Son of John Rowe, a copper miner, James worked for the Irish government for four years, then emigrated to America at age 24.
He settled in Albany, New York, and worked in railroads in New York for 10 years. He then became an inspector for the Hudson River Humane Society.
He later worked with music publishers such as the Trio Music, Waco, Texas; Anthony J. Showalter Music, Chattanooga, Tennessee; & James D. Vaughan Music, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee.
In his final years, Rowe moved to Vermont & worked with his daughter, an artist, writing greeting card verses.
Howard E. Smith was a little man whose hands were so knotted with arthritis that you would wonder how he could use them at all, much less play the piano…I can see them now, my father striding up and down humming a bar or two and Howard E. playing it and jotting it down.