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   JAMES LOWE, a prosperous and enterprising hardware merchant, residing in Munnsville, is a worthy representative of the progressive element of Madison County, and a self-made man in every sense applied to the term. He is a native of England, born in Norfolk County, January 26, 1838, and is a son of Thomas and Martha Lowe, both of whom were born in England. Thomas Lowe was for many years a shepherd in his own country, on a large farm known as the Quaker Wright estate. He remained thus engaged until 1850, when, accompanied by his family, he emigrated to America, landing in Quebec after a long and tedious journey of eight weeks and five days. He at once proceeded to Stockbridge, and soon after secured work in the Mathison Lime Works. He subsequently turned his attention to agriculture, and later bought a farm, upon which he spent his last years. He was twice married. His first wife. mother of our subject, died in England, when about thirty years of age; and his second wife died in Oneida, at the age of seventy-two years. Both he and his wife were esteemed members of the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics he affiliated with the Republican party. He reared a family of seven children, five of whom are living: John Lowe, w ho resides in Siloam; James, the subject of our sketch; Charles and Walter, residents of Oneida; and Sarah E., widow of Norvill Tefft, who also lives in Oneida.
   James Lowe, the subject of this brief sketch, was a lad of twelve years when he came with the family to America. His early education, which was obtained in England, was further advanced by attendance at the district schools of Munnsville and Smithfield. He was an energetic, active youth, and at the age of thirteen years began to earn his own living, working first with a Mr. Hazeltine, a tanner and currier. He afterward went to Chenango County, and secured a position in the tannery of Hiram Smith, of Norwich, and proved himself so faithful and capable that he was promoted to superintendent, remaining there five years. Having accumulated quite a sum of money, he next bought a tannery in a place called Gray Brooks, but was unfortunate, and not only lost his hard-earned savings, but became so deeply indebted that the succeeding three years were spent in paying his liabilities. In 1860 he became agent for a publishing house, and travelled on the road, selling books, for three years. Mr. Lowe then signed a contract to furnish the Auburn State Prison with plain wood and timber for a term of years. At the expiration of that time he came to Munnsville, and for the following three years was engaged as a butcher; but, preferring some other occupation, he entered the mercantile business, and for several years dealt in furniture and jewelry. Dropping the former, he substituted hardware, and has since added other commodities, and now operates a general store, carrying a stock valued at from seven thousand to ten thousand dollars, with sales aggregating from twenty thousand to thirty thousand dollars per year. In 1889 Mr. Lowe formed a partnership with his son-in-law, Henry Freeman, under the firm name of Lowe & Freeman; and, in addition to their other business, the firm deal largely in hides and wool, doing a business each year amounting to about sixty thousand do1lars. Mr. Lowe is a man of fine business ability, honorable and upright in all his transactions, public-spirited and liberal, and is much interested in the welfare and progress of his community. In politics he is an influential member of the Republican party, and has served several years as School Director and Church Trustee.
   Our subject was united in marriage April 19, 1859, to Hannah Hostler. She was born in England, and came to America when twelve years of age with her parents, E. J . and Martha Hostler. Her father, who was born in England in 1817, is living in Oquawka, Henderson County, III.; but Mrs. Hostler died when about thirty-six years of age. They had a family of eight girls, only two of whom are now living,--Mrs. Lowe, and Jennie, Mrs. Devore, who lives in Burlington, Ia. To Mr. and Mrs. Lowe have been born two children. Charles H. S., who is a jeweller, living in Michigan, married Cecil Searles, of Syracuse, and has three children,--George, Harry, and Ena. Ada is the wife of Henry Freeman; and they have one child, Edith.


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