When the federal census was taken in 1870, Harriet was recorded as a 10-year-old, residing in the household of her mother in Dunbar Twp., near Connellsville, Fayette County. The census-taker noted that she had "attended school within the year."
In 1880, 20-year-old Harriet worked as a servant in the household of Perry and Eliza (Shaw) Gaddis in Dunbar Twp. No. 1, Fayette County.
Soonafter, Harriet married Thomas "Jefferson" Lowe (May 6, 1853-1927), the son of Jefferson and Sarah A.E. (Warman) Lowe of Hopwood, Fayette County.
Together, they bore an only daughter, Anna M. Beckett.
When Jefferson was a 16-year-old boy, in January 1870, his father, a Civil War veteran known locally as "a man somewhat famous for his strength and fighting qualities ... [who] was not a quarrelsome man when sober," was killed in a fight with Henry Doran of Uniontown. The details of the coroner's inquest were widely covered in the Uniontown Genius of Liberty newspaper. One can only imagine the effect of this tragedy on young Jefferson.
Said the Morning Herald: "Mrs. Lowe was beloved by all whose good fortune it was to know her and was a particular favorite with children. She was a member of the Second Presbyterian Church but in later years was prevented by infirmities from taking an active part in affairs of the church."
Harriet led an active social life. Some of her comings and goings were covered in Hopwood Chronicle newspaper, published by her cousin, William A. and Bertha (Ingles) Stone. In October 1907, Harriet is known to have traveled to Cumberland, Allegany County, MD to visit her sister, Hester Wortman. She also went to Fairchance for a visit around the same time.
Two years later, on Feb. 22, 1909, she went to a 36th birthday party for friend Maggie Barnes in Hopwood. Attendees at the party included a long list of local residents, including some of Harriet's cousins: Mrs. Richard Varndell, Mrs. Jennie Miller, Mrs. and Mrs. Frank Goff, Mrs. John Hebb, Mrs. Isaac Murphy, Mrs. Mary Minor, Mrs. Lizzie Hutchinson, Mrs. Dora Crawford, Mrs. Will Trader, Mrs. Charles Carnes, Mrs. Elizabeth Morgan, Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Goff, Mrs. Jane Parks, Mrs. J.W. Davis, Mrs. Albert Rankin, Mr. and Mrs. S.T. Goff, Mrs. Altha White, Mrs. Laura Roby, Mrs. Minnie Doyle, Pearl Miller, Olive Lowe, Maude Goff, Ruth Murphy, Hazel Weltner, Wessie Goff, Harry Barnes and B.S. Barnes.
In 1923, the Lowes were living in Hopwood when Harriet was mentioned in the obituary of her brother, James Valentine Minerd, of Dunbar.
Harriet outlived her husband by 18 years, and moved into the home of her married daughter Anna at 12 Shady Lane, Uniontown. The two women are known to have spent the winter months of 1937 and 1938 in Miami.
Harriet passed away at age 85, said the Connellsville Daily Courier, "after an illness of two weeks." The cause of death was senility, complicated by hardening of the arteries.
An obituary in the Morning Herald noted that she "was a cousin of the late Rev. David E. Minerd of Dunbar." Pallbearers were Thomas B. Jaquette, Clyde B. Miller, William J. Lynch, Garrett Burns, Clarence Barkley and Joe L. Dickson.
Harriet was laid to rest at Sylvan Heights Cemetery in Uniontown beside her husband.
Copyright © 2000, 2005-2006, 2022 Mark A. Miner