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Capt James Beach Clow
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Birth: Mar. 17, 1832
North Sewickley
Beaver County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Jan. 7, 1908
Chicago
Cook County
Illinois, USA

Union soldier during the Civil War.

Son of Samuel Culbertson Clow (1803-1850) and wife Sophia Hull (Lusk) Clow. Grandson of James Beach Clow and Nancy (Culbertson) Clow of Beaver County, Pennsylvania.

Nephew of Mary Sharp Clow who married in Beaver County on Oct. 19, 1837, the Hon. Theodore Perry Boyd (1813-1865), later Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, and brother of Mary Boyd Ross whose daughter Matilda married James B. Clow in Beaver County in 1859.

He was the president of James B. Clow and Sons, Chicago, manufacturers of the "Clow Gasteam Radiator" which brought him a fortune. The company is still in business, more than a century after the death of its founder. The Clow Corporation remained in the ownership of J.B. Clow's descendants when it was sold to McWane, Inc., in 1985 and became the Clow Valve Company.

Register of United States Army 1789-1903:
Promoted to Full Captain on 03 Aug 1861.
Mustered out on 01 Jan 1865.

Albany (N.Y.) EVENING JOURNAL, Aug. 1, 1861, p.2: "The following nominations were sent to the Senate yesterday and to-day:--
"Commissioners of Subsistence with rank of Captain--...James Beach Clow, Penn."

The Book of Chicagoans: a Biographical Dictionary of Leading Living Men and Women of the City of Chicago (1905), ed. by J.W. Leonard and A.N. Marquis, page 127: CLOW, James Beach, pres. James B. Clow & Sons, plumbers' supplies; b. North Sewickley, Pa., Mar. 17, 1832; s. Samuel C. and Sophia Hull (Lusk) Clow; ed. Public schools of Pennsylvania. Served in Civil War; was commissioned as capt., and served in the Commissary dept. under Gen. McCaull; m. Beaver Co., Pa., 1859 Matilda Ross; children: William E., Charles R., Harry B., James C. In 1865 began in manufacture of iron pipe at Pittsburgh, Pa.; in 1875, removed to Chicago, and continued in the same business as representative of the National Tube Works until 1878, when established firm of James B. Clow & Son; incorporated, 1894, as James B. Clow & Sons, manufacturers of cast iron water pipe, heating materials and plumbers' supplies, of which is pres.; manufacturing plant at Newcomerstown, O. Mason (32 degree). Office: 342 Franklin St. Residence: 1092 Sheridan Rd.

Rockford, Illinois STATE REGISTER GAZETTE, Jan. 7, 1908, p.3: PRESIDENT J.B. CLOW DEAD/
Head of Firm Which Manufactures
Plumbing and Heating Goods.
(By Associated Press.)
Chicago, Jan. 7.--James B. Clow, president of the James B. Clow & Sons, manufacturers of plumbing and heating goods, died to-day of pneumonia.

Rockford, Illinois REPUBLIC, Jan. 8, 1908, p.10:
CLOW OF PLUMBING FAME/
Is Dead in Chicago at 76 Years.
Served in the War.
Chicago, Jan. 8.--Captain James Beach Clow, one of Chicago's pioneers and founder of the firm of James B. Clow & Sons, manufacturers of plumbing and heating apparatus, died yesterday at the home of his son. He was 76 years old, and had been sick but a short time with pneumonia.

Captain Clow had been conspicuous in the business life of Chicago since 1875, when he established the firm which was first incorporated under the name of James B. Clow & Son.



Domestic Engineering and the Journal of Mechanical Contracting, Volume 42 (1908), pp.35-36:
CAPTAIN JAMES B. CLOW PASSES ON.
Captain James B. Clow, pioneer manufacturer of plumbing and heating supplies, president and founder of the manufacturing and supply house of James B. Clow & Sons, of Chicago, passed on at the residence of his son, Charles R. Clow, 1092 Sheridan road, Chicago, on Tuesday morning, January 7, at 6 o'clock, in his seventy-sixth year, from pneumonia, which had confined him to his bed for some time. With him when the end came were his sons, William E. Clow, vice-president of the company; Charles R. Clow, second vice-president; Harry B. Clow, president of Rand, McNally &Co. and secretary of James B. Clow & Sons, and James C. Clow, who is also associated with James B. Clow & Sons. The funeral was held from the apartment of Charles R. Clow, at 1092 Sheridan road, on Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock. The services were conducted by Rev. Frank N. Carlson, and it was largely attended by friends, neighbors and representatives of the trade. Among the representatives of the manufacturing and wholesale branches of the trade in attendance were: John F. Wolff, Clarence M. Woolley, john Clifford, O.D. Peck, paul Blatchford, Christian J. Wolff, I. Weil, George B. Limbert, Herman M. Hoelscher, Conrad Street, L.E. Young, William T. Morgan, W.J. Akin and Harry Verbeek. The Chicago Master Plumbers' Association was represented by the following sixteen members: M.l. Mandable, Charles C. Broyer, C.J. Herbert, R.J. Powers, M.J. Corboy, Carl J. Stein, William Redicake, E.C. Wagner, C.A. Droler, James E. Baggot, Thomas C. Boyd, Thomas Beggs, P. Nacey, J.J. Wade, John Dorsey and Peter M. Munn. The acting pallbearers, all connected with the house of James B. Clow & Sons, were: Messrs. Johnson, McKeeby, Rose, Davidson, Barnes and Ware. Fifty employees of the company acted as honorary pallbearers, and with uncovered heads these formed a double line from the house to the road, through which the remains and the members of the family passed on their way to the carriages. The interment took place at Rosehill.

