Emery Moore Low, former mayor of Brockton, and one of that city’s most influential and highly honored citizens, is a native of Massachusetts, born at Roxbury March 29, 1849, son of the late Nathaniel and Abigail E. H. (Clouston) Low.
William Low and his wife Mary were of Chelsea, Mass., before 1761, on June 17th of which year he purchased of David Jenkins a “dwelling house, barn and buildings” and eighteen acres of land, which was originally a part of the Hasey farm. He bought other property in 1763, 1774 and 1778. During the war of the Revolution he was out in the service, being one of twelve men from Chelsea who were given by the town six pounds each for five weeks’ service in Rhode Island in 1777. He died March 19, 1787 (gravestone), aged sixty-nine years; and by will, dated Jan. 26th and proved April 10, 1787, he left his estate – one third to his wife, and two thirds to his son John during the lifetime of his wife; after her death “my dwelling house and all my buildings in Chelsea and the lands I own about them, that is to say all the lands I bought of Capt. David Jenkins, both upland and marsh, and all the lands I bought of Nathan Lewis, and all the uplands and marsh I bought of Robert Temple except one half of the four-acre lot in the dammarsh.” He also gave to his daughter Mary, to sons William and Samuel, and to son James if he returned (then out of the country). He and his wife Mary had only two children recorded in Chelsea, namely:
- Mary Low, born 5th of 2d month, 1757
- Samuel Low, born 13th of 2d month, 1759
- the death of son Alexander Low is of Chelsea record, 9th of 1st month, 1757
John Low, son of William and Mary, married May 5, 1768, Abigail Stowers. They died, he in August, 1800 (church record), aged fifty-seven years, and she in October, 1812 (church record). Their children of Chelsea public record were:
- Abigail Low, born 7th of 1st month, 1770
- William Low, born 23d of 9th month, 1771
- Elizabeth Low, born 26th of 10th month, 1773
- John Low, born 11th of 8th month, 1775
- James Low, born 22d of 9th month, 1777
- Sarah Low, born 9th of 12th month, 1779
- Samuel Low, born 21st of 10th month, 1781
- Nathaniel Low, born 17th of 8th month, 1784
- Mary Low, born 9th of 12th month, 1786
- Lydia Low, born 3d of 11th month, 1788
- Lois Low, born 10th of 9th month, 1790
John Low, Jr., son of John and Abigail, born 11th of 8th month, 1775, married May 20, 1798, Charlotte Gervaise, who came from the West Indies with Capt. Samuel Cary and his wife. Mr. Cary lived in Chelsea, but held an estate in the islands. In 1798 Mr. Low occupied a cottage on Captain Cary’s farm in Chelsea; in 1801 he had recently taken the farm on halves and was occupying a part of the mansion house. Mrs. Low had joined the church in Chelsea before her marriage, July 27, 1794; and Mr. Low joined it June 30, 1799, after his marriage, and on the same day that he joined his first-born, John, was baptized. Their other children were:
- Margaret Low, baptized Nov. 9, 1800
- Charlotte Low, baptized Sept. 7, 1802, who died Nov. 13th of that same year
- Abigail Low, baptized Oct. 28, 1803
- William Ratchford Low, baptized May 26, 1805
- Sarah Low
- Charlotte Low
- Nathaniel Low
- Nancy Low, baptized Oct. 30, 1814.
The family left the farm in 1802. Charlotte, the mother, died Nov. 8, 1825, aged fifty-three.
Nathaniel Low, son of John, Jr., was born Nov. 1, 1811, in Boston, and died Dec. 2, 1892, in Tewksbury, Mass. In early life Mr. Low learned the trade of carpenter, which he followed for several years, and then engaged in contracting in Boston, meeting with deserved success. He later settled at Tewksbury, whence after a few years, in 1849, he went to the isthmus of Panama, where at first he was engaged as a ship carpenter in the employ of a large steamship company, afterward becoming engaged in the transportation of specie across the isthmus, this being before the railroad was built. During the construction of the Panama railroad he was engaged for several years in getting out stone, etc., for the bridge work, and upon the completion of this work had charge of a seven-mile section of the railroad, which was but forty-seven miles long. After spending seven years in that country he returned to Tewksbury, Mass., where he settled down to agricultural pursuits on a farm of about one hundred acres, to the cultivation of which he devoted the remainder of his days, and where his death occurred. Mr. Low was a well read man, enjoying the writings of many well known authors, and he possessed a remarkable memory, being able to quote his favorite passages, especially those in Shakespeare, of whose works he was especially fond. He was of a retiring disposition, although affable and genial. In political views he was a Republican, and although he possessed the qualifications necessary in a public official, he cared nothing for and hence never sought, public preferment. He was a consistent member of the Baptist Church, and was regular in his attendance at the services. On May 26, 1836, he married Abigail E. H. Clouston, whose father was a Scotchman by birth and a carpenter by trade, Mr. Low having learned his trade under him. Mrs. Low passed away at the old homestead in Tewksbury, in June, 1896, aged eighty-four years, three months, the mother of the following children:
- Joseph C. Low, who died at Newbern, N. C., of yellow fever, at the age of twenty-seven, was a clerk in the Freedmen’s Bureau Department of the United States government during the Civil war period
- Susan C. Low, who married the late William Burtt, now resides at the old home in Tewksbury
- Nathaniel P. Low, a railroad conductor, was also in the Civil war, dying at Newbern, N. C., of yellow fever, in the twenty-fourth year of his age
- Charlotte Low died young
- Emery Moore Low is mentioned below
Emery Moore Low was born March 29, 1849, in Roxbury, and when he was about four months old his parents removed to Tewksbury, Mass. In the common schools of the latter town his educational training was begun and he continued to be a student there until nearly eighteen years of age, when he took a course in the Lowell Business College. After leaving school he went to Boston, where he accepted a position as clerk in the wholesale store of Spaulding Brothers, dealers in papers and twines, and in that capacity he remained twelve years. Mr. Low, in company with a fellow clerk, J. A. Nelson, in May, 1879, came to Brockton, Mass., and formed a partnership under the firm name of Nelson & Low, engaging in the manufacture of paper boxes. They were first located on Crescent street for a short time, later removing to a part of the late Peleg Leach factory, which stood on the present site of the city hall. After continuing in partnership for a period of about two years the firm was dissolved, each member engaging in the business on his own account, Mr. Low purchasing the Isaiah A. Beals shoe factory on Main street, to which building he removed his business, and where he has since been successfully engaged. Mr. Low gives employment to from seventy-five to one hundred hands, and manufactures all kinds of paper boxes used in the shoe trade, as well as a line of fancy confectionery boxes. For several years he also conducted a branch factory at Marlboro, Mass., employing a number of hands, but this he finally sold to the shoe manufacturing firm of Rice & Hutchins.
