Edgar married Frances Walker Hunter, born 2/4/1878, of
Tennessee, in 1908.
An editorial in the "Baltimore"
and "Richmond Christian Advocate" of June 4,
1914, said in part: "We most cordially congratulate
Rev E H Rowe upon the completion of 25 yrs as the head
of Southern Seminary. During that period Dr Rowe has rendered
faithful and efficient service in the field of education,
and so wisely administered the affairs of the institution
over which he presides that it has grown to be one of
the largest and most prosperous schools for young ladies
in the State. "The pupils of the Southern Seminary
come from every section of the country, and its patrons
render most unqualified endorsement of its work. The commencement
exercises of this year (1914) were of special interest,
marking the closing of the forty-seventh session and commemorating
the twenty-fifth year of Dr Rowe's administration. Addresses
were delivered by Dr Joshua Stansfield, pastor of the
Meridian-Street Methodist Church of Indianapolis, and
by Sen Robert M LaFollete of Wisconsin."
Edgar and Frances' son
John Rufus Hunter Rowe was born 11/12/1914 and daughter Frances
Hunter Rowe was born on 4/4/1918.
In 1922, Dr Rowe sold Southern Seminary, and,
at the Annual Conference of Virginia in 1922, addressed the
presiding Bishop (W A Candler, of Georgia) as follows:
"Though I have severed my connection with
Southern Seminary, I have not retired from the field of education.
I have mapped out work enough to fill my time even though I
shall live to the green old age of my mother, who died in her
eighty-fourth year; and, whether so or not,
it has seemed to me more important than any other work of the
The Bishop accordingly appointed Dr Rowe to
such a relationship in the Conference as would enable him to
continue his work of education in a new field, wherupon he (Dr
Rowe) retired to his plantation---"Holly Hill"---to
give himself to the task of working out the principles of his
proposed reforms in education, and for the publication of the
same under the title "A New System of Complete Education"
The proposed reforms embraced in the "New System of Complete
Education" were first definitely set forth by Dr Rowe at
the Annual Virginia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
South, in 1916, in the following resolutions:
"While rejoicing in the inauguration of
a Conference-wide evangelistic movement, which we heartily endorse,
we are coming, at the same time, to see more and more clearly
that Christ came not simply to 'pluck brands from the burning,'
but rather to build up an order of spiritual life and character
that will exemplify the spirit and ideals of the Sermon on the
Mount. And since the chief hope for such a type of character
is out of the first and unspoiled life of childhood and youth;
therefore, "Resolved, First, That we will give ourselves
to the spiritual education of the young life of the Church through
all of the Church organizations, especially through the Sunday
"Second, That we will endeavor to influence all institutions
of learning to establish a distinct department of spiritual
education * * * which shall have for its great aim the systematic
development and training of the spiritual nature * * * using
the same definite, sustained and philosophic methods which are
being used by our modern educational system for the development
of the physical and intellectual nature * * * that the
faculties of the soul may thus be given an equal chance with
the mental and physical to come to their full perfection."
(See Virginia Conference Annual of 1916)
No further action was taken on this matter by
the Virginia Conference during the next 4 or 5 yrs, notwithstanding
the fact that the question was constantly kept to the front
by Mr Rowe, who regularly presented resolutions and memorials
touching the matter to Annual and General Conferences.
The idea made progress, however, and won the approval of many
leading educators and churchmen.
In 1921, the Virginia Conference definitely placd its approval
on Mr Rowe's proposed reforms, and memorialized the General
Conference of 1922, in the following words:
"The Virginia Conference memorializes the
General Conference to create a commission of five or more, for
investigations and recommendation for such a reform in the existing
system of education as will give to the spiritual nature of
man a place of as much prominence at least as the intellectual,
and will provide that the education of the spiritual nature
shall begin at the same time as that of the intellectual, and
to co-ordinate to the end of the course of education. Second,
that the Methodist Episcopal Church, and other denominations,
be requested to co-operate by the appointment of like commissions."
A still more notable advance of the educational
idea was made in the Annual Virginia Conference of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, South, held in Norfolk in 1922, when the Conference
created the commission for which Dr Rowe had so long contended,
placing thereon such eminent educatiors as Dr R E Blackwell,
President of Randolph-Macon College; Dr Dice Anderson, President
of Randolph-Macon Woman's College, and Dr J W Moore.