This is a biography of Civil War soldier Clarence W. Lowing compiled by Steve Soper from the Old Third Michigan Association.
LOWING, Clarence W.(NOR)(376) - born September 27, 1848, in Burford, Ontario, Canada, the son of James O. F. (1819-1890) and Emily (d. 1904).
New York native James married Canadian-born Emily in 1845 in Burford, Canada. James brought his family to western Michigan sometime in the mid-1840s, between 1843 and 1845, eventually settling on 60 acres near his brother Stephen (see his biography below) in Georgetown, Ottawa county. By 1860 Clarence was attending school with five of his siblings and living with his family in Georgetown. By 1864, Clarence was "working for wages" on surrounding farms. According to a statement made by his sister Emily, their father was in poor health and Clarence provided substantial support for the family.
Clarence stood 5'7" with gray eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion and was a 15-year-old laborer living with his parents in Georgetown, Ottawa county when he enlisted in Company I on January 22, 1864, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, crediting Chester, Ottawa county, and was mustered the same day. (His uncle. Captain Stephen Lowing, also from Georgetown, had enlisted as First Lieutenant in Company I in 1861.) Clarence joined the Regiment on February 17 at Camp Bullock, Virginia. He was shot in the right thigh on May 6 at the Wilderness, Virginia, and admitted to Mt. Pleasant hospital in Washington, DC on May 16, with a gunshot wound to the right leg and groin. He was still hospitalized when he was transferred to Company I, Fifth Michigan infantry upon consolidation of the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864, and he returned to duty from Mt. Pleasant hospital on July 8 or 9, 1864.
On August 28, 1864, from near Petersburg, Virginia, Clarence wrote his father that he recently received his
letter of the 25[th] and I was glad to hear that the folks was all well but was sorry to hear that you was sick, but I hope that you will come out all right in the end.
. . . I will send you 40 [dollars] more as soon as we get paid and I will be more careful and get it home but what [is] done cannot be helped. Well pa this is the first time I have heard from you since I was on the other side of the James [river] and I began to think that you had forgot me.
I was sorry to hear that Mortimer had enlisted but I hope that he will like it but I don't think that he will. I hear that Mr. John [?] is not expected to live. I hope that he will get well for I have taken quite a liking to him for he was good enough to try and get me a furlough when I was wounded and when I did not care whether I ever got home again or not for I was well and would not give a straw whether the next day I commenced bleeding and bled until I was so weak that is all over and I am all right again.
I was in a battle a week ago yesterday and got hit with a spent ball in the knee and it lamed me . . . but it did not last long for the next morning joined the company again and then we came here.
Well tell Mortimer to fetch me a couple of shirts and get good ones . . . for I have only got one and it keeps me washing all the while to keep clean but tell him not to fetch much of a load for he may find us. I not going on a long march. Well I must close give my love to all and be good.
Clarence was reportedly taken prisoner on October 27, 1864, at Boydton Plank road, near Petersburg, Virginia. Although there is no further official record, it seems that Clarence was in fact killed in action. Some years after the war, former Company I Captain Simon Brennan stated that Clarence had in fact been killed in action on October 27.
In 1870 his parents were still living in Georgeown, Ottawa county. In 1889 his mother was apparently residing in Utah when she applied for and received a dependent's pension (no. 341,460).
 According to the 1870 census for Ottawa county.
 According to the 1870 census for Ottawa county.
 Pension Records, National Archives.
Or Chester, according to Van Eyck's Ottawa County in the Civil War, p. 9.
Also noted in Grand Rapids Eagle, May 24, 1864, p. 1 col.s 1-2: " "Killed and Wounded in the Third".
