History of Richard Lowe

Written by his daughter Juliette Lowe Dallin (1867 – 1946); Edited and photos added by Lin Floyd in 1997 – 99; Additional info and photos from Denice Wheeler, Lois Bartholomew, and Curt Lowe


The Richard & Ada Clements Lowe Family of Springville, Utah: (l-r) front row: Harriet, Richard Alvin, Richard (father), Ada (his dg Ada Mary), back row: William Nephi, Joseph Hyrum, John, Juliet, FiDeila, James Ezra (son of Richard and his second wife Eliza Jane Hale) and Elizabeth. (Editor’s note: At the time of this photo Richard’s first wife Ada was dead. I wonder who the couple is in the background photos on the wall. I suspect it’s Richard’s parents in England but don’t know for sure.)

Richard Lowe, son of Joseph and Mary Stirling Lowe was born 25 Dec 1826 at Watnall, Nottingham England. When a small boy, he worked in factories and learned the trade of a tailor. In 1849, he was 23 years old and working at Brown’s yard No. 14 in Chesterfield England when he heard of the gold rush in California. He decided to leave for the United States to make his fortune. He left Chesterfield Aug 20, 1849 on the ship James Pennell with Captain Fullerton in charge.

He stayed awhile in St. Louis, Missouri where he found work. As soon as he got money enough, he came on to Utah in 1851-2 on his way to California. (Editor’s note-information from the Journal of the Fifth Council Point Emigration Company with John Tidwell as captain lists Richard Lowe as a Gentile (non-Mormon)traveling with their company as a teamster for Mrs. Rachel Welden. Their journey began on June 30, 1852 and they arrived in SLC on Sep 15th.)

In SLC, Richard (photo on right)met some of the Mormon Elders and later was converted and joined the Mormon Church. He was baptized 23 Apr 1853. After joining the Church, he did not care to go on to California, but stayed in Utah with the Saints working at whatever he could in the Tooele area. It was here that he met the woman that was to be his dearest companion for over 22 years and who would bear him ten children Ada Winchell Clements of Grantsville, Utah. Ada was the daughter of Albert and Ada Winchell Clements. She was born Jan 27, 1839 at Farwest Caldwell County, Missouri and lived during those tumultuous days of Mormon persecution. She came to Utah Oct 2, 1847 with her mother in Jedediah Grant’s Company.

Ada and Richard were married Mar 1, 1855 at Grantsville, Tooele County by William Poole. Shortly after their marriage and before the month was up, the crickets came in swarms from the foothills by the millions and began to destroy their crops that looked so strong and healthy. They worked very hard with the rest of the people to save their crops. They plowed ditches around their fields, turning the water in, but to no avail. Every day the crickets came swarming in. They were about to despair when the sea gulls arrived. They felt that they were the answer to all the Saint’s prayers but even at that, almost everything was destroyed. After this disaster, a severe frost occurred that left everything in complete devastation. With the crickets and the frost, there was not much left for the Pioneers. I (Juliet Lowe) have heard my Father tell how they had to dig sego lily roots for food and boil hides from cattle to make soup and how hard it was to get something to eat.

They lived in Grantsville for awhile, then they moved to Brigham City hoping to find better conditions. Their first son, Richard Alvin (photo on the left) was born 13 Sep 1856 there. Richard was then called by Brigham Young to go and help settle some of the places south of Salt Lake. He settled in Springville in 1857, where he took up land and later built a one-room log house on the south part of the town. This house was later expanded into a red sandstone brick home that is still standing a tribute to his building skills at 815 South 4th East in Springville today. It housed 4 generations of his family. Hobble Creek ran through the property and made his farm a green and lush break in the barren land that gave pleasure to all who beheld it. There were many Cottonwood trees and brush that surrounded the creek. I (Juliet Lowe) well remember the big cottonwood trees and brush that were on the place. When I was three years old, I got lost in the bushes and it was quite a long time before they found me.

Father never went to school in England after he was eight years old. He was a self-educated man. He was a very good reader and writer and also very good in arithmetic. When I (Juliet) was going to school, my teacher was Johnny Walton. The two of them would exchange arithmetic problems with each other. Father could always get the right answer. I would carry them back and forth for them. They got lots of fun out it.

Father was very active in the Mormon church in Utah. He was president of the Elders Quorum and a Ward Teacher and held many other offices. He did a great lot of good in helping make Springville a good place to live in. John Millner was the man who surveyed and laid out Springville and Father helped him with the surveying. Father also surveyed and laid out the irrigation ditches in the southern part of the city and the northern part of Mapleton. He was very active in making canyon roads and served a head watermaster for many years. He was a stock and bee raiser, a practical farmer and a great selector of good seed. He was well-known and well liked because of his never ending kindnesses to his neighbors and friends. There are many notations in his books of his loaning money and other items to people who were never able to pay him back.

Father went on seed collecting journeys. There was a small bag of wheat found in a cave near Payson, left there by the Indians. Calvin Van Leuvan got it and gave father a cupful. He planted it into the garden as you could any small seed and in a few years he had plenty to share with his neighbors and friends. Now it is widely known as the Dick Lowe wheat. He always had a lot of grain on hand and would loan it to his friends and neighbors for seed. They would pay it back when they harvested. (Photo on right is one of the homes that Richard built in Springville.)

