David's Reformed Church Congregation

David's Reformed Church Congregation
Congregation of David's Reformed Church, Montgomery Co, Ohio, Circa, 1900

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Surname Saturday - Rowe Family of Emmitsburg, Maryland

Frank Rowe and Leland Norris, Sr.

Marriage Announcement of Effa Norris and Frank Rowe

Retirement Newspaper Announcement

Obituaries of Frank and Effa Norris Rowe

Gravesite at St. Elias Lutheran Cemetery
M. Frank Rowe was my grandfather's uncle, by marriage. He was married to grandpa's aunt, Effa Norris Rowe and they lived in Emmitsburg, Maryland. My mother recalled visiting her great Uncle Frank when she was a teenager during the one visit she had made with her parents to Maryland. By the time she had made the trip, her great Aunt Effa had passed away so she had no memory of her.

When I began my research on my mother's family, the first place I looked was in the Maryland census records because my great grandfather had migrated to Ohio from Frederick County.

It was a little tricky to find Frank Rowe, because, I discovered, his first name was actually Marion. After quite a few frustrating moments, I finally got the message that his family routinely used their middle names and not their legal names. So, on some legal forms, he was "Marion Rowe" or "M. Rowe". Once I figured this out, it became a little easier to find him.
Through the various census years, I discovered that Frank was a storekeeper and a shoemaker and was considered one of the prominent businessmen in the community. Another important source I was pleasantly surprised to find was the Emmitsburg.net website where photographs and stories of early Emmitsburg are plentiful. It was during one of my searches to that site that two photographs of Rowe's Shoe Store turned up! They are a little out of focus, but to me, they are very precious.
Continuing my search for Frank and Effa, I decided to check some Frederick County newspaper records and I happily found a remarkable amount information. Two of the most valuable were their marriage announcement and the news of Frank's retirement.

The story of the wedding, from The Frederick News, 24 December, 1898, reads:
Miss Effie Norris, daughter of Joshua H. Norris, and Mr. M. Frank Rowe, both of Emmitsburg, were married at the bride's home on December 22, Rev. Chas. Reinewald officiated. The bride was attired in a handsome brown traveling gown, with hat and gloves to match. A sumptuous dinner was served immediately after the ceremony. Mr. and Mrs. Rowe went to Washington and Baltimore and returned home Saturday evening.

The story of Frank's retirement reads:
M. Frank Rowe Retires at 86
Emmitsburg Shoemaker Had Plied Trade 65 Years at Same Stand
Emmitsburg: 65 years at the same stand is an enviable record of Emmitsburg’s oldest business proprietor, venerable, M. Frank Rowe, who last week announced his retirement.
Mr. Rowe has plied his trade, shoemaker, at the same location, on West Main Street, that is a familiar location to both old and young residents of the town, beginning his trade under his grandfather, James A. Rowe. The younger Mr. Rowe was taken into the concern as a full-fledged partner at the early age of 21. That was in 1887.
A native son of Emmitsburg, Mr. Rowe recalls that his grandfather had the distinction of making boots for the cavalry of officers when they were engaged in conflict at Gettysburg. He imparts the boots then sold for $16.00 a pair. At that time the concern ----and cut the patterns for the custom made footwear.
Not content with shoemaking alone as a business, the energetic Mr. Rowe opened a grocery store in the same building 14 years ago at age 72. He continued operating the store until until the past week when he suddenly decided to sit back and take it easy.
At 86, the enterprising Mr. Rowe has a keen sense of humor and is an active conversationalist, well versed in current events and possesses a keen memory of events of long ago.

Frank and Effa had two daughters, Mae and Frances.
Effa died in 1945 and Frank followed her in 1953. They were buried in St. Elias Lutheran Cemetery. Thanks to a wonderful Findagrave.com volunteer, I have photos of their gravesites. I also learned through that person that Frank and Effa had had a third daughter, Pauline, who died as a baby.

The only photograph I have of my great great uncle Frank is the one above where he is standing outside my grandparent's home with my grandfather. I am still trying to find a way to contact the children or grandchildren of Frank and Effa's daughter's, but so far, I have had no luck. I am very pleased with what I have learned so far, though, and I'm going to keep on searching!

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