F. Westlake

James8 did, indeed, take care of the matter and he did so himself. He recorded in his journal that he took off the entire day on June 20, 1839 to work on the road problem Footnote .

In 1839, James8, like so many, many others of this era, contracted malaria. By today’s health standards, one might be quite surprised at how many Americans lost their lives during the preceding centuries to diseases which we rarely hear about today. From the seventeenth century though the very early twentieth century, large numbers of people were carried off by typhoid, cholera, influenza, whooping cough, malaria, and tuberculosis. Every few years or so, Illinois could count on at least one epidemic. Usually, it was cholera or typhoid.

James8 measured a man’s worth by his industry. It was a source of great distress to him when he was unable to work due to illness. He referred to such periods as days ‘lost’ to sickness. His affliction began around April of 1839, but it became most severe in August and September.James8 records that he was sick for ½ of the day on September 14th, and that between August 18th and September 19th he ‘lost’ 13½ days. On September 24thJames8 also recorded that he was “taken lame” and “lost 5 days time.”

Off and on, from April through December of 1839, James8 was in the care of Doctor Nickles and also Doctor Robson. He records that in 1839 he spent $20.84 just in doctor’s bills. That amount, however, is dwarfed in comparison to the amounts that he had to spend on ingredients for ‘cures’ such as soda powders, castor oil, Tapioca, ague (fever/chills) medicine, essence of peppermint, spirits of nitrate, tincture of bark, etc, all of which he purchased from J. T. Homes.

When his illness became more serious in the Fall of 1839, the purchased ingredients included Claret wine, Leas pills, brandworth pills, more essence of peppermint, Laudlum, bark, gin, quinine, ague bitters, liniment, and paregoric.

It was probably at this time that James8 developed an interest in home remedies. His journals contain a large number of such ‘recipes.’ Some examples:


A cure for Gravel Footnote : Take Jacobs Ladder root, Indian hemp or wandering milk weed root. Put together and steep. Drink freely.

 and his other cure for this illness:


A cure for Gravel Footnote : The Jacobs ladder & Indian hemp root. Put in to good whiskey. Drink of it freely. It is sometimes called the wonderful weed.

‘Gravel' is essentially another term for kidney stones - mineral deposits that collect in the kidneys or bladder. Jacob's Ladder is a plant that is found in certain parts of Missouri and Illinois. The Ozark natives used Jacob's Ladder to stop bleeding on wounds, cuts, etc. They would squeeze the juice out of the plants and put it on the wounds. Hemp was often used to cure flatulence, so I'm not certain why one would take it for ‘gravel'. More often, "Gravel Root" was used for this ailment. "Gravel Root" was used to cure kidney stones, gravel, urinary tract infections, prostate inflammation and menstrual cramping. In the second recipe, the whiskey might do some good. If it didn't, you probably wouldn't care - particularly if you "drink of it freely" as James8 has instructed.


A preventive for the Ague Footnote : When Jesus saw the cross where on he was to be crucified, his body shook. He had no ague. Jesus said "He that keeps these words in mind or writing shall neither have fit nor ague. Have faith in Christ Jesus, James Low, and doubt not.”

and James8' other recommendation for the Ague:


A cure for Ague Footnote : Sulfate of Nitric Acid ½ dram. Quinine 30 or 40 grains. Whiskey 6 or 8 ounces. Dose from ½ to 1 tablespoons 3 to 4 times a day. -Doc. S. D. Myley.

The term ‘fever and ague' was used in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to describe a variety of diseases ranging from malaria to the plague which would cause various degrees of fevers and chills/sweats. Today, a doctor would probably diagnose the condition (ague) as typhoid, malaria, typhus, encephalitis, measles, hepatitis, plague or the flu. Since typhoid, malaria and cholera epidemics regularly afflicted the folks of Pike County (and eventually killed James8, himself) ‘ague' was probably used to describe one of those three ailments.

At least for malaria, the quinine would have been the treatment of choice and, I believe, still is. The patient is dosed until they hear their ears "singing.” They were then given just enough to keep them in this condition until cured. The whiskey probably just made taking the medicine more fun.


A syrup for whooping cough Footnote : Take pulverized rhubarb and 1/4 as much epicac mixed with good whiskey and let stand a while. Then pour off the liquor and then add honey or molasses. Dose as much as the patient can bare and not to vomit too much. Doc. S.D. Miley.


Rhubarb, including the root, seeds, and leaves - is a mild purgative. It is specially useful as a laxative. The rhubarb seeds are supposed to not only ease pains in the stomach, but to strengthen the stomach by increasing the appetite. Ipecac, even today, is used to induce vomiting. Why this mixture would be helpful for combating Whooping cough I can't imagine. But he's using whiskey again....


To make croton pills Footnote One drop of croton oil for 2 pills.

 The Croton plant is considered poisonous. After ingesting parts of the plant, one could expect to experience an intense burning pain in the mouth, throat, and abdomen, vomiting and diarrhea. Not an attractive picture. For medicinal uses, the oil from ripe seeds is obtained. This remedy would be employed in cases of constipation. The oil, as a liquid or in pill form, is a powerful and drastic purgative, in large doses apt to cause vomiting and severe griping pains capable of killing a person. It acts with great rapidity, evacuating the bowels in less than an hour and the dose is very small - usually a drop or less. As a liniment, it could be mixed with olive oil or soap and used to help combat rheumatism, gout, neuralgia, and even bronchitis. James8' reference to a ‘pill’ meant that a drop or ½ of a drop, in this case, should be placed on a sugar lump. I'm grateful that we've come up with better remedies.


Liniment for rheumatic pains Footnote : 1 pt alcohol. 3 beef galls. 25 cts of pinkil of few Spanish flies. 1 oz salt peter. ½ pt vinegar. All stirred together. Bathe afflicted area 2 or 3 time a day. Bathe with hot torn flies to be steeped in alcohol.

I really don’t think I care to comment on this cure. Particularly not on the Spanish flies or the beef galls.


Recipe for Soap Footnote : Take 2 ounces of castille soap. 1 ounce sugar lead. 1 ounce loaf sugar. 1 ounce beef gall. 1 ounce hogs lard. Mix together and boil over a slow fire til it becomes hard.

Obviously James8 acquired this recipe long before Dial, Ivory or Irish Spring came into vogue. I doubt that any of the popular brands currently include hog’s lard or beef galls. However, Castile soaps have been made for over 2,000 years. They are made of lard and/or olive oil and they tended to last longer than most of the homemade soaps of the time. Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to find any resource that indicates how this stuff smelled.


A cure for sore eyes Footnote : No 1- crystal ice nitrate of silver. No 2- Acetate of Morphine. No 3- the gum of opium. No 4- hidrason. No 5- Mandreke pills Camel hair brushes. No 1 and 2 use 3 times a day for 3 days. Leave of No 1 and use No 2 for 2 days. A lump as big as the head of a pin of No 1. 10 times as much of No 2 and mix together with water. Put it on the inside of the eyelids with camelhair brush. No 3 a lump as large as a bullet in 3 fits water to steam the eyes 3 times a day to cool fever.

Nancy Reagan told us to “Just say no to drugs.” However, James8 was around before Nancy’s time and wouldn’t have heard her slogan. Morphine and opium, in common use at the time, would certainly be a comfort to sore eyes - or any other part of the body, for that matter. I have no idea what "hidrason" might be and have found no reference to it in any of my research material. The use of Mandrake here, though, is puzzling. Mandrake causes drowsiness and dulls the senses, it is a gastrointestinal irritant and helps to ‘decongest’ the liver. In large doses it produces nausea and vomiting, and even inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It has been known to prove fatal. In moderate doses, it is a drastic purgative. It is highly valuable in treating dropsy and liver disorders. I don’t think that I’d want to put it into my eyes - with or without a camelhair brush.


A cure for cancer Footnote . Take red clover head and fill 10 or 12 gallon kettle with the heads and boil til the strength is all-out. Then strain it till the heads are all out. Then boil the juice into a tea or wait then spread on thin leather and apply on the cancer every 24 hours. Wash the sore with castille soap and milk. Then apply new plaster until the cancer is black and comes out. Then heal the sore up with some good salve.

The fluid of the Red Clover is used as an antispasmodic which was often used in cases of bronchitis and whooping-cough. Poultices of the herb were used as applications to cancerous growths for hundreds of years. It is unfortunate that cancer can’t be cured quite this easily.

James8's journals contain dozens of such recipes purporting to cure everything from hemorrhoids to tooth aches. He even experimented with “modern technology” when he bought a magnetic belt in 1887 for $6.00 from O.G. Spencer Footnote . What these devices were supposed to cure depended on which quack sold it to you. Often the claim was that the belts could cure arthritis, impotency, ‘tired blood’, constipation, liver and kidney disorders and pretty much whatever the salesman thought might ail you. James8 must have been desperate.

During the Fall of 1839, the treatments James8 had tried for his malaria apparently didn’t work well. On September 16th, 1839, he quit full-time work at the Mill owned by E. B. Kimball. Two days later, on September 18th, he also quit full-time work at the Clark & Co. Mill. While there may have been another explanation for this change in employment, it was more likely due to his poor health.

On October 31, 1839, he collected pay from Mr. Kimball: $110 for his work from April - Sept 16th. In October and November, James8 did only part-time work, working 11 days in October and only a few days in November.

During the month of November, James8 appears to have settled all of his debts in the Quincy area, paying off Mrs. Clark for her laundry work, and collecting $7.30, his final pay from Clark & Co., on November 26th. A week earlier, on November 20thJames8 had begun moving his belongs to Pittsfield. Footnote He purchased some household goods including blankets, a white mackinaw, a cotton comforter, a calico quilt, a set of knives and forks, an axe, an auger, a fry pan, a butcher’s knife, a cake cutter, storage tins, 6 sacks of flower, 3 tin cups, and other assorted items.

By early December, Jameswas apparently feeling better and was on his property in Newburg Township, Pike County, cutting trees and writing letters home to Maine. On December 16th, 1839, James8 recorded that he had just mailed a letter to his stepfather, Bingham “Gellerson.”

During one of his trips between Maine and Illinois ( probably during his 1838 trip) James8 met Elizabeth Huston. He probably met her as he passed through Indiana, heading West, but, though unlikely, it is possible that the Huston family may have left Indiana by the early 1840's and may have established themselves by then in Illinois.

James8 Low III was married to Elizabeth Huston in Pike County, Illinois on September 9, 1841 by Harlan Redfield, Minister of the Gospel. Footnote

Elizabeth’s older sister, Margaret Huston, had married John Montgomery on October 20, 1836 in Hamilton County, Indiana. Her marriage record read:

To any person duly authorized to solemnize marriages in Hamilton County Indiana Greeting. You are hereby authorized to join in holy marriage John Montgomery and Margaret Huston and for your so doing this shall be your lawful authority and that you make due return thereof according to the law in testimony whereof I John. D. Stephenson Clerk of the Hamilton Circuit Court have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said Court at Noblesville this 20th day of October AD 1836. Saml Dale (Seal) Justice of the Peace. Footnote

John and Margaret (Huston) Montgomery had two children: Elizabeth Montgomery (b. March 30, 1837, in Indiana) and David Montgomery (b. June 15, 1838, in Indiana). Footnote


David and Elizabeth Montgomery - children of Margaret Huston Montgomery Low and the step-children of James Low III of Newburg, Pike County, Illinois. Elizabeth was named after her aunt, James' first wife. Elizabeth was born March 3,1838. David was a year younger.

Elizabeth Huston was the daughter of Thomas Huston. Sadly, we know very little about Thomas at the present time. We do know that Thomas and his wife (whose name we do not know, but she was probably named ‘Elizabeth’ or ‘Margaret’) were both born in Virginia, probably about 1795. They had at least four daughters, Elizabeth (b. Dec 22, 1818, in Indiana or Ohio)and Margaret (b. September 9, 1817, in Indiana or Ohio), Eleanor Susan (b. 1832, Indiana), and Jane (b. Bet. 1837 - 1840, Indiana). There were also at least two sons.

In the 1840 Hamilton County, Indiana census, we find a Thomas Huston, head of household, whom we believe to be our Thomas.

    1 male under 5         (Unknown son)      [perhaps James A. Huston, b. 1838, later of Laenna, Logan, Illinois]

    1 male 40-50            (Thomas Huston)

2 females under 5(Jane and Unknown daughter)

1 female 5-10(Eleanor Susan Huston)

1 female 20-30(daughter, Elizabeth Huston)

1 female 30-40(Wife)

In the 1850 Pike County census, living with James8 and his family, we find a young lady whose first name is barely legible: Eleanor Huston, 15, Female, born in Indiana. Eleanor Susan Huston married George W. Kenyon on February 9, 1851 in Pike County, IL. This marriage, incidently, accounts for the several “Kenyon” and “Kesterson” burials in the Low Cemetery at Sunny Hill. Eleanor (Huston) and George Kenyon were the grandparents of Roy Alvin Kenyon who married Winona (Nona) Sackett, the sister of Alice Sackett, who married Leland Standford Lowe of Pittsfield.

Elenor Susan Huston and George Kenyon had children: Margaret Kenyon (b. abt 1852), William M. Kenyon (b. May 4, 1854), Elizabeth Samantha Kenyon (b. Nov 24, 1856), Mary Jane Kenyon (b. Nov 18, 1858), Joseph Kenyon (b. abt 1859), Harriet Kenyon (b. 1869), Chauncy Kenyon (b. 1972), and Bingham Kenyon (b. ?).

In the 1870 Pike County census, we also find Jane Huston, aged thirty and born in Indiana, living with James8 Low III and his family. Jane Huston was one of the two daughters that we see in the 1840 census, under the age of 5. Jane Huston (born about 1837-1840) later married the widower, Tyre E. Blake, who was much older than she, having been born in Virginia on August 15, 1816. Tyre died in Newburg on February 1st, 1890, and is buried in the Low Cemetery at Sunny Hill. Jane and Tyre had a daughter, Cena Blake who was born about 1877. After Tyre’s death, most of Tyre’s children, from his first marriage, left Pike County for Hannibal, Missouri. It is assumed that Jane (Huston) and Cena Blake joined them there.

Moving back to 1830, we find no trace of the Huston family in Hamilton County, Indiana. However, a Thomas Huston and family does appear in 1830 in nearby Henry County, Indiana. This is almost certainly the same Thomas Huston.

    1 male 10-15                  (unknown son)

    1 male 30-40                  (Thomas Huston)

    2 females 10-15             (Margaret and Elizabeth Huston)

    1 female 30-40               (Wife)

Interesting to note, is the presence in Pike County of a “William Huston” who married a Maria Whittemore on April 26, 1837. Unfortunately, this person is almost certainly not a very close relative of Thomas Huston and is certainly not a missing Huston son. More likely, the missing sons ended up in Missouri, where we find a number of Indiana born male Hustons.

The one likely possibility for the male child under the age of 5, mentioned in the 1840 census, could be James A. Huston, born in 1838, and who appears in nearby Laenna, Logan County, Illinois in the 1880 census:

    James A. Huston, Self            M Male                  W 42  IL        Farmer                        VA      VA

    Amanda E. Huston,Wife         M Female              W 37  KY      Keeping House           KY      KY

    George L. Huston, Son           S Male                  W 16  IL        Laborer                       IL        KY

    Mary F. Huston, Dau              S Female               W 14  OR      At Home                     IL        KY

    William A. Huston, Son          S Male                  W 12  IL        At School                    IL        KY

    Louisa E. Huston, Dau            S Female               W 9    IL                                            IL        KY

    Sarah J. Huston, Dau              S Female               W 7    IL                                            IL        KY

    Jacob A. Huston, Son              S Male                  W 5    IL                                            IL        KY

    Barton Huston, Son                 S Male                  W 2    IL                                            IL        KY

Finding the Huston family prior to 1830 is more difficult. There is no sign of Thomas Huston & family in any Indiana county during the 1820 census. However, we did have a clue where to look for them.

In the 1850 Pike County census, someone provided the information that Margaret Huston had been born in Ohio. All other records, including the 1860, 1870 and 1880 censuses, all state that Margaret had been born in Indiana, not Ohio. But that this statement was made at all, is of interest in that we did find Thomas Huston and family in Butler County, Ohio at the time of the 1820 census:

    Head of Household: Huston, Thomas, Butler Co., OH, 1820

    1 male under 10       (Unknown son)

    1 male16-25             (Thomas Huston)

    2 females under 10  (Margaret and Elizabeth)

    1 female16-25          (wife)

Had it not been for that single entry in recording Margaret’s birthplace, we might never have known to look for the Hustons in Ohio. Information provided by Mary Grace11 Rhodes makes it nearly certain that the Thomas Huston above is our Thomas. Mary11 recalls being told, as a child, that her great-grandfather had purchased 160 acres in Ohio, possibly around Cincinnati. This new information was available no where else and is of great importance in tracing back that part of our family line.

Sadly, we have not, as yet, been able to identify the wife of Thomas Huston, our female ancestor. From later census records, we know that both Thomas Huston and his wife were born in Virginia (or so Margaret claimed), but we do not know where or exactly when. We also know that Thomas’ wife was apparently dead by 1843, but we do not know where she died or when. Hopefully, future research will provide answers to these questions. Thomas Huston died in 1848 and is buried in the Low(e) Family cemetery at Sunny Hill, Newburg, Pike County, Illinois.

James8 Low III and Elizabeth Huston had at least one child: Mary Ellen9 Low, who was born in Newburg Township, Pike County, Illinois on June 29, 1842. There is also significant family oral history that indicates that there was another child who apparently died very young: Sadie Shehan9 Low. We cannot be completely certain, however, that this child ever really existed. Her name turns up in the notes of several family members, and even in the notes of several members of the Smith family of Newburg Township, Illinois. However, there is no birth record for this child, no death certificate, and we have not been able to locate a burial place for her.

Another item of interest regarding Sadie9 is that her middle name was supposed to be ‘Shehan’. An unusual name, but it appears elsewhere, though much later, in our family: Lucinda Ann10 Low (Joseph Francis9, William8James7-6, Nathan5, Caleb4, David3, Thomas2-1) of Barry, Pike County, Illinois, married Milton Marion Shehan on Oct 22, 1886. Perhaps there was an earlier connection between the two families and Sadie9 was named in honor of a member of the Shehan clan.

Also of significance is that Elizabeth (Huston) Low died on April 16, 1843, just a year and a half after her marriage to James8 and not quite ten months after the birth of Mary Ellen9 Low. Perhaps Elizabeth (Huston) Low, for whom there is also no death certificate, died while giving birth to Sadie Shehan9 Low who died shortly thereafter. This is another mystery to be solved. Perhaps one of our relatives has more information.....

James8 set aside two acres of his land to be used as a Family burial plot which was also the location of the Low School. Elizabeth was buried there as would, eventually, her sister, her husband, her father and a number of other relatives and close friends. Today, the cemetery is referred to as the “Low Cemetery at Sunny Hill.”

By the time of Elizabeth (Huston) Low’s death in 1843, her sister, Margaret (Huston) Montgomery, had been widowed. John Montgomery had died sometime between 1838 and 1843. The circumstances, date, and location of his death are not known to us.

James8 asked Margaret (Huston) Montgomery, his sister-in-law, to be his wife and on July 1, 1843 they were married in Newburg Township, Pike County, Illinois by Joel Harvey, Minister of the Gospel. Footnote


Margaret (Huston) (Montgomery) Low, wife of James8 Low of Newburg, Pike County, Illinois

While it might surprise us today that James8 married his sister-in-law and that he did so only 2 ½ months after his wife’s death, such marriages were very common and not only because of the biblical encouragement to do so. In many cases, such marriages were simply convenient.

‘Convenience’ certainly springs to mind in regard to the union between James8 and MargaretJames8 and Margaret were both widowed. James8 had a 1-year-old daughter and Margaret had two small children from her first marriage. Mary Ellen9 Low was certainly in need of a mother and would have been familiar and comfortable around her Aunt Margaret. David and Elizabeth Montgomery were in need of a father and would undoubtedly have been quite comfortable around their “Uncle James8.

From what little evidence is available, it would appear that the newly formed household consisted of James8 and Margaret Low, Mary Ellen9 Low (age 1 year), Elizabeth Montgomery (age 6), David Montgomery (age 5), Thomas Huston, and the Huston child, “Eleaner” Huston (age 8), and Jane Huston (age 3).

The haste to marry may also have had a bit to do with James8's plan to return to Maine to help move members of his family from Brighton, Maine to Pike County, Illinois.

James8 left Pittsfield quite soon after his July wedding to Margaret. By September 1st, he was already in Maine. He wrote to Margaret’s father, Thomas, on September 23rd, 1843 from Wesley, Washington County, Maine and to Margaret 3 days later. She received her letter, exactly one month later, on October 23rd.


Wesley, Washington County Maine. Sept 23 AD 1843.

