Bio: Clow, Lester Hardwick (1843 - 1936)

Contact: Stan


Surnames: Clow, Newburg, Dickson, Mellen, Taft, Frank, Franck, Rust, Owen, Smith, Raver, Blair


----Source: 1881 History of Northern, Wisconsin


Lester Hardwick Clow (2 Nov 1843 - 1936)


LESTER H. Clow, foreman of the Meldal planing mill, Merillan, was born in Franklin Co., Vt.; came to Merillan, July 1, 1880, and took charge of the mill where he now is, which was built in 1875 by George Merrill & Co.; employs thirteen men the year round, and does a business of $35,000 per year. Mr. Clow was engaged as book-keeper for the Newbury-Sparla Iron Works for four years. Is a member of the A. F. & A. M., National Lodge, No. 596, Chicago Chapter, No. 43. Was married to his first wife, *Miss Adelia (Jane) Taft, in  (3 Sep)1868, who died in 1879, by whom he had three children—Irma, Byron and Adella; married his second wife, Miss Delia Frank, Aug. 8, 1880. She was born in Watertown in 1858.


*Adelia Jane Taft died during the childbirth of her third child, a daughter named Jane, who died of cancer in her 40's having no children of her own.


Clow Burials in Riverside Cemetery, Pierre, South Dakota


Clow, Dudley S., b.1886, d.10 Oct 1975, age 89
Clow, Lester H., b.1843, d.1936
Clow, Cordelia Ruth, b.1897, d.1920
Clow, Iris, b.03 Mar 1888, d.15 Dec 1965, age 77


----Source: History of South Dakota, Vol. I, pg. 824-25

LESTER H. Clow, who is a member of the city council of Pierre and the local manager for the extensive interests of the Rust-Owen Lumber Company, was born at Highgate, Franklin county, Vermont, on the 2d of November, 1843, and is a son of John H. and Catherine D. (Smith) Clow, the former of whom died in the old Green Mountain state, in 1853, while the latter now resides in Evanston, Illinois, having attained the venerable age of ninety-seven years. The subject attended the common schools of his native town until he had attained the age of fifteen years, when, in 1857, he accompanied his mother on her removal to Chicago, Illinois where he continued his studies in the public schools, finally entering the Bryant & Stratton Business College in that city, in which he was graduated in 1862, In 1858 he had entered the employ of a lumber concern in Chicago, and he there remained until 1875, when he went to Hamburg. Wisconsin, where he conducted a lumber yard for the ensuing two years, thereafter being identified with the same line of enterprise in Sparta, that state, for three year; at Merrillan for two years, and at Eau Claire for four years, at the expiration of which, in 1885, he located in Blair, Nebraska, where he was in the lumber business for seven years. In 1892 he went to Hinkley, Minnesota, where he was concerned in the same line of business until January, 1895, when he came to Pierre, as manager of the interests of the Rust-Owen Lumber Company, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in which connection he has built up a large and important trade and gained the confidence and esteem of all with whom he has had dealings, while he has also been interested in the cattle business to a considerable extent. While a resident of Chicago, Ill., Mr. Clow was a member of the Ellsworth Zouaves, who made so enviable a record during the Civil war, but on account of his age he was not accepted for service when his command volunteered for enlistment. He cast his first presidential vote for Lincoln and has ever since been a stalwart supporter of the Republican party. He is now serving his third term as a member of the city council of Pierre, as a representative of the second ward. He is one of the oldest Freemasons in the state, being identified with the lodge, chapter, commandery and Mystic Shrine, and also with correlated Order of the Eastern Star and the Veterans. He was secretary of the blue lodge in Chicago for eight years, and for a number of years was secretary of Washington Lodge No. 21, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Blair, having been a member of the order since 1864. He is also affiliated with the Knights of Pythias, and his religious faith is that of the Congregational church, in whose work he takes an active part, contributing liberally to its support. He is essentially progressive and public-spirited and is one of Pierre's most loyal citizens, being one of those who did efficient work in securing the location of the capital here and doing all in his power to advance the welfare of the city along normal lines of progress.

