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William Henry Low January 23, 1889 letter to James Low III


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January 2, 1889 Letter From

William Henry9 Low

of Cumberland, Cass County, Iowa

to his uncle,

James8 Low III

of Newburg Township, Pike County, Illinois.

The letter was found in a trunk of James Low III and transcribed as written by his great-great grandson, Bingham James Forrest12 Lowe. Punctuation and spelling errors have not been corrected.

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, Maine

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

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

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

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



Office of W.H. Low, Dealer in Lumber, Lath, Shingles, Sash, Doors, and Blinds: Lime, Hair and Cement

Cumberland, IA, Jany 23, 1889

Dear Uncle and Cousins with heavy hart I reacord to you the Death of my Dear Father on the 21st at 1:40PM Every thing wase dun for him that human hands could do. but nothing could Reach or levntnale ole1.gif [alleviate?] the Disease that has so long hel him down he wase uncontious for three Days before he died the funeral wase hel at the Methodis Church at 3 P.M. yesterday the Boy ane girl with Mother and will remain for a few days. Yours W.H.L.



The deceased, William8 Low, brother of James8 Low III, was the third and last child of James7 Low Jr and Mary (Wyman) Low Jellerson. William8 was born on November 8, 1820 in Brighton, Somerset County, Maine and died on January 21, 1889 in Cumberland, Cass County, Iowa. William8 was the last of the immediate family of James8 Low III to leave Maine for Illinois.

William8 married Alice Ann L. Hersom (b. Abt 1821) on August 22, 1840 in Brighton, Somerset County, Maine. Alice was the daughter of Daniel Hersom of Fairfield, Maine.

William8 and his family appear in the 1850 census of Clinton, Kennebec County, Maine with his wife and two of his children:

            Low, William,30,M,Farmer,ME        [the author of the above letter]

            Low, Alice A. 31,F,NH

            Low, Joseph F,4,ME

            Low, James B.,?,ME

In 1854, William8 and his family left Maine for Pike County, Illinois to join his brother, James8 Low III, his sister, Phebe8, and his mother and stepfather, Bingham Jellerson. William8 is mentioned in the journals of James8 III and there are receipts still in existence that indicate that James8 and William8 engaged in some business deals together.


Probate records indicate that William8 Low repaid $6.25 on Jan 19, 1856 and $11.63 on Jan 30th, 1856 to the estate of James Dutton (another Maine-to-Illinois transplant who died 4/15/1855). William8 and family appear in the 1860 census in Pleasant Hill, Pike County, Illinois.

William8 and his family stayed in Pike County until 1866, when they moved to Exira, Oakfield township, in Audubon County, Iowa. Sometime after 1870, when they appear in the Audubon county census, they moved to the Cumberland/Atlantic area in Cass County, where he and his wife lived until his death.

Of William8, the Atlantic Daily Telegraph wrote on January 22, 1889: “William Lowe died Monday afternoon of an aggravated form of heart disease. He had been very low for several days and was momentarily expected to die. Mr. Lowe was born in 1820, and was of sturdy New England parentage. He came with his family to Illinois 33 years ago. Thirteen years later he removed to Iowa, and has been a resident of this state ever since. Six children have been born unto him - four sons and two daughters. He leaves a wife and four sons to mourn his loss, the sympathy of friends and neighbors will go out to them, and especially will sympathy be extended to the aged wife and mother, to this companion of a lifetime the sorrow of the present hour is indeed great and without compensation."

The Atlantic Daily Telegraph issue of January 29, 1889 continued the story with: “The Funeral of William Lowe was held Tuesday afternoon January 22 at the M.E. Church. The obsequies were conducted by Rev. L.C. Burling, who delivered an appropriate and affecting sermon. He reminded the mourning family that the taking away of the aged man was in accordance with the divine ordination of things; was garnered in like the ripe grain of the field, rich in the fruit of years, a long life well spent, and his bright hopes of the hereafter. The church was crowded with people, who came to attend the last sad rites over their friend and neighbor."

We do not know what became of Alice Hersom Low. She died sometime after 1889, perhaps around Cumberland, Iowa or at Tobias or Fairmont, Nebraska, where she had children living. Regardless, Cass County, Iowa has no death certificate on file for her or for William8.

William8 and Alice Ann Low had at least seven children: Joseph Francis9 Low, born in Brighton, Somerset County, Maine on October 12, 1844; an unknown daughter born at Brighton before 1846 footnoteicon.gif ; a second unknown daughter born at Brighton between 1848 and 1849; James Bingham9 Low, born at Brighton September 1849; William Henry9 Low, born at Brighton on March 16, 1849; H.G.Albert9 Low, born at Pleasant Hills Township, Pike County, Illinois in October 1857; and John Bingham9 Low, born at Pleasant Hills Township, Pike County, Illinois in July 1865.


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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.