Dear Farther in law and relatives. I take this opportunity to rite a few lines to you all to inform you that I am well and hope that these few lines will find you all well and injoying prosperity. Since I rote to you I have been to Brighton my old native town and found my friends all well and then I came to Farthers in Wesley and on the 1st day of September found them all well but mother poor as to the things of this life times is very hard here and Father can’t sell his farm so as to move this fall. They have property enough if they could get the value of it to carry them to Illinois and have a team left. I am grieved to think that I shall have to stay in this cold barren and lonesome country all winter but I shall have to take it patience as I can and you must take it patiencent to. Dear Farther I want you to carion my farm in next year if you will for I can’t get home in the spring time to plant we shall come as soon as we can get means to come money is scarse here and hard to be got. You can kill as many hogs as you think will make pork enough for you all and let the rest run and bread. If brother Lytle has not sold old moly cow or eather of the guns and if you do not want to beef the cow I would be glad if you could sell something of mine for cash and pay to David Brown for I am owing him 15 dollars with interest I want you to settle my taxes if you can Old Mr. Mason oes me 2 dollars in county orders that I lont him You will find it marked down in the pocket leger.


I wish you could get my wagon and harnes from Mr. Ebenezer Clarks he lives 7 miles north of Quincy and 1½ miles north of the (Soks?) jameslowiii,unkword,letter1843-09-23,section3ofbook.jpg Grove You can tel him that you want the wagon your self You had better put in (sharves?) jameslowiii,unkword2,letter1843-09-23,section3ofbook.jpg and bring it down with old George and he will now the horse so there will be no trouble in giting the wagon. I expect he will move away in the spring. I would be glad if you and Margrat could go to Nauvoo this fall and see Mary Ellin and see how brother Lyttle is getting along. If you do not go to Nauvoo I wis you would rite to Brother Lyttle and tell him that I want him to see David Brown and tell him that I cant get back so as to pay him by January but I shall com as soon as I can and probably I shall be home by June. If David will not wait I want you or Brother Lyttle to try and sell something of mine and pay him and if you cant sell anything I want you to see Mr. Roberson and see if you cant lone the money of him and give him any interest that he will charge and secure him with something of mine and I will pay him when I get home I want you to give my best respects to Brother Lyttle and his familey and tell him that I will pay him for all of his trouble for me and Mary Ellin. I want you to make an account of all that you do for Margrat and me and I will pay you when I come home I want you to rite the paticklers how you are getting along. My respects to you and your familey.

    Your afection son until death. James Low

James8 also wrote to Margaret from Wesley, Washington County, Maine on September 26, 1843. She received the letter on October 23, 1843:


Dear Margrat a few lines to you and I shall have to bring my letter to a close. My health has not ben so good for two years as it is at this time and thanks be to my heavly farther for his mercies to me and I hope that these few lines will find you injoying the same blessings. I often think of you and our little ones. I hav met with a nomber of disapointments so that I cant come home this fall but I shall come as soon as posible There is a number of families that want to come to Illinois and they want I should wait till somer and go with them. I think I shall stay and get my friends started and I shall come my self by water as I can come much quicker than teams will by land. I am to work with Farther now we are farming and making shingles. I expect to drive a horse team this winter as that agrees with my heath the best. My brother in law and I hav cant a large bare [have caught a large bear] in a log trap and I shall bring the skin home with me. The time will soon pas but will seme very long to me before I can see you but you must do the best that you can Let farther hav the cloth that you hav maid for me. Cloth the children up well as you can and make your self comfatble as you can. I want you to rite how you are getting along. Take pertickler notice and direct your letter to Wesley Washington county Maine Rite as soon as you get this. I always think of you all wile in my secret retirements and ask God to preserve our lives that we may injoy each others company in this life again and I remain your affectionate companion until death. James Low to M. Low



[added as a post-script] David Brown is owing John U. Grimshaw and Ketchum and I do not want you to say enything about that I owe him for they would garnishee on to my propity but if he wont wait you mint bluf him of by telling him if he sues that Grimshaw and Ketchum will have on for there pay and he had better wait patience and have it him self when I come home.

There are a number of interesting pieces of information imparted in these two letters and a few references that deserve clarification.

James8's mother and his stepfather, Bingham Jellerson, are apparently no longer living in Brighton, Somerset County, Maine in 1843. They are living in Wesley, Washington County, Maine, as are his sister, Phebe8, and her husband, Rufus Jones, with whom James8 catches a bear.

Next, Thomas Huston and family, are living in Pittsfield at this time. James8' reference to Thomas Huston’s “family” indicates the existence of Margaret’s younger siblings, and, perhaps, Mrs. Huston, if she was still alive in 1843.


James8 and Elizabeth (Huston) Low, James8's first wife

James8' 15 month old daughter, Mary Ellen9 Low, was not living with her stepmother/aunt at the time. She was living in Nauvoo, Illinois, about 75 miles from Pittsfield, with a friend of James8', “Brother Lyttle,” and his family. “Brother” Lyttle could be one of several members of the Lyttle (or “Lytle”) family that were living in, or around, Pike County at this time. This particular person was apparently associated with James8' church in some way. It is strange that Mary Ellen9 was living at this time with the Lyttles rather than with her new mother.

Ebenezer Clark, whom James8 expects to move away in the spring, is the same gentleman for whom James8 worked in 1838 and 1839 at the mill near Quincy, Illinois.

Also worthy of note is James8 comment to Margaret that “I often think of you and our little ones.” James8 is referring, of course, to Mary Ellen9, but also to his step-children, Elizabeth and David Montgomery. He may also have been including Sadie Shehen9, if she was still alive.

James states that “There is a number of families that want to come to Illinois and they want I should wait till somer and go with them.” Moving to Pittsfield in the spring of 1843 were James8'mother, Mary Wyman Low Jellerson, his stepfather, Bingham, and his half-siblings, Hiram, Deborah, Charles Henry, and Mary F. Jellerson. Also in the group were James8' sister, Phebe8 Low Jones, her husband, Rufus, and her children, James Low9 Jones and Phebe Mary9 Jones. There are also several families, who appear in the 1850 Pike county census, who are from Maine and who probably came out to Illinois with James8's group. Several of those surnames can also be found in either Somerset or Kennebec counties in Maine and in the Low(e) cemetery at Sunny Hill, Newburg, Pike County, Illinois.

William Low8, brother of James8, was probably also interested in leaving Maine at this time, but did not actually make the trip until about 1854, when he arrived with his wife and children.

At later dates, James8 helped other friends and relatives move to Illinois. Many of these people were ‘down on their luck’ and needed his assistance. Mahala Morten, whom James8 moved to Illinois in 1867, is a typical example:


Brighton Jan 17, 1866


Absent friends, I take a few moments this evening to answer your kind letter just reseved I am well and family excepting my little boy he is vary sick at this time He has bin sick 4 weeks with a disese in the head as I write I rock the cribe with my foot


James I was glad to here frome you it has bin a long time since we last met I have seen many changes and so have you but I am the same Mahala that you left in Skowhigan but have grone old as I see you have You woden think strange if you cood now what I have past throu since that time My cup has bin a cup of mature and is fool at this time I am left a widow with five little children and nothing but my hands to take care of them my husband has bin dead three yers next May and I have worried along with them I draw eight dollars a month from the State that halps a little my folks wont me to part my little ones but I cant tha are all that is dear to me on earth and I cant let them go frome me and tha wont halp me any but I have found kind friends whare I have bin liven but Father came to Old Town last Spring found me out to work and my little children to home he thought I had better move here I coud live better here he woud help me to a farm but when I got there he wonted me to let my Brothers and Sisters have my children but I coud not I came here to Brighton vilige and bout me a small house and am trying to pay for it but it will hve me a hard time but I trust in God he has promis to be a Father to the Fatherless and the widow Husband if we trust in him I have found his promises true I had one of the best of husbands he felt it his duty to got out in the army where he fell for his country and has left me with five little children my oldest fifteen yers of age his name is Charles Eggar Morton the next is 10 yers His name is Henry A. Morton then I have two twin girls tha are 7 yrs two pretty girls and as smart as you ever saw my youngest name is Herbert J. Morton he is five he is sick I should like to send you there picture if I was able but cant at presant it hard times here with me I hav now one but my little boy to help me I had to take him from his chool this winter to git along he is in the woods to work he gits 13 Dollars a month evry thing is vary hie flour is 16 Dollars a barrel pork twenty five per pound evry thing else acordingly You spoke of thing being cheep out here I wish that I had my little ones here if I cood take care of them any easer if it is warmer are with you for take with the cold as I am writing James I was vary much plesed with your picture I keep it as a token of friendship ?send? your wife I think you must hav a vary smart woman she can do more then the Maine womin if she has spun and wove so much I like some her nice wolin cloth I must close it vary late but I like to say more there no time James you excuse this poor letter as it frome a friend giv my love to your wife and family and apart to yourself will you answer this that I may now you reseved this I think a good bit of my old friends

yours truly Mahala R. Morton



it morning the little boy is better and it snowin and bloing a gale it would scare you to see such a storm.

Mahala Morton, and children, appear in 1870 Pike County census, Newburgh Township, on July 8, 1870, dwelling 142/family143:

Mahala Morten, 48, female, white, personal property worth $400, born in Maine

Charles Morten, 19, m, white, farm hand, Maine

Alice Morten, 15, F, white, Maine

Cora Morten, 11 F, white, Maine

Ella Morten, 11, F, white, Maine

Heby [Herbert] Morten, 8, M, white, Maine

James8 farmed the land that he inherited from his father, but this was not his only business. James8 raised cattle and sheep, sold diary products, and fruits and vegetables. He also ran something like a general store in Newburg Township where he sold everything from his own crops, to standard household items, tobacco, clothing and shoes. His journals record hundreds of purchases made by local residents at his store.

James8 also bought and sold land. Like James8, there were many, many people in New England who had received or inherited land grants in Pike County. Many of these individuals were not interested in relocating their families to the Midwest and chose to stay in the East. James8 and a business partner, Thomas Blanchard, would offer to purchase the rights to such unclaimed land grants and would then immediately sell the land at a profit. James8 and Thomas Blanchard were constantly shifting funds back and forth to each other to take advantage of such opportunities.

Thomas Blanchard, who was born in England, would also loan money to Pike County residents to purchase land. James8 would often act as the agent for Mr. Blanchard, who lived in Wisconsin. The two of them corresponded for many years. A few of Thomas Blanchard’s letters were found among James8' papers:



October 21st, 1885

Oshkosh, Wis


James Low

Dear Sir

i now seat my self to rite you i arived home all right. i found them all well and we are all well at present, and i hope these few lines will find you all well my brother brother had come from oregon to wisconsen he had been here ever since the 23rd of July and i did not know

untill the first week in September they expected me home every day or they would of sent me word sooner i started home the 8 of September


well mr Low they are busy husking corn now, thrashing about don, wheat was not very heavy crop heare this year, wheat went from 8, to 17, bushels to the acre, oats prity fair crop hay prity good, corn not very good


the first planting did not come up very good, and they had to plant it over again, and it did not mak a very good crop a good deal of soft corn, potatos are roting prity bad heare this year we have had nice weather here since i have been home Not more than two or three rainy days untill last Monday, last Monday it commenced to rain in the morning and rained all day, and Tuesday morning it snowed but cleared of about noon it is quite a front this morning but fine and the sun shining


well mr Low in regard to the mony i was to let you have i will let you have twelve hundred dolars, 1200, at seven percent per anum, one half for five years, and the other half for six years, for the first mortgag on the forty, that is wat we talked of doin wen i was there and the intrest to bee paid at the first national bank of pittsfield i will have the mony ready for you by the first of December i think that is wat we a gred to wen i saw you i think that is wright well mr Low i will rite to you a gain when i send the mony betwen the 20 and the 30 of November so you will look out for it


i will send it to mr James manton and he will let you know when he gets it, so that you can have it by the first of December


well mr Low i think that is all i can think of this time rite as soon as you get my letter and let me know if you are satisfied with wat i have promised to do in this letter


i will look for a letter by return of mail.

i will close my letter with my kind regards to all


from Thomas Blanchard to James Low, Sr


this is my adres

thomas Blanchard

Oshkosh, Wis

81 fredrick st



thomasblanchardpostmark,oshkosh,wiscletter1888-02-20tojameslowiii,section3ofbook.jpg thomasblanchardheader,oshkosh,wiscletter1888-02-20tojameslowiii,section3ofbook.jpg


Feb 20th 1888

Oshkosh, Wis


Frend Low

i will try and answer your letter i have kept puting it of i was glad to heare frojm you and that you are well as i am at present but there is lots of sicknes and deaths hear this last year we have had a prety cold winter here it has been 40 deg below zero some times this winter but it rained yesterday but it is snowing to day we have more snow this winter than we have had for a long time there as ben lots of people froz to death in decota and in the north this winter i sopose you have had a cold winter in regards the times these is not much to sel on a farm this year here occept stock some of the farmers depends on their cows and chicken and seling som of their stock, pork is $6.25 per hundred lbs beef $4.50 per hundred lbs all drest butter 20¢ per lb eggs 24¢ per doz potatos 75¢ pr bu wheat 75¢ per bu oats 32¢ per bu corn 50¢ per bu hay $14.00 per ton tame wild $10.00 per ton i think manufacturing busness is prety good there is a good mainy factures in this part of the country Last spring we had a boom in the iron mining busness but it is dul now Som b maid lots of mony and som lost by it Wel Mr Low i got the mony all right i did not send the notes untill abought the last of December i think i sentthem just befor i got your second letter. i have got a few hundred dolars to gether in the bank now that i could spare if i got a good chance to put it in real estate, i sopose you don’t know of any good chances do you we ll mr Low i think i shall try and get to see you all next sumer if i can i thought of coming in the spring but one of my neices talks of coming from england to me in the spring and if she does i will not get in the spring but i shall try and come some time this next sumer. well mr Low i hope these few lines will find you all well hoping to hear from you soon

from your friend

Thomas Blanchard


this is my adres

Thomas Blanchard

373 Jefferson Ave

Oshkosh Wis

    Vinland Winebago County, Wis

    Dec 17th, 1888


Mr Low Dear sir I receved your kind letter of Dec 10, 1888 Was glad to heare from you and that you are well In regard to the mony you can keep it I don’t need the mony now and when you get ready to pay it you can drop me a few lines and I will send the notes to the bank when I heare from you I have som mony on hand now My uncle bought som land that I had a mortgag on and he keeps paying som of it off so I have som on hand and I expect to get som mor the first of Janury, you don’t know of a good place were I could lone a few hundred dolars on real estate first mortgage if you do you mite drop me a few lines som times a person will know of som one wanting mony and I thought I would just mention this to you It maby you mite know of som one wanting to borrow mony


from your friend

Thomas Blanchard



James8 Low and his Family can be found in the 1850 Pike County census (p. 24, 5S3W, August 19, 1850 house 24/family 26):

James Low, 36, male, farmer, Real estate worth $800, born in Maine

Margaret Low, 33, female, b: Ohio

Elizabeth Low [Montgomery], female, 13, b: Indiana

David Low [Montgomery],male,12, b: Indiana

James Low, male, 3, b: Illinois

William Low, male, 2, b: Illinois

George Cooley, 50, male, laborer, b: Conn

Eleanor Huston, 15, female, born: Indiana [as previously mentioned, this is Margaret’s younger sister.]

By 1860, the last of James8 and Margaret’s children had been born and we find the entire Family in the Pike County census (p.21, Newburg Township, Sept 15, 1860, dwelling 142/fam 142):

James Low, age 44, M, farmer, Real estate: $4,920, pers property:$700, born: Maine

Margaret Low, age 43, F, born: Ohio

Mary Ellen Low, age 18, F, born: IL

James Low, age 15, M, born: IL

William T. Low, age 13, M, born: IL

Phoebe Low, age 9, F, born: IL

Bingham Low, age 7, M, born: IL

Margaret’s daughter by her first husband, Elizabeth Montgomery, married James Robinson (though the name occasionally appears as ‘Robertson’) on March 2, 1854 Footnote . They were married by Wilson Chapman, Minister of the Gospel. In 1860, the Robinsons were living right next door to James8 and Margaret. Living with the Robinson's at the time was “Jane Huston, 23, F, Indiana,” Margaret (Huston) Low’s sister. Ten years later, in the 1870 census, Jane is living with James8 and Margaret, the Robinsons having moved from the Newburg/Pittsfield area by then. Jane eventually married Tyre Blake (who is buried in the Low(e) Cemetery at Sunny Hill, Newburg Township, Pike County, Illinois.

Margaret’s daughter, Elizabeth Montgomery (who was born March 30, 1837 in Indiana) had two children with James Robinson: Henry Montgomery Robinson was born February 28, 1855, and Deborah J. Robinson, was born June 30, 1858. The birth dates for both children were given in James8's Journal #6, on page 183. James Robinson apparently died in the early to mid 1860's. The widow, Elizabeth (Montgomery) Robinson married Jesse Austin Smith, the brother of Theodore Webb Smith (husband of Phebe9 Low) on February 21, 1867. Elizabeth and Jesse Austin Smith had three children: George Washington Smith, Margaret Lucinda (Maggie) Smith (who married Eugene Hadsell), and James Jesse Smith.

Elizabeth did not outlive her second husband. Jesse Austin died on February 26, 1899 and is buried in the Mason cemetery near Nebo. Elizabeth died nearly a year earlier, on June 11, 1898. Jesse and Elizabeth may have been living in Calhoun County, immediately south of Pike County, at the time of her death. Her obituary read:


Mrs. Eugene Hadsell was called here from Kansas to attend the sickness and last sad rites of her mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Smith, at Clover. Died, Saturday night, June 11, at her home near Clover school house, Mrs. Elizabeth Smith. Mrs. Smith was once a resident of this locality and will always be remembered here for her kindness and gentleness of manner. She was a member of the Baptist Church and lived and died a faithful Christian. A more devoted wife and mother it would be impossible to find. She was laid to rest in the Mason cemetery Sunday Evening. A husband, two sons and one daughter survive her, who have our deepest sympathy in their afflictions.

Elizabeth’s tombstone reads: Elizabeth Smith, wife of J.A. Smith, died June 11, 1898, age 60 years, 2 months, 12 days.

Margaret’s other child by John Montgomery, David Montgomery, was born in Indiana on June 15, 1838. He worked for his stepfather, James8, for a few years beginning in 1859. James8's mentions David in his journals at various times:

1857, Dec-1858, July: worked for James8 1 month and bought shoes and tobacco. Jrnl #6/p.137-138.

1859, Aug-Sep: Worked for James8           Journal #6/p.157-158.

1861, Oct: Worked for James8 Journal #6/p.181-182

James8 makes no mention in his journals of David Montgomery after October of 1861 and we do not know what became of him. There is no marriage record on file for him in Pike County and he does not appear in the 1870 census in Illinois. He may have removed to another state or, more likely, passed away in the early 1860's. The will of James8 mentions Elizabeth (Montgomery) Smith but not David Montgomery. Likewise, the obituary for James “Nim”9 Low, published April 27, 1927, mentions that Elizabeth (Montgomery) Smith was dead by 1927, but mentions David not at all.

At any rate, by 1870, David was gone and Elizabeth was married to Jesse Austin Smith. The 1870 census finds a slimmed-down Low household:

1870 Pike County census (p.19, Newburg Township, July 8, 1870, dwelling 140/fam 141):

James Low, 54, M, white, farmer, Real estate: $20,000, personal prop: $200, Maine

Margaret Low, 53, F, white, keeping house, Indiana

Bingham Low, 17, M, white, farm hand, IL

Jane Huston, 30, F, white, domestic servant, Indiana [Margaret’s sister.]

Jane Huston, above, had been living with James and Elizabeth (Montgomery) Robinson in 1860. She was married on December 7, 1871 to Tyre Blake who had worked for James8, off and on, from May of 1871 through 1883, and who had been one of James’ renters. Tyre and Jane apparently met through James8 and Margaret. Tyre was later buried in the Low cemetery at Sunny Hill, Newburg, Pike County, Illinois.

By 1880, all of James8 and Margaret’s children were either married or had passed away. Napoleon Bonaparte Greathouse, husband of the deceased Mary Ellen9 (Low) Greathouse, was unable to take care of his children. Consequently, we find two of the Greathouse children living with their grandparents in the Pike County census (p. 559, Newburg Township, June 7, 1880, dwelling 87/family 92):

Low, James, M, 64, farmer, b:Maine, Mother born: Maine, Father born: Maine

Low, Margaret, F, 63, wife, keeping house, b: Ohio, Father born: VA, Mother born: VA

Greathouse, [Robert] Henry, M, 15, grandson, b: IL, Father born: IL, Mother born: IL

Greathouse, Hester M., F, 13, granddaughter, b: IL, Father born: IL, Mother born: IL

In 1880, Ida10 Greathouse, age 11, was living with her uncle Bingham James9 Low and his family. James William10 Greathouse was on his own by this time, and Phebe Margaret10 Greathouse was either living with her father or with another Family member. Both Robert Henry10 and James William10 worked for their grandfather on the farm. They were two of many who found their employment with James8.

James8 hired many farm hands to tend to his fields. After his crops had been harvested, he would hire out his ‘teams’ to the other neighboring farms. James8 would collect the money from the other farmers for this service and then would pay his people.