On the 3d of September, 1868. Mr. Clow married Miss Adella J. Taft, of Paxton. Illinois. and she died January 5. 1878, leaving two children, Irma, who is now the wife of Charles A. Raver, of Tekamah, Nebraska, and Byron L., who is engaged in business in Sioux Falls. On the 8th of August, 1880, Mr. Clow was united in marriage to Miss Delia Franck, of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and they have five children, Franck Alice, Dorothy Iris, Dudley Sebastian, Louise Markham and Ruth Delia.

----Source: Evening Huronite, Huron, South Dakota, Thursday, August 13, 1936, Page 7


Wesley Blair, son o£ Norvel, was a hero of the memorable Hinckley, Minnesota forest fire of the late 40s when a train was marooned on a bridge while attempting to cross. All passengers probably would have been lost had not Blair, who received fire-fighting training on the prairies, led them to a swampy place and induced them to lie face downward. As A reward the railroad company presented him with a lifetime job and his Negro friends gave him a gold watch. L. H. Clow, Pierre, was one of the survivors of the fire and says he owes his life to the leadership of Wesley Blair.

William Smith, also of Pierre and South Dakota's representative at the national council for the advancement of Negro race, was living at the Negro settlement and recalls the tragic story of one of the most devastating forest fires in Minnesota history in which scores lost their lives and millions of dollars worth of property laid waste.

----Sources: Huron Dakota Huronite, Huron, South Dakota, Thursday, July 1, 1909, Page 5

Byron L. Clow of Fort Pierre, treasurer of Stanley county, passed through the city Friday morning on his way from Fargo, N. D., via St. Paul.

----Sources: Huron Dakota Huronite, Huron, South Dakota, Thursday, September 17, 1908, Page 5  

The Misses Alice and Iris Clow, of Pierre, are in the city this week visiting friends.

----Sources: Huron Dakota Huronite, Huron, South Dakota, Thursday, July 29, 1909, Page 5  

Byron L. Clow, treasurer of Stanley county and ex-sheriff Geo. Huston, both of Fort Pierre passed through the city Wednesday on their way to Sioux Falls.


1880 Federal Census, Sparta, Monroe, Wisconsin, United States, pg. 79


L. H. Clow, white, widowed American male
occupation : Bookkeeper
father's birthplace : Vermont, United States
mother's birthplace : Vermont, United States

Household Members
head L. M. Newburg M 46 Pennsylvania, United States
wife Martha A. Newburg F 45 Vermont, United States
daughter Amanda Newburg F 17 Wisconsin, United States
son Carl Newburg M 12 Wisconsin, United States
daughter Lila Newburg F 6 Wisconsin, United States
other L. H. Clow M 38 Vermont, United States
other Emma Dickson F 22 Illinois, United States
other Henry Dickson M 22 Wisconsin, United States
mother-in-law M. F. Mellen F 70 Vermont, United States


1900 Federal Census, ED 181 Pierre city Ward 1-4, Hughes, South Dakota, United States, pg. 27


Delia F Clow, white, married, female
years married: 20
estimated marriage year: 1880
mother how many children: 6

Household Members
head Lester H Clow M 57 (Nov 1843) Ireland
wife Delia F Clow F 41 (Feb 1859) Missouri
daughter Irma Clow F 36 (Aug 1864) Illinois
son Byron L Clow M 28 (Dec 1872) Illinois
daughter Frank (Franck) A Clow F (Dec 1882)18 Wisconsin
daughter Lunthie Clow F 17 (Feb 1883) Wisconsin
son Dudley Clow M 14 (Jan 1886) Wisconsin
daughter Iris Clow F 12 (Mar 1888) Minnesota
daughter Louise Clow F 6 (Oct 1894) Minnesota
daughter Ruth Clow F 3 (Mar 1897) South Dakota


1920 Federal Census, South Dakota


Lester H Clow, white, widowed male
father's birthplace: Vermont
mother's birthplace: Vermont

Household Members
self Lester H Clow M 78y Vermont
daughter Iris D Clow F 32y Nebraska
daughter Louise N Clow F 25y Minnesota
daughter Ruth C Clow F 22y South Dakota



© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel