Edward Morris Rowe
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EDWARD MORRIS ROWE
Salute: Ed M. Rowe August 27, 1947
The eighteen-eighties found the subject of this biography in an adobe home with a log kitchen, throughout the streets in the fields, about the old swimming hole, and in the elementary schools of his birthplace, Spanish Fork, Utah. Two teachers, Emma Creer and Matilda Anres, retire a hallowed place in his memory. A self-sacrificing father and a careful mother gave him the advantages which a limited income afforded. The beginning of the eighteen nineties found him the "buddy" of his father, working in the coal mines of Castle Gates and of Scofield. When winter snows fell, he returned to his home town and attended the school taught by the honorable Joseph A. Rees. At the close of the decade he attended for three years the Brigham Young Academy where he edited the second volume of "The White and Blue"; played on the football team; participated in the first collegiate debate with the University of Utah, the three Supreme Court Justices serving as judges, and sang in the chorus. Financial conditions made necessary his discontinuing normal training and entered teaching a small school, for three years, in the Tucker District, Spanish Fork Canyon.
Bishop Marinus Larsen then gave him five days in which to be ready to fill a mission to Great Britain. On the fifth day he took charge of a company of Elders and Saints in Salt Lake City and with them went to Europe. Soon he discovered himself among the Irish in Belfast and in Dublin. With them he labored for two and a half years, the greater part of the time as mission secretary and mission president. In 1905 he made an educational tour through the British Isles, Holland, Belgium, France, Italy, and Switzerland.
At Brigham Young University, in 1907, he received a normal diploma. During the years 107-1911, he was Superintendent of Spanish Fork Schools, Principal of the Spanish Fork High School, and member of the high council of the Nebo Stake of Zion.
In 1908 he married Minnie M. Berry, the youngest daughter of "Aunt Bee" and her valiant husband, William Shanks Berry, the Mormon missionary who, with John Gibbs, was martyred August 10, 1884, at Condor's farm in Lewis County, Tennessee. From 1912 to 1915, Mr. Rowe served as State Parole agent, Utah State Industrial School, secretary of its Board of Trustees, and acting Superintendent. In 1913 he represented that institution at the National Conference of Charities and Correction at Seattle, Washington.
For four years, ranching and cattle raising at Moore, Idaho, occupied his attention. During these years he served as an organizer and president of the Big Lost River Irrigation District, member of the high council of the stake, choir director, and secretary-treasurer of the school board that erected the Moore High School building. Returned to Spanish Fork, he became again a member of the Nebo stake high council and a teacher of English at Brigham Young University. When the Palmyra Stake of Zion was formed, he became first counselor to Stake President Henry A. Gardner and assisted in the organization of the stake.
For the last twenty-five years he has resided in Provo City. English Language and Literature and Religious Education are the subjects he has taught at Brigham Young University. He has satisfied the requirements for the Bachelors degree, the Master degree, and now waits the granting of a European Doctorate for the University of Cardiff, Wales. He has served the church as chairman of the Genealogical Committee, director of Gospel Doctrine classes of Utah Stake, and as chairman of the Social Betterment Committee of Provo Stake. In the fifth ward he has taught the gospel doctrine and the genealogical classes. In political way he has acted as Chairman of the Republican Party of Utah County, State Committeeman, Delegate to the Republican National Convention at Cleveland, Ohio. As State Committeeman he represented the Robert A. Taft forces at the convention in Philadelphia. During the years 1931-1933 he studied English Language and Literature at University College, Cardiff, Wales, where he became a member of the staff. He was permitted to study for a short time at the University of London, and to spend most of his time in the library of the British Museum, London. He frequented the book stalls in several English cities; visited and revisited Stratford-on-Avon, the seat of Shakespearean interest; he walked along banks of the streams, around the "tarns", over the mountains, in the groves, and through the sequestered places in Grasmere and the Lake District in Cumberland and Westmoreland where the immortal Wordsworth poured forth his soul in poetry and prose; he wandered about the homes and haunts of several great English poets; attended service in the great cathedrals; entered the great institutions, industrial, social, and educational; and lived intimately with the English and Celtic peoples.
Five sons and two daughters constitute the immediate descendants of Ed. M. and Minnie B. Rowe. One son died in infancy. The remaining six children have grown to maturity in Utah County. All of them have attended universities, and four of them have taken degrees at Brigham Young University, and the University of Utah. Once of the daughters taught school. The eldest son served a mission in Spanish America. All of the boys served their country at home and overseas during World War II. A daughter gave a year of service in the finance office of the camp in Yuma, Arizona. Three of the sons and two daughters are married. The remaining son awaits the incentive to make his own a substantial western woman. Those children are: Browning Rowe, Marion Rowe, Helen Cragun, Owen Rowe, Hazel Busterud, and Glen Rowe.
The eldest son entered the field of education. At present he teaches Spanish in the high school and junior college in Modesto, California. The other sons are engaged in business enterprise. The two daughters are making homes with their husbands.
For over three years Ed M. Rowe labored as a home missionary in Provo Stake. He acted as chairman of the Tax Association of Utah County. He was and is an active member of the George Albert Smith Camp of the Sons of Utah Pioneers, and he was President of the Sons and Daughters of Utah Pioneers of Provo Camp. He served in that capacity and oversaw the completion of the Pioneer Museum at Sowiette Park. For years he served as a member, and for a shorter period as a Vice-president, of the state organization of the Sons of Utah Pioneers. During the year, 1947, he wrote the Centennial poem entitled "Sons and Daughters of Pioneers in Utah Valleys," and a series of broadcasts for radio station KOVO. The central idea of which was "builders of Provo and makers of the West." He also wrote the Latter-day Saint hymn "O Saints of Zion," page 39 of the current hymn book.
Professor Rowe and his lovely wife were and are successful economically, socially, and educationally. They regard the home as the greatest unit of society and the family as the greatest source of human comfort. Their children, with all their fallibilities, are their invaluable possessions, and the gospel of peace and goodwill, their eternal heritage.
As a devotee of literature and art; as a builder and director of students; as a leader of people in the traditions and ideas of their pioneer parents; as a citizen of positive conviction; as an official, a loyal man, and a missionary in the church; as a lover of home and family; and as a believer in the ultimate good of humility, we salute Edward Morris Rowe.