Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
Beautiful Devonshire in the southwest of England is the ancestral home of the Rowes. Here at Lamerton near Plymouth the family were long possessed of a considerable estate which was handed down from generation to generation, evidently since the days of Richard the First. It was in the days of the crusades that the founder of the house received as a token of his bravery in the holy wars the arms since borne by his descendants.
The name of Nicholas Rowe, a member of this family, is well known to all students of English literature as that of the first biographer of Shakespeare and translator of Lucan's Pharsalia. He was born in Littie Barford, Befordshire, England, June 30, 1674, and was educated at Westminster school, studied law, became a successful courtier and politician. His edition of Shakespeare prefaced by the famous biography was published in 1700 and was followed by various successful dramatic works. In 1714 he was made poet laureate by George the First to succeed Nahum Tate, but died two years later and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Previous to his appointment as laurate in the reign of Queen Anne he served as under secretary of state to the Duke of Queensbury.
Nearly a quarter of a century before the birth of Nicholas, however, another member of the family, lured by the promise of the New World and the freedom of worship according to conscience, left the country of his ancestors and settled on the bleak shore of New England. John Rowe came to Cape Ann in 1651 and established himself on the estate still well known to his descendants, being the first to settle in that part of Gloucester known as the Farms. Here in the wilderness with no neighbors within a radius of two miles even the stout heart of the pionner near failed him, and such was the lonliness that he is reported as saying that were it not for his wife he would burn his house and run away by the light of it. He remained, however, and became the father of a numerous family whose names will long be remembered in the annals of "Old Cape Ann." His great-grandson, the third John Rowe, was an ensign at the assault of Crown Point and served as a leiutenant throughout the French wars. When the country rushed to arms at the sound of shots at Lexington and Concord, he was placed in command of one of the Gloucester companies and led it to Bunker Hill. Under him at this time served three other Rowes, his sons and nephews. One of these, his son John, served in Washington's army all through the Revolutionary War, and commanded one of the state companies in Shay's Insurrection. When Hull started on his disastrous expedition in the War of 1812 he was offered a high commission in his army, but refused, foreseeing and prophesying, it is said, the unfortunate outcome of the enterprise.
John Rowe, the first settler, died in 1662, leaving a son of his own name, and he, dying, was survived by several children, of whom two, Samuel and Stephen, married. Samuel was the father of three sons, Jonathan, Zebulon and William, who, leaving old Gloucester, came in 1763 to New Gloucester, Maine, which the general court had granted in 1735 to the inhabitants of the old town of Cape Ann. Jonathan settled on the tract of land between what is now (1908) the upper and lower corners; Zebulon and William near each other, at what is known as the Cobb Bridge neighborhood, being the earliest settlers in these places. William had two sons, Ebenezer and Jonathan. Ebenezer married three times and had a large family. By his first wife, who was a Cobb, he had three sons, Eben, Jacob and Sylvanus Cobb. Eben was killed while yet young by a branch falling upon him while he was working in the woods. Jacob married, and his widow but recently died in Newton Center, Mass., at the advanced age of ninety-eight. She was survived by two daughters, Mrs. Mary Hartshorn and Mrs. Jennis Stetson.
Sylvanus Cobb Rowe was born in New Gloucester, Oct. 26, 1807. In 1864 he removed from New Gloucester to Yarmouth, settling on a farm on the so-called North Road. He became a member of the Baptist church in Yarmouth and served it for many years as deacon, which office he had also held with the New Gloucester church. When failing health and advancing years led him to present his resignation, the church would not accept it, but made him deacon emeritus, and he continued to administer the duties of his office until his death Feb. 16, 1882.
He was a man of distinguished practical piety, and is still affectionately remembered by those who knew him or were associated with him in the active duties of the parish. One of his former pastors, speaking of his public prayers, was wont to say: "There is more food for spiritual life in one of Deacon Rowe's prayers than in many sermons."
He married, March 25, 1834, Polly, daughter of Peter Haskell, and granddaughter on her mother's side of Colonel Isaac Parsons, a revolutionary soldier and clerk of the proprietors of New Gloucester. Thus were united three of the foremost families that had come from the settlement on Cape Ann, the Parsons, Haskells and Rowes. They had seven children, four of whom died when very young, and of the remaining three, Salome Cobb died in 1887, Charlotte Woodman married John M. Cobb, of Yarmouth, and died in Yarmouth, and Charles Otis, mentioned below.
Charles Otis Rowe was born in New Gloucester Dec. 24, 1851. He attended the shools of his native town, and when in his thirteenth year his father remoed to Yarmouth, he attended North Yarmouth Academy. On the death of his father he continued to manage the farm until 1906, when he sold it and moved to Yarmouth villlage, where he now (1908) resides. He is a very helpful member in the Baptist church at Yarmouth village, and is a Republican in politics.
He married Jan. 21, 1880, Penn Hutchinson, of Yarmouth, of the notable family of New England Hutchinsons, she being the sixth in line from the illustrous Thomas Hutchinson, the first great American historian and last royal governor of Massachusetts.
1. William Hutchinson, mentioned below.
2. Sylvanus Charles, mentioned below.
William Hutchinson Rowe was born in Yarmouth, March 6, 1882. He received his education in the public schools of Yarmouth and graduated from its high school in 1899. He then entered the drug-store of Leon R. Cook, where he remained nearly three years, and then entered Colby College. He is a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. In 1903 he began work in the drug-store of Burt L. Alden, and purchased the business in March, 1904, becoming upon examination a registered druggist in October of the same year. Since then he has added to his stock of drugs, paints and wall paper, the dry and fancy goods business formerly conducted by the W. N. Richards Company. In the spring of 1905 he was elected to the school board and has served on that committee since, being its chairman the past two years.
He is a member of the Baptist church, also of the Masons, both Blue Lodge and Chapter, and the Order of the Eatern Star.
Mr. Rowe married April 15, 1908, Anna M. Dubois, of Nashua, New Hampshire.
Sylvanus Charles Rowe, brother of William H. Rowe, was born in Yarmouth, Nov. 1, 1885. He attended the public schools of his town, graduating from the high school in the class of 1903. He at once entered the offices of the Forest Paper Company as a draughtsman. He spent a year in the University of Maine, being a member of the Sigma Kappa fraternity. In 1907 he accepted a position with the Hollinsworth & Whitney Paper Company, of Winslow.