Joseph Rowe And his Father James

Joseph Rowe and Elizabeth (Betsy) Plymale Rowe, apparently met in Giles
Co., VA in the early 1800's. The Rowe and Plymale families lived as
neighbors on adjoining land in the New River Settlement, Spruce Run,
Giles Co., VA.. Working for a while saving money to buy supplies and a
canoe, Joseph and Elizabeth Plymale Rowe left Giles Co., VA by river.
They had their first child Polly in Greenbrier Co., VA, December22,
1812. Joseph Rowe appeared on the 1812 tax list for Giles County, VA.
The next we know of Joseph and Betsy Rowe is in Henry Co., KY where
they had their second daughter Margaret Rowe, in 1814. Bertha (Bathia)
was also born in KY, the county unknown, but probably Henry Co., KY.
Rice was born in Crawford County, IN in 1819, Caroline, James Plymale
Rowe, Virginia and Elhanen Winchester were all born in Indiana, probably
in Crawford or Perry Co. All of these counties are in the southern tip
of Indiana. Joseph Rowe appeared on a voters list in Perry Co., IN in
1820. They left IN and were in Knox Co., IL by 1829 where they had
Joseph Duncan Rowe.

In the spring of 1830, Joseph Rowe was the first settler in Knox Co.,
Rio township, IL. Joseph Rowe made a claim on section 33, in the
timber. In 1831, trouble began between the white settlers and the
Indians. The settlers moved from their homes to nearby Fort Aggie,
located in Henderson Co. IL . Joseph Rowe was one of four men who went
to consult with General Gains, the commander of the military post at
Rock Island. On the way to the post, they encountered a large number
of Indian warriors, who thought these men were spies and held them
captive for a while. One of the men with Joseph Rowe was able to speak
their language and convinced the Indians they were on a trading trip.
The Indians finally let them pass. When Joseph Rowe and the other three
men arrived at Rock Island, General Gains assured them that they and
their families were in no danger. Upon their return to Fort Aggie, they
felt more at ease, but in April of 1832, the Sauk and Fox Indians led by
Chief Black Hawk came across the Mississippi River, and the Black Hawk
War began. Joseph Rowe and several other Rowe men, fought in the war. I
have not been able to discover if these other Rowe men were of the same
family. Apparently the women and children stayed at Fort Aggie where it
was safer. Some of the well known men that fought in the Black Hawk War
were Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis. The Black Hawk War ended
August 2, 1832, when the Indians were clearly defeated.

Joseph Rowe then appeared in Galesburg township, IL, and made a claim on
the extreme western end of Knoxville grove. I am sure that Joseph Rowe,
Elizabeth (Betsy) Plymale Rowe and their children spent a lot of their
time clearing land and planting crops, Joseph Rowe lists his occupation
on all of the censuses as a farmer. Joseph Rowe owned several parcels of
land in Knox Co., IL in the area of what is now known as Galesburg, IL,
and he was on the list of County Officials , as a County Commissioner.
The following is a list of offices that Joseph Rowe held or ranfor.

August 1, 1831 Candidate for Constable

August 6, 1832 Candidate for County Commissioner

August 3, 1835 Candidate for Justice of the Peace

August 1, 1836 Candidate for County Commissioner

August 6, 1838 Candidate for County Commissioner

August 5, 1839 Candidate for Justice of the Peace (Knox District)

August 29, 1839 Candidate for Justice of the Peace

August 2, 1841 Candidate for County Commissioner

August 4, 1842 Justice of the Peace

1843-1847 Commissioned appraiser of the real estate belonging to the
State Bank of Illinois

August 3, 1846 Candidate for County Commissioner

Knox County has been especially favored from its first organization,
in1830, down to the present time, in having honest and capable officials.
Very few counties in the State, if any, can present a list of officials
that will compare more favorably for character, ability and integrity.
(taken from "Knox County History.)

Joseph Rowe died Nov. 16, 1864, in Cameron, IL and is buried there, in
the Silent Home Cemetery.


Joseph Rowe's father James Rowe Sr. left North Carolina in 1781 and appears in Botetourt County, Virginia on the 1790 census along with a Benjamin and George Rowe. These men were probably brothers. Benjamin and George disappear from the county after 1796. They could have moved to another state.  James Sr. remained in Botetourt until 1806 when he moved to Spruce Run, a branch of New River in Giles County, Virginia.  Stephen later lived on this land. James Rowe Sr. and all his sons except Stephen moved to Floyd County (now Pike County) Kentucky, in 1817, and are on the 1820 and the1830 census for Floyd and Pike Counties, Kentucky.

James fought for the British in the Revolutionary War. He was wounded at the 'Battle of the Hawk' while fighting against the army of General 'Lighthorse' Lee, the father of Robert E. Lee. James was wounded by a saber in the leg and carried the wound the rest of his life.

by Wm Peckenpaugh and Angela Smith