Born in Haverford West, Wales in 1810, John Stevenet Clow studied art and then left Wales to emigrate to Nova Scotia. There he married Agnes Louise Redman in 1831 and lived with her at her farm for a number of years. The farm, in Schubenackedy (Shubenacadia) was sold and the family moved to Dartmouth across the harbor from Halifax. The family had a total of 8 live children, with Richard Headley Clow being the last of these, being born May 25, 1847. Two years later in 1849, Agnes died while giving birth to a 9th child.
Following Agnes’ death in 1849, the family moved to Boston. The passenger list for the Brig Belle in 1853 shows a portion of the family’s move including that of Richard Clow.
John Stevenet Clow worked for three years in a patent office copying documents and then worked in a photograph gallery coloring photographs. (An enlargement of this attending photo shows his reddened cheeks). While in Boston, John Clow married for a second time to a woman named
Sarah Ellis Leighton. There do not appear to be any children from this union.
In 1855, he left Boston with his wife and at least one daughter, Bertha, stopping in Erie, PA to see two older sons, Thomas and John Sherwin (Sher). Young Richard was left in Boston with his older sister (nearly 20 years his senior), Agnes Louise and her husband, Alexander Cruikshank.
John Stevenet Clow settled in Madison, Wis. where he had a small art gallery while his wife and daughter worked in a small shirt factory which they had started. He was naturalized in 1856 to be a US citizen and at the close of the Civil War was living in Milwaukee, Wis. with a short sojourn in McGregor, Iowa.
In the summer of 1870 he moved to Minnesota and lived with his son John Sherwin and other son Thomas for a period of time on the farms and then bought his own farm near Lyle in Mower Country. He paid 600$ for the farm. The next year he sold the farm for $1000 and moved for a short time to Austin, Minn.
In 1872 he picked up again and moved to San Francisco where he worked a coloring photographs for McMillan Bros. but was actually supported by his wife who had a dress making shop. Near the end of his life he was in a home for the aged and was supported by his children. He died in the San Francisco area in 1892.