 Pension Records, National Archives.rrive. This was successfully accomplished. Talmadge appeared in full force at the place now called Jenisonville and offered their votes; they were challenged of course; this led to long and laborious arguments, which continued until about one o'clock p. ji., at which time it was believed that there was sufficient time before the close of the polls at Eastmanville to induce Talmadge to attempt to get there, but not time enough to reach it in fact; they were then shown the certified copy of the secretary, and they at once saw the plot laid for them, and with one accord left for Eastmanville, some in canoes with the wind strong against them, two men on one horse in some instances, the greater portions on foot with hats and coats off, determined to make the distance of fifteen miles before the polls should close at Eastmanville. This was the most exciting campaign and the closest run for office that Ottawa county ever witnessed. Some few arrived at Eastmanville in time to vote, while others failed to reach there in time; those voting did so without organization, and the campaign was lost to Talmadge. Eastmanville folks took good care to get set off from Talmadge before the next town meeting.
The judiciary branch of the settlement of Ottawa county was not neglected. Four justices of the peace were elected in each township, who each, for himself felt that the entire responsibility rested upon him to see to it that the path of each citizen was made straight, and that he walked therein, and there was more litigation per capita then than there ever has been since, each justice and constable feeling that he was not elected for ornamental purposes only. Many ludicrous scenes in court might be- mentioned, but time and space will not permit. Conspicuous among the elements of litigation was the so-called Church & Dalton mill, at Sand Creek. This proved to be a source of revenue to two old attorneys at Grand Rapids, Moore and Abel, and a vexation to the settlers around; they being few in number, were quite too frequently called from home, as jurors, to decide upon the contentions of the two owners of the mill. This mill was built at Sand Creek about the year 1838 or 1839, by B. Church, a Seventh Day Baptist, who resolved that his property should not labor on Saturday, and James Ualton, a Catholic, who resolved that his property should labor on Saturday, but not on Sunday. This was the first bone of contention between them, but led tomany others. The difficulty was partially compromised after awhile, by an arbitration, in which Amos Robinson was the principal arbitrator. He determined that each man should use the mill the alternate week; but that did not stop the litigation, which continued without abatement until both parties were very much impoverished, and was only terminated by a separation of the parties. Mr. Dalton abandoned his property and went to Chicago, where he has since remained. Both parties having cut their pine, the mill went into disuse, and 'was swept away a few years ago by the flood. Abel and Moore each lost the pearl of great price, and both abandoned the practice of the law soon after.
At the time that Georgetown was organized, in 1840, it embraced four townships, those that are now known as Jamestown, Zeeland. and Hiendon. Jamestown was organized about 1849. Jamestown took its name from three James's—James Skeels, the second supervisor, James Brown, and James M. Conkwright. The land, although mostly located by specu lators, in 1835 was mostly put on the market, and was rapidly settled by emigrants largely from Ohio. The first settler in Blendon was Booth Kinney. who settled on Dec. 12, about the year 1845, now dead. Afterwards a family by the name of Woodruff,—Milton, and Henry,—who settled on the same section. This town settled very slow. Stoors & Wyman built a mill in southeast pnrt of the town somewhere about 1850. The town was organized in 1856. First town meeting held at the house of Booth Kinney. Albert Vredenburg was the first supervisor. Zeeland was set off from Georgetown and attached to Holland, and was after organized, and one D. Young was the first supervisor: this was about 1850. The heads of families of the settlers as early as 1840 are now nearly all dead. Henry Griffin, J. V. Harris, Samuel Hart> Thomas Woodbury, Daniel Rieley, and Mrs. H. Steel are the only survivorswho first settled Talmadge.
Hiram Jenison, Luman and Lucins Jenison, S. Yeomaus, L. Burdsly, Edward F. Bosworth, and Freeman Burton are the only survivors of the residents of Georgetown, in 1840, at the time of its organization. The settler* of that day endured many trials and privations, such as are incidental to a: new country. The western portion of the county, and particularly on the south side nf the river, was regarded valueless for agricultural purposes, and had been a great drawback to the settlers in the eastern part of the county, owing to the malaria rising from low lands, causing much sickness, from which very few, if any, of the older settlers were able to escape. It was not unfrequently the case that whole families were found sick with the ague and burning fever at the same time, and no one able to offer a draught of cold water,—and frequently these families resided many miles from other settlers. The mdsquitoes and fleas were intolerable.
The contrast in the appearance and comforts of this county in 1840 and the present day is very great.