Mr. Low was one of the original incorporators of the People’s Savings Bank, of Brockton, and since its incorporation in 1895 be has served as a trustee of the same, and as a member of the investment committee of the bank. He has also served for several years as a trustee of the State Farm at Bridgewater, and the State Hospital at Tewksbury, having first been appointed by Governor Guild, to fill an unexpired term, and upon the completion of that term was reappointed in 1908 for a three years’ term. In 1909, upon the death of Hon. Ziba C. Keith, Mr. Low was appointed to take his place as a member of the board of sinking fund commissioners, this board having charge of the sinking funds of the city.
Mr. Low has long been identified with the Brockton board of trade, and has taken an active interest in the affairs of the body, having several years of efficient service as vice president to his credit. He is a member of the New England Paper Box Manufacturers’ Association, and served as president of same for two years.
Fraternally Mr. Low is a member of the Masonic bodies, belonging to Paul Revere Lodge, A. F. & A. M.; Satucket Chapter, R. A. M.; Brockton Council, R. & S. M.; Bay State Commandery, K. T., of Brockton; Boston Consistory, thirty-second degree, York Rite, Boston; and Aleppo Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of Boston. He is also a member of Damocles Lodge, K. P.; New England Order of Protection; the I. O. R. M., and was a member of the first lodge of the B. P. O. Elks of Brockton. Socially he is a member of the Commercial Club (and for a number of years was a member, of its executive committee)., of the Merchants’ and Manufacturers’ Club, and was a member of the now disbanded Howard Club, of which he was president. Mr. Low is a member of the Unitarian Church of Brockton, and has served as a member of the parish committee and of the standing committee for a number of years. In political faith he is a loyal supporter of the principles of the Republican party, and since becoming a resident of Brockton has taken an active and zealous interest in the welfare of his adopted city. In 1887 and 1888 he served as a member of the common council, and in 1889 and 1890 was a member of the board of aldermen. In 1892 and 1893 he served as a member of the General Court of the State as representative from the Tenth Plymouth district, representing Ward Two, and in 1899 he was elected mayor of the city, receiving the largest vote ever accorded a candidate in the city. During his administration, among other improvements, may be noted the building of the macadam road on West Elm street from Warren avenue west, and the spanning of the stream crossing West Elm street with an iron and concrete bridge. In 1908 Mr. Low was the popular choice of the delegates of the Fourteenth Congressional district for the delegateship to the Republican National convention which was held at Chicago, and at which convention Mr. Taft was nominated for the Presidency.
On Oct. 15, 1873, Mr. Low was united in marriage with Ida Jane Colbath, daughter of George W. Colbath, of Tewksbury, Mass., and this union has been blessed with children as follows:
- Charles W., who was educated in the schools of Brockton and Brown University, is now credit man for the George H. Snow Shoe Company, of Brockton (he married Alice Bowen, of Providence)
- Herbert C. Low, who was educated in the schools of his native town and graduated from Brown University, is now associated in business with his father (he married Emma Packard, of Brockton)
- Harry R. Low, a graduate of the Boston School of Technology, is now a mining engineer at Platteville, Wis. (he married Bertha Morton, of Brockton, and has two sons)
- Emery Morton Low
- Charles Herbert Low
- Arthur E. Low, who is assistant advertising manager of the Henry Seigel Company, of Boston.
Although Mr. Low has devoted much time to the various public offices of honor and trust which have been bestowed upon him by his friends he has never in the slightest degree neglected his business, to the details of which he gives careful attention. Almost any day he can be found at his factory at 7 a. m., and as a rule he remains there during the greater part, if not all of the day. He is a self-made man. Coming to Brockton when in the youthful vigor of thirty years and possessing the strong determination to succeed, he has by strictly honorable methods forged to the front, and today he stands among the leading and respected citizens of the community. No man can have a warmer host of admirers and friends than has Mr. Low.