Over the years, many a familiar family name appeared on James8's payroll. Some of those to be found are: David Montgomery, stepson; Theodore Webb Smith, son-in-law (husband of Phebe9); James “Nim”9Low, son; Bingham James9 Low, son; James William10 Greathouse, grandson (son of Mary Ellen9); Napoleon B. Greathouse, son-in-law (husband of Mary Ellen9); Robert Henry10 Greathouse, grandson (son of Mary Ellen9); Hiram Jellerson, half-brother; Leslie Landess, father of Mayme Landess (future wife of Arthur Bingham10 Lowe); Joseph Francis9Low, nephew (son of William8 Low); Frank Milburn10 Lowe, grandson (son of Bingham James9); James Culver10 Lowe, son (son of Bingham James9); John9 Low, nephew (son of William8); Lindon Leslie10 Low, grandson (son of James “Nim”9); Lewis Logan10 Low, grandson (son of James “Nim”9); Emmet Smith, grandson (son of Phebe Margaret9).

We also find quite a few other names of individuals whose names might be familiar - for one reason or another - to members of our Family: James Baker, William Baker, Tyre Blake, Joseph Brannick, Charles Carlton, John Collins, William Conroy, Theodore Crippen, Jay Culver, John Dalverson, F.W. Daniels, John Davison, J.D. Dickerson, A. Fenton, George W. Fry, Charles Gilbert, Charles Hogan, C. Hoos, George Hoos, Henry Hoos, William Hoos, George W. Kenyon, J. Kenyon, William Kenyon, Charles Kesterson, Percy Landess, William Landess, George Lord, John Lovejoy, Peter McGary, John Miller, H. Rhodes, Simon Rine, F. Sanderson, George Sellers, Andrew Bogan Smith, Ed Smith, James Smith, Jesse Austin Smith, John Smith, William Smith, Edward Webster, Henry Webster, Lincoln Webster, and many others.

James8 also added to his income by renting out houses that he owned and also, occasionally, renting out rooms in his own home. James8 mentions a few of his tenants in his journals:

    Adams, Job                    1857, Apr-Sep                             Journal #6/p.127-128

    Benigan, Simon             1855, Feb-1856, Dec                   Journal #6/p.79-80

    Blake, John & Clarie     1885, Sep 29                               Journal #3, p.10-11

    Blake, Tyre                    1882, Sep-1883, July                  Journal #7/p.146

    Brannick, Joseph           1855, Nov-1856, Dec                  Journal #6/p.93-94

    Carroll, Sarah P.            1886, April 20                             Journal #3, p.17

    Collins, John                  1884, July-1885, Mar 28             Journal #7/p.123-124

    Dalverson, John             1878, July-1880, Apr                  Journal #7/p.107-108

    Gilbert, Charles             1888, Mar- 1889, Jun                  Journal #3, p.51-54

    Hewy, Charles               1862, Dec - 1863, Sep                 Journal #5/p.49-50

    Kenyon, George W.       1857, Jun-1858, Aug                   Journal #6/p.129-130

    Kenyon, William           1885, Jan-1885, July                   Journal #7/p.105-106

    Malcolm, Joseph           1856, Apr-1857, Jan                   Journal #6/p.101-102

    Miller, John                   1887, Sep-1888, Mar                  Journal #3, p.47

    Rine, Christopher          1861, Nov-1862, May                 Journal #6/p.181-182              [Christopher Rian]

    Rine, Simon                   1869, Mar-1871, Jun                   Journal #7/p.2-3

    Rine, William                1862, Aug-Sep                            Journal #6/p.163 “didn't pay rent and ran away”

    Sellers, George              1877, Dec-1879, Oct                   Journal #7/p.94-95

    Sparrower, John W.       1855, Apr-1857, Feb                   Journal #6/p.81-82

    Stevens, James D.          1856, Feb-Apr                             Journal #6/p.97-98

    Stevens, Mary                1863, Apr - June                         Journal #5/p.53-54

    Yeckle, Martin               1855, Dec-1859, Feb                   Journal #6/p.95-96

    Yeckle, Philip                1856, Jun-1857, Oct                    Journal #6/p.107-108

John & Clarie Blake deserve special mention, as theirs is the only landlord/boarder contract Footnote still in existence between James8 and a renter. Also worthy of note: John Bruce Blake and his wife, Clara H. (Bauman), were the son and daughter-in-law of Tyre Blake, the husband of James’ sister-in-law, Jane. James8 drove a hard bargain:


Newburg Township, Pike County, IL

September 29, 1885


Article of agreement between James Low Sr of the first part and John and Clarie Blake of the second part. This Article of Agreement is to show our bargain where as John and Clarie Blake has moved into my house this day and is to have the use of as much room as we all may need in the house and cellar. I, James Low, Sr, do agree to furnish one third of the provisions that we will use in the house and I, said J. Low, will furnish timber for wood and team to haul the wood and John Blake do agree to chop and haul the wood and prepare the same for the stoves and Clarie, his wife, is to do my cooking and washing free from charge for the use of team to haul the wood timber and house room. John also is to tend to my stock and things when I am away or sick free of charge. Where as it is agreed that I, James Low, Sr, will not make any charge for house rent or timber or team to haul the wood and John or Clarie Blake is to make no charges for cooking or washing or getting wood or tending to my stock or things. This may certify that when ever John and Clarie is not satisfied we will dissolve in peace. [signed] James Low, Sr

Provisions furnished by John and Clarie Blake and they both agree to let what provisions they have on hand namely potatoes, crout, and cabbage can fruit, and tea, coffee and against my molasses, apples, green and dried beans, can fruit, tea, coffee, etc. [signed] John and Clarie Blake

Another special mention is John Miller. John Miller had worked for James8 in the late 1850's and early 1860's. He left Pittsfield in late 1860 or 1861, but returned to Pittsfield in the 1880's when he became one of James8' tenants and employees. He wrote the following letter to James8:


Petersburg Menard County, Illinois

May the 5th 1862


Dear friend I will let you know that I received all the letters you sent me and the money too I was glad to hear from you and the meeting you had I was surprised to hear that so many had joint the Church We have not much pretching a going on here we have not bin to meeting cince we left Pittsfield We had a cold wet spring here I will let you know that Francis Montgomery was wounded at the Pittsburg battle Thay took him to St. Louis in the Huspittle his brother Jacob went down to St. Louis and broat him home he was shot butween the ancle and knee and another wund on his side The doctor thinks he will be discharge He is now in Elkard William and John and Maryan had went to get him Bill has lost his mare She died on the road a coming home so he had bad luck You can tell[Fiecer?] johnmiller,unkword,1862-05-05lettertojameslowiii,section3ofbook.jpg that I don’t owe him much if enything I will tell you what we got Maryan has got 3 dollars and 30 cents out of the store and she charchis him 3 dollars for making that guild and then we got 10 pound of butter of him for 8 cents a pound and I helpt him 2 days a gethering corn the year before last and I plowed in wheet for him last fall a ½ day so I don’t think I am a owing him much He never has paid me enything els for that work the whet looks pretty well here I am a grubing at 4 dollars a acer and for to get 2 crops of it the men does fence it and brake it for me and find me a teem to tend it with After that he will rent it to me and let me have a teem to ceep by me all the time I can stay on his place as long as I want to and let me have 2 acer of ground for a gardin without paing eny rent The boys has helpt me to build a hous on this place where I am a grubing He pais me a dollar a hundred for evry rail I make to go a round my garden I can have all the wood I grub out I don’t know much more to rite Bill and John is a putting in 40 acers of corn They are all well Catherin would like to go back to Pike again She don’t like it here We are all well We send our love and best respecs to you all We have not forgat that visit you promised us Write as soon as you can so no more at this time

From John Miller to James Low


We believe that Francis and Jacob Montgomery, mentioned above, are relatives of Margaret (Huston) Montgomery Low’s first husband. Jacob may also be the father of little Harriet R. Montgomery, “Daughter of J.N. & E.,” who died June 27, 1861 at five years of age and who is buried in the Low Family cemetery at Sunny Hill, Newburg Township, Pike County, Illinois.

In addition to his many business enterprises, James8 was also very active in his church. From at least 1850 through1860 (though perhaps also much later) James8 was not only a member, but was a Deacon of the United Brethren Church in Newburg Township. In 1860, the church leaders decided to disband the church and many joined the United Methodist Church in Pittsfield. The first dozen or so pages of James8' journal #6 are actually official records of their church.

Some of the members of the church at Sunny Hill between 1850 and 1860 were James8 and Margaret Low, Phebe8 (Low) Jones, Mary (Wyman) Low Jellerson, James and Hester Ogle, William Hilliard, George W. Kenyon, Eleanor (Huston) Kenyon, Philip Yeckle, Rosannah Sweaney, William Mason, Susan Mason, Rachel Sweeney, Johan Yates, Isaac Roach, Nancy Roach, Josiah Bunnick, Adam Luts, and Nancy Luts, William H. Dow, Salley H. Dow, Jane Huston, Job Adams, Ruth Adams, David Welty, Sarah Welty, William and Rhoda Hillerard, Mr. and Mrs. R.F. Kortright, and William H. and Angeline Trobridge. 

Over the years, James8 received a number of letters that reveal much about his character and interests. James8 had a keen interest in politics and had a warm heart and he helped many people. The following letters speak volumes about James8 and the type of person he was.

The first letter is from Dr. Kendall who was a close friend of James8 and who may have known James8 in Maine. This may be the same Dr. Kendall who died on November 21, 1882 and whose death certificate reads: W.W.S. Kendall. Farmer and Physician. Died Nov 21, 1882, Griggsville, Pike County, Illinois. Cause: Capillary Bronchitis. Suffered 10 days. Buried Walnut Grove Cemetery on Nov 22. Age 67 yrs, 6 mo 10 days. Born in Maine. Another possible candidate is an M.W. Kendall who is buried in the Maysville cemetery, Pike County, Illinois, born in Belfast on May 26, 1818 and who died November 21, 1892.

In 1878, when Napoleon Bonaparte Greathouse was having great financial difficulties and could not care for his children, James8 sent his grandson, Robert Henry10 Greathouse to live for a time with Dr. and Mrs. M.W. Kendall and their son, William Footnote .


Bellview, Calhoun Co., Illinois

October 18, 1880


To my good old friend,

Mr. James Lowe


I am not well I have not been able to do anything for some 6 weeks Mrs. Kendall is well, notwithstanding She has had the hard task of nursing me so long - fed me nearly two weeks with a spoon while I was unable to sit up in bed.


I am now mending slowly, I hope I shall be able to see you before the election day, but fearing I am unable to get there, let me tell you few positive truthes concerning the Democrats and Greenbacks. First let me tell you they are one party, and a little slip of paper I shall send you in this letter is enough to convince any thinking man. I do assure you this very same Cincinnati Enquirer was during the whole Rebellion as much of a Rebel paper as was ever printed anywhere in the south.


I am, and have been for many years, well acquainted with its publishers, and in it they claim the union of the two parties.


Now let me in but a few words tell you what the trick is, they call it a Greenback party and speak of the greenback money as if it is to be like the present greeback money. It is not so, the present greeback money has the Government to back it, and will pay dollar for dollar. Now notice the difference between the two kinds of greenbacks, the greenbackers greenback money has no one to redeam it, no one. It has no government to say we will redeam it, but now mind you in all the political halls the greenback and Democrats join and vote Democratic on all important questions. Remember David Davis. Well now for the greenback party money again.


The law then is to be made read in this way, all persons hold Government bonds or cirificates are forced to produce them for payment by a certain time or they are nul and void, that is will never be paid. And they are to be paid with this greenback party money which reads in this style this One dollar or One thousand dollar Note is good and lawful money to pay all debts public and private, now cant you see the drift of the democrat party the true Rebel party by this means they compel the good men of our Country who let the Government of the United States have their money to fight the rebel with, I say compels them to take this greenback party money for their bonds & there being no one to redeam the greenback money it is worthless except to pay a debt. You cannot buy a loaf of bread with a thousand dollar bill, if the one who has the bread to sell was not in debt. Some will say I will get in debt, and pay this worthless money to my creditor, let us see how he will do it, he falls greatly in love with your home farm and says Mr. Low what do you ask for your farm, one third cash and the balance in one year, if he buys for ten thousand dollars he pays you three thousand and three hundred and thirty three dollars, the 1/3 of the 10 thousand you give him a deed, and want a mortgage for the balance. When to your surprise, he says never mind the mortgage, I will just pay you the balance down and he pays you a hand ful of money of the greenback party. Now you owe no one and you cannot use it. Now again let us see how you will talk to this same man when your eyes are opened on that subject. When this man askes you what you will take for your home farm, your answer will be ten thousand dollars in cash, gold or silver, or greenbacks secured by the Government, money to be paid before the deed is handed to you. Then said he, I cannot buy of you, and so every body will say, I sell no more, one cents worth, without the cash. Now where has the business of the country gone to. Let me tell you it has fled at the approach of Greenback Democracy. We have not one dollar of gold and silver to one hundred or one thousand dollars required to do business on. What will you do with your wheat if it cannot command any justifyable price for want of money in the hands of dealers to purchase it. And down goes the business and senses of the best government under the sun by the trick of the democrat & greenback pary. Remember they are one working for only one purpose and that is repudiation. In other words to destroy the credit of the nation and use the money to pay the Rebel claims and pension the Rebel soldiers, and stop the pensions now being paid the Union soldiers, and widow and orphans of those who lost their lives in the Union Army to save our Country.


N.B. We are now a prosperous nation with a large amount of wealth under the Republican rule. And when the Democrats were in power we were in debt heavily and were borrowing money at a heavy interest to carry on the Government. Now should we of the North wish to become the slave of the Rebel, Tyranical, Bull doggin Murderous Southerner. I say, Hurrah for Republicanism in all places and at all times.


I was in Company with several Democrats who were very angry at something I had said and one of them came up very quickly to me and said in a loud voice Dr. did you say so and so? My answer was yes I did what of it? Well said he I did not think you would say such a thing. Well sir, I did and if you will wait a minute or two I will say something more. Well what is it, well said I, I ask you all what do you think the Southern people should do with a Northern man (a Yankee) who goes down there to live and after he has been there a year or more says he is a republican and wants to be a mayor of the City in which he lives?


Now answer the question each of you. The man above alluded to says at once shoot him the impudent son of a B___h. Well said I tell me why he should be shot, because he is not a native of the south and no right there. Well said I, he is an American and should have a home any where in the United States wherever it suits him. Said he, I say shoot him or any other Yankee in the South. Well said I, gentlemen, do you all agree with him? One man says I do not, nor I, says another. Well said I, now let me ask one more question and see how you stand on it, and then I will tell you one thing more and leave you for the present.


N.B. If to day the two men to be voted for by the people were Jefferson Davis on the Democratic ticket and General Grant on the other, I ask you each to tell me candidly which you would vote for. Those in favor of Davis step to the South side and those for General Grant step to the North side. Two of the men hurrahed for Jef Davis and the balance hurrahed for Garfield Grant and the Republican Party.


We can now see what the Democrat Party is plainly and I am a Republican I fought in the Union Army and draw a pension said one man and I am not willing to be ruled by my enemies, loos my pension and give it to them. There was a gain of 5 or 6 republicans.


Now said I a little more and I am done with you. I then said to the man who first addressed me, you were born in the North why should you be so hard on the Northern Yankee. No sir, said he, I was born in the south Mississippi. Well, said I to the other Jef Davis man, you were born in Ohio. No sir, said he, I am a Kentuckyan. Now tell me where you get your privilege to come in the North and do, and talk as you do, to the Northern people? Well, he said, I am an American.


Well, said I, do you know just what I am? No he said. Well, I will tell you. I am a retaliator, who wish to serve others as they wish to serve me. I think all such people as you should be shot who come here and talk and act as you do and I think you two are ballot stuffers, vote 3 or 4 times at different precincts under different names, and I shall see that you are looked after on the Election day. Good buy for this time, and left them.


Remember, Greenback is Democrat Repudiation. That is not to pay the national debt, but steel the money we have in the Government Treasury and fill the pockets of the Rebels of the South.


Personal note to you. I have left out quite a number of words in my letter to you but I am unable to copy it. I cannot sit up but a little while at a time to write, so I enterlined it through out the whole letter and hope you will excuse the same. I hope you are, and all of yours, well. I hope to see you before long.


I send you a news paper our little Calhoun County Pilot, I have marked two or three pieces for you to read.


Love to all. Yourself, sons, and families.

M.W.S. Kendall, M.D.



N.B. I write you this letter in this plain hand so you will not be troubled to read it. Some are bothered to read the back hand writing.

James8 was continually barraged with requests from friends and relatives. He paid for medical care and treatment in St. Louis for Mary (Jellerson) Cooley (daughter of Bingham and Mary). He sent money to Hannah Jellerson (a ‘step-aunt’) for transportation to Seattle to live with her son, George. He paid for Mahala Morton and her children to leave Maine and travel to Pike County. James8 was continually saving family and friends from various forms of financial distress. The following letter from Dewitt Burton is typical of the many people who wrote to James8 for help:


Bushnell Jan 1st, 1882

Mr. James Lowe


Dear old friend I sai - my self this Beautiful lords Day and the commencement of another year. Brother Lowe it is with a sad heart - I am forced to Write you this short epistle. I will tell you the facts in the case. I moved with my little family to this place to make an honest living. I got a job in the pump shop painting pumps but alas my health is failing me so fast I am forced to quit and seek employment some where else and there is a Business here I can go into whitch I can make money at it is a [gert?] section03-jameslow8ofnewburgtownship,pikecounty,illinois.gif ?for a marble shop. but it seems that God has not blessed me with means to go right to work and now I write you this letter to see if you would be so kind as to help me a little. if you would be so kind as to lend me 15 dollars for a short time for it will take about this much to start me in this business now remember I don’t ask you to give me this money, but only to lend it to me for a short time say 3 months with interest for I will pay evry Dollar of it back for God knowes I am Honest and I am going to live honest if I have to starve for almost the last Words I ever heard come from the lips of my Poor old sainted father was..he says live honest if you always live Poor. and I intend to do this. for I would not give up my chance of meeting him in heaven and my chance of living when this life is ovr no no I would not miss Heavin and immortal Glory for all the riches this Poor little [?] section03-jameslow8ofnewburgtownship,pikecounty,illinois1.gif ?? world afford. and remember my Dear old Brother if you acomidate me with this one favor that you cause two hearts to Bound with joy unspeakbly and full of glory. But I want you to remember to, aged Brother, if you cant favor me with the accomidation you cause no offence what ever. for I know you would if you could. so I will close this Short letter by asking you to Write soon. I would like to hear from you this week as the man will expect answer this week. Hoping and Praying that this new year may Bring to you health and success wishing you a happy new year I remain your loving child and Brother in Christ

Dewitt C. Burton


Direct to Bushnell Illinois

James D. Dickerson also wrote to James8 for help. He had known James8 for many years and had worked for him, briefly, in 1867. Mr. Dickerson wrote the following:


Santa Anna Cal

Mr. James Low March 12, 1886


Dear Brother I take up my pen to write you a line Hope you have not forgotten me. I am sertin I have never forgotten your vary dear famley My first visit to your cabbin erly as the year 1858 there has been many changes since that time. Your children were then singel onmaried. With my complements I were but 22 yeares of age and onmarried. Now Brother it is my family I am about Who is it Dear Brother Low has not a care I wish you would speak for me too Cal Matthews and major Josef Ledley: See if they can prevail with Lucy my wife and mother of my children to farme My famley must stay at home and they will shal have a home to live where they can rais evry thing they eat & were. Now Brother, I do not ask my own true & tried friend to be out one dollar, but I do ask them to make the change not onley as [??] jamesd.dickerson,unkword,letter,1886-03-12,santaanna,catojameslowiii,section3ofbook.jpg But that it is a matter that is dear to me and must be seen too the valuacian of property in griggsville where she lives. Werth one thousand or two thousand or even three thousand dollars. By making the change you will oblige one that is not lightley esteemed.


James D. Dickerson



P.O. In the provadence of God I come [??] ( jamesd.dickerson,unkword2,letter,1886-03-12,santaanna,catojameslowiii,section3ofbook.jpg ) I will come & see you. Good by

The following letter is from Marth A. (Kelley) Hall of Mayfield, Somerset County, Maine to James8 Low III of Pittsfield, IL. Letterhead is embossed with the word “WINONA”. The letter was found in the trunk of James LowIII and transcribed Dec 1997. Despite the salutation ‘My Dear Cousin,’ I do not believe that Martha was related to the family in any way. I believe that her brother, Hiram, and perhaps her parents, were friends of the Low’s and/or Jellersons and that ‘Cousin’ is being used in an honorary manner. Martha’s maiden name was ‘Kelley’, she was born Feb 8, 1839 and died March 26, 1900. Her husband was Virgil Paris Hall (July 7, 1838 - Dec 29, 1915). Martha’s brother, Hiram was about the same age as our James8. Hiram was born March 25, 1817 in Fairfield, Somerset County, Maine and died Oct 6, 1897 in Brighton, Maine - James8' s hometown. The towns of Mayfield, Brighton, Clinton (James8's birthplace), Fairfield, Bingham and Winslow are all very near each other. The only other individual mentioned by name in the letter, Peter Walker, was married to Martha’s sister, Nancy. Peter Walker was born Nov 24, 1816 and died in Brighton on July 15, 1877. Her children, whom she did not name, were Henry P. Hall (died April 25, 1883), Nancy Ellen Hall, Rodney D. Hall, Virginia M. Hall, Maria Chamberlain Hall, and Edward K. Hall.


Mayfield Feb the 11, 1889

My Dear Cousin


It has been a long time since I have heard from you and I do want so very much to here from you all that I thought I would write a few lines to you My health has been rather poor for the past year My children and I are alone this winter My Husband has gone into the woods to scale lumber he is not far from Moos head lake I have five children living I have lost my oldest son He died five years ago last spring with the diabetes was sick about eight month It was a great loss to me He was ten years and five months old when he died He was a very good boy but I trust he is far better off then eny one in this life my oldest girl will be 15 years old next June She is as tall as I am the next is a boy he is 13 next July they are good children do all of the work at the barn then I have one more boy and two girls one 10 and the other 8 and the little boy five.


We are having a quite a pleasent winter not so much snow as common We had a very wet sumer and then we had a very early frost that killed about evry thing We lost all of our corn and beans my Husband has raised hops for a number years but this year they were hurt by the frost a good deal We have not sold them yet it has been hard times for us for the past few years stock has been low but still harder for us this year having the crops cut off so But ther is always some way provided for us if we only trust in him who givith liberly to all Well cousin how are you geting along I often think of you I want to here from you all Peter Walker died last May My brother Hiram is living his health is good My youngest brother live at Shirley has four children living lost three His oldest son is at home this winter They are hualing white birch for a co. My brother has 45 per month and his son 40 a month well I must close Hoping to here from you soon Give my love to all Write soon and tell me about you folks I would like to see you very much rember me in your prayers So good by from your cousin

Martha A. Hall


From about 1878, Margaret (Huston) Montgomery Low had suffered from bronchitis and asthma. In August of 1882, Margaret’s condition became quite severe. On August 15th, she took to her bed where Family members took turns watching over her. She died at 1:00pm on August 20, 1882, twenty days short of her 65th birthday. Her obituary read:


Mrs. James Low departed this life at her residence two miles east of this place, Monday morning, after an illness of ten days. Her disease was asthma, and she bore her sickness with true Christian fortitude. She was 65 years of age. The funeral services were held at the residence, and her remains were deposited at the burial ground near the Low school house. Footnote

Margaret was buried in the Low Family cemetery, just a few feet away from her sister, Elizabeth, the first Mrs. James Low. A plot was left between the two of them, making room for James8 when his time came.

The two Mrs. Lows did not have to wait too long before they were joined by their husband. During one of the many epidemics that swept through Pike County in the late 1880's, James8 developed typhoid dysentery at which time he came under the care of Dr. T.W. Shastid. Despite the fact that James8 was an energetic and vital man (indeed, he had worked in his fields up until 1885, when he was nearly 70 years old), his age and the malaria, from which he had suffered for so long, worked against him. He became severely ill on August 18st, 1889 and completely incapacitated by August 21st. He made his last entry in his journal on August 17th, recording that his son, Bingham9 Low, had repaid him $4.00. James8 Low III, died at his home at 10:00 a.m. on September 2, 1889. He was 73 years old.

James8 was laid to rest between his two wives in the Low Family cemetery that he, himself, had established. His obituary was published on September 5th in Pittsfield’s “Pike County Democrat”:


James Low was born in Brighton, Somerset County, Maine, April 27, 1816, and became a resident of Newburg township, Pike County, in 1839 [BL: An error. James8 first arrived in Pike county in 1831 - per Pike County Atlas.], where he resided until the time of his death, which occurred at his home Monday morning at 10:00 o'clock. In the year 1836 he became a member of the local Methodist church and remained a consistent member until the end. [BL: I rest my case. He could not have been a member in 1836 if he hadn’t arrived until 1839.] His neighbors bear testimony to his kindness of heart and goodness of life. "Uncle Jimmie" was one of the oldest settlers in the county, and while the pioneers were gathered for their annual meeting in the court-house park he was being gathered to his fathers and to the reunion on high. Funeral services were conducted at Sunny Hill school- house [Low School] by Rev. W. S. Calhoun near the residence of the deceased in the presence of a large company of sympathetic friends. The remains were laid to rest in the graveyard near by. [BL: the Low Family cemetery at Sunny Hill]

James8 had prepared his will on 24th day of October 1887. The text of document follows:



I, James Low, Senior, of the Township of Newburg in the County of Pike and State of Illinois, being in feeble health but of sound disposing mind and memory do make, ordain, publish and declare this and none other to be my last Will and Testament hereby revoking and declaring void all former and other Wills by me at any time heretofore made.


First. It is my will and I direct that all my just debts and the charges of my funeral be paid and discharged by my Executors hereinafter named as soon as conveniently may be after my decease.


Second. For the purpose of paying such debts and funeral expenses as far as it may extend, I authorize and empower my Executors to sell and dispose of my personal property at private or public sale, collect all notes and other assets due to me or to become due to me at the time of or after my decease and apply the proceeds to the payment thereof.


Third. In order to make further provisions for the payment of debts owing by me at the time of my decease if that shall become necessary, I direct and empower my Executors to rent and lease from year to year or for several years as to them all or part of my Real Estate hereinafter described may seem proper either for cash rent at not less than four dollars an acre or rent payable in kind at one third of the crops harvested and delivered in the granary or crib or other proper place on the premises. But I desire my executors in renting said lands to give the preference at the same rent to my sons, James Low Jr, Bingham J. Low, and my son-in-law T.W. Smith if they or either of them may desire to rent the same or any part thereof and apply said rents and the proceeds thereof as fast as collected to the payment of any debts costs and charges remaining unpaid out of the proceeds of my personal property and to the payment of all taxes assessed and levied upon said Real Estate or any part thereof and I further provide that my Executors shall keep said real Estate (or so much thereof as may be necessary) rented from year to year until my debts and all costs and charges against my Estate and the specific legacies hereinafter made shall be fully paid out of the proceeds.


Fourth. If any debt or obligation remaining unpaid out of a sale of my personal property or the rents aforesaid of my Real Estate shall be due and payment pressed so as to demand a sale of my Real Estate for the payment thereof then and in such case I authorize and empower my Executors to borrow money on the security of my said Real Estate at the legal rate of interest or less and to Execute and deliver all necessary and proper mortgages upon my Real Estate to secure the loans and apply the moneys to the payment of such debts provided however that my Executors shall not in any case or for any purpose have power to give or execute any mortgage or instrument whatever containing any penalty or forfeiture or power of foreclosure for nonpayment of part of interest or part of principal but only mortgages with right of foreclosure when the whole principal of the mortgage debt shall mature and remain in whole or in part unpaid.


Fifth. I give devise and bequeath to my son Bingham J. Low fifty acres of land the same being more or less lying north of the road leading from Pittsfield to Frye’s Mill on the north part of the East half of the south west quarter of section seventeen in Township five south Range Three west of the 4th principal meridian in Pike County Illinois being all the land now owned by me on said quarter section excepting however from this devise two acres in the south east corner of said tract being a school house lot and grave yard. And I further give devise and bequeath to my said son Bingham, the north half of the north west quarter of the south east quarter of section seventeen in Township Five south Range Three west in said County said last named tract containing twenty acres to have and to hold the same and the other tract devised to him to the said Bingham J. Low for and during his natural life and after his death the remainder to his lawful issue heir surviving and I request my said son Bingham after my death to take the management care and superintendence of said graveyard and keep up the fence and preserve the same in like manner as I have done.


Sixth. I give devise and bequeath to my son James Low Junior the south west quarter of the south east quarter of section seventeen and the south half of the north west quarter of the south east quarter of section seventeen in Township Five south Range Three West of the 4th principal meridian in Pike County Illinois for and during his natural life and after his death the remainder shall pass to and rest in his lawful issue then surviving him but this devise is made subject to the right of Phebe Smith my daughter, wife of T. W. Smith, to use occupy and enjoy the frame dwelling house now standing on said premises during her pleasure or until she shall build a dwelling house for herself.


7th. I give devise and bequeath to my daughter Phebe Smith, wife of T. W. Smith, Lots one two three and four on the east side of the north east quarter of section twenty in township five south range three west of the 4th principal meridian containing in all twenty acres more or less, also the south east quarter of the south east quarter of section seventeen in township five south of range three west in Pike County Illinois to have and to hold to the said Phebe Smith for and during her natural life and the remainder on to her lawful issue surviving at the time of her decease and I further devise and bequeath to my said daughter Phebe the west half of the north west quarter of the north east quarter being lot no nine in section sixteen township five south of range three west in said County to have and to hold the same unto the said Phebe her heirs and assign absolutely and forever.


Eighth. I give devise and bequeath unto my sons Bingham J. and James Low Jr and my daughter Phebe for their joint use and benefit and to their heirs and assigns forever a stone quarry consisting of about two acres of land situated in the north west quarter of the north west quarter of section fifteen in Township five south of range three west.


Ninth. All the foregoing devises are made subject to the power hereinbefore given to my executors to rent and lease the real estate so devised for the purposes aforesaid except the devise to Phebe Smith of the 20 acre tract described as Lot no 9 in section 16 Township 5 S3W 4th P.M - it being my intention to give the said Phebe power and authority to sell and dispose of said last mentioned tract as she may think best.


Tenth. I give and bequeath to my grandchildren James W. - Robert H. - Hester M. - Ida E. - Phebe M. - and Margaret Greathouse the children of my deceased daughter Mary Ellen formerly the wife of N.B. Greathouse the sum of three hundred dollars each without interest - which said sums are to be paid to them out of the rents and profits of my real estate aforesaid after all my debts and claims against my estate and costs are paid and not until such debts claims and costs are so paid.


Eleven. When such debts claims and costs against my estate are paid and the legacies to my said grand children are also paid them I devise and bequeath to my step daughter Elizabeth Smith the sum of four hundred dollars and direct my executors to pay that sum to her, her heirs and assigns out of the rents and profits of said land when collected and said sum of money to be payable without interest. My said daughter Mary E. Greathouse, now deceased, in her lifetime received of my estate the sum of six hundred dollars of principal and interest which I charge to her - it being my intention to equalize my other children with her by the devise and legacies aforesaid to my own children and the children of the said Mary Ellen.


Twelfth. I direct my executors after my decease to purchase and erect in the family burying ground a becoming and suitable monument with proper head stones for the different members of the family at the time interned therein there being now five buried there namely, my two wives, my daughter Mary Ellen and her daughter and Thomas Huston my father-in-law. The principal monument for myself and wives to be similar in cost and style to that of Bingham Jellison.


Lastly, I hereby constitute and appoint my son James Low Jr., my friend William Gray of Hadley township and my son-in-law Jesse A. Smith executors of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all other if any by me made.


The above will consisting of 10 pages 6 of which are in the handwriting of Wm. R. Archer, Esq and 4 pages of which are in the handwriting of J. S. Irvin, Esq was this 24th day of October AD 1887 subscribed asealed by me and published by me as my last will & testament.

    (Signed) James Low Sen.


S. L. Morgan

Chas J. H. Heck Jr.

Charles H. Shaw


Signed sealed published and declared by the said James Low senior as and for his last will & testament in the presence of us, who at the request of the testator and in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto this 24th day of October 1887.

S.L. MorganChas J. H. Heck Jr.Charles H. Shaw


In his role as executor of his father’s will, James “Nim”9 Low kept a 20-page journal documenting the sale of various farm and household items belonging to James8. This journal was also kept in the same trunk in which his father’s journals were stored.

James “Nim”9 inherited the largest piece of the original Family homestead, and upon his death, passed it on to his son, Linden Leslie10 Low, who never married and had no heirs.

When Linden10 died, he left the Low homestead to his cousin, Floyd Leroy11 Rhodes, son of Pearl10 (Low) and Allen Rhodes. Floyd Leroy11 Rhodes, more commonly known as “Tom,” left the Low Farm to his children, Charles Eugene12 Rhodes and Janice12 Rhodes. Charles Eugene12,“Gene,” bought out his sister’s share and he still owns the property. “Gene”12 and his wife, Vera, have no children and it is not clear what they intend to do with the Family homestead.

The Low Family cemetery which James8 left to Bingham9 has basically been abandoned for the last few decades. It is not well cared for, at any rate. A number of headstones have been stolen over the years and, it was discovered in 1997, the headstone of little Harriet R. Montgomery, probably a relative of Margaret (Huston) Low’s first husband, had been shot with a rifle and shattered. The fence that once surrounded the place has been torn down.

The following headstones were present in the Low Family cemetery in 1970, but have been stolen over the last 28 years:

● Joseph Kesterson; Nov 24, 1844-April 03, 1922. Relative of James & Margaret (Huston) Low(e).

● Emily Elizabeth (Carlton) Kesterson; Nov 28, 1848-Nov 21, 1919, wife of Joseph W. Kesterson.

● Elizabeth Samantha (Kenyon) Davidson; Nov 24, 1856 - March 03, 1931 wife of John Davidson. Niece of James and Margaret (Huston) Low(e).

● William M. Kenyon; May 04, 1856 - April 13, 1935, son of George William and Kenyon. Nephew of James and Margaret (Huston) Low(e).

● Richard Franklin Grafford; March 27, 1919 - June 22, 1919, son of Walter and Mamie (Myris) Grafford.. Friends of James and Margaret (Huston) Low(e).

● Robert Henry Greathouse; November 28, 1865 - November 15, 1902. Son of Napoleon Bonaparte and Mary Ellen (Low) Greathouse. Grandson of James and Margaret (Huston) Low(e).

● Chauncey Kenyon; 1872 - October 28, 1908, son of George William and Kenyon. Nephew of James and Margaret (Huston) Low(e).

● Joseph Ketchuson or Kesterson Died 7/1/1851, 22 yrs, 5 mo, 5 days.

● Stella May (Davidson) Lane; July 24, 1893-June 9, 1933, wife of Harvey E. Lane. Mother of Owen E., John W., Charles A, & Lucille I. Lane. Granddaughter of James & Margaret (Huston) Low(e).

● James McWilliams; Died July 20, 1894

● Tyre E. Blake; August 15, 1816 - February 01, 1890, husband of Jane Huston. Brother-in-law of James and Margaret (Huston) Low(e).

● Harriet R. Montgomery; April 13, 1856 - June 27, 1861, Daughter of J.N. & E. Montgomery. Niece of Margaret (Huston) Low. Stone in pieces 8/97.

● George Hoos; September12, 1850 - September 14, 1935, friend and neighbor of James and Margaret (Huston) Low(e). Father-in-law of Frank Milburn Lowe.

Years ago, there were also two graves down the hill from the school on the east side of the road - not in the cemetery - of a child and mother who were forced to leave the wagon train they were on that was traveling West. They died of cholera. The stones, now missing, were dated 1851.

Those graves that are still intact (more or less), as represented in the following chart, are:


●  Orin C. Davidson1884-1928 [Great nephew of James8 & Margaret (Huston) Low. Gson of George & Eleanor (Huston) Kenyon and son of John & Elizabeth (Kenyon) Davidson]


●  John Davidson, Co.D. 7 Ill. Inf. D: 12/6/1914 [husb of James8 & Margaret (Huston) Low’s niece, Elizabeth (Kenyon) Davidson, dau of George & Eleanor (Huston) Kenyon.]


●  Rest. Little Alta Dav. daughter of R.H. & A. Greathouse April 27, 1893 - Jan 16, 1896 [Alta D.11 Greathouse, daughter of Robert Henry10 and Alvaretta Greathouse. Gdau of James8.]


●  Mary Ellen Low, Wife of N.B. Greathouse, June 29,1842 - Sept 18, 1877 [Mary Ellen9 (Low) Greathouse, daughter of James8 and Elizabeth Low.


●  Napoleon Greathouse, Illinois, Rgt. 12 U.S. Inf, December 25, 1928 [Husband of Mary Ellen9 Low. Son-in-law of James8 Low III.]


●  Geneva L., Jan 29, 1871 - July 31, 1877, Daughter of N.B. & M.E. Greathouse [Geneva L.10 Greathouse, daughter of Napoleon & Mary Ellen9 (Low) Greathouse. Granddaughter of James8 Low III.]


●  Phebe M., Daughter of N.B. & M.E. Greathouse, Born Jan 13, 1873, Died Feb 21, 1894, “At Rest, Meet Me In Heaven, Weep Not For Phebe, Her Gentle Spirits heals, She Sweetly Sleeps In Jesus, Among The Silent Dead” [Phebe Margaret10 Greathouse. Daughter of Napoleon and Mary Ellen9 (Low) Greathouse. Gdau of James8 Low III.]


●  Christopher RianJan. 4, 1824 - Sep 18, 1868........His Wife, Mary Margaret, March 6, 1836 - Feb 1, 1916, Later wife of Samuel Harbin. [Christopher Rian was the husband of Mary Margaret Greathouse, sister of Napoleon Bonaparte Greathouse (h. of Mary Ellen9 Low)] Christopher and Margaret were married October 06, 1853 in Scott County, Illinois.


●  Thomas Huston, Died 1848 [Our ancestor. Father of Elizabeth Huston, Margaret Huston, Eleanor Susan Huston, Jane Huston and others.


●  Melvin, Mar 15, 1896............Iris, Oct 1, 1898, Children of F.W. & H.M. Daniels [Frank W. Daniels was a friend and employee, for many years, of James8 Low III & he was the husb. of Hester10 Greathouse, James8's granddaughter. Melvin11 and Iris11 were James8'sgreat-grandchildren.]


●  Dora G. Kesterson, wife of Joseph Kenyon, Born Oct 27, 1862, Died March 12, 1893, “Asleep in Jesus’ Peaceful Rest, Whose Waking Is Supreme Blest”, “Erected By Her Son, Leslie Kenyon” [Dau of Charles H. Kesterson (below) and a relative of Eleanor (Huston) Kenyon, sister of Margaret (Huston) Low.


●  Kesterson, Charles H. Kesterson, May 15, 1831 - June 22, 1910..............Nancy J. - His Wife, Feb 15, 1836 - June 14, 1911 [Charles was a good friend of James8 Low III. He had also worked for James8 in 1881. He was also relative of Eleanor (Huston) Kenyon. Father of Mary Alice Kesterson, wife of Isaac Newton Blake (son of Tyre Blake, who married Jane Huston).]


●  Elizabeth Low [Elizabeth Huston. First wife of James9 Low III. Mother of Mary Ellen9 Low and, perhaps, Sadie Shehan9 Low.


●  James Low, April 27, 1816 - Sept 2, 1889........Elizabeth Huston, Wife, Dec 22-1818 - Apr 16, 1843........Margaret Huston, Wife, Sept 9, 1817 - Aug 20, 1882


●  Margaret Low [Margaret Huston. Second wife of James8 Low III. Mother of James “Nim”9, William9, Phebe9, and Bingham9 Low]

The Low(e) School at Sunny Hill was actually IN the cemetery. It was torn down many years ago. The school, in district #45, was described as being almost in the middle of the East part of the Southwest quarter of section 17 in Newburg Township very close to the line dividing Southwest and Southeast quarters. The school was on the North side of a road running East and which turns at the middle of section 17 and goes North. The school does not appear on the 1872 atlas map. The directors in 1884/85 were Peter Hoos, Bingham James9 Lowe, and James Baker. The teacher was Lizzie Sitler.

The white frame schoolhouse was erected on the ground in the cemetery on the North side of the old road and the church was erected on the South side and there has always been a question as to why it was not reversed. The school was probably built after Elizabeth (Huston) Low’s burial in 1843, and not before.

Some of the early teachers at the school were Raymond Weaver, Nellie Lessic, Amelia Giesendorfer, Eva Hamilton, Ottila Dudley, Ada Hoos, and Helen Hoos. Some later teachers were Albert T. Barnd, Fern Ransom, Virginia Tucker, Mary Clark, Ruth Hubbard, and Lawrence Hubbard, and Neva Lowe.

There was no school held in 1947/48, but the school directors were Pres. Lloyd Hayden, Lyndle Hayden, and Earl Hoos. The school may have closed as early as 1935/36 as it had only averaged 12 to 14 students. The school may also have closed a few years when there were too few students. It was one of the first schools to consolidate with Pittsfield Unit #10.

During the 1915 school year, the teacher was Nellie Lessic. Some of the students that year were: Eva Hoos, Donna Hoos, Ross Hoos, Elmer Lowe, Naomi Lowe, and Vera Landess.

During the 1922 school year, Albert T. Barnd was the teacher. Some of the students that year were: Earl Hoos, Ralph Leeds, Lyndle Haydon, Edgar11 Lowe, Hilda Hoos, Iva Dunham, Charles Hoos, Chester Hayden, Paul Klemme, Carl Hayden, Dean Reynolds, Hayward11 Lowe, Sue Leeds (Lightle), John Dunham, Lowell Reynolds, Eugene Dunham, Wayne11 Lowe, Lyndle11 Lowe, Marie11 Lowe, and Eleanor Hoos.

During the 1932/33 school year the teacher was Laurence E. Hubbard. Some of the students were: Vera Landess, “Girl” Allen, Elenora Hoos, Donald Landess, “Girl” Higdon, and “Boy” Higdon.

