The Look family’s impact on the City of Lowell began in 1870 and continued on to today. The first member of the Look family in Lowell was John Quincy Look. J.Q. Look was in Lowell by 1870. He began his career working as a chemist and druggist. In 1885, he changed professions and worked as a bank teller and bookkeeper. He ended this career as a bank president. J.Q. Look’s real passion was in Masonry. He achieved the following: Master Mason, Grand Master, Worshipful Master, 33rd Degree Mason, and in 1916 he was the third in the nation with the greatest number of years as a Mason. Though he had moved away from Lowell he came home to be buried with his family in Oakwood Cemetery.
J. Q.’s brother Orson came to Lowell at some point after 1870. Orson and his wife died within months of each other in 1879 from consumption of the lungs, tuberculosis. He was a lawyer and upon his death, his law library and furniture were purchased by Renwick & Walker, attorneys from Grand Rapids.
In 1877 their father John, stepmother Adeline, and half-brother Dexter G. Look moved to Lowell. John Look and his first wife Charlotte had moved from New York to Farmers Creek Michigan and had four children. Charlotte became ill and went to New York thinking the climate would help but passed away while there. John and Adeline purchased the Mrs. U.B. Williams (Susan Snell-Williams) home at 314 S. Hudson. This house most recently was used by the Senior Neighbors and Gilda’s club.
Dexter G. Look, half-brother to J. Q. Look, entered the same profession as his brother, that of druggist. He clerked in his brother’s store for 6 years and went on to own his own drugstore at 214 W. Main. He worked as a druggist in Lowell for 52 years. At one time, with business partner Harry Paterson, he even opened a store in Alma. He married Evelyn Rickert in 1885 and they moved into their new house at 314 S. Hudson.
D.G. Look’s completely gave himself to the service of his community. He was a member and president of the School Board, leader on the Board of Trade, member and president of the Village Council, Chairman of the Centennial Committee, Director and Vice President of the City State Bank of Lowell, Treasurer of the Lowell Specialty Company, and member of the Masonic Temple, Oddfellows and Moose. During his time on the Village Council the municipal plant and City Hall were built. Serving beyond Lowell, he was Secretary on the Kent District No. 2 Draft Board during the first World War, President of both the Michigan State Recall Club and the Michigan State Pharmaceutical Association, and served as State Representative, serving for 5 sessions on the Ways and Means Committee. He was offered the House speakership, but turned it down.
Helen Look, only child of Dexter G. and Evelyn Look, married William Burger, a banker from Constantine. He tragically died in an accident ten years later and she married Frank Newell, founder of Newell Manufacturing Company. Later, after Frank’s death she married a close friend, Bernard Daley. Helen shared her parents’ love for the Lowell community. Upon her death in 1981 she bequeathed money to the Lowell Congregational Church and to the City of Lowell. The city’s portion has become the Look Memorial Fund. Since its beginning, the Look Memorial Fund has put 15% of the annual interest earnings back into the principal of the fund, and distributes the rest of the interest, never touching the principal. Many groups and projects have benefitted over the years including the Look Memorial Fire Station and the Lowell Area Historical Museum.
Through their entrepreneurism, community involvement and service, and representation in the state legislature, the Look family has served Lowell well in the past. With Helen’s gift to Lowell, the Look family name will continue to be remembered for generosity and service.
D.G. Look Drug Store
John Quincy Look
Dexter G. Look
Sign in Museum