Skip to main content
Iowa Judicial Branch
Main Content

Ralph P. Lowe (1860-1867)

Justice

Ralph P. Lowe

Served on the Iowa Supreme Court from January 12, 1860 to December 31, 1867. For four years he was Chief Justice.

Born November 27, 1805 in Warren County, Ohio. He came to Muscatine, then known as Bloomington, in 1838, He was a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1844 where he took a prominent part and exercised a controlling influence. He later moved to Lee County where he was elected Judge of the District Court to succeed George H. Williams who later became Attorney General of the United States. He was District Judge for five years.

Justice Lowe is perhaps better known in Iowa history as Governor, being the only member of the Supreme Court in its entire history to achieve that distinction. He succeeded Governor Grimes and held the office for two years. The Indian disturbances in northern Iowa occurred during his term.

He was an active supporter of legislation for the advancement of public schools and an organizer of the State Orphan Asylum.

He moved to Washington, D,C., in 1874, where he died December 22, 1883.

© 2018 Iowa Judicial Branch. All Rights Reserved.