Ed M. Rowe

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Edward Morris Rowe was a poet, professor of English, and community servant.

Rowe was born on December 9, 1878, in Spanish Fork, Utah. He attended Brigham Young Academy in Provo, Utah, from 1897 to 1900. After serving a mission to the British Isles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he worked as principal of Spanish Fork High School. In 1912, he moved his family to Ogden, Utah, where he became the superintendent and parole officer of the Utah State Industrial School. He later moved his family back to Provo so he could complete a degree from Brigham Young University. While working toward the degree he would earn in 1923, he began teaching in the English department. He did graduate work at BYU, Utah State Agricultural College, the University of Chicago, and the University of Wales at Cardiff. In 1928 he was appointed assistant professor at BYU in the English department. Seven years later he became a full professor. He retired in 1949.

Rowe was an expert on the life and writings of William Wordsworth. He published a collection of his own poems entitled Guests for Friends. His poem “Oh Sons of Zion” was set to music by Robert Manookin and included in the 1948 edition of the Hymnbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The words to the hymn were adjusted and included in the 1985 Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as “O Saints of Zion” (#39).

He served on the city council in Spanish Fork and organized the Sons of Utah Pioneers in Provo. He was county chairman of the Republican Party and a delegate to its national conventions.

He died on November 13, 1951. Rowe and his wife, Minnie Melvina Barry, were the parents of six children. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.