Joseph Rowe, planter, legislator and physician, was born in Caswell County, North Carolina, on June 3, 1802. He moved to Texas with his family in 1833 and received a league and labor of land in San Augustine County. He was issued a certificate of character on December 3, 1834, by Vital Flores, alcalde of Nacogdoches. Rowe was a member of the House of Representatives in the First and Second congresses and was elected speaker of the Second. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the vice presidency of the republic on September 3, 1838. He was elected fourth vice president of the Philosophical Society of Texas when it was organized. In 1842 he was elected president of the board of trustees of the University of San Augustine. His home was three miles from San Augustine until late in 1845 or early in 1846, when he moved to a plantation on the Santiago Del Valle grant in Travis County. On June 28, 1860, he was appointed a trustee of the State Deaf and Dumb Institute (later Texas School for the Deaf). Rowe was first married to Lavina Burditt. On July 6, 1851, he married Mrs. Emily Davis. He was the father of four children. He died in Austin on March 18, 1866.