Lowell D. Smith (LD) worked hard all his life, at the age of 90 he  was still interested in getting a job.  When he walked, he walked very fast, even in his old age.  He was blessed with good physical and mental  health all his life.  He knew early in his life that he did not want to be a farmer.  He "ran away from the Iowa farm" when he was sixteen and went to Chicago to get a job.  One of his first jobs was for Sears and Robuck.  He worked wrapping packages.  It was in Chicago that he met and married and began his family.

    He was not a religious man, as far a church was concerned, but he was a good man.  He became interested in the rubber business under the guidance of his wife's uncle, Glenn Willis, a chemist, who   had discovered a new sponge rubber process.  It wasn't long before Lowell started dreaming of starting his own business.  He did, and he was successful at it. 

 Everyone called him LD.   He opened his rubber company in Derby CT. in the 1930's.  It kept his wife and family of six children quite well even during the depression.

He had a passion for cars.   According to Lois (his daughter) Buicks seemed to be his favorite.  He had a Huttmoble and other touring cars.   He bought a 1936  Ford with a rumble seat for his daughter Doris. He liked to pile the whole family into the car and go on a driving  vacation.  One year (in the 1930's) they all drove out to Yellow Stone National Park from Connecticut.  

He sold the rubber company in CT and went to Cedar Rapids IA in 1942.  There he founded the Midland Rubber Company.  During W W  II the company had contracts with the government.  All Lowell's children went west with him, relocating in Iowa with their wives/husbands and children.  Of course he had jobs for everyone.    Shortly after the war (II) the rubber company failed and was closed.  My grandfather and grandmother and their one remaining dependent child (Carol), moved to La Port Indiana where he found a job.  After a short while later he moved again to Pittsburgh PA.  He became manager of General Tire Company in a suburb of Pittsburgh.  Carol Darlene Smith died in Greensbrough PA in 1956.   Lowell retired from General Tire Company  and he and his wife moved to sunny California.  He retired  but he never quit working.  He was an engineer-consultant for a while, as he got older he managed apartments, then he worked clerking in a plumbing supply business.  

The last ten years of his life he lived with Doris (his daughter) and Edward  Hession. Leaving California when they did, he moved to MO and then to GA. He was mentally alert into his 90's.  He had a passion for baseball and the stock market.   He died in Rome Georgia in 1988.  He is buried beside his wife Doris in West Covina CA. 

Doris Rowland met Lowell D. Smith in Chicago.  She told me that one of the reasons she fell in love with him was because he was such a good roller skater.  They used to skate together as a couple and I understand they were very good.

My grandmother was an expert seamstress,  a talent she inherited from her mother, Rella.  Doris Hession, her daughter, remembers how one year her mother made six Easter coats for her daughters and a couple other young girls who were staying with the family at the time.  The coats were black with a cape attached and the capes were lined in pink, green, blue, yellow etc., different colors for each girl.  Doris Hession recalls that her mother could take a dress apart and reuse the material for a different dress. 

  She loved all children.  She took care of other children when the need arose.  Edith and Marilyn Toye (children of her sister- Margaret Rowland Toye) came to live with the family when their mother died.  Shirley and Delores Cook (children of Lowell's sister- Evelyn Smith Cook) lived with the family for a while.  Richard and Arlene Smith (Children of Floyd Smith) lived with the family after their mother Violet died.  At the age of sixty-five she was still helping with children.  A young couple, both school teachers, had a premature baby.  It required special care.  It was inpossable to find any place that would care for the special needs baby.  The mother had to get back to work.  She asked my grandmother to care for little Scottie and she did.  Of course, he thrived. 

She moved from Chicago in about 1912, to Connecticut, where her husband started his own business.  All of her children were born and raised in CT.  In 1942 the whole family moved to Cedar Rapids Iowa where her husband started the Midland Rubber Co.   The company failed after WW II.  In 1945-46 the family generally went their separate ways to find employment after the war.   Sonny (Lowell Jr.)  went back to Connecticut because his wife was from Connecticut and wanted to returned to where her family lived.  Yvonne and her husband, Tom VanEtten  went back to CT too.  Doris and Ed Hession moved to Moline IL.  Lois married Robert Seely and stayed in Iowa.  Doris, her husband Lowell and Carol their youngest daughter moved to LaPorte Indiana.  After a short time they moved again to the Pittsburgh PA area.  They stayed there  until  Lowell retired.  They moved Los Angles CA where Doris and Ed Hession had moved.   Doris Rowland  Smith died in California at the age of 76.       


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