THE LEADING CITIZENS OF MADISON COUNTY

CONTENTS
Preface
Names Index
Portrait Index


   WALTER R. LOWE first saw the light April 12, 1841, in the town of Buxton, Suffolk County, England. His father, Thomas Lowe, was born there; and from the best authority attainable his family had its origin in that part of England. The father was a shepherd; and in the lonely watches of the night, guarding his flocks, the vision of the far-off, golden land of America filled him with a longing to visit its shores. In 1849, accompanied by his wife and seven children, he sailed from Liverpool, landing at Quebec after along and tedious voyage of six weeks and five days. He came almost immediately to Madison County, and settled near Pratt's Hollow, where he followed farming and teaming, residing there until his death, in June, 1872. His first wife's name before marriage was Miss Elizabeth Thaxter. She died in 1845; and his second wife was Miss Sarah Barnes, who died in Oneida in 1890.
   Thomas had a brother John, who came to America a few years after he did, and who now lives at Munnsville, N.Y., aged eighty-five years, making his home with a nephew, James Lowe. A sister of Thomas married Charles Nowell, a Scripture reader in the Queen's church at Windsor, England, where they still reside. They have two daughters, who are married and live in London.
Walter R. Lowe was but eight years of age when he arrived in America with his parents. He was brought up and educated in the town of Eaton, and at twenty-one began to learn the trade of carpenter and joiner, serving for three years with Charles and William Stringer. He then went to Oneida, and was employed as a journeyman two years. At the end of that time he entered into business for himself as a contractor and builder, which he still continues. When he attained the age of twenty-five, Mr. Lowe, considering himself capable of taking the guardianship of a woman's happiness in his keeping, sought and obtained of Miss Abbie Deette Ranney her consent to become his wife. The happy consummation of his wishes took place August 9, 1866. Miss Ranney was born at Valley Mills, Madison County, N.Y. Her father, Oliver Russell Ranney, was born in Augusta, Oneida County, January 6, 1816. He resided with his parents until his marriage, and then worked with his father in his mill for a while, and for two years conducted the farm on shares, afterward taking up the jewelry trade, also watch and clock repairing at Valley Mills until 1877, when he moved to Oneida, where he has since carried on the same business. He now lives with his daughter, Mrs. Lowe. He was formerly a Whig, and cast his first vote for William Henry Harrison. Since the formation of the Republican party he has been one of its strong supporters. He married in November, 1835, Miss Elizabeth F. Carpenter. daughter of Ezekiel and Dorcas (Gardner) Carpenter. She was born in Rhode Island in 1815, and died December 13, 1877.
   Rev. Ebenezer Ranney, paternal grandfather of Mrs. Lowe, was born in Blandford, Mass., May 25, 1776. and died April 12, 1860, in his eighty-fourth year. At about twenty-one years of age he came to Oneida County, and made his home with an elder brother in Sangerfield, and later purchased a tract of land in the town of Augusta. At that time, and for many years after, there were no railroads, no canals, nor convenient markets. The country was very sparsely settled, and a log house and a small clearing constituted all the improvements in the lands.
   Standing timber had no value; and large logs, that would now bring high prices, were gathered together and burned. The ashes were carefully saved and leached; and the potash obtained was for a time their chief source of revenue. Mr. Ranney cleared quite a large piece of land, and resided there until 1832, when he sold it, and purchased a saw-mill at Valley Mills. Later he erected a woollen mill, bought other land, and superintended the mills and farm, residing there until his death. He was converted in his young manhood, and became a preacher in the Baptist church. He assisted in organizing a society of that denomination in Augusta, and at his own expense rebuilt the mission church at Valley Mills, when he moved there, and preached in that place for some years. He married Miss Almeda Bartholemew, who was born in Goshen, Litchfield County, Conn., July 26, 1781. They had five sons and two daughters,--Oris, Dorcas, Hiram, Ebenezer, Anson, Oliver Russell, and Almeda Pamelia,--Oliver Russell being now the only surviving member of the family. Oliver Bartholemew, father of Mrs. Ebenezer Ranney, was born in Branford, New Haven County, Conn. He was one of the pioneers of Oneida County, and spent his last years there. The maiden name of his wife was Anna Lacey.
   Mr. and Mrs. Walter R. Lowe have two children,--Russell W. and Agnes Elizabeth. The son, Russell, turned his attention to the profession of medicine. He first studied with Dr. Carpenter, was graduated from the New York Medical College at the age of twenty-one, and is now a practising physician in Ridgefield, Conn. Agnes Elizabeth lives at home with her parents. Mrs. Lowe and her daughter are members of the Baptist church, and illustrate in their lives the beauty and power of their religious faith. Mr. Lowe is a fine example of what may be accomplished by industry and ability, and is spoken of by his fellow-citizens as one of the men most worthy of praise and honor in the community. In politics he uniformly supports the Republican party, which finds in him a hard worker, firm in his adherence to its principles.

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