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History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Ralph P. Lowe

RALPH P. LOWE, fourth Governor of the State of Iowa, was born in Warren County, Ohio, on the 27th of November, 1805. His father owned a farm and kept a stage station and tavern. Ralph assisted his father, and when a boy his ambition was to some day become a stage driver. But as he grew older and listened to the talk of Henry Clay and other distinguished statesmen who stopped at his father's tavern, on their journeys by stage coach, he imbibed a higher ambition. He began to study and entered the Miami University where he graduated. He then began the study of law. In 1840 he came to Iowa, crossing the Mississippi River at Bloomington (now Muscatine) where he bought a farm. He improved the farm and began to practice law, taking an active part in public affairs. In 1844 he was elected to the First Constitutional Convention. In 1845 he was nominated by the Whigs for Delegate in Congress, but the Democrats had a clear majority in the Territory and he was defeated by General A. C. Dodge. In 1852 Mr. Lowe was chosen judge of the District Court, serving until 1857 when he resigned, having been nominated by the Republican State Convention for Governor. He was elected and was the first Governor under the new Constitution, serving but one term. In 1859 he was elected Judge of the Supreme Court and became Chief Justice in 1860. He was reëlected in 1861 and again became Chief Justice in 1866. He removed to Washington, D. C., in 1874 where he resumed the practice of law, and died in that city December 22, 1883.