Tuesday, March 9, 2010

EWGS Presidents: Helen Elizabeth Osborne Rowe

This is the twentieth in the series on the Presidents of EWGS leading up to the 75th anniversary in 2010. See the previous posts on Samuel Pool Weaver, Leora Cookingham Thiel, Susan Marie West Jack, Ruth Churchill Austin, Alfred Denman, Florence Ballou Brown, Harriet Jefferson Pinkham, Mary Elizabeth Dow Maltbie, Achsah Maltbie Rawlings, Lee DeGolyer Patchen, Susie Elliott Faubion, Edith Webb Nelson, Carrie Teats Lartigue, Guy Alfred Clumpner, Grace Ellis Woodward, Mabel Rue Frederick, Nell Hartman Peel, Edwin Allan Poole and Mabel Enid Rice Conrad.

Helen Elizabeth Osborne was born in Denver, Colorado May 2, 1909, the only child of George Washington Osborne and Nellie Drucilla Hardenbrook. Helen was living in Medford, Oregon when she met Newton Dow Rowe. They were married in Yreka, California July 8, 1939. Dow was a food broker in Medford and Helen served as bookkeeper. They continued their business after moving to Spokane in 1948. They owned and operated Empire Cheese Company, a distributorship for Borden Products. Dow died August 18, 1984 and was cremated.

Helen was EWGS President in 1966 and 1967. She organized the Library Helpers at the library and was vitally concerned that assistance be available to researchers there. She served as a Regent of Spokane Garry Chapter of the Daughters of American Revolution, was a member of the National Society of Colonial Dames XVII Century, the Order of Eastern Star, the Klix Kamera Klub, and the Dean's Guild of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. In the Spokesman-Review's December 30, 1979 Today's Living Section is a big article on Helen and her helping out at the library.

Helen died July 31, 1988 at Alderwood Manor and was cremated.

Comments by Carrie Lartigue: "1966 Mrs. Newton (Helen) Rowe. Helen was always vastly interested in Patriotic Organizations and became enthused with genealogy through work on lineage charts. She has helped dozens to join the DAR. It was she who started the HELPERS program...some experienced people to be at the Genie Room at the library each Wednesday (later changed to Thursday). They are to assist beginners in getting started, learn sources, etc. Now this service is still being offered. Carrie was one of the early helpers...and worked for nine years. A beautiful way to meet others of the same hobby and great satisfaction when you hear them exclaim, 'Eureka! I found it!'"

Editor Note: I started as a "Gene Helper" in the library in 1993. The library was in temporary quarters then in the old J.C. Penney's building kitty-corner from the present library while the new library was being built. My sister and I manned the second Thursday evenings each month from 6 to 9 PM when the library closed. In 1994 when the new library building opened, we moved across the street to the third floor of the new library building. I continued as a "Gene Helper" for five years and then got a chance to do research for EWGS.

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