Sue Leeds (Lightle) remembers that when she was a fifth grader at the school, they had a very young teacher that year just out of high school. The teacher, without permission of school directors or the parents’ knowledge, had the entire student body walk from Sunny Hill to Bethel School to play a ball game. They traveled through fields, woods, and across Blue Creek arriving about one o’clock. Sunny Hill students were beaten badly in the ball game. (They were probably too tired!) Then they all had to walk back to school and then walk on home where they found parents very upset as they were quite late getting home. Needless to say that teacher did not teach at Sunny Hill the next year!

Mary Grace11 Rhodes tells a priceless story about one of her memories at the school:

When I was six, our house burned and my mother stayed there while they built the new house. So I went to the Low School at Sunny Hill and everyone there was a cousin except Helen and Charles Hoos. All the Lowe kids and dad’s oldest sister’s kids were there too. Uncle Frank’s eldest daughter, Neva, was the teacher.


During lunch, we were playing like we were horses. So we were lying on the ground with our feet up. Helen Hoos kicked my nose and made it bleed.


Elmer and Ross held her and told me to pull her hair. So I gave it a little yank and she went in and told Neva.


Neva never asked me why I did it, she just said I had to stay after school. I had to sit in the outhouse until she said I could go. I never felt good towards her after that!

Some Lowe/Rhodes/Smith cousins recall that the school closed about 1935 or 1936. The directors at the time were Arthur10 Lowe, Albert Hoos, and Thane Leeds. The school may have reopened later, as directors were elected in 1947/48.


● Mary Ellen9 Low (James8-6, Nathan5, Caleb4, David3, Thomas2-1) was the daughter of James8 and Elizabeth (Huston) Low. She was born in Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, Illinois on June 29, 1842. She died in Pike County on September 18, 1877.

Mary Ellen9 married Napoleon Bonaparte Greathouse on July 17, 1862 in Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL. The service was conducted by E.W. Hickerson, Justice of the Peace. “Nap” was the son of Samuel Greathouse and Elizabeth Carrell, who were married April 06, 1826, in Hamilton Co, IL by Benjamin Hood, Justice of the Peace.

Nap had at least two siblings: George W. Greathouse, attorney at law, living in Pittsfield and who appeared in the 1860, 1870 and 1880 censuses, and Mary Margaret Greathouse wife of Christopher Rian. Both Mary Margaret and Christopher are buried in the Low Cemetery at Sunny Hill.

There was also an Elizabeth Greathouse who was married to John Fry on January 28, 1839 in Pittsfield, by William Foreman, Minister of the Gospel. John Fry was the father of an associate of JamesLow III, George W. Fry. It is possible that George W. Fry was named after hispossible uncle, George W. Greathouse. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.

Napoleon fought in the Civil War in the Illinois 12th regiment, U.S. Infantry and, after the war, worked as a farmer.

Mary Ellen9 and Napoleon did not have an easy time of it. Money was scarce and despite having received considerable sums of money from James8 and Margaret, as gifts, and even more money in the form of loans, the Greathouse’s were in a constant state of financial trouble. The fact that they had seven children probably didn’t help matters.


Promissory Note from Mary Ellen (Low) Greathouse to her father, James Low III

James William10 Greathouse, was born on February 8, 1864; Robert Henry10 Greathouse was born November 28, 1865; Hester May10 Greathouse was born May 12, 1867; Ida Elizabeth10 Greathouse was born May 6, 1869; Geneva L.10 Greathouse was born January 29, 1871; Phebe Margaret10 Greathouse was born January 13, 1873; and Margaret10 Greathouse was born April 15, 1876.

Napoleon worked for James8 Low III for many years, and these periods are recorded in James8' journals.

1864, March - 1868, June  Journal #5/p.45-56, p.91-92, 111-112     Worked for James8 Low III.

1868, January -September  Journal #7/p.35                                       Borrows money from James8.

1871, Jun                            Journal #2, p.29-30                                 Worked for James8 Low III.

1872, July-1876, August    Journal #7/p.34-55, #4, p.1-21                Worked for James8 Low III.

On July 31, 1877, six-year-old Geneva10 Greathouse died of unknown causes. A month and a half later, on September 11, 1877, Mary Ellen9, Napoleon, and the children came to live with James8 and Margaret. Footnote

A week later, James8 recorded that his daughter, Mary Ellen9 (Low) Greathouse, had died that day, on September 18th, 1877. Footnote She was only 35 years old and had, apparently, ‘come home’ to die.

Mary Ellen10 was buried in the Low Family cemetery at Sunny Hill, Newburg Township, not far from her mother’s resting place, but even closer to the grave of her grandfather, Thomas Huston.

The Greathouse Family did not stay long with James8. Five months later, on Tuesday, February 26, 1878, Napoleon and his children left Pike County for Kansas in a covered wagon Footnote . The Family’s oral history has it “Nap” was working for the railroad in Kansas.

Napoleon tried to raise his children on his own, but without land, money, or Mary Ellen9, he simply could not care for them. By August of 1878, Napoleon and his children had left Kansas and were living in Calhoun, Henry County, MO with William A. Harris who was also in great financial difficulty and who also owned land in Newburg Township near James8 Low III. Napoleon was destitute and ill. He wrote to James8 on August 21st that he would be returning to Pittsfield so that he could “put the children out.”  


Calhoun, Henry County, MO

Mr. James Low, Sen

August 21, 1878


I am at W. A. Harris place strapt living off harris I want you to go to Pittsfield and borrow me fifteen dollars for sixty days and I will pay it if I live napoleonb.greathouse,unkword,lettertojameslowiii,1878-08-21,calhoun,henrycounty,mo,section3ofbook.jpg [July?] has the chill and my fut is so sor I cant war my boots I am going to put the children out and I am going bring back them to do it the wheather is very hot and dry here and I cant get any thing to do Write as soon as you get this so no more at presant but now.


Yours, N. B. Greathouse


Mr. James Low

Times are very hard hear I never lived so hard in my life But I hav better health then I hav had for 15 years and you would not know my wife She has williama.harris,unkword1,lettertojameslowiii,1878-08-21,calhoun,henrycounty,mo,section3ofbook.jpg [????] to But her health is good to We don’t want [???] williama.harris,unkword2,lettertojameslowiii,1878-08-21,calhoun,henrycounty,mo,section3ofbook.jpg yet So write and let us know a bout times in old pittsfield So not more at presant but remain yours,

W.A. Harris



Sept 12, 1882 receipt given to James8 Low III by his son-in-law, Napoleon Bonaparte Greathouse. James8 paid “Nap” $50" for work “Nap” and his children did on the Low Farm.

James8 does not tell us what happened to the Greathouse family while they were in Kansas or Missouri, but he does record that they returned at noon on Wednesday, September 4th, 1878, without little Margaret10. She had apparently been left behind to live with the Harris family in Missouri. It is possible that she never again lived in Pike County.

At this point, Mary Ellen9 (Low) Greathouse and one of her daughters, Geneva10, were resting in the Low Cemetery at Sunny Hill, Newburg Township. The remaining Greathouse children, except Margaret10, were now at the home of their grandfather.

Napoleon did, indeed, “put the children out.” James8 and Margaret made arrangements for the children to be placed with family friends. James William10 was placed with J. Clark, on September 10th. Two days later, on September 12th, Hester May10 was sent to live with William and Elizabeth Landess who owned the adjoining farm. On September 22nd, 1878, Robert Henry10 was sent to Calhoun County, Illinois to live with James8' good friend, Dr. Kendall.

The two youngest girls remained with James8 and Margaret for a time and then Ida Elizabeth10 was placed in the household of her uncle and aunt, Bingham James10 and Mary Della (Culver) LoweJames8 does not mention where five-year-old Phoebe Margaret10 was at this time, so it is possible that she may have been the only Greathouse child to remain with her father, but more likely she was sent to live with another friend or family member.

From the end of September of 1878 through June of 1880, we don’t know exactly where Napoleon was, but he may spent part of that period in Missouri or Kansas.

On January 6, 1880 Napoleon Greathouse was in Pike County and took out a license to marry Mrs. Nancy J. Caldwell. However, she changed her mind and the record shows that "She went back on him". Two months later, on March 1, 1880, he was married to Mrs. Martha Elliot by D.H. Bodine, Justice of the Peace. The second Mrs. Greathouse is not mentioned in Nap's obituary and no record has been found of the death of a Mrs. Martha Greathouse.

By the Summer of 1882, however, Napoleon was back in Pittsfield, at least for a time, and was working for James8. In journal #7, page 143, James8 recorded that “Nap” worked for him during the month of June. Oddly, it was the last entry James8 ever made regarding his son-in-law.

From the journals and the census, we do know something of the whereabouts of the Greathouse children during the period between 1880 and the time of James8' death in 1889.

In June of 1880, both Robert Henry10 (age 15) and Hester May10 (age 13) were living with James8 and Margaret, and Ida Elizabeth10 (age 11) was living with Bingham James9 and Mary Della (Culver) Low. James William10, who was still living with J. Clark, moved back to the home of his grandfather on July 5th, 1880 and joined his two younger siblings. We do not know where Phoebe Margaret10 was at the time, although she may have joined her sister, Margaret10, in Missouri.

On January 6, 1880 Napoleon Greathouse took out a license to marry Mrs. Nancy J. Caldwell. However, she changed her mind and the record shows that "She went back on him". Two months later, on March 1, 1880, he was married to Mrs. Martha Cox Elliot by D.H. Bodine, Justice of the Peace. The second Mrs. Greathouse is not mentioned in Nap's obituary and no record has been found of the death of a Mrs. Martha Greathouse. Napoleon Bonaparte Greathouse was buried next to his first wife at the Low Family cemetery in Sunny Hill on December 28, 1928.

James William10 and Robert Henry10 both worked for their grandfather during the summers. James8 recorded in his journals that the boys did this for a number of years:

    1880, Jul-Aug          Journal #7/p.149    James William10 Greathouse worked for James8.

    1880, Nov                Journal #7/p.159    James William10 Greathouse gathered corn for James8.

    1880, Sep-Dec 20    Journal #7/p.123    James8 buys James William10 Greathouse boots, pants, overcoat, gloves, socks, and books.

    1881, July                Journal #7/p.157    James William10 Greathouse worked for James8.

    1882, July                Journal #7/p.155    James William10 Greathouse worked for James8.

    1883, July                Journal #7/p.125    James William10 Greathouse worked for James8.

    1884, July-Aug        Journal #7/p.158    James William10 Greathouse worked for James8.

    1884, Oct 16            Journal #7/p.142    James8 gave James William10 Greathouse $25.00.

    1884, Oct 16            Journal #3, p.41      Bingham9 Low gave James William10 $20.00

    1885, Oct 7              Journal #3, p.8        James William10 buys merchandise from James8.

    1885, Nov 11           Journal #3, p.18      James William10 buys merchandise from James8.

    1886, Nov 13           Journal #3, p.22      James8 pays James William10 for work done.

James William10 is not mentioned in his grandfather’s journals again until March 29, 1889 when he apparently purchased goods at his grandfather’s store.

Robert Henry10 had a similar work history to his brother:

    1880, Nov                Journal #7/p.159    Robert Henry10 Gathered corn for James8 Low III.

    1881, July                Journal #7/p.157    Robert Henry10 Greathouse worked for James8 Low.

    1882, July                Journal #7/p.155    Robert Henry10 Greathouse worked for James8 Low.

    1884, July-Aug        Journal #7/p.158    Robert Henry10 Greathouse worked for James8 Low.

    1884, Oct 15            Journal #3, p.41      Bingham9 Low gave Robert Henry10 $25.00.

    1884, Oct 15            Journal #7/p.142    James8 Low III gave Robert Henry10 $20.00.

    1885, Jun-July         Journal#7/p.86       Robert Henry10 Greathouse worked for James8 Low.

Phebe Margaret10 turned up, at least temporarily from February 6th through February 22nd, 1883 when James8 recorded that his granddaughter came to live with him. Footnote Phebe Margaret10 was 10 years old at the time.

Likewise, Ida Elizabeth10 Greathouse is briefly mentioned again in the journals. James8 recorded that he gave her $30.00 on October 15, 1884 and that his son, Bingham9 Low, also gave her $30 on October 16thFootnote Ida Elizabeth10 was 15 years old.


Napoleon Bonaparte Greathouse Ca 1904.

Napoleon disappeared from the public and Low(e) family records until 1920. He could not be found in the 1900 or 1910 censuses. In the 1920 census, he is shown to be living in Detroit township, Pike County, Illinois, retired, aged 82 years. That census states that both of his parents were born in Kentucky. Also of interest, is that he was living two homes away from his daughter, Ida Elizabeth10 and her husband, John Bollman.

At the time of his death, on Christmas day, 1928, at 90 years old, Napoleon was almost blind, but could see well enough to whittle. He would often sit on a tree stump and make wooden animals, whistles, etc, by feel. He was described by one of his descendants as “a big man of light complexion, neat and clean, but with pretty long whiskers.”

There are conflicting reports as to where Napoleon died. According to one of his descendants, he died in Baylis, Pike County, at the home of his daughter, Hester May10 and her husband, Frank Daniels. Another descendant stated that he died at the Soldiers Home in Quincy, Adams County, Illinois. Oddly, there is no death certificate on file for him in either county. Napoleon Bonaparte Greathouse was buried next to his first wife at the Low Family cemetery in Sunny Hill on December 28, 1928.

His obituary appeared in the “Pike County Times,” on Dec 28, 1928 and read:

Napoleon Greathouse Brought here for Burial. Napoleon Greahouse, who for years lived in the vicinity of Newburg and Detroit, passed away at the Soldiers Home in Quincy Christmas day at the age of 90 years. The body was brought to this city Thursday morning and the funeral services held at the Plattner Chapel that afternoon at 2 o'clock. Burial was made in the Low cemetery at Sunny Hill.

Another obituary appeared in the “Pike County Republican,” in Pittsfield, Illinois, on January 9, 1929, which read:

Napoleon B. Greathouse. Napoleon B. Greathouse, son of Samuel and Elizabeth Greathouse, was born near Pleasant Hill, Ill., on July 17, 1838, and departed this life at the Soldiers Home in Quincy on December 25, 1928, aged 90 years, five months and eight days.


He was united in marriage to Mary Ellen Lowe (stet) on July 17, 1862. To this union seven children were born, three having preceded him to the spirit world. Those surviving are Mrs. Hester Danniel of Baylis, Mrs. Ida Bollman of Detroit, Mrs. Maggie Skeen of Hannibal, and J.W. Greathouse of Milton. There are 18 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren, and one great-great-grandson left ot mourn his departure.


Mr. Greathouse lost his eyesight about 35 years ago, but he endured this affliction with great patience. During the last few years of his life, he became intensely religious and spent much of his time in singing and praying.


His blinded eyes are now opened to all the glories of Heaven.

His work is complete and finished, His last tears are fallen, i trust, he has preached his last sermon and met his last foe, he has conquered and is now at rest.

The children of Mary Ellen9 Low and Napoleon Bonaparte Greathouse:

1) James William10 Greathouse, b. February 8, 1864, near Pearl, Pike County, IL; d. Feb 24, 1930, Milton, Pike County, IL. He married Fannie Jane Kesterson (1868-1889) on November 9, 1886 in Pittsfield, Pike County, IL, daughter of Charles R. Kesterson and Nancy Davis. They are buried at Green Pond cemetery, Montezuma Township, Pike County, IL. James William10 and Fannie had children:

A) Elmer11 Greathouse, b. April 06, 1887. Died in infancy.

                      B) Minnie11 Greathouse, b. October 1891, married Theodore Walker of Hannibal, Mo.

1. Genvieve12 Walker, b. 1910.

C) Robert Otis11 Greathouse, b. January 17, 1889, Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL; d. September 26, 1967, Pittsfield, Pike County, IL. He married Gladys Mae Daniels (May 11, 1895, Florence, IL - October 1972, Pittsfield, IL, SS: 334-12-0038), daughter of Oscar Daniels and Mary Wade. In 1910 Newburg, Pike County, IL census, Robert Otis11 is living with his uncle, Joseph W. Kesterson (age 65) and family. 1920 Newburg, Pike County, IL census. Robert11 appears as Head of Household with wife, Gladys, and two children:

                           1. Robert Otis12 Greathouse, Jr, b. July 25, 1927.

                           2. Ina Irene12 Greathouse, b. Oct 11, 1918.

Robert Otis11, who fought in World War I as a Private Illinois 326 Field Artillery unit, is buried with his wife in the Blue River Cemetery, Detroit, Pike County, Illinois.


2) Robert Henry10 Greathouse, b. Nov. 28, 1865; d. Nov. 15, 1902, Pike County, IL. He married Alvaretta Batson (b. 1862, in Ohio) on Nov. 5, 1891 in Pike County, IL. They are buried in the Low Family cemetery at Sunny Hill, Newburg Township, Pike County, IL. Robert Henry10 and Alvaretta had children:

A) Alta D.11 Greathouse, b. April 27, 1893; d. January 16, 1896, Pike County, IL. She is buried at the Low Family Cemetery, Sunny Hill, Newburg Township, Pike County, IL. A relative, Kathy Berigan, has her death date as Jan 18, 1895.


B) Sadie11 Greathouse, b. April 1896, Pike County, IL, d. 1960. She married Joseph W. Yackley (b. August 25, 1880, Illinois - d. October 1964, Pittsfield, IL). In 1910 she was living in Pittsfield, Pike County, IL with her mother and stepfather (1910 Census.) Joseph’s father was born in Germany and his mother was born in Illinois. Joseph and Sadie11 are buried in Pittsfield’s West Cemetery.


3) Hester May10 Greathouse, b. May 12, 1867; d. Nov. 14, 1948 at 2:30pm, Baylis, Pike County, IL; married Frank W. Daniels. They lived in Baylis and New Salem, Pike County, Illinois. In various documents, the name routinely alternates in spelling “Daniel”, “Danniel”, “Daniels” and “Danniels.” James8 Low III mentions Frank at various points in his journals:

                      1877, Jun - Jul                      Journal #4/p.26-30        Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

                      1878, Jun - Jul                      Journal #4/p.31-35        Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

                      1878, Jun - Jul                      Journal #4/p.31-35        Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

                      1879, Jun - Jul                      Journal #4/p.26-34        Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

                      1879, Jun-July                      Journal #7/p.109-110    Thrashing work for James8 Low III and sons

                      1882, July                              Journal #7/p.155           Thrashing work done for James8 Low III.

                      1882, Sep-Nov                       Journal #7/p.151-152    Records of his purchases, sales, or work.

                      1883, July                              Journal #7/p.125           Thrashing work done for James8 Low III.

1884, July-AugJournal #7/p.158Thrashing work done for James8 Low III.

                      1887, Jan 7                           Journal #3, p.23            Money paid to him by James8 Low III.


Ten days before Hester10's death, she moved from the county and into town (New Salem) where she died of a cerebral hemorrhage from which she suffered for 6 hrs. She had also suffered from arteriosclerosis for10 years, according to her doctor, W.W. Kuntz of Barry, Illinois. She was buried in the Baylis cemetery on November 16, 1948. Her “Pike County Republican” obituary, published in Pittsfield, IL on Nov. 17, 1948, read:


New Salem: Sunday morning at 7:30 Mrs. Hester Daniels suffered a stroke at the home of her daughter Mrs. Louis Vannatta in New Salem and passed away at 2:30 in the afternoon. Mrs. Daniels, who was eighty-one years of age had been enjoying fairly gold health and her death came as a shock to her loved ones. Since the death of her husband Frank Daniels in November 9, 1945 she had made her home with Mrs. And Mrs. Louis Vannatta. The funeral was held at the U. B. (United Brethern) church in Baylis with the pastor Rev. J. H. Ruberg in charge. Burial was in the Baylis cemetery beside her husband.


Her obituary also appeared in the “Pike County Democrat-Times”, and was published in Pittsfield, Illinois on November 24, 1948:

Funeral Services For Mrs. Hester Danniel Held At Baylis. Funeral services for Mrs. Hester Danniel, who passed away at 2:30 on Sunday afternoon at the nome of her daughter, Mrs. Louis Vannatta in New Salem, were held at 2:30 Tuesday afternoon in the Baylis United Brethren Chuch, with the pastor Rev. J. H. Ruberg in charge.


Mrs. C.A. Dean and Mrs. Harley Witlock sang "Going Down the Valley", "When They Ring the Golden Bells" and "Good Night and Good Morning" and was accompanied at the piano by Mrs. Pressley Laird. The lovely flowers were cared for by four granddaughters, Mrs. Florence Lewis, Mrs. Florene Howell, Mrs. Lenora Graves and Mrs. Dorothy Henzler. Casket bearers were Messrs. Jesse Gleckler, Dan Peterson, Gordon Dimmitt, Myron Tedrow, Arthur Dean and Smith Dickerman. Burial was in the Baylis cemetery beside her husband.


Hester Mae Danniel, daughter of N. B. and Mary Ellen [Low] Greathouse, was born near Pittsfield, May 12, 1867, and passed away Nov. 14, 1948 at the age of 81 years, in the home of her daughter, Mrs. Gladys Vannatta at New Salem. She had cared for her the past three years.