Captain James Beach Clow was born in Sewickley, Pa., March 17, 1732. He secured such public school education as was available. Being an intense patriot, he early threw his energy in the direction of abolishing slavery, and was among the first to volunteer his services at the call of President Lincoln for troops. He enlisted at Pittsburg in 1861 and was assigned ot the Army of the Potomac. Commissioned as captain while at Harrisburg in 1862, he was assigned as aid-de-camp to General George A. McCall, and participated in the Peninsular campaign, in which he was engaged with the troops at Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill and Frazier's Farm. Later General McCall made him chief of the commissary, in which capacity he served until the end of the war in 1865. Captain Clow then formed business relations with some of the men who subsequently became captains of industry in the steel and iron fields, and he established his first concern in Pittsburg, Pa., in 1865, putting in a big plant for the manufacture of iron pipe. In 1875 the Chicago field seemed attractive ot him and he located to this city, continuing in the same business, and in 1878 he established the firm of James B. Clow & Son at the northeast corner of Franklin and Lake streets, where it remained until 1901, when the large building was erected at the corner of Franklin and Harrison streets. In 1894 the business was incorporated under the name of James B. Clow & Sons, to manufacture and deal in cast iron water pipe, plumbing and heating supplies, the manufacturing plant of the corporation being located at Newcomerstown, O. Captain Clow was quick to see the possibilities of modern sanitary plumbing and pushed his branch houses along this line. The opening of a branch in Havana, Cuba, immediately after the establishment of the republic, was one of his daring plans and proved a most successful venture. Captain Clow married Miss Mathilda Ross, of Beaver county, Pennsylvania, in 1859. His wife's demise occurred four years ago. Captain Clow was a thirty-second degree Mason. Owing to continued ill-health he was compelled nearly two years ago to relinquish active supervision of the large corporation with is branches in Havana, San Francisco and New York, to his sons.

TRIBUTE OT THE MEMORY OF CAPTAIN JAMES B. CLOW, By Daniel L. Hanson, of the Federal Company, Chicago:

"The passing of Captain James B. Clow removes another from among those whose names have been associated with the plumbing and heating business of earlier days, Joseph Bond and John Davis having preceded him.

"Having come in close relations with Captain Clow for over twelve years, first as traveling salesman and later as sales manager, I had innumerable opportunities of seeing and admiring those qualities which won to his side and kept there until death a host of friends.

"To mention his name to the old-timers in business was to speak the "open sesame" to their hearts. One said to me: "The captain has such a stock of personal magnetism that you can't help but love him."

"Day by day I analyzed that magnetism and found that it consisted of faith in his fellow man, whether a millionaire competitor or a basement stockman; his ability to unmask a hypocrite; his determination to do every one justice.

"Once when it seemed necessary to discharge a man for drinking, he came ot me with $10 and said: ‘See that ----‘s family gets this. If you need more, let me know, but don't you tell anybody.'

"He was the most unaffected of men—a keen sense of humor kept away self-conceit. He enjoyed the practical joke and every morning heard a new story from him.

"Until the last the two dominating passions of his life stayed with him—love of music and delight in books. He loved books for their contents; bindings did not appeal to him.

"I well remember laughing over an argument he and Joseph Jefferson had at Palm Beach in my presence about an edition of Stevenson. Mr. Jefferson kept running his hand over the vellum cover and fairly joyed in the hand-laid paper. Captain Clow insisted on discussing the contents of the volume and was inexpressibly disgusted to learn that the great actor had owned the book for five years and had not yet read "The New Arabian Nights."

"To a great many of us all over this land the news of Captain Clow's demise comes with all the force of a personal sorrow. He had in him those elements of integrity and humanitarianism which are too seldom found in businessmen.

"What he left in property is immaterial, but the world has been enriched by his life."





CLAYTON v. JAMES B. CLOW & SONS
212 F.Supp. 482 (1962)
United States District Court
N. D. Illinois, E. D.
December 10, 1962.

JAMES B. CLOW & SONS
In 1878, James B. Clow and his eldest son, William E., Sr. founded a business in plumbing fixtures which was incorporated in 1894. His other sons, Harry B. Clow, Sr., James C. Clow and Charles R. Clow, Sr. joined in the business before 1900.

William E. Clow, Sr. had two sons, William E., Jr. and Kent, and one daughter, Martha, married to Donald B. Douglas. Harry B. Clow, Sr. married Elizabeth McNally. They had one son, Harry B., Jr., and two daughters.

James C. Clow was married to Pearl Libby, who died in 1955. They had one child, James Beach Clow, who died in 1953.

William E. Clow, Sr. was president from 1908 to 1935, and chairman of the board until his death in 1942. William E. Clow, Jr., vice-president, became president in 1935.

 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Matilda Jane Ross Clow (1836 - 1903)*
 
 Children:
  William Ellsworth Clow (1860 - 1942)*
  Charles Rhodes Clow (1864 - 1910)*
  Harry Beach Clow (1869 - 1933)*
  James Culbertson Clow (1874 - 1914)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Rosehill Cemetery and Mausoleum
Chicago
Cook County
Illinois, USA
 
Created by: Ray
Record added: Dec 16, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 82024110
Capt James Beach Clow
Added by: Ray
 
Capt James Beach Clow
Added by: Ray
 
Capt James Beach Clow
Added by: Ray
 
 
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