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Rowe Family Photographs


Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The Rowe family is an American family that was based in Washington, Missouri, Kansas, and Idaho in the 19th and 20th centuries. Thomas Rowe (1865-1958) operated a large farm in Lawrence County, Missouri, owned several sawmills and lumber yards in Missouri, Kansas, Idaho, and Washington, and maintained a business that leased out steam traction engines and threshers for harvests. Oliver Rowe (1892-1943), Thomas's nephew, worked initially as a butcher in Lewiston, Idaho, and later became meat inspector for the United States Department of Agriculture in Spokane, Washington. LeRoy Rowe (1919-2002), worked as an actor and served with the National Guard during World War II.

Consists of over one hundred photographs documenting the Rowe family in Spokane and Edgecomb, Washington, and Lawrence County, Missouri. Photographs depict sawmills, steam engine threshers, store interiors, Theodore Roosevelt's "Rough Riders," and snapshots of the Rowe family who operated engines and owned farms in Washington state, Missouri, and Kansas.

The majority of the photographs consist of small family snapshots and portraits depicting various family members and friends in Washington and Missouri; these include images of people in World War II uniforms, a 32-horse team pulling a thresher in Eastern Washington (1930), the tombstone of Thomas W. Rowe (1865-1958) and Eva J. Rowe, his wife, in Fellowship Cemetery in Miller, Missouri, hunting scenes, and travel photographs. The photograph of the "Rough Riders," soldiers who had served with President Roosevelt in the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry during the Spanish-American War, was taken by Charles A. Libby (1879-1966) during a 1903 welcoming parade for Roosevelt in Spokane. Other images show Thomas Rowe with a steam traction engine and wagon tanker in a wheat field with workers and engineers standing next to the engine, another with a group of farm workers and engineers posing beside a traction engine and thresher, and a third with Rowe posing beside his Port Huron steam traction engine and thresher in front of large stone building. There are also photographs of men operating a steam-powered sawmill to slice a large log; Clark and James Kimball's wagon for hauling logs, a sawmill located at Edgecomb, as well as Thomas Rowe's sawmill operating on the farm of August Carl (1905), with stacks of lumber surrounding the sawmill, a horse team in harness, and a portable steam engine. Two other images show the interior of the general store and butcher shop where Oliver Rowe (1892-1943) worked following World War I as a butcher. There is also a photograph of the Spokane High School football team in the mid-1930s and another group portrait of schoolchildren. Others whose names appear in photograph captions include LeRoy Rowe (1919-2002), Leon Gee, Marian and Ed Bucher, Minor and Roland Gee, Elsie and Eva Bell Rowe, Grandpa Roatch and Clint, Russell, and Dorry Ames.

Purchased from Zephyr Used & Rare Books in 2021 (AM 2022-073).

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This collection was processed by Kelly Bolding in December 2021. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in December 2021, incorporating some description from the dealer.

No materials were removed from the collection during 2021 processing.

Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Author
Kelly Bolding
Finding Aid Date
Processing of this collection was sponsored by the Delafield fund.
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The collection is open for research.

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Collection Inventory

Rowe Family Photographs, 1890-1950. 1 box.
Physical Description

1 box

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