She was married to Frank W. Danniel March 2, 1887. He passed away Nov. 7, 1945. To this union seven children were born, two sons dying in infancy, and one daughter, Mr.s Zelpha Duff, wife of Raymond Duff, passed away March 16, 1939. Left to mourn her passing are three sons and one daughter: Perry, whose address is unknown; Kenneth of Rapid City, South Dakota; Harold of Griggsville, and Mrs. Gladys Vannatta of New Salem; 15 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren; one invalid sister, Mrs. Ida Bollman of Detroit, a sister, Mrs. Margaret Skeen of Hannibal, Mo; a number of nieces and nephews, and a host of friends.


Out of town relatives present for the funeral were Harold Danniel of Griggsville, Mrs. And Mrs. Vanis Danniel of Burlington, Iowa; Miss Maleta Danniel of Quincy; Mrs. Barney Graves of Pittsfield; Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Henzler of Barry, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Bollman and Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Bollman of Detroit; Mr. and Mrs. Carlos Vannatta and family, and Austin Skeen and sons of Hannibal, Mo.


Frank and Hester May10 had children:

                      A) Zelpha11 Daniels. Born: July 1887. Died: March 16, 1939. Married Raymond Duff.

B) Perry11 Daniels. Born: June 1890.

C) Kenneth11 Daniels. Born October 1891. Of Rapid City, SD.

D) Harold11 Danniel. Born August 18, 1894. Died October 20, 1978, Griggsville, Pike County, IL. He was married to Lucy M. Bonnett.

E) Melvin11 Daniels. b.& d. March 15, 1896. Buried in the Low Cemetery at Sunny Hill, Newburg Township, Pike County, IL.

F) Iris11 Daniels. b. & d. Oct 1, 1898. Buried in the Low Cemetery at Sunny Hill, Newburg Township, Pike County, IL.

                      G) Gladys11 Daniels. b. November 1899. Married Louis Vannatta.

4) Ida Elizabeth10 Greathouse, b. March 6, 1869, Pike County, Illinois; d. October 8, 1953. She married John William Bollman (b.October 31, 1859, Blue Creek, Pike County, IL - d. 1947, Detroit, Pike County, IL), a descendant of Daniel Boone, on October 31, 1887 in Pike County, Illinois, son of Michael Bollman and Jemima Philips.


The Jesse M. Thompson Pike County History mentions Ida10 and her husband:


John W. Bollman, still living in the village of Detroit at the age of 78, was born on the bank of Blue River (Big Blue Creek) on the old Seeds place October 31, 1859. On the 28th anniversary of his birth, October 1887, he married Ida E. Greathouse, a daughter of Napoleon Greathouse and Mary Ellen Lowe, who were married in Pike County by Squire Hickerson on July 17, 1862.


John Bollman, nearing 78 as this is written [1937], still possesses the grit of his pioneer forebears. Interviewed at his home in Detroit in the evening of September 30, 1937, this historian found him cobbling shoes for his grandchildren. Working in his blacksmith shop in the forenoon, he spends the afternoon digging his crop of potatoes or picking his apple crop, and then, after the day's work is over, he cobbles shoes or does some other labor of love for those who are near to him.


"I have always worked hard," says John Bollman. His father died when he was four. He had to work instead of going to school. He got but little schooling; a little under Fannie Fielding at Old North (the Ben Goldman School), two weeks under Henry Moler at old Toll Gate, and part of one month in the early school at Florence. At 19 he was unable to read or write his name in script.


Mrs. Bollman, too, is an example of self-reliance under adversity. With hands and feet numbed by arthritis, which began creeping upon her 17 years ago, she moves about her home in her wheel-chair, doing her housework, and making rugs, quilts and other beautiful things for friends and neighbors who come to her for her handiwork. Grasping her crochet hook between thumb and numbed fingers, she somehow turns adversity into beauty. For each of her eight grandchildren she has pieced a beautiful quilt, thousands of pieces of material stitched into fabrics of love. "I would rather pound rocks than be idle," says this daughter of the Greathouse family, a family that pioneered here in the great valley.


John W. Bollman and Ida Greathouse have two children, both sons, Daniel Arthur and Alfred Andrew Bollman.


Daniel Arthur Bollman, born April 29, 1889, married Lorena Dale Kiser, a daughter of A.L. Kiser and Ora Esther Sanderson of Newburg Township. They were married at Mt. Sterling, Brown County, IL in 1910. They reside in Newburg Township, near the village of Detroit, and have two children, Lorena Kiser and Lyndle Arthur Bollman.


Lorena Kiser Bollman, born at Detroit August 2, 1911, is a clerk and stenographer in the offices of Mississippi Valley Production Credit Association in Pittsfield. Lyndle Arthur, born September 21, 1914, is at home, and engaged in the trucking business as a driver for Jean Sanderson.


Alfred Andrew Bollman married Pearl May Harris of Detroit, December 3, 1916, she is a daughter of Beed Harris and Catherine Foreman. They were married by the Rev. Victor Dorris, with Arthur Bollman and Beed Harris witnessing. They have six children: Ray Edward, born August 19, 1918; Clay Eldon, born May 23, 1920; John, Jr, born November 14, 1923; Genevieve Florine, born August 2, 1925; Donald Lee, born July 2, 1927; and Ida Catherine, born June 30, 1930." Footnote


1920 Detroit, Pike County, IL census: Ida (51yrs) is living with husb. John Bollman (60).


Ida Elizabeth10 (Greathouse) Bollman died on Oct 8, 1953, at her home in Detroit, Pike County, IL. Strangely, her death certificate says she was born in Kansas and says that her mother’s name (Mary Ellen9 Low) was unknown by Ida10's son, Arthur Bollman of R.R. 3, Pittsfield, Il. According to her doctor, F. Johnston, MD of Milton, Illinois, Ida10, who suffered from senility, died of endocarditis due to arthritis. She was buried in the Blue River Cemetery, Detroit Township, Pike County, IL on Oct 10, 1953. Her obituary appeared in the “Pike County Democrat” in Pittsfield, Illinois, on October 14, 1953:


Mrs. J.W. Bollman Dies At Detroit. Mrs. J. W. Bollman who has been bedfast with arthritis for the past fifteen years, died at her home in Detroit Thursday morning. Mrs. Bollman has been afflicted with arthritis for 34 years but was able to get about with the aid of crutches for several years. Funeral services were held Saturday afternoon in the Detroit Christian Church in charge of Rev. Joe Maynard and burial was in Blue River cemetery.


Mrs. Bollman was 84 years old and was Ida Greathouse, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Napoleon Greathouse. She has spent most of her life in Pike county but spent some time in Kansas. She and her husband celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1943 by having open house. Mr. Bollman preceded her in death as well as one grandson, Ray Bollman who was killed in a plane crash during World War II. She is survived by two sons, Arthur and Alfred of Detroit, 7 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren. Mrs. Bollman's courage throughout her years of illness have always been an inspiration to those who knew her. She was faithfully cared for by her two daughters-in-law and her son's and their families throughout the past few years.


The children of Ida Mae10 Greathouse and John Bollman are:

A) Daniel Arthur11 Bollman, b. April 29, 1889, Detroit, Pike County, Illinois; d. March 1965, Illinois His social security number was 335-32-9764. He married Lorena Dale Kiser in 1910 in Mt Sterling, Brown County, Illinois, daughter of A. L. Kiser and Ora Sanderson. They were living in the 1930's in Newburg Township, Pike County, IL. Their children were:

                           1) Lorena Kiser12 Bollman, b. August 2, 1911.

                           2) Lyndle Arthur12 Bollman, b. September 21, 1914; d. Nov. 1974, Michigan.


B) Alfred Andrew11 Bollman, b. Feb 04, 1893, Detroit, Pike County, Illinois; d. January 22, 1982, Pittsfield, Pike County, IL. He married Pearl May Harris on December 3, 1916 in Detroit, Pike County, Illinois. Pearl was born February 17, 1895, in Detroit, Pike County, IL and died September 1987 in Wood River, IL. Alfred11 appears in the 1920 Detroit, Pike County, IL census with wife, Pearl, and son, Ray. His obituary read:

Alfred A. Bollman, 88 of Detroit died Friday, January 22, 1982 in Illini Hospital. Mr. Bollman, a son of John W. and Ida Greathouse Bollman, was born Feb. 4, 1893, in Pike County. He was married Dec. 3, 1916, in Pittsfield to Pearl Harris. Mr. Bollman was a retired farmer and a member of the Detroit Christian Church. Surviving are his wife; three sons, Clay of Milton, John of Neoga, and Donald of Wood River; two daughters, Mrs. Genevee Bennett of San Diego, California, and Mrs. Catherine Wittman of Mineral Wells, Tex.; 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a son and a brother. Services were held at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Lummis Funeral Home in Pittsfield, conducted by the Rev. Steve Land. Burial was in the West Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Pike County Chapter of the American Cancer Society.

                           1) Ray Edward12 Bollman, b. August 19, 1918; d. during WWII.

                           2) Clay Eldon12 Bollman, b. May 23, 1920. Lives in Milton, Pike County, IL.

                           3) John12 Bollman, b. November 14, 1923. Lives in of Neoga, IL.

4) Genevieve Florine12 Bollman, b. August 2, 1925. Married a Mr. Bennett. Lives in San Diego, CA.

5) Ida Catherine12 Bollman, b. June 30, 1930. Married a Mr. Wittman. Lives in Mineral Well, TX.

                           6) Donald Lee12 Bollman, b. July 2, 1927. Lives in Wood River, IL.


5) Geneva L10. Greathouse, b. January 29, 1871, Pittsfield, Pike County, IL; d. July 31, 1877, Pittsfield, Pike County, IL. One of our Greathouse cousins has stated that her birthday was actually, November 11, 1871, but this has not been verified. She is buried at the Low Family cemetery at Sunny Hill, Newburg Township, Pike County, IL.


6) Phebe Margaret10 Greathouse, b. January 13, 1873, Pittsfield, Pike County, IL; d. February 21, 1894, Pittsfield, Pike County, IL. She is buried at the Low Family cemetery at Sunny Hill, Newburg Township, Pike County, IL


7) Margaret10 Greathouse, b. April 15, 1876 (could have been April 25th); married Austin Skeen of Hannibal, MO. They had at least two children:

                      A) Austin11 Skeen, b. July 16, 1901, d. Sept 1971, Hannibal, MO. S.S.: 492-09-0630.

                      B) Bertha11 Skeen. Married a Mr. Waller. Had two daughters. One born abt 1918.

● Sadie Shehan9 Low (James8-6, Nathan5, Caleb4, David3, Thomas2-1) is something of a mystery and may or may not have even existed. Her inclusion here as a child of James8 Low III is based primarily upon “family folklore” and not hard evidence. There is no record of her birth, death or burial in Pike County, Illinois. Although, given the era of her estimated birth, no records would be expected to have been kept anyway. Some of the Low relatives, Smith relatives and Greathouse relatives seem to believe that she existed. Most claim that she was the daughter ofJames8 and Elizabeth, while a few others believe that she was the child of James8 and Margaret.

Assuming that she existed, she was almost certainly the second child of Elizabeth, and not a child of Margaret. I suspect strongly that Elizabeth (Huston) died either in childbirth (or later, from complications from childbirth) when she passed away on April 16, 1843. Sadie Shehan9 would have died shortly thereafter, definitely before the marriage of James8 and Margaret (Huston) Montgomery on July 1, 1843. James8 makes no mention of her in his correspondence to Margaret or his father-in-law, Thomas Huston, in September of 1843.

To be fair, I should mention here that a Smith cousin insists that Sadie Shehan9 Low was born around 1869. However, this would mean that Margaret was 52 years of age when she gave birth to Sadie9. This is not likely, nor is it probable that if Margaret was still fertile that late in her life, that she would have had no children between the time of the birth of Bingham James9 in 1853 and the supposed birth of Sadie9 in 1869.

What is intriguing, though, her middle name: “Shehan.” This is NOT a Low or Huston Family name and it appears nowhere else in our lineage. However, the great-niece of James8 Low III, Lucinda Ann10 Low (Joseph Francis9, William8James7-6, Nathan5, Caleb4, David3, Thomas2-1) married Milton Marion Shehan on October 22, 1886. Marion Shehan was born and raised nearby, in New Salem Township, Pike County, Illinois. One must wonder if there was some relationship between the Low and Shehan Families as early as the 1840's. This would certainly explain Sadie9's middle name.

Given the number of relatives who all know her name and were told by parents and grandparents that Sadie9 existed, it seems likely that the birth did, in fact, occur. She may be buried in the Low Family cemetery and, like so many others, her headstone may simply be missing.

If anyone has any information on this child, we would all be most grateful to have it shared and included in the next edition of this history.

● James “Nim”9 Low (James8-6, Nathan5, Caleb4, David3, Thomas2-1) was born February 20, 1845 in Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL, the son of James8 and Margaret Low. He died April 21, 1927 in Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL.


James “Nim”9, Julia (Webster), and Lindon Leslie10 Low

Yes, “Nim” was short for “Nimrod.” No one seems to know how he acquired such a nickname or why it stuck. Flattering, it was not.

James “Nim”9 was married to Julia E. Webster by E. Tuttle, Justice of the Peace, on May 28, 1866 in Pike County, IL Footnote . Julia was the daughter of Isaac Webster and Cynthia Williams.

Julia Webster came from an unusually large family. Her parents came to Pike County from Ohio and immediately began trying to populate the state by themselves. There were at least fourteen children in her family, though very possibly more.

The Websters: Isaac S. Webster was born November 15, 1824 in Ohio, and died Saturday, December 11, 1897 in Pittsfield, Pike County, IL at the home of James “Nim”9 and Julia Low. He was 73 years, 26 days old at the time of his death. Isaac Webster married Cynthia Ann Williams on December 7, 1845 in Mason County, IL with whom he had an amazing number of children including at least the following fourteen children: 1) Warren Webster, b. before 1848 later of Carthage; 2) Julia E. Webster, b. June 4, 1848, Rushville, IL; d. May 31, 1944, Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL; 3) Cassius Webster, b. Abt. 1851, Illinois; 4) Nancy Emmaline Webster, b. February 7, 1852, Warren County, Iowa; d. November 29, 1936; 5) Susan Webster, b. Abt. 1853, Illinois.; 6) Nancy M. Webster, b. Abt. 1857, Illinois.; 7) Clara E. Webster, b. Abt. 1858, Iowa.; 8) Morilla Webster, b. Abt. 1858, Illinois.; 9) Lucinda Frances Webster, b. Abt. 1861, Illinois; later of Sterling Illinois, married Walton Greer.; 10) Louisa Webster, b. Abt. 1861, Illinois.; 11) William Lincoln Webster, b. Abt. 1864, Illinois.; 12) Georgiana Webster, b. Abt. 1866, Illinois.; 13) Henry Webster, b. Abt. 1867, Illinois; later of Visalia, CA.; 14) Isaac Webster, b. January 1870, Illinois.


Isaac Webster’s funeral took place on December 13, 1897 at 3:30 pm at the residence of his daughter, Nancy Emmaline, who had married George Frye, a fieldhand working for James “Nim”9 and Julia (Webster) Low. George Frye was living with James “Nim”9 and Julia at the time of the 1870 census.


Isaac Webster and part of his family appeared in the 1870 Pike County, IL census:

Newburgh Township, July 5, 1870, p. 7, 50/51

Isaac Webster, 44, M, white, farmer, Personal prop: $100, Ohio

Cynthia Webster, 42, F, white, keeping house, Ohio

Cassius Webster, 19, M, white, farm hand, Illinois

Susan Webster, 17, F, white, Illinois

Nancy M. Webster, 13, F, white, Illinois

Clara Webster, 12, F, white, Illinois

Morilla Webster, 12, F, white, Illinois

Francis Webster, 9, M, white, Illinois

Louisa Webster, 9, F, white, Illinois

Lincoln Webster, 6, M, white, Illinois

George A. Webster, 4, M, white, Illinois

Henry Webster, 3, M, white, Illinois

Isaac Webster, 6/12, M, white, Illinois

Until the time of his father’s death, James “Nim”9 worked on his father’s farm and is mentioned in various places in the journals of James8 Low III. Some examples:


1860, Ca                       Journal #6/p.183                   James8 Low III records Nim’s birthday: Feb 20, 1845.

1862, Sep                     Journal #2, p.11-12               Record of the days worked for James8 Low III

1869, Jun                      Journal #2, p.23-24               Harvest work for James8 Low III - Harvest crew

1872, Jun - Jul              Journal #4/p.1-6                    Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

1873, Jun - Jul              Journal #4/p.9-14                  Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

1874, Jun - Jul              Journal #4/p.15-16                Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

1875, Jun - Jul              Journal #4/p.17-21                Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

1876, Jun - Jul              Journal #4/p.22-25                Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

1877, Jun - Jul              Journal #4/p.26-30                Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

1878, Mar-April           Journal #7/p.102                   Records of his/her purchases, sales, or work done

1878, Jun - Jul              Journal #4/p.31-35                Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

1879, Jun - Jul              Journal #4/p.26-34                Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

1880, Sept                    Journal #7/p.160                   Sowed wheat for James8 Low III

1880, Oct                     Journal #7/p.126                   Records of his/her purchases, sales, or work done.

1881, July                     Journal #7/p.157                   Thrashing work done for James8 Low III and family

1882, Apr-Aug             Journal #7/p. 135-136           Records of his/her purchases, sales, or work done.

1882, July                     Journal #7/p.155                   Thrashing work done for James8 Low III and family

1883, July                     Journal #7/p.125                   Thrashing work done for James8 Low III and family

1884, July-Aug            Journal #7/p.158                   Thrashing work done for James8 Low III and neighbors


James “Nim”9 inherited much of the original Family land grant and the lion’s share of his father’s estate. He continued to farm the Family land and also held the occasional public office, such as tax collector in 1890. One of James “Nim”9's surviving journals is his tax collection journal for 1890 in which he records each tax payer in his district and the amount of tax they paid. As the 1890 census was destroyed by fire, all such documents are extremely valuable as historical records.

Another of his journals that has survived is his lengthy record of the disposition of the estate of his father, James8 Low III. As part of his role as executor of his father’s estate, James “Nim”9 recorded the sale of each household and farm item, the name of the purchaser, and the amount received. The journal records an extraordinary number of Pike County residents.

James “Nim”9 was a member of the Grand Lodge of Illinois and was given an award ribbon which is now in the possession of Mary Grace (Rhodes) Butler. His Lodge was called the Peninsular Lodge No. 26, of Pittsfield, IL. Their motto was "Intelligence, Industry, Sobriety, & Virtue" He bought an insurance policy through the lodge, dated October 17, 1885, with a face value of $2,000. The beneficiaries were his two sons: Lindon Leslie10 Low and Lewis Logan10 Low.

James "Nim"9 looked a great deal like his brother, Bingham James9 Low. Mary Grace11 Rhodes often couldn't tell them apart. One way that she could tell the difference between them was that Bingham9 would always give her candy and James “Nim”9 would not. An important distinction to a child!

James “Nim”9 and Julia Low had two children:

1) Lewis Logan10 Low, born January 1867 in Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL. Had worked as a farmer on his father and grandfathers’ farms for most of his childhood. James8 Low III mentions his grandson, Lewis10, a number of times in his harvest journals:


            1880, Nov                   Journal #7/p.159                     Gathering Corn for James8 Low III

            1881, July                   Journal #7/p.157                     Thrashing work done for James8 Low III

            1882, Mar-Aug           Journal #7/p. 135-136             Records of his purchases, sales, or work done.

            1882, July                   Journal #7/p.155                     Thrashing work done for James8 Low III

            1883, May-Jun            Journal #7/p. 136                    Records of his/her purchases, sales, or work done.

            1883, July                   Journal #7/p.125                     Thrashing work done for James8 Low III

            1884, July-Aug           Journal #7/p.158                     Thrashing work done for James8 Low III

            1885, Jun-July            Journal#7/p.86                        Record of thrashing for James8 Low III


Lewis10 left Pike County, Illinois in the late 1880's for the area near Hanford, King County, and Tulare County, California where, it is probable his uncle, Cassius Webster, was living at the time.


Lewis Logan10 Low Photo taken at Grangeville, CA

There are a large number of photos of Lewis10 taken prior to the turn of the century in California. On the back of most of the photos is stamped “C.M. Webster”, whom we believe to be Cassius or another of Lewis10's Webster relatives. There is also a photo on the back of which is marked "School, Tulare Co, California. Taken Thanksgiving day 1899. From Mr. and Mrs. C. M. Webster & Rilla."


In 1891, Lewis10 married “Carrie W.” We do not know Carrie’s maiden name, but it has been suggested that she was probably one of his distant Webster cousins.