Father took an active part in the Indian Wars, both the Walker and the Black Hawk wars. He was Second Lieutenant in the home guard of the Black Hawk war. He was stationed on the outskirts of town at night to guard the town. News was flashed from one town to another by a big torch light. One night Father saw a light at Spanish Fork and answered it with another fire. In a short time, there was a small army of men came over, prepared for trouble. Father did not know the meaning of it, but on investigating he found that John Fullmer known as Pappy Fullmer had a big fire in his fireplace on the south side of his house and had opened the door. The guards at Spanish Fork saw it and thought it was a signal, so answered it. When father saw their fire, he answered back, which made the two signals -the sign for help. Father told Brother Fullmer to always keep his door closed when he had a big fire in his fireplace so there wouldn’t be misunderstandings.

Father was an honest man and loved by all. He was the father of five boys and five girls (see photo on the left of his five daughters: front row, l-r Harriet, FiDeila, Betsy; back row: Juliette-author of this story and Ada Mary) by his first wife Ada Clements.

(Editor’s note: In addition, Richard had one son James Ezra Lowe who later married Almira Powell by his second wife Eliza Jane Hales whom Richard married Aug 10, 1867 in Salt Lake City. On this same date Aug 10, 1867 Richard’s first wife Ada received her endowment and was also sealed to him. This would have to be a polygamous marriage as Ada did not die until 1877. Richard would have been about 41 years old at this time and Eliza Jane was 17. One story from the DUP Library lists his second wife’s name as Jane Hale daughter of James Hale and Lucy Clements of Hooper, Utah. Eliza “Jane Hale’ would have been his niece as her mother Lucy Clements was the sister of Ada Clements Lowe-Richard’s first wife. Richard’s marriage to Eliza Jane ended in divorce and Eliza Jane remarried (see more of her story at the end of this story). A third marriage is listed on the Family Group Sheet I have to Elizabeth Pectol Case in 1880. She was a widow with 4 children still at home. In the 1880 census, there are listed as living in Richard’s home his eight children ages 5-24 by Ada, one child-Ezra age 12 by Eliza Jane, his mother-in-law Ada Clements-age 77 plus Elizabeth and her 4 children.)

Richard’s wife Ada died in 1877. Many friends of Ada have recalled that at one time when the visiting teachers were talking to her about tithing, Ada said that she believed in it so much that she would be willing to give the Lord her tenth child if it would be HIS will. So it was that she died giving birth to her tenth child and the child Benjamin also died on the same day Oct 15, 1877 at Springville. Ada was only 38 years old and left nine children for Richard to raise alone. It was a blow that he felt he could never recover from because of their abiding love and happy family relations. Relatives tried to help him care for the children, but it was a job almost too much for one man. (Editor’s note: in Richard’s journal in Denice Wheeler’s possession, he notes the death of Ada and their son Benjamin and ends with a poem: “Do not grieve because I have left you, Though it was hard for us to parte, Trust in God we may meet in heaven, where the just will never parte.” Richard remarried a widow Elizabeth Pectol Case about a year after Ada’s death and she took care of his children and her own. See her story in the appendix following this story)

Father’s family were all with him on his birthday Dec 25, 1899. He was happy and feeling fine then on the December 26th he rode into town with my brother Will. Father went to speak, took a stroke and died that afternoon at his home in Springville on Dec 26 1899 at age 73.

Her youngest son, Albert Nephi made a trip back east to visit his father. He told his father that he would eventually see the light and want to come back to his family and that he would be welcome. Years later, Albert at age 71, wrote that he was now ready to join his family, so the children got their parents together. Albert was happily welcomed by Ada and all their family members. They went to Salt Lake City and were sealed in the Endowment House 21 Oct 1872.(19)(2) They lived the rest of their lives in Springville, Utah. Ada was married to three other men during the years that she was divorced from Albert, He had married twice during that time. Albert died in Springville, Utah in 20 Apr 1883 and Ada died at the age of 89 on 4 Mar 1890 in Oxford, Idaho where she was living near her grown children.(3) 

Photo on right is of Richard and Ada’s youngest living son William Nephi Lowe and his wife Mary Louise Powell and their son Wm. Eldon (or Buck) Lowe.

Additional information from Denise Wheeler

Richard Lowe was acknowledged as the “Medicine Man” in Springville all during his life there. He kept a journal with recipes for remedies for all sorts of ills and accidents and young and old alike came to him to be cured. (Three personal journals of Richard Lowe are in possession of his great grand daughter Denice Wheeler- Evanston Wyoming,) Also the family has these two records: Land Grant for property in Springville dated Dec 1 1873 signed by U.S. Grant President and a certificate of Citizenship dated 7th of Sept 1894. His record books were meticulously kept and four of them are still in the possession of his great grand daughter Denice Wheeler. Each bill that he owed or any that were owing him were made note of in addition to recipes for a “good beer” and a remedy for hoarseness. He also made note of how to make “potato yeast” a cure for Diphtheria and the formula for “a white paint for outside work”.

Richard also wrote that “To preserve fruit and vegetables of any kind in a perfectly natural state use the compound extract of Salysc. The druggists from whom it is bought will give complete directions for using it. One ounce of Salicyclic acid will preserve thirty-two gallons of Cider. In his books he also kept genealogical records and records of how the estates of the members of his family were dispersed.The photo below is of Richard and his many grandchildren.)

Lowe Ancestry

More information on the Lowe family-Tradition tells us that the Lowes came from Scotland and settled on the Island many years ago. The first James Lowe came there (Scotland) and met and married a school teacher by the name of Lowe. He was Captain of a Revenue Cutty, a vessel sailing from Scotland all along the coast to search all ports for smugglers. We also know of the assertion that the original family came from France with the followers of William of Normandy. They were fine men who built a castle on a hill or a rise in South England. A hill in early Britain was called a “Low” and thus they are presumed to have gotten their name.