The Washingtonville Tavern


My Aunt Mary recently passed to my father a collection of family photos. While many were some I have seen before, this image was entirely new and entirely wonderful. On first glance, I didn’t recognize the setting or the vast majority of the men and boys, but two characters stood out. On the far left is my third great grandfather Michael Lowry and next to him stands my second great grandfather, also Michael Lowry in the white shirt and suspenders.

Upon showing the image to my dad and commenting how incredible it was, he stated that Michael (which one we don’t know) owned a tavern in Washingtonville, a small hamlet just a few blocks north of Leetonia in Columbiana County, Ohio.

I’ve searched a number of places to locate more information on this tavern, including studying Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, county directories, a history of Leisy Beer, and newspapers. Nothing about Michael Lowry indicated that he owned a tavern until I showed my dad the picture. I am unable to locate more but I know there’s a story here so I will keep digging!

The Washingtonville Tavern, photograph, taken in Washingtonville, Columbiana [or possibly Mahoning], Ohio, in early 1900s; digital image, scan of original, scanned in 2017 by Joseph Lowry; privately held by Patrick Lowry, [address for private use], Poland, Ohio; Five adult men and four young boys standing in front of tavern with Leisy Beer signs; Provenance is Michael Lowry to Charles Lowry to Mary McCaffrey to Patrick Lowry.

Ralph Lowry: A Fisher(y) of Men

In my quest to document the life of Ralph Lowry, my first cousin, 3x removed and the U.S. Government’s chief engineer on many Western dam projects, I found this newspaper article posted above.

In part, it reads that in 1949, a plaque was placed at the Coleman National Fish Hatchery to recognize Ralph’s part in the creation of the fishery. Located about 35 miles from the Shasta Dam project that Ralph also built, the hatchery was created because the dam impacted the ability of the salmon to reach their natural spawning grounds.

Thanks to the power of the internet, I emailed Brett Galyean, the Acting Project Leader who runs the hatchery, to inquire about the plaque. He provided these two photos, showing the plaque next to the flag pole in front of the match hatchery building and a close-up.

My thanks to Brett for the extra effort. Another piece of Lowry history found!

“Plaque Honors S.M. Engineer,” The [San Mateo, CA] Times, 22 Dec 1949, pg 7, col 1; digital image, ( : accessed 14 Aug 2016),

Brett Galyean, Coleman National Fish Hatchery, Anderson, California, [e-mail for private use], to Joseph Lowry, 16 Aug 2016, “Plaque at Coleman Hatchery,” Local Folders: Genealogy : Lowry Genealogy; privately held by Joe Lowry, [e-mail &address for private use], Sterling, VA, 20165.

Photo of the Day – May 15, 2016

Lowry6_0020I wonder what the occasion was for my Uncle Chuck to be dressed in a tuxedo with a slim bow tie. Graduation? Prom? Standing in the lawn of 607 Mansell Drive, the family home with my great grandmother Margaret Pepperney Lowry. Assuming this was later in high school for Chuck, it puts this photo around 1966.

Charles Lowry and Margaret Mary Pepperney Lowry (1902-1980), photograph, taken at 607 Mansell Drive, Youngstown, Ohio, around 1966; digital image, photocopy of original, scanned in 2013 by Joseph Lowry; privately held by Mary McCaffrey, [address for private use], Canton, Ohio; Young man in tuxedo standing next to older woman in frock coat; Provenance is Mary Pepperney Lowry to Charles Lowry to Mary McCaffrey.

