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Alfred Rowe illustration
Alfred Rowe illustrationPopular
Description: Alfred Rowe was a First Class Passenger on Titanic, a very successful business man of the era, he used the Transatlantic liners to visit his business in Texas. He founded the RO ranch in 1878/79 and by the time it was sold by his family in 1917 for $595,113 it measured around 72000 acres, a tribute in itself to the acumen and drive shown by Mr Rowe in its creation.

The Rowe family were overseas pioneers for several generations which started with Alfred’s father James who was born in Jamaica in 1817 and was a partner in the Graham, Rowe and Company, a shipping line based in Liverpool.

Alfred worked for the family business for two years before studying at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester. After graduating he heard rumours that there were opportunities in America and decided to try his hand in this new promised land, he set sail with a budget of £500. By early 1879 he had settled at Glenwood Creek in the Texas Panhandle. A little over ten years later and the RO ranch had grown to around 200,000 acres. In 1901 Alfred married his wife Constance and in 1902 a daughter named Constance was born, followed by Charles Alfred in 1904 and Henry in 1905. The town of Rowe was named after Alfred and was a thriving community until 1907 when it moved to a site now known as Hedley.

Alfred Rowe moved back to Liverpool after the birth of his daughter Ethel Margaret in 1910 but he returned to the ranch at least twice a year. The reason he had bought a ticket on Titanic was for one his trips to the ranch. Although a strong swimmer he did not survive the icy waters of the North Atlantic after the Titanic foundered. The Rowe archive due to its depth of material is a highly significant one, offering a fascinating snap shot into the life of a prominent businessman on the era and the effects of the loss of Mr Rowe on his wife Constance who was four months pregnant at the time.

On auction at Haldridge & Son in UK Devizes, Wiltshire 21 April 2007
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Last Update: 2007/4/6 17:45   Hits: 53246   Comments: 0  

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