Memorial Walk

Edward Lowe

1920 – 1995
Founder of the Edward Lowe Foundation

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Edward Lowe

Born in 1920 in St. Paul, Minn., Lowe grew up in Cass County, Mich. In 1946, after serving in the Navy, he joined his father’s company, which sold various commodities including industrial absorbents. Among these was a type of clay granule made from fuller’s earth. In 1947 Lowe saw a new market opportunity after giving some fuller’s earth to a neighbor to use as cat box filler.

Two years later he purchased his father’s business and devoted himself to building a national market for Kitty Litter, a simple product that sparked an entirely new industry. By the time he sold the clay division of Edward Lowe Industries (ELI) in 1990, the company had grown to about 600 employees and $165 million in annual sales.

Lowe also had a talent for finding valuable property. Among the 11,238 acres he purchased was Big Rock Valley (BRV), which today serves as headquarters for the foundation. Comprised of approximately 2,000 acres of woodland, farmland, prairie and wetland, BRV not only provides a campus for many of the foundation’s activities but also as an
outdoor learning laboratory for researchers.

In addition to his business prowess, Lowe was also known for his efforts to encourage entrepreneurship. Among these is the launch of the Edward Lowe Foundation in 1985, which provides recognition, research and educational activities to support entrepreneurs, with a focus on second-stage companies.

“Present”

We’re here, you see
Not just to be
A plant not rooted,
A rootless tree.
Engrave the present,
Relate to the past,
Tomorrow, though fog bound,
Will arrive at last.
Firm the footing
Inlaced with steel
For those tomorrow
Its wisdom feel.
So past and present
Have gone at best
Forever tomorrow
Will be laid to rest.