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Smith Family January 1, 1885 letter to James Low III


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January 1st, 1885 letter from

Theodore and Phebe (Low) Smith and Family

to James8 Low III

of Newburg Township, Pike County, Illinois.

The letter was found in the trunk of James8 Low III and transcribed Dec 1997 by his great-great grandson, Bingham James Forrest12 Lowe of Phoenix, Arizona.

Phebe Margaret9 Low (James8-6, Nathan5, Caleb4, David3, Thomas2-1), was the third child of James Low III and Margaret (Huston) [Sister of Bingham James9 Low(e)]. She was born Oct 2, 1851 in Newburg Township, Pike County, Illinois and died May 25, 1917 in Newburg Township, Pike County, Illinois.

Phebe Margaret9 married Theodore Webb Smith on Aug 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 (William8, James7-6, Nathan5, Caleb4, David3, Thomas2-1).

Phebe Margaret9 (Low) and Theo Smith had 7 children:

1) Emmett Oliver10 Smith, b. June 19, 1870, Newburg, Pike County, Illinois; d. April 23, 1950, in Pittsfield, Illinois.; married Emma N. Carroll, August 26, 1891, Pittsfield, Pike County, Illinois.

2) Nellie “Effie” V.10 Smith, b. Sept 4, 1872, Newburg, Pike County, Illinois; d. Dec 4, 1873, Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Illinois.

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

4) Jennie Florence10 Smith, b. June 5, 1880, Newburg, Pike County, Illinois; d. May 3, 1972, Covina ,California; married Frank Joseph Carroll on Dec 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. Aug 20, 1883, Pleasant Grove Cemetery, Newburg, Pike County, Illinois.

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. d: June 1982, Covina, Los Angeles County, California.

Phebe9 and her family wrote a group letter to her father which was found in his trunk:

Genealogical position of James8 Low III:

10th generation: Frank, Forrest, Lenna, Arthur, Edward, Paul, Leland, Charles Doss, Pearl, Henry, James, George

Bingham James9 Low(e)   Aug 27, 1853 - Feb 10, 1923           (wife: Mary D. Culver)                    of Pittsfield, IL

James8 Low III                  Apr 27-1816 - Sep 2, 1889               (wife: Margaret Huston Montgomery) of Clinton & Brighton, ME / Pittsfield, IL

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

James6 Low Sr                   Jul 17, 1770 - bef 1830                    (wife: Elizabeth "Betsy" Chase)      of Boxford, MA / Clinton, ME

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

Caleb4 Low                        1707 - Jul 17, 1777                          (wife: Abigail Varney)                     of Ipswich, MA

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

Thomas2 Low                    May 8, 1631 - Apr 12, 1712             (wife: Martha Boreman)    of Groton & Boxford, Suffolk, England / Ipswich, MA

Thomas1 Low                    1605 - Sep 8, 1677                           (wife: Margaret Todd)       of Groton & Boxford, Suffolk, England / Ipswich, MA

Giles0 Low                        unknown (Wife: Syseley Wall, marr 3/5/1601/02)     of Brancepeth, Durham, England; Groton & Boxford, Suffolk, England


Farber Adrain Co, [IL] Jan 1st 1885 ole.gif

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 ole1.gif

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 ole2.gif

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 huntin g I guess I will have to close Sylvia wants to write a few lines write soon

Emmet Smith ole3.gif

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 ole4.gif

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

The "Aunt Mary" referred to by Phebe9 is her sister-in-law, Mary D. (Culver) Low(e), wife of Phebe's brother, Bingham James9 Low(e) of Pittsfield, Pike County, IL.


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.

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."


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© 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)

November 17th, 2010 marks the 374th anniversary of the Low(e) Family in America.