Pioneer History by Richard C. Schmal

The Love Story

(from the Oct. 29, 1986, Lowell Tribune, page 17)

Looking west from the intersection of Commercial Avenue and Washington Street in Lowell, this was the scene, circa 1900. There was a business at the site of the present 'triangle park' between Washington and Commercial Avenue -- the larger building seen there was the office of John Love and A.S. Hull, partners in a hay business. The large barn in the upper right was the William Love hay barn, with attached horsebarn, on the south side of Washington St. near the railroad tracks. William Love's office is on the south side of Commercial Avenue, to the left in the photo. The building in the foreground is a construction shack, and the two homes owned by William Love can be seen nestled in the trees near the hay barn.

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Once a busy enterprise in the west side business district of Lowell, the Love Hay Company has been gone for many years. There was a small office building near the railroad on the north side of Commercial Ave., a wagon scale just to the rear, and a large red barn along Washington St.

Samuel Love, was born in Northern Ireland in 1831, one of six children of William and Alice (Estler) Love. He was trained from childhood as a weaver, but after working at the trade for a few years, decided to go to sea, where he was rapidly promoted to a command.

In the fall of 1852, in company with his brother James, he left Ireland to settle at Detroit, Mich. Samuel became a member of the crew on the steamer 'Cleveland' and became the second mate.

He and James moved to Door County, Wisconsin, in 1854 and for 17 years worked for the lumber industry during winter and sailed on the Great Lakes during the summer season. Tragedy struck in 1870 when brother James drowned in a shipwreck.

Saddened by his brother's passing, Samuel moved that same year to Lake County where he purchased 260 acres of good farm land north of the present site of Creston and farmed for six years. He then moved to Leroy, in Winfield Township, where he operated a general store and was the postmaster. He also operated a hay business there, and along with his sons, John and William, had a large hay barn at Creston.

During 1881, when the railroad was beginning regular train schedules on the Monon Line, the firm shipped 25,000 tons of hay. The old hay barn at Creston was west of the tracks, across from the depot. The Creston depot is still in the village but has been moved from the original location onto provate property.

Samuel Love was married in 1850 to Ellen Jane Mundell, daughter of Alexander and Elizabeth Mundell, also of Ireland. Their eight children were: Elizabeth, John E., William, Samuel A., Mary A., James H., Peter K., and Rosa.

The oldest son, John, came to Lowell in 1893, was in the hay business by himself until 1900, and then went into partnership with A.S. Hull. Their hay barn was near the Cedar Creek bridge on Main St.

John Love became cashier of the State National Bank of Lowell in 1903 and had special interests in farming and education.

He married Martha E. Jones (born in 1862) in 1878, the daughter of Perry and Mary (Gilson) Jones. John and Martha Love were the parents of five children: Mollie Smith, Grace Seyfarth, Mabel, Bessie May Roberts and Alice E. Randolph. Bessie May became the wife of Victor K. Roberts, an attorney in Lowell for many years. Her sister, Alice, married Clayton Randolph, World War I veteran and well-known auto dealer in downtown Lowell.

William, the second son of Samuel and Ellen Love, was born in 1858, and was living in Leroy when he married in 1886 and moved to Lowell with his bride, a granddaughter of one of Lake County's early pioneers, Peter Surprise.

She was named Lovisa and was one of the nine children of Oliver and Carlinda (Thompson) Surprise, who was born in 1868 at the old family homestead near the early settlement of Pleasant Grove, northeast of the present site of Lowell.

William and Lovisa purchased property that was part of the land owned by early Lowell business man John W. Viant, including the site of the present Lake Tire Co. just west of the railroad tracks on Commercial Ave.

They had four children: Ellen, who married Willam H. Nichols; Edward, who passed away as a small boy; Neil (1894-1971) who farmed in West Creek; and Harold Love, who was born in 1899 and is a well-known retired business man, associated with the Lowell National Bank for many years. In 1921 Harold married Edith Griesel, a popular teacher in the one-room schoolhouses at the village of Egypt south of Lowell and at Robinson Prairie to the east.

William Love operated a hay business near his home on Commercial Ave. when the large red barn was a landmark along Washington St. near the railroad, torn down about 1940.

John Jones, assistant to William Love, also lived there.

He was born in 1875, a descendent of early settler Henry Jones of the Jones School House area of the old village of Pleasant Grove.

William Love passed away in 1929, and in 1931 John Jones married his widow, Lovisa, and carried on the hay business. He was also the owner of a stockyard near the present site of Globe Mfg. Co. and shipped livestock into Chicago by rail. He passed away in 1946.

The following was written by Ethel Vinnedge of Creston: "Will and John Love owned a huge hay barn at Creston, which was a large shipping point for midwest hay. Thomas Vinnedge had a hay scale, and Obadiah G. Vinnedge operated a horse drawn hay press. In the early 1880's Adelbert Palmer built a grain elevator."

The small frame office for the Love Hay business at Lowell was torn down in the early 1930's and the original filling station building was constructed on the property near the railraod. At first a small brick building with a canopy typical of early gas stations, it has been remodeled several times and was enlarged. Some of the operators of the station before it became a retail tire store were Hugh Hutton, Fred Wood, Forest Felder, Earl Beeler, and Oscar Carlson.

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More information has been received about the old hotel building on the west side of Lowell, subject of the 'Pioneer History' column in September 1986: Iva Nichols, for many years a Lowell business woman, purchased the business from the Henry Heiser's in the 1930's and sold it in 1948 to Mr. and Mrs. Peter Kyle of Chicago, Ill.

Last updated on July 13, 2007.

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