Milpitas Township

 Bio-Pen Pictures

a successful and prominent representative of the San Jose Bar, was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, on April 25, 1840.  Up to the age of twelve years he attended school in his native town, removing with his parents to San Jose, California, where they settled in 1852.  He completed his school education at Gates’ Institute, in the latter city.  Appointed United States consul to the city of Tehuantepec, Mexico, by President Andrew Johnson, e represented the United States at that place at the time the Emperor Maximilian was shot at Queretaro by order of President Juarez.  On his return from Mexico he studied law with the Hon. F. E. Spencer, now superior judge, and was admitted to the Bar.  In 1876 Mr. Lowe was elected president of the Board of Education of San Jose, holding that office for two successive terms, during which time the schools were managed to the entire satisfaction of the people of this city, and in a manner unexcelled before or since.  

            He was elected in 1884 State senator on the Republican ticket, and regarded among the ablest members of that body.  His record as senator was among the best.  During the extra session of 1886 he took a very active part towards the passage of laws in favor of irrigation, holding that “the waters flowing in our rivers and streams should not be allowed to roll idly to the sea, but should be thrown upon the arid plains, and they be made to blossom like the rose.”

            Resulting from that legislation in which Mr. Lowe took so prominent a part, irrigation districts have been inaugurated under the State laws, and thousands of acres of comparative desert have been transformed into beautiful and profitable homes.  Mr. Lowe has a place of eighty acres, located in the foot-hills west of the town of Milpitas, which he contemplates planting in trees and vines in 1889.

            He was married, in 1861, to Miss Inez Pacheco, a member of the celebrated Pacheco family, of California, who was educated at the convent of Notre Dame, in San Jose.  She died in May, 1872, leaving four children:  James, Mary (who, while driving in her father’s carriage in 1887, was thrown out and instantly killed, and at whose death San Jose was a house of mourning, so generally beloved was she), Ralph, now in his graduating course at the San Jose Commercial College, and William W., now engaged in San Jose as searcher of records.  He was married in 1874 to Miss Enna Forsyth, a native of Maumee, Ohio, a lady of very rare intellectual attainments and culture, who was for several terms president of the Board of Education of Santa Clara County, filling that position with eminent credit to herself and satisfaction to the people of the county. This estimable lady died in 1887, leaving three children: Alexander, Duncan, and Eleanor.

            Senator Lowe’s parents were James R. and Mary (Tuckwell) Lowe.  His father was born in Chesterfield, England, in 1808.  Educated as a landscape gardener and horticulturist, he displayed such rare taste and skill in laying out and embellishing large parks and gardens, that he was employed to come to the United States and superintend the laying out and adorning the exquisite grounds and horticultural plots of James Arnold, of New Bedford.  He later did similar work for the late Ben. Perley Poore, at Indian Hill Farm near Newburyport, Massachusetts.  He removed to California in 1852 with his family, and engaged in San Jose in the same profession.  There are many places in San Jose and California that bear witness to his master skill and rare taste and culture in the art of beautifying the face of nature.  He was the means of bringing to California, and propagating here, many valuable plants and trees, to which employment he was devoted up to his death, in 1874.  A man of genial, affable disposition, fond of telling and listening to a good story, he had many and valued friends; in fact, a very happy type of the representative English gentleman.  He was several times elected a member of the City Council of San Jose.  Mr. Lowe’s mother was a native of Newburyport, Massachusetts, and a member of the celebrated Sherborn family, of New Hampshire.

            Further particulars of Mr. Lowe’s services as a horticulturist in Santa Clara County will be found in our chapter on horticulture. (see below)

Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888. p. 95-96

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler

             In 1854 came James R. Lowe.  This gentleman was an Englishman by birth, and a professional botanist.  He had been engaged in some of the most prominent landscape gardening operations of the English nobility, and had come to America to superintend some work for New England nurserymen.  He came to California at the request of Samuel J. Hensley.  He laid out the famous Hensley grounds, which, up to the time they were subdivided into city lots, contained more rare plants than any similar area in California.  Mr. Lowe was in constant communication with the superintendent of the gardens of the Duke of Devonshire, who was an old-time friend, and hardly a mail was received at the post-office in San Jose that did not contain some rare plant, bulb, or cutting, from the Duke’s gardens.  These were propagated with care, and from this beginning sprang many of San Jose’s most beautiful gardens.

Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888. p. 173

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler



A member of one of the honored pioneer families of California, Sam B Lowe is widely and favorably known in San Jose, where he is now serving as financial clerk on the board of supervisors of Santa Clara County and is discharging the duties of this position conscientiously and efficiently. He was born May 28, 1872, a son of Waldo H. and Eliza J. (Whiteman) Lowe, the former of whom was born in Newburyport, Mass., while the latter was a native of Missouri. She arrived in California at an early period in the development of the sate, coming to Santa Clara County with the Pyle- Whiteman party in 1846. Sbe died in 1919 at the age of seventy-five years. Mr. Lowe was a brother of Ralph and James R. Lowe, the family having come to California via Panama in the early '50s. Waldo Lowe died in 1879, HIs father was named James R Lowe and his mother was before her marriage Mary Tuckwell. J. R. Lowe was born in Chesterfield, England, in 1808 and was educated as landscape gardener and horticulturist. It was his fame from his native land that led him to come to America and he executed some very fine pieces of landscape gardening in the East. In 1852 he came to California and with his family located in San Jose and engaged as a landscape gardener and was the means of brining here and propagating many valuable plants and trees, a work to which he was devoted up to the time of his death in 1874. He was at one time a member of the city council. Mr. and Mrs. Waldo H. Lowe became the parents of four children, all residents of Santa Clara County: Cherburne W., a rancher of Cupertino: Sam B., of this review: Waldo H., Jr., connected with the Bank of San Jose, and Mary R. O'Keefe , also of Cupertino.

After completing his high school course at San Jose, Sam B. Lowe was for a short time a student at Pacific University and when eighteen years of age started out in life independently. working at odd jobs while still pursuing his studies. Going to Agnew, in Santa Clara County, he there opened the first general merchandise store in the locality, acting as postmaster of the town at the same time. For thirteen years he successfully conducted his mercantile establishment at Agnew and then sold his interest to Messrs. Lewis and King, after which he came to San Jose. Two years later he secured a clerical position in the office o the county clerk and has since been identified with various departments of the county. Since 1919 he has been financial clerk of the board of supervisors of Santa Clara COunty and is well qualified for this position, proving systematic, prompt, and reliable in the discharge of his responsible duties. He also has other interests, being associated with his sisters and brothers in the ownership and operation of a valuable ranch of eighty acres at Cupertino, devoted to the raising of berries and other products. This was a part of quarter-section of land that was taken up from the government by Mr. and Lowe.

In San Francisco, Cal, on May 31, 1902, Mr. Lowe was united in marriage to Miss Annie M. Wade, a native of Alviso, and a daughter of Harry G. and Mary Wade. The father , native of England, came to the United States as a boy and subsequently made his way to California, arriving during the pioneer epoch in its history. In the early days he ran a stage between San Jose and Alviso and he afterward became an extensive stock raiser and successful rancher. To Mr. and Mrs. Wade were born three children; George, residing in Alviso; Margaret, the wife of J. P. Higgins, of San Jose; and Annie M., now Mrs. Lowe.

Mr. Lowe gives his political allegiance to the Republican party and fraternally he is connected with the Masons, belonging to San Jose Lodge No. 10, F. & A. M., and to SAn Jose Parlor No. 22, N. S. G. W. He has led and active and useful life, utilizing every opportunity to advance, and his present success is entirely attributable to his close application and laudable ambition. His personal characteristics are those which make for polularity and he has many warm friends in Santa Clara County.
Transcribed cferoben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California, published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 733


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