The Highland Township Historical Society
Highland, Oakland County, Michigan



Samuel W. Durant, History of Oakland County, Michigan, published by L. H. Everts & Co., Philadelphia (1877),  pp.  206-207


one of the early settlers of the township of Highland, was born at Camillus, Onondaga county, New York, June 1, 1815.  From thence he removed to Parma, Monroe county, at quite an early age, where he grew to man's estate.  Here becoming acquainted with a Miss Dolly Castle, a young lady about two years his junior, and possessing qualities of mind and heart that charmed him, their acquaintance culminated in marriage, which interesting event took place March 26, 1835.  A wondrous tide of emigration was then flowing from the grand old Empire State westward.  Soon after their marriage, Mr. Rowe and his youthful bride came to Michigan, with the intention of building themselves a home in the then almost unbroken forests of the Peninsular State.   Arriving here in May of the same spring of the year 1835, they located in the township of Highland, on sections 29 and 32.  They endured all the hardships and privations incident to pioneers.  Pontiac, twenty-two miles distant, was the site of their nearest grist-mill, and also their nearest post office.  These difficulties and hardships were somewhat ameliorated by the spirit in which they were met and overcome.  Any neighbor within ten miles was but too ready to accommodate in any way he could, thus forming ties that death only could sever.  By hard labor and strict economy they cleared up a large, beautiful farm, raised a numerous family, and built a fine residence; attaining competence and the highest respectability, honored and trusted by their neighbors and friends.  Mr. Rowe was a thorough Republican, and as such held the office of supervisor of his township twenty-one terms.  He was thoroughly in earnest in his efforts to sustain his country during the great war of the Rebellion; enlisting a company in one of our infantry regiments, - the Thirtieth, - and, as supervisor of his township, rendered efficient service as relief agent to the widows and orphans.  About the close of the war he was elected a member of the State legislature, in the year 1864, serving during the exciting session of 1865.  He held that position at the time of his death, which occurred the 19th of November, 1866, after a brief sickness of a few days from congestion of the brain.  The following are the names of their children, now grown to days of manhood and womanhood, with the dates of their birth:

             Eliza A. Rowe, born March 22, 1836.

            James D. Rowe, born February 18, 1838.

            Josiah L. Rowe, born November 3, 1840.

            Benjamin W. Rowe, born December 21, 1842.

            S. Lowell Rowe, born February 8, 1845.

            Marion C. Rowe, born June 1, 1847.

            Theodosia M. Rowe, born August 4, 1849.

            Judson L. Rowe, born April 20, 1851.           

            Both of the elder sons, James D. Rowe and Josiah L. Rowe, enlisted at the [Begin Page 207] commencement of the war in the Second Michigan Infantry for three months.  After this, on the further call for more men, James enlisted in Company C., First Michigan Cavalry, where he held the position of orderly sergeant.   He was wounded at Winchester, receiving a gunshot wound in the hand, causing him to be an inmate of a hospital for three months.  Josiah re-enlisted in the Second Michigan Infantry, remaining with them during the war, participating in many of the numerous engagements of that celebrated regiment; was taken prisoner at Knoxville, Tennessee; was in captivity fourteen months; escaped from the cars, remaining at large four weeks; was then recaptured and taken to Columbia, South Carolina, from thence to Florence, Alabama, where he escaped a second time, and, after wandering five weeks in an enemy's territory, he again met his old companions, the boys in blue, in Tennessee.  Willie Smith, the husband of the oldest daughter, Eliza A., was also a soldier, - a member of the Fifth Michigan Cavalry, and wears honorable scars attained in the war of the Rebellion. 


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