Edward Lowry, Lawman

I’ve previously written about my great grand uncle Edward Lowry, wondering what happened to him after 1904 and what he did in the last few years of his life. In the 14 months since I wrote that piece, I’ve discovered quite a bit. At the turn of the 20th century, Edward was living in Republic, Ferry County, Washington. He went to Washington to seek work and perhaps a fortune as a miner, but by 1900, he was was the Democratic candidate for sheriff of Ferry County in what was the first election since the county separated from Stevens County. No doubt utilizing the same skills of politicking that he used as a labor organizer in Colorado, he won the 1900 election for sheriff by a count of 677 to 593, beating Republican A.E. Stewart.
Click to enlarge
Lowry took the role well, as various newspaper accounts from the early 1900’s depict him chasing after escaped inmates, seizing sheep due to a failure to pay taxes, rounding up murderers and investigating robberies, as was the case in October 1901 as reported by the Spokane Spokesman-Review. As it turns out, Republic resident and rancher Frank O’Brien’s wife was keen on leaving the family fortune in the hen house instead of the bank. While employee Michael Smith was cleaning out the chicken coop, he discovered the O’Brien fortune and pocketed it, setting off by hired carriage and then train. Sheriff Lowry took the complaint and directed that a wire report be sent before setting off in search his fugitive. That wire report made the difference as a train was stopped by Canadian lawmen in British Columbia with Smith aboard. With some of the gold still in his possession upon arrest, Smith was brought back to the Republic jail to face his accusers.

Just two and a half months later, Sheriff Lowry had the dubious distinction of losing several of his inmates who escaped by sawing through the wooden jail bars. The Spokesman-Review and San Francisco Call both depict the tale of how Lowry recaptured the fugitives. Not realizing they were gone for several hours after the escape, he was quick to pick up their trail. He located two in the town of Wauconda, 16 miles to the west, while two more were reported to be in Curlew 20 miles to the north. It was the two in Curlew who were up to no good, committing their second felony of the day (the first being their escape from jail). When Lowry entered the saloon in which the two men were reported to be, he found the barkeeper and patrons lined up along the rail being robbed!

The warm Washington summer of 1903 saw Lowry climbing Gibraltar Mountain, just a few miles outside Republic. Someone had discovered a grisly scene, with the bones of a man and cougar lying near one another. From the evidence at the scene, it appears to have been a terrible struggle that occurred over a year prior. The gun was quite rusted and the remains very much decayed. Lowry’s role as sheriff was to identify the victim. The San Jose, California Evening News found the story so terrific that they carried it on their July 31 front page.

Lowry’s final appearance as a man of law and order in readily available newspapers is February 24, 1904. Again, he was doing what he had done several times before in bringing back a fugitive, Everett Wilson. Wilson shot a man named Dan Bethune, although for what cause we aren’t certain. Of interest to the reader, Wilson was to await the result of Bethune’s wound in jail. Translating the parlance and with the medical knowledge of 1904, Bethune was probably a dead man walking.

Lastly, we also now know why records and newspaper mentioned of Edward become more difficult to locate after 1905. In early October 1905, Edward and his son Ralph set off from Republic to Phoenix, Arizona. At some point in his life, Edward contracted tuberculosis and believed that the dry desert air would be good for him. Unfortunately, he died on Monday, October 9, 1905 after just a single night in town. His obituary in the October 12, 1905 Arizona Republican reads:

Funeral of E. LAWRY [sic] – The funeral of E. Lawry will be held this afternoon at 4 o’clock at the undertaking parlors of Easterling & Whitney. Mr. Lawry came here last Sunday, very ill of consumption, and died Monday morning. His home was in Republic, Wash., where his wife and other relatives now are. A son sixteen years old accompanied him here. He was quite a prominent man in his county having served two years as sheriff. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles which society will have charge of his funeral.

Lowry was 49 years old when he died. He’s buried in Phoenix.

An Illustrated History of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan Counties, State of Washington, Volume 1, (Washington, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1904), 446; digital images, Google Books ( : accessed 30 Nov 2015).

“Cash Taken From Cache,” The Spokesman-Review, 10 Oct 1901, p. 1, col. 2; image copy. Google News ( : accessed 30 Nov 2015), Google News Archive.

“Sawed To Liberty,” The Spokesman-Review, 29 Dec 1901, p. 1, col. 6; image copy. Google News ( : accessed 30 Nov 2015), Google News Archive.

“Fugitive Prisoners Are Captured,” San Fransisco Call, 29 Dec 1901, p. 20, col. 5; image copy. University of California, Riverside ( : accessed 30 Nov 2015), California Digital Newspaper Collection.

“Bones Of Man And Beast Are Found On Mountain,” The (San Jose) Evening News, 31 Jul 1903, p. 1, col. 1-2; image copy. Google News ( : accessed 30 Nov 2015), Google News Archive. [Note: The image is indexed for 30 Jul 1903, but the article appeared in the 31 Jul 1903 newspaper.]

