Bio: Rowe, William (1914)

Poster:: Crysal Wendt

Surnames: Rowe, Biesecker, McDermid, Hayes, Smith, Reay, Humphrey


----Source: History of Eau Claire County, Wisconsin (1914) pages 848-849


William Rowe, ex-mayor of Eau Claire and well known as one of the influential and substantial business men of the city, was born near Scranton. Pa., December 29, 1850. His parents, Henry B. and Lucinda (Biesecker) Rowe, were both natives of the Keystone state, and on the paternal side Mr. Rowe comes of revolutionary ancestry. His paternal grandfather was Henry B. Rowe, Sr., and his maternal grandfather, John Biesecker, was a soldier in the war of 1812. His father, Henry B. Rowe, Jr., came to Eau Claire in 1857, where his family joined him in 1859, He was a carpenter and joiner by trade, which occupation he followed until the breaking out of the civil war, when he enlisted

and served one year as a member of Company D, Eighteenth Regiment, Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Soon after his return from the war he engaged in the grocery business in Eau Claire, which he followed for about fifteen years. His death occurred in 1884 at the age of 52 years. His widow, mother of William, is now (1914) still living at the age of 85. They were the parents of three children, as follows: William; Emma J., who is the wife of George McDermid, and Mary I., wife of William Hayes.


William Rowe spent his early youth in Pennsylvania and came to Eau Claire with his parents, where he received his education in the public schools and grew up with the city. He began his business career as clerk in the general store of W. H. Smith, serving in that capacity for seven years. In 1875 he formed a partnership with S. J. Smith and under- the firm name of Smith & Rowe engaged in the retail grocery business in Eau Claire, following that line of trade for six years, after which for two years he sold logging supplies. In 1883 he became a member of the firm of Honer, Rowe & Co., wholesale grocers, continuing in business under this name until November 7 of the same year, when the Eau Claire Grocery Company was incorporated, and Mr. Rowe became its treasurer, a position he filled for nine years, at which time he became president of the company, acting in that capacity until 1907, since which time he has acted as house salesman.


Mr. Rowe is a man of cultured tastes, engaging personality and solicitous social qualities. He is actively connected with the order of Free and Accepted Masons, being a member of the Royal Arch and the Eau Claire Commandery, Knights Templar. He is a member of the Sons of Veterans and of the Methodist Episcopal church. In politics he affiliates with the Republican party. He has served several years as member of the school board, was alderman of the third ward for several terms, and served four terms as mayor of the city, two terms of one year each and two terms of two years each, a continuous service of six years from 1900 to 1906.


On September 27, 1876, Mr. Rowe was united in marriage with Miss Mary A. Reay, daughter of William and Adeline (Humphrey) Reay, of Hemingford, Canada, and by this union has three children: Clarence H., William A. and Wilfred L. Rowe.



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