JOHN W. LOW First Dallas WWI Casuality

John Wesley Low was the first boy from Dallas County that sacrificed, and gave his life that the world might be free for Democracy” so it was written in one of the history books on World War I. But to my grandmother, Zelma Inez (Low) Bucy he was an older brother and to my great-grandparents, Calvin and Ina Bell (Rylie) Low, their oldest son.

Pvt. John W. Low

Pvt. John W. Low, First Dallas WW I Casuality

John was born in Glory, Texas, which is in Lamar County. According to most records, his date of birth was October 10, 1895. However, I did find on the 1900 census the year was 1894. The Lows were living in Ellis County according to the 1900 census, but they were back in the Dallas area by 1905.

The Dallas City Directories show the Lows moving each year.

John W. Low had formerly served in the United States Navy, before volunteering for service on May 1, 1917. He was assigned to Company F, 16th Infantry, 1st Division. He received training at Ft. Logan. Pvt. Low, with other members of this division, received overseas orders in the early part of 1918, going to France. Immediately, they saw active service on the front lines. Pvt. Low was killed on May 11, 1918, by a high explosive shell near Bois De Fontaine.

His remains were laid to rest in the cemetery of Broyes, France. But almost four years later on Saturday January 14, 1922, his remains were brought back to Dallas, where his body lay in state on the main floor of City Hall. On Sunday, the casket was placed on a caisson, drawn by six coal-black horses.

There was a parade from City Hall to the Greenwood Cemetery, but that still wasn’t the end for Pvt. John W. Low…On Monday, May 30, 1927, the City of Dallas moved his body for the final time to Forest Lawn Cemetery on Harry Hines at Walnut Hill, where he now rests in a place of honor in the American Legion part of the cemetery.

There were several stories in both the Dallas Morning News and The Daily Times Herald covering his death.

By Sue Bucy for Proud Heritage, Vol III by Dallas County Pioneer Association.