In May of 1894, Lewis10 and Carrie Low had their only known child: Lawrence11 Low. Lewis and his family appeared in the 1900 and 1920 censuses as follows (they could not be found in the 1910 soundex index):


1900 Census, CA, Lucerne Township, Kings Co, CA, V10/ED35/S9/L39

Low, Lewis L., white, born Jan 1867, 33, married 9 yrs, born: Illinois, Father born: Illinois, mother born: IL; Farmer, Rents

Low, Carrie, w, wife, Dec 1865,34, mrr 9yr, b: CA, F: IN, M: IN

Low, Lawrence, w, son, May 1894, 6, born: CA, F: IL, M: CA


1920 Census, Kings CO, CA V29/ED129/s2/l42, H31/F34

Low, Lewis, white, owns home, no mortg, 52 yrs, married, b: Ill, F:Ill; m:Ill; farmer

Low, Carrie, white, wife, 54 yrs, married, b:CA; F:IN; M: IN

Low, Lawrence, white, son, 25 yrs, single, b: CA; F: IL; M: CA; farmer/laborer


Lewis10 and Carrie do not appear to have kept in touch with their Illinois cousins. Not a single person seems to know what became of Lewis10 or his son, Lawrence11. There is a photo of Lawrence10 in what appears to be a WWI era uniform, so it is possible there might be a military record for him somewhere. As for Lewis10 and Carrie, Federal Law prevents census information from being released until 72 years have elapsed. Therefore, the 1930 census information will not be available to us until the year 2002. We know that he was still alive in June of 1944, as he is mentioned as living in Hanford, California in his mother’s obituary.


2)Lindon Leslie10 Low, was born on January 29, of 1869 in Nebo, Pike County, IL. Lindon10, who inherited much of the original Low Family land grant from his father, died in 1955 without ever having married. He left his estate to his cousin, Floyd Leroy11 Rhodes (Pearl10 Low + Alan Rhodes, Bingham9, James8-6, Nathan5, Caleb4, David3, Thomas2-1).


Like his brother, Lindon10 is also mentioned in his grandfather’s journals.


            1881, July                   Journal #7/p.157         Thrashing work done for James8 Low III and family

            1883, May-Jun            Journal #7/p. 136        Records of his purchases, sales, or work done.

            1883, July                   Journal #7/p.125         Thrashing work done for James8 Low III and family

            1884, July-Aug           Journal #7/p.158         Thrashing work done for James8 Low III and neighbors

            1885, Jun-July            Journal#7/p.86            Thrashing work done for James8 Low III and Family.


Lindon10 died on April 15, 1955, at the Couch Nursing Home in Pittsfield, Pike County, IL. His doctor, James H. Rutldge, MD, stated that Lindon10 had suffered from myocardial degeneration for 7 years. He was buried in Pittsfield’s West Cemetery on April 17, 1955. Both local papers printed his obituary. Pittsfield’s “Pike County Democrat”, printed his obituary on April 20, 1955:


Lindon L. Lowe, 86, Buried Here Sunday. Lindon Leslie Lowe, known to his many friends as Lin, died Friday afternoon at the Couch Nursing Home in this city at the age of 86, Mr. Lowe had lived alone at his home a mile east of Pittsfield since the death of his mother, Mrs. Julia Lowe, about ten years ago.


Funeral services were held at the Plattner Chapel at 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon, conducted by Rev. Dale Pitcher. Burial was in the West cemetery with the following serving as pallbearers: Roy Faris, Lynn Manker, Vernon Bradburn, Paul Bauer, Warren Brown and Elmo Staggs.


Mr. Lowe was born at Nebo, January 29, 1869, the son of James and Julia Webster Lowe. He had never married and was the last surviving member of his family. A brother, Lou, died in California several years ago. His closest relatives are cousins living in Pittsfield and community. Mr. Lowe frequently walked to town from his home until his health failed the last year or two. The Floyd Rhodes family had helped look after his farm and his welfare the past several years.


On April 19, 1955, the Pike County Republican, wrote:


Lindon L. Low, 65-year Odd Fellow, Buried. Linden Leslie Low, 86, of Pittsfield died at 3:00 p.m. Friday, April 15 in the Couch nursing home in Pittsfield where he had been a patient for several months. Funeral services were held Sunday, April 17, at 2:00 p.m. in Plattner Chapel in charge of Rev. Dale Pitcher, pastor of the Methodist church. Interment was in Pittsfield west cemetery with Odd Fellow rites. Pallbearers were Roy Faris, Lynn Manker, Vernon Bradburn, Paul Bauer, Warren Brown, and Elmo Staggs. He had been a member of the L.O.O.F. Lodge for nearly 65 years.


Mr. Low was the last of his family and had spent all of his life in this community. He was born January 29, 1869 in Nebo, a son of James and Julia Webster Low.

James “Nim”9 and Julia Low can be tracked at ten year intervals in the Pike County Illinois censuses:

            1870 Pike county census, p. 19, Newburgh Township, July 8, 1870, dwell: 141/fam 142:

            James Low, 24, M, white, farmer, IL

            Julia Low, 22, F, white, keeping house, IL

            Louis Low, 3, M, white, IL

            Linden Low, 2, M, white, IL

            George Frye, 19, M, white, farm hand, Ind (future husb. of Julia’s sister, Nancy Emmaline)


1880Newburg Township, Pike County, IL 69/74p. 558, June 7

            Hoos, Peter, M, 31, farmer, b: Hesse, F: Hesse, M: Hesse

            Hoos, Eliza, F, 27, wife, keeping house, b: IL, F: Wurtenburg, M: Hesse

            Hoos, Ella, F, 8, daughter, b: IL, F: Hesse, M: IL

            Hoos, John, M, 7, son, b: IL, F: Hesse, M: IL

            Hoos, Laura, F, 5, daughter, b: IL, F: Hesse, M: IL

            Hoos, Anna, F, 4, daughter, b: IL, F: Hesse, M: IL

            Low, James, M, 34, farmer, b: IL, F: Maine, M: Ohio

            Low, Juliett, F, 31, wife, keeping house, b: IL, F: Michigan, M: IL

            Low, Lewis L., M, 13, son, b:IL, F: IL, M:IL

            Low, Lindon L., M, 11, son, B: IL, F:IL, M:IL


1900Pittsfield Township, Pike County, IL p. 255 61/64

            Low, James, M, Feb 1846, 54, M,34, b:IL, F: Maine, M: Ohio

            Low, Julia A., F, June 1848,51,M,34,b:IL,F:IL,M:IL

            Low, Lindon L., M, Jan 1869,31,S,b:IL,F:IL,M:IL


1910 Pittsfield, Pike County, IL

            Low, James, HofH, M, 64,M,44,b:IL, F:Maine, M: Ohio, farmer

            Low, Julia, wife, F, 62, M, 44, b: IL, F: Vermont, M: Ohio

            Low, Lindon, son, 41, S, , b:IL,F:IL, M:IL


1920Newburg, Pike County, IL 191/196

            Low, James, HofH, M,73, b:IL, F: Maine, M: United States, retired

            Low, Julia, wife, F, 71, b: IL, F: U.S., M:U.S.

            Low, Lindon, son, M, 50, Single, b: IL, F: IL, M:IL, Farmer

James "Nim"9 died at his home on April 21, 1927. His death certificate Footnote tells us that he was white; married to Julia Webster; born: February 20, 1846, in Pike County; that he died April 21, 1927 aged 81 yrs, 1 mo., 1 day. of Chronic Myocarditis. The certificate also states that he was a farmer, that his father was James8 Low, born in Maine; his mother was Margaret Huston, born in Indiana.; and that he was buried in Pittsfield’s West Cemetery on April 29,1927. Strangely, the person who provided the information for the death certificate was Gilbert G. Lowe of Pittsfield. Gilbert, despite his last name, is not a relative of ours. He is descended from Wilson Low (his father) up several generations and ending in Rhode island with a Low who arrived in America in the mid 1700s. It is puzzling that Gilbert, and not one of the sons or the wife of James “Nim”9, would have provided the information required for his death certificate. Gilbert Low’s great grand-daughter, Gloria Tyler Taylor, is equally mystified.

“Nim”9’s obituary read:

DEATH OF JAMES LOW. James Low, highly respected resident of this community, died suddenly at his home on the State road on Thursday. Mr. Low had complained of gas on his stomach following the evening meal and his wife gave him a dose of peppermint. He failed to get relief and after they had retired he became worse and died within a short time.


Mr. Low was born at Pittsfield, February 20, 1846 and was aged 81 years, 2 months and 1 day. He was the eldest son of James and Margaret Low and one of a family of four children. During the Civil war, Mr. Low served with Co. D, 7th Illinois Infantry, having enlisted at Pittsfield. The deceased was married to Julia E. Webster, May 28, 1866, and the widow and two sons, Lewis L. of Hanford, Calif, and Lindon, at home, survive. Two brothers, a sister and two half-sisters preceded him in death. Mr. Low was of a quiet, modest disposition and spent his life with his own work and family. Early in life he united with the Pleasant Grove M.E. church and permitted his membership to remain there.


Funeral services in charge of Rev. J.W. Starr, pastor of the M.E. church, were held Sunday afternoon. R.D. Plattner, who had the funeral of Eugene Bagby at Time, arranged to have N.L. Eddy take charge of the service. Footnote

His widow, Julia (Webster) Low, lived for many more years, residing in her home with her son, Lindon Leslie10 Low. Julia finally passed away on May 31, 1944. Her obituary read:


RITES FOR MRS. JULIA LOWE (stet), 96, HELD FRIDAY. Funeral services for Mrs. Julia Webster Low, 96, were held at 2:30 p.m. Friday in Plattner Chapel, Rev. Preston Horst officiating. Miss Vida Nighbert sang. Casket bearers were Holly Smith, Earl Dunham, Russell Akin, Floyd Rhodes, Arthur and Lee Lowe. Burial was in the West cemetery.


Mrs. Low passed away at 11 o'clock last Wednesday morning at the home east of town where she and her son Lin had lived for a number of years. Mrs. Low had been in her usual health until about a week before her death.


She was a daughter of Isaac and Cynthia Webster and was born in Rushville on June 4, 1848. In 1866 she was married to James Low, who preceded her in death April 21, 1927.


She is survived by two sons, Lin L. Low of Pittsfield and Louis L. Low of Hanford, Calif; two brothers, Henry Webster of California and Warren Webster of Carthage, Ill; and one sister, Mrs. Frances Geer of Sterling. Footnote

Julia’s death certificate Footnote tells us that Julia E. Low was a female; white; a widow; born June 4, 1848, at Rushville, IL; died May 31, 1944 at 11:40am at age 95 yrs, 11 mo, 27 days; her father was Isaac Webster; her mother was Cynthia Williams; she was buried in Pittsfield’s West Cemetery on June 6, 1944 by Plattner Funeral Home. The certificate also reveals that she died from ‘exhaustion due to senility’ and that the person who provided the information for the certificate was her son, Lindon Leslie Low of Pittsfield.

● William Thomas9 Low (James8-6, Nathan5, Caleb4, David3, Thomas2-1), the second child of James Low III and Margaret (Huston) was born in Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL. His father recorded the date of William9's birth in his journal: April 24, 1846. Footnote

During William Thomas9' early childhood he worked on his father’s farm. His father mentions him often in his harvest journals. There are also, probably, photographs of William9 in his father’s photo collection. Unfortunately, many of James8 Low III’s photographs were not labeled, so we cannot say with any certainty which photo is of William9.

Both William9 and James “Nim”9 must have felt great excitement at the start of the Civil War. The law of Illinois required each of her sons to “provide himself with a good musket, fusee or rifle, with proper accouterments”; the officers to be armed “with a sword and pair of pistols...” It declared, moreover, that any one who, when called for, refused to serve, either personally or through a substitute, should be treated as a deserter. From the conscientious objector, the law demanded one dollar and fifty cents a year, in lieu of service. Thus, in theory, every able-bodied citizen of Illinois was a soldier.

William Thomas9 Low “joined for duty and enrolled” as a soldier for the Union Army at Pittsfield, IL on August 9, 1862 for a period of 3 years. He enlisted as a private in Co. G of the 99th Regiment of the Illinois Infantry and was mustered out Aug 23, 1862 by D. H. Rathbone at Florence, Illinois. He stated that he was 18 years of age at the time.

William T.9's war record shows his status at various periods of his enlistment:


            August 23rd to 31st, 1862                   Present

            September & October 1862                Present

            November & December 1862             Not Stated (present or absent)

            January & February 1863                  Present

His service record shows that he was “Left sick at Willikens Bend(?),” in March & April of 1863.

            April 10, 1863                                     Present

            May & June, 1863                              Present

            July & Aug, 1863                                Died Vicksburg, Miss Aug 12, 1863 No muster out roll. Original Co. G.

William Thomas9 had a tragically short life. He died at a Civil War front at Vicksburg, Mississippi on August 12, 1863.

Found among the papers of William Thomas9' cousin, Joseph Francis9 Low (William8James7-6, Nathan5, Caleb4, David3, Thomas2-1) were several military pay records that pertained to William Thomas9. This undoubtedly means that Joseph Francis9 was in contact with his cousin during the Civil War and may even have been the family member who received William Thomas9' personal effects after his death and brought them back to Pittsfield.

Found among the papers of James8 Low III was this letter from his son, written just over a month before his death:


July the 1st A.D. 1863

Camp near Vixsburg Mississippi


Dear Father and Mother and Brothers and sisters I have neglected to write to you for some time. but you must not think hard of me for not writing for I have been sick for two months and I did not like to write till I got well for I knowed it would trouble your minds to hear that I was sick I got your letter that you wrote after uncle Thomas died and it found me laying thinking of home you may know it is lonsome to me when I am sick to not have Mother to wait on me, well father I must tell you at little about what they are doing now [End of first page]


W.T.L. To father mother sister brothers



there was A volly of musketry just fired from the rebs and I just wished you could of seen ours get hurrying to get one guns I went up in the riffle fit and shot once the boys is sharpshooting now. we alow to commence bombarding them the third and keep it up till the fourth is gone I don't think they can starve much longer now the captain got a letter from you last night and he answered it this morning. I went and got my likeness for you I would like to get all of yours. I let the Capt have $40 to escpress for me I will send all I can spare let me know if you think that I send enough home write soon I will write in A few days this from your son W. T. Low


William Thomas9 Low died not quite a month and a half after he wrote this letter, on August 12, 1863. He died at Vicksburg, 20 miles north of Palmyra Bend, the former home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Vicksburg surrendered on July 4, 1863. William Thomas9 Low's words of July 1st, 1863 were prophetic. In mid-May of 1863, U. S. Grant tried to assault the heights of Vicksburg, Mississippi, but after suffering severe losses, he changed tactics. As Grant himself wrote: 'I determined upon a regular siege … With the navy holding the river, the investment of Vicksburg was complete … The enemy was limited in supplies of food, men and munitions of war … These could not last.' [Davis, 1996, 288] By late June (1863), the citizens and defenders of Vicksburg were growing desperate. Soldiers whose daily rations had been cut to one small biscuit and a piece of bacon threatened mutiny. In order to escape the relentless shelling from the Union guns, the people of Vicksburg had taken to living in caves dug into the ground. After forty days of siege, negotiations between Grant and the defenders of Vicksburg began. When Grant allowed conditions, one of which was to 'parole' the soldiers of Vicksburg. letting them to with a pledge not to fight anymore, Vicksburg finally surrendered on July 4, 1863 [Davis, 1996, 309-310].

The money that William9 mentions sending home was to be used to purchase land for him so that he would have his own farm when the war was over. James8 recorded his receipt of such money as it arrived Footnote :

            1862, Sept 20  Credit-$10.00 Rec'd of William T.9 Low from the hand of Wils

            1862, Oct 7     Credit-$10.00 Rec'd of William T.9 Low by express of Tolcot

            1863, Mar 10  Credit-$30.00 Rec'd of William T.9 Low by express of Ross

            1863, July 23  Credit-$40.00 Rec'd of William T.9 Low by the hand of R.B.H.

            1863, Aug 18  Credit-$10.00 Rec'd of William T.9 Low by the hand of J.G. Hogan

            1863, Aug 24  Credit-$11.75 Rec'd of William T.9 Low by the hand of H.D. Hull

We do not know where William Thomas9 was buried. Though highly doubtful, his body may have been sent back to Pittsfield for burial in the Low Family cemetery. More likely, however, is that he occupies one of the hundreds of unmarked military graves at Vicksburg. Regardless, William Thomas9 Low died a tragic and pointless early death and he deserves to be remembered by all of us. William Thomas9 Low(e) is not listed on the official roll of Civil War deaths. It would be a worthy project for a member of our Family to look into correcting this oversight.

phebemargaret(low)smith,photo1,daughterofjameslowiii.jpg                 phebemargaret(low)smith,photo2,daughterofjameslowiii.jpg

Phebe Margaret9 (Low) Smith (both photos, above)

● Phebe Margaret9 Low (James8-6, Nathan5, Caleb4, David3, Thomas2-1), the third child of James Low III and Margaret (Huston) was born October 2, 1851 in Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL and died May 25, 1917 in Newburg Township.

There is almost no mention of Phebe Margaret9 in the journals of her father. As a daughter, Phebe9 was neither required nor permitted to work in the fields - her father’s main topic in his journals.

Phebe Margaret9 married Theodore Webb Smith on August 4, 1869 in Pike County, Illinois. “Theo” or “T.W.” was the son of Jesse B. and Lucinda (Bogan) Smith. Theo’s sister, Serafina, married Phebe Margaret9‘s cousin, Joseph Francis9 Low (William8James7-6, Nathan5, Caleb4, David3, Thomas2-1).

Theodore Smith’s parents and siblings:

Jesse B. Smith was born September 3, 1796 in Betetourt Co., VA, and died March 19, 1877. He married Lucinda Bogan, daughter of Andrew Bogan and Nancy Muse. The Smiths lived for a time in Franklin Co. near Columbus, Ohio. Jesse and Lucinda Smith had the following children:


1) Andrew Bogan Smith, b. November 8, 1827, VA; d. March 24, 1909, Barry, IL; buried at Pleasant Grove Cemetery; married Mary Ann Shank, March 21, 1851.


2) Nancy Smith, b. February 15, 1830; d. September 1, 1885, buried at Pleasant Grove Cemetery; married 1st to James M. Hadsell; married 2nd to William C. Bogan.


3) James Isaac Smith, b. Dec 10, 1832, Roanoke, VA; d. Jun 10, 1906. Buried in Mason Cemetery west of Nebo, IL; m. Mary Jane Alday, Sept 29, 1857, at Chilicothe, Ross Co, OH.


4) John Oscar Smith, b. September 6, 1835; d. Sept 8, 1913; married Barbery S. Bogan.


5) Jesse Austin Smith, b. 1838; d. Feb 26, 1899, buried at the Mason Cemetery near Nebo, IL. He married Elizabeth Montgomery on Feb 21, 1867 in Pike County, IL, the daughter of John Montgomery and Margaret Huston. Elizabeth Montgomery had been married to James Robinson and with whom she had a son, Henry M., a daughter Deborah, and another daughter name unknown. Jesse & Elizabeth had three children: George Washington Smith, Margaret Lucinda (Maggie) Smith, and James Jesse Smith. Elizabeth died June 11, 1898


6) Theodore Webb Smith, b. July 16, 1840, at Roanoke, Virginia; d. July 10, 1901, at Newburg Township, Pike County, IL.


7) Serafina Catherine Smith, b. December 31, 1843, Richmond, Virginia; d. July 4, 1887, Barry, Pike County, IL. She married Joseph Francis9 Low on January 13, 1867 in Pittsfield, Pike County, IL, the son of William8 Low and Alice Hersom.

Theodore Webb Smith fought in the Civil War in Co. E. 61st Ohio Regt. He enlisted on Feb. 25, 1862, reenlisted Feb. 25, 1865 at Bridgeport, Alabama, and transferred to Co. E. 82nd, Ohio Volunteers by consolidation. Theo was discharged July 24, 1865 at Columbus, Ohio, by reason of 'Close of War'.

On June 24, 1863, Theo was camped near Louisville, KY and was requesting a furlough of 10 days to visit his home in Salem, Marion County, IL.

Theodore was 6'1" tall, he had gray eyes, brown hair, light complexion. He weighed about 154.5 lbs. He was wounded at Gettysburg and was a prisoner of war for a time. His poor health was due to a forced march to Petersburg W. VA. He and the rest of the company were forced to cross the Potomac River and as there was no way of crossing, they had to wade across and Theodore took a severe cold which settled in his lungs and soon after he started spitting up blood. He fought lung fever and malaria the rest of his life.

Prior to the war, Theo had lived for a time in Clinton Co. near Clarksville, Ohio where he was a member of the United Brethren Church. After about March or April 1862, Theo lived in Salem, Marion Co. Illinois where he remained until about 1865 or 1867.

On August 4, 1869, Theo married Phebe Margaret9 Low at her parent’s home in Newburg Township Pike County, Illinois. The service was performed by James M. Hicks, Justice of the Peace. Footnote

Phebe Margaret9 (Low) and Theo Smith had 7 children. None of their daughters had any children.