“Late News From Republic,” The Spokesman-Review, 24 Feb 1904, p. 4, col. 4; image copy. Google News ( : accessed 30 Nov 2015), Google News Archive. [Note: The image is indexed for 21 Feb 1904, but the article appeared in the 24 Feb 1904 newspaper.]

“Funeral for E. Lawry,” The Arizona Republican, 12 Oct 1905, p. 5, col. 3; image copy. ( : accessed 30 Nov 2015).

Photo of the Day – July 5, 2015

If I had to take a guess, I’d say this photo was taken in May 1987 for my sister Caroline’s fifth birthday. The location is the backyard of the first house we grew up at in Youngstown, 233 West Dennick. Mr. and Mrs. Booth’s yellow ranch is behind us. As you can see in the photo, we had a swing set and picnic table as well as a sandbox and garden. Dennick had a great backyard for little kids. The people I can identify in the picture include Caroline (standing on the bench), cousin Laura Lowry (center, at the end of the table), Joe Lowry (me! In the blue shirt and white collar), cousin Mike Lowry to my left and probably one or two of the Muir boys closet to the photographer.

Caroline Lowry with friends and cousins, photograph, taken in the backyard of 233 W Dennick Ave in Youngstown, Ohio around 1987; image taken by unknown photographer; privately held by Patrick Lowry, [address for private use], Poland, Ohio. Caroline Lowry celebrating her fourth birthday with family and friends.

Photo of the Day – May 27, 2015

My niece Amelia being held by her Uncle Joe.
Joseph Biden, Amelia Nagy, Jon Nagy and Caroline Lowry-Nagy, photograph, taken at the Golden Dawn Restaurant in Youngstown, Ohio on 4 Oct 2010; digital image taken by Patrick Lowry; privately held by Patrick Lowry, [address for private use], Poland, Ohio. Vice President Joe Biden holding Amelia Nagy while parents Jon and Caroline Nagy look on.

Photo of the Day – March 23, 2015

I can’t put a specific date or location on this photo, but my grandmother Jean Groucutt Lowry and her mother-in-law Margaret Pepperney Lowry look to be on a road trip. They probably stopped for gas or a quick bite to eat and one of their husbands asked for a quick photo. Neither looks particularly happy to be posing for the camera.
Mary Margaret Pepperney Lowry (1902-1980) and Jean Groucutt Lowry (1924-1986), photograph, taken at unknown location, in late 1940s; digital image, photocopy of original, scanned in 2013 by Joseph Lowry; privately held by Mary McCaffrey, [address for private use], Canton, Ohio. Two women standing in front of a restaurant. Provenance is Charles Lowry to Mary McCaffrey.

Photo of the Day – March 22, 2015

A bright smile and closed eyes greeted my great grandmother when she took this photo on her son’s second birthday. She no doubt wanted a photograph to help remember his big day, but anything taken indoors probably wouldn’t have developed properly. Thus, it was time to bundle up and take little Charles outside for the shot. The more I look at this collection of photos, the more I love the idea of her carrying her camera around, capturing all sorts of images of her son.

Charles James Lowry (1924-2007), photograph, taken at unknown location, in November 1926; digital image, photocopy of original, scanned in 2013 by Joseph Lowry; privately held by Mary McCaffrey, [address for private use], Canton, Ohio. Portrait of toddler in winter coat and hat standing in snowy yard. Provenance is Charles Lowry to Mary McCaffrey.

Photo of the Day – March 20, 2015

In honor of the Notre Dame men’s basketball team barely squeezing out a victory over Northeastern University in the men’s tourney yesterday, I give this you image of Our Lady’s University. The golden dome atop the Administration Building is one of the most recognizable university symbols in the country. My grandfather Charles Lowry took this photo during a trip to Notre Dame in November 1941. You can see more photos from that trip on this post.

The Administration Building at the University of Notre Dame, photograph, taken on either 21 or 22 November, 1941; digital image, photocopy of original, scanned in 2013 by Joseph Lowry; privately held by Mary McCaffrey, [address for private use], Canton, Ohio. Provenance is Charles Lowry to Mary McCaffrey.