 1) Emmett Oliver10 Smith, b. June 19, 1870, Newburg, Pike County, IL; d. April 23, 1950, in Pittsfield, IL. Emmett10 married Emma N. Carrell on August 26, 1891 in Pittsfield, Pike County, IL. According to the 1900 census, Emma’s father, Aaron Carroll, was born in Ohio and her mother, Sarah P. Brown, was born in New York. She was a cousin of Nettie and Ettie Carrell, daughters of Silas Carrell. Emma’s brother, Franklin (Frank) Joseph Carroll, married Emmett’s sister, Jennie Smith, on December 27, 1927. Emmett10 is mentioned in the journals of his grandfather, James8 Low III:


            1880, Nov                   Journal #7/p.159         Gathering Corn for James8 Low III

            1884, July-Aug           Journal #7/p.158         Work done for James8 Low III & neighbors.


Emmett10 appears in the 1920 Pittsfield, IL census with his wife and son, Clifford11.


Dr. James H. Rutledge, MD stated that Emmett10 had suffered for 5 years from rheumatic valvulitis and a deformity of the mitral valve. His obituaries read as follows:

Emmett O. Smith, 79, Dies Sunday Evening. Emmett O. Smith, 79-year old resident of this city died at 8:55 Sunday evening at his home on Oklahoma St. in the northwest part of town, where he had lived for 51 years. Mr. Smith had not been well for several years, but never failed to appear at his work shop every day, and worked until a week ago when he was stricken with a heart attack. Mr. Smith was an expert carpenter and many folks still depended upon him to do small jobs about their homes and businesses.


Funeral services were held at 3:00 o'clock Tuesday afternoon in the Plattner Funeral home, conducted by Rev. Gordon B. White. Burial was in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery. Flowers were cared for by Mrs. Evelyn Stephenson and Mrs. Betty Graham. Pallbearers were Claude Watson, Fritz Geisendorfer, Lee Lowe, Cyrus Hammitt, Lee Capps, and Arthur Lowe.


Mr. Smith was born June 19, 1870, the son of Theodore and Phoebe (Lowe ) Smith. He is survived by his wife and three sons, Clifford, Holly, of this city and Russell of Lyndhurst, England. He is also survived by four sisters, Mrs. Bessie Swartz, Mrs. Jennie Carroll, Daisy and Sylvia Smith, all of Covina, California, but due to illness they were unable to attend the funeral.


Mr. Smith had received a 50 -year jewel from the Odd Fellows Lodge No. 95. They also conducted services at the cemetery. - Pike County Democrat, Pittsfield, Illinois, April 26, 1950.


The Pike County Republican, ran the following on April 25, 1950:

Emmett Smith, 79, Died Sunday. Emmett Smith, 79 year old resident of this city, died at 8:55 p.m. Sunday evening at his home on Oklahoma street where he had lived for 51 years the 4th of April. Mr. Smith had not been well for several years, but never failed to appear at his work shop, and worked until a week ago when he suffered a heart attack. Mrs. Smith had been a carpenter in Pittsfield, for around 50 years.


Funeral services will be held at three o'clock Tuesday at Plattner Funeral Parlor. Services will be conducted by Rev. Gordon White, with burial in Pleasant Grove cemetery.


Mr. Smith was born June 19, 1870, a son of Theodore and Phoebe (Lowe) Smith. He was married to Emma Carroll in 1891, who survives him. They were the parents of three sons, Holly and Clifford of Pittsfield, and Russel of Lyndhurst, Hants, England, and a number of grandchildren. He is also survived by four sisters, namely, Mrs. Bessie Swartz, Mrs. Jennie Carrell, and Daisy and Sylvia Smith, all of Covina, California, who because of ill health will be unable to attend the funeral.


Mr. Smith had received a 50 year jewel from the Odd Fellow Lodge No. 95.


Emma, whose last address was 605 Dutton St., Pittsfield, IL., died on , Feb 6, 1957 at Pittsfield’s Illini Hospital. She had been at the hospital for 4 days under the care of J.A. Miranda Vargas, M.D, having fallen and broken her right femur at the hip joint. Her doctor stated that she also suffered from Paralytic ileus; possible mesentric embolism, generalized arterioscleroitc and coronary heart disease. Her obituary read:

Mrs. Emma Smith, 90, Dies Wednesday Morning. Mrs. Emma Smith, widow of Emmett Smith, died about 11 o'clock Wednesday morning, Feb 6, at Illini Hospital at the age of 90 years. She had entered the hospital the previous week with a broken hip, in which a pin had been inserted. She apparently was recovering satisfactorily, and had visited and joked with her granddaughter, Mrs. Evelyn Stephenson, who had stayed with her the night before her death. For the past several years she had lived in the home of her son, Clifford and wife, and was able to be up and about, enjoying rides in the car quite frequently when the weather was pleasant.


Mrs. Smith was formerly Emma Carrel, daughter of Aaron and Sarah Brown Carrel, and she was born September 14, 1866. She spent practically all her life in the Pleasant Grove and Pittsfield Communities. Her husband, Emmett Smith, died a number of years ago. She is survived by three sons: Alderman Holly Smith and Clifford Smith of this city, and Russell Smith of Orange, Texas. She leaves five grandchildren. Mrs. Smith seldom left her home unless it was necessary, and was quite content to devote her time to her home and family. She was a good neighbor, and for many years lived in the "Oklahoma" neighborhood in the northwest part of town. She was a member of the Latter Day Saints church.


Funeral services were conducted at the Plattner Chapel Saturday afternoon, Feb 9, 1957, in charge of Rev. C.W. Marshall. Mrs. Harold Brown sang two hymns, "The Last Mile of The Way," and "Beyond The Sunset," accompanied by Mrs. Louis Stone at the organ. Pallbearers were: Bertrand Westlake, Fritz Geisendorfer, Frank McGuire, Art Lowe, Lloyd Hayden and Claude Watson. Burial was in Pleasant Grove cemetery. - Pike County Democrat, February 13, 1957.


Emmett10 and Emma Smith had the following children:

                        A) Holly11 C. Smith, b. January 29, 1895; d. June 1958. Buried West Cem., Pittsfield.

B) Russell11 Smith ,b. January 3, 1899; d. March 17, 1991. He married Ina Anderson (b. 1900, Pike County, IL), daughter of O.C. Anderson and his wife, Ettie. Russell11 and Ina had at least one child:

1. Evelyn12 Smith, b. Pittsfield, Pike County, IL; married Vincent E. Stephenson. They had at least one child: Larry13 Stephenson.

C) Clifford Hale11 Smith, b. April 9, 1905, Pike County, IL; d. May 1975, Pittsfield, IL. He married Beulah O. ? (1903 - 1970). They are buried in Pittsfield’s West Cemetery.


2) Nellie “Effie” V.10 Smith, b. September 4, 1872, Newburg, Pike County, IL; d. December 4, 1873, Pleasant Grove Cemetery, IL.


3) Sylvia Arabella10 Smith, b. July 31, 1877, Newburg, Pike County, IL. d. after 1950, Covina, Los Angeles County, California


4) Jennie Florence10 Smith, b. June 5, 1880, Newburg, Pike County, IL; d. May 3, 1972, Covina ,California; married Frank Joseph Carroll on December 27, 1927, in California. Frank was the brother of Emma Carroll, wife of Jennie’s brother, Emmett.


5) Gracie Olive10 Smith, b. Jan 10, 1882, Newburg, Pike County, IL; d. August 20, 1883, Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Newburg Township, Pike, IL.


6) Daisy Darling10 Smith, b. April 12, 1886, Newburg, Pike County, IL; d. July 1886.


7) Bessie Clara10 Smith, b. Aug 21, 1890, Newburg, Pike County, IL; married 1st to Edward Gracey (June 23, 1882- Nov 29, 1925) ; married 2nd to B.F. Swartz.

Phebe's marriage certificate shows her name as "Phoebe" and her husband, on a pension application, states that his wife's maiden name was "Phoebe M. Lowe" and is now "Phoebe M. Smith.” Her father’s journal also refers to her as “Phoebe.” However, on a Declaration for Widow's Pension dated July 20, 1901, “Phoebe” states in her own hand: "..that my correct given name is Phebe M. Smith and not Phoebe." We have used her preferred spelling throughout this document.

Theo spent many years working in Pike County, often for Phebe9’s father, James8 Low III, who mentions him at various times in his journals:


            1871, Dec-1875, Feb. Journal #7/p.26-27                  Records of his/her purchases, sales, or work done.

            1872, Jun - Jul            Journal #4/p.1-6                      Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

            1873, Jun - Jul            Journal #4/p.9-14                    Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

            1874, Jun - Jul            Journal #4/p.15-16                  Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

            1875, Jun - Jul            Journal #4/p.17-21                  Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

            1876, Mar-1877, Oct  Journal #7/p.66-67                  Records of his/her purchases, sales, or work done.

            1876, Jun - Jul            Journal #4/p.22-25                  Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

            1877, Jun - Jul            Journal #4/p.26-30                  Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

            1878, Apr-1880 Aug  Journal #7/p.103                     Records of his/her purchases, sales, or work done.

            1878, Jun - Jul            Journal #4/p.31-35                  Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

            1878, Mar-1880, Oct  Journal #7/p.104                     Records of his/her purchases, sales, or work done.

            1879, Jun - Jul            Journal #4/p.26-34                  Worked for James8 Low III Harvest/Thrashing

            1880, Nov                   Journal #7/p.159                     Gathering Corn for James8 Low III

            1881, July                   Journal #7/p.157                     Thrashing work done for James8 Low III and family

            1882, July                   Journal #7/p.155                     Thrashing work done for James8 Low III and family

            1883, July                   Journal #7/p.125                     Thrashing work done for James8 Low III and family

            1884, Feb-Mar            Journal #7/p.121-122              Records of his/her purchases, sales, or work done.

            1884, July-Aug           Journal #7/p.158                     Thrashing work done for James8 Low III & neighbors

            1887, Aug 11              Journal #3, p.26                      Business transaction

            1888, Aug 30              Journal #3, p.32                      Loaned Theo money ($25.00)

Phebe and Theo Smith appear in the follow censuses:

1880, June 7   Newburg Township, Pike County, IL p. 559 88/93

                        Smith, Theodore W., M, 39, farmer, b: VA, F: Va, M: VA

                        Smith, Phoebe, F, 28, wife, keeping house, b: IL, F: Maine, M: VA

                        Smith, Emmet O., M, 9, son, b: IL, F: VA, M: IL

1910    Newburg Township, Pike County, IL

                        Smith, Phebe,F,58yrs, 7 children, 5 living, widow, b:IL, Father: Maine, M: Ohio

                        Smith, Jennie,F,29,single, b:IL; F:Virginia, m:IL

                        Smith, Bessie, F, 19, Single, b:IL; F: Virginia; M: IL

Sylvia and Jennie appear in 1920 as:

1920    Newburg, Pike County, IL

                        Smith, Sylvia, H.of Hshld, F, 42,S,b:IL,F:VA, M: IL, Farmer

                        Smith, Jennie, sister, F, 39, S, b: IL, F: Virginia, M: IL

Phebe9 and Theo Smith spent most of their years together in Newburg Township (Pittsfield), but also spent parts of two summers in Jackson and Audrain Counties, Missouri. On one of these occasions, Phebe9 and family wrote a group letter to her father which was found in his trunk:


Farber, Audrain Co, [Missouri] Jan 1st 1885

Dear father we received your card yesterday and was glad to hear from you we are all well hope you will be better when you get this Jennie was so glad when we read your card she jumped up and down and said she was going right back to night when I was undressing her for bed she asked me who would unbutton her dress if she was over there I asked her who would wash her clothes she says couldent I? Emmett told her old mrs collens was over there she says aunt Mary is to and she could wash for aunt mary now cuase Ide is gone dadie and gene was coming up yesterday but it was so cold they could not Austins was coming here to day but maggie this morning was not able to come she has been complaining two or three days but went to school until today. Thee was down to farber after a load of cobs this afternoon austin told him she was feeling a little better We had our fruit packed in a box in the kitchen it froze and bursted 4 of my jars and then we moved it in the front room butter is 15cts a pound eggs 20cts a dozen I was supprised at Bessie giving that much milk a day thee said you was the one to have her for you would feed her so good father when you feel well enough go around and you will feel better than to set at home all alone and when you fare well enough come over here I cant think of any more this time write soon Phebe Smith



Well I though I would write a few lines but I don’t know any thing of important to write Ther has bin some very cold wether and the roads has bin ruff but they are smooth and icy I bought 100 bushels of corn for 20 cts per bushel and shuck it my self and 29 bushel for 23 cts and as much as I want at 20 and shuck it my self the elevator at lidona burnt a week before last I herd that they was 5000 bushels of corn in it I hope you are well by this time Write soon

T.W. Smith


Well grandpa I would like to come back and see you and the rest of the folks nig comes to the door evry morning when pa gets up to make a fire and scratches for the door to be opend he came to me this morning before I was out of bed for some candy I gave him some candy and cake for his new years gift me and him has lots of fun we go a rabbit hunting I guess I will have to close Sylvia wants to write a few lines write soon Emmet Smith



dear grandpaw i thought i would write you a few lines to let you know that we are all well and hope you are the same me and Jennie got a new dress dress christmas i am a commin back and stay with you and keep house for you write soon good bye

Sylvia Smith


I don’t know wheather you can read Sylvias writing or not but she wanted to write. [Added by Phebe]

For the rest of their lives, Theodore and Phebe9 lived on the land that she had inherited from her father. Theo, who had never enjoyed good health since the Civil War, died on July 10, 1901 from chronic bronchitis and heart disease and Phebe Margaret9 (Low) Smith followed him on May 25, 1917. Her obituary read:

Mrs. Phoebe M. Smith. Phoebe M. Lowe was born near Pittsfield, ILL, October 2, 1851 and departed this life May 25, 1917, aged 65 years, 7 months and 23 days.


She was united in marriage with Theodore W. Smith August 4, 1869, they having spent a very happy married life until he was called to rest July 10, 1901. To this union seven children were born, five of whom survive her: Emmet, Sylvia, Jennie, Daisy and Bessie; Nellie and Gracie having passed away in infancy. She is also survived by three grandchildren, Holly, Russell and Clifford Smith, and two brothers, James and Bingham Lowe, besides a large number of other relatives and friends.


She was a member of the United Brethren Church, having given her life to Christ in early youth, being a faithful member always living a consistent Christian life. She was an affectionate wife, a loving mother, an obliging neighbor. Like Jesus she ‘went about doing good,' was always happy when she was doing something to help others; was ever ready to lend a helping hand to those in sickness and sorrow. She loved to read God's word daily. Her faith never wavered, even during her last illness. She was patient and cheerful, having a smile for each and every one.


Her funeral services were held on Monday, May 28, 1917, in the United Brethren church at Sunny Hill, Rev. Walter L. Turney, pastor of the First Presbyterian church, Mason City, ILL, officiating, assisted by Rev. Earl Longenbaugh of Maysville, and P.F. Hawthorne of Colusa, ILL. One of the largest crowds ever gathered attended the services, testifying to the high esteem in which Mrs. Smith was held by the community, and numerous flower pieces spoke a quiet message of love as well as attesting to the sorrowing family and friends the beautiful lesson of immortality which God has placed amid their soft petals.


The sermon was preached from a text selected by Mrs. Smith from Luke 8:52. ‘Weep not, she is not dead, but sleepeth.' A quartet composed of Mrs. Joe Bush, Mrs. Irving Wheeler, Rev. F.L. Hanscom and Mr. Earl Grigsby furnished the music, and Miss Emma Hillerbranner sang ‘Looking This Way' in response to one of Mrs. Smith's requests.


‘Our dear Mother slumbers sweetly, In her Lonely narrow bed. Fleeting storms and howling tempest, Can not harm her peaceful head. Fond affections shed a tear, O'er the grave where Mother lied, Angels whisper look up yonder, Pointing upward to the skies. Many days has Mother waited, For the summons from on high, For she knew the time was coming, When she could lay her armor by. Many years ago in girlhood, Mother gave her heart to God, She was ever true and faithful, Till we laid her beneath the sod. Long, long years of toil and sorrow, Silvered o'er her head with gray, Still Jesus gave her life within, And nerved her for the fray. She did not shirk when death o'er-took her, For the love of God brighter shone, He bid all fears and doubts depart And led dear Mother safely home. Oh our hearts are sad and lonely, Her loving form we'll see no more, But we know that she is happy, On that bright celestial shore. She has gone to meet the loved ones, Meet with them to part no more; Yes, and meet with our dear father Who left us several years before. Two loving ones from us were taken, And our hearts are sore distressed, And we know that we shall meet In that summer land of rest. Lo, the time will not be long, When we, too, shall reach that shore, There to meet those two departed, And all those loved one gone before." Footnote

Both Phoebe Margaret9 (Low) and Theodore Webb Smith are buried at Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Pike County, Illinois. Theo’s stone reads: “Theodore W. Smith Co. E. 31st Ohio Reg. July 16, 1840 - July 10, 1901" and Phebe9‘s reads: “ Phebe M. (Low) Smith 10/2/1851-5/25/1917". Nellie “Effie”10’s stone is nearby: “Effie V. Smith 12/4/1873.”

● Bingham James9 Low(e) (James8-6, Nathan5, Caleb4, David3, Thomas2-1), the fourth child of James Low III and Margaret (Huston) was born August 27, 1853 in Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL and died February 10, 1923 in Newburg Township. SEE NEXT CHAPTER. He married Mary Della Culver, daughter of Benjamin and Phebe (Crippen) Culver, on February 8, 1872 in Hardin Township, Pike County, Illinois.

The Children of Bingham James9 Low(e) and Mary Della Culver are:

1) Frank Milburn10 Lowe, b. February 18, 1873, Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL; d. November 20, 1953, Williston, Williams County, ND.


2) James Culver10 Lowe, b. March 29, 1875, Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL; d. August 18, 1895, Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL.


3) Henry D.10 Lowe, b. May 18, 1877, Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL; d. May 19, 1877, Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL. Henry died as an infant.


4) George Arthur10 Lowe, b. December 7, 1878, Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL; d. June 7, 1879, Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL.


5) Charles Doss10 Lowe, b. January 21, 1880, Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL; d. January 9, 1963, Melvindale, MI.


6) Edward10 Lowe, b. July 24, 1882, Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL; d. June 17, 1956, Pittsfield, Pike County, IL.


7) Pearl10 Della Lowe, b. June 6, 1884, Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL; d. December 17, 1937, Pittsfield, Pike County, IL.


8) Leland10 Stanford Lowe, b. November 11, 1886, Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL; d. May 15, 1960, Pittsfield, Pike County, IL.


9) Lenna B10. Lowe, b. April 27, 1889, Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL; d. July 30, 1932, Pittsfield, Pike County, IL


10) Arthur Bingham10 Lowe, b. March 18, 1892, Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL; d. June 20, 1974, Pittsfield, Pike County, IL.


11) Paul Earl10 Lowe, b. July 17, 1894, Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL; d. November 19, 1970, Evanston, Cook County, IL.


12) Forrest Hugo10 Lowe, b. October 7, 1899, Newburg Township (Pittsfield), Pike County, IL; d. May 27, 1943, Pittsfield, Pike County, IL



Gravestone of James, Elizabeth (Huston) and Margaret (Huston) Low -

Low(e) Cemetery, Sunny Hill, Newburg Township, Pike County, Illinois


James “Nim” and Julia Low’s gravestone at Pittsfield’s West Cemetery, Pike County, Illinois


Low(e) Family Cemetery, Sunny Hill, Newburg Township, Pike County, IL.

Resting place of James8 Low III and wives.


Low(e) Family Cemetery, Sunny Hill, Newburg Township, Pike County, Illinois

Facing West. James8 Low & wives rest far left.


Left to Right:

unknown “a cousin from Chicago” (per original caption), James ‘Nim’9 Low, and Bingham James9 Low(e). Sons of James8 Low III

James ‘Nim’9 Low: Born: Feb 20, 1845 in Pike County, Illinois; Died: April 21, 1927 in Pike County, Illinois

Bingham James9 Low(e): Born: Aug 27, 1853 in Pike County, Illinois; Died: Feb 10, 1923 in Pike County, Illinois


James8 and his mother, Mary (Wyman) (Low) Jellerson


Margaret (Huston) Montgomery Low

September 9, 1817, Ohio - August 20, 1882, Newburg Township, Pike County, Illinois

Married 1st: John Montgomery, October 20, 1836, Noblesville, Hamilton County, Indiana

Married 2nd: James Low III, July 1, 1843, Pike County, Illinois


Elizabeth (Montgomery) Smith, daughter of Margaret (Huston) (Montgomery) Low and her 1st husband, John Montgomery.

Born: March 30, 1837, Indiana.

Married Jesse Austin Smith on Feb 21, 1867, Pike County, Illinois.

Died: June 11, 1898, Pike County, Illinois.

Buried at Mason Cemetery, Pleasant Hill Township, Pike County, Illinois


1862 Tax receipt for property owned by James8 Low III


February 25, 1869 tax receipt for property owned by James8 Low III.


Receipt given to James8 Low III by Mary Stevens for his December 23, 1856 purchase of two cows and one sheep. The receipt is witnessed by his step-daughter, Elizabeth (Montgomery) Robertson.

© 1999 by Bingham James Forrest Lowe [g.g.grandson of James Low(e)]

Email: Bingham J F Lowe @ Lowe Family Descendants.com

        (copy address and remove the spaces to send an email)

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