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.

Remembrance Day: Thomas Foy

poppyIf the saying that “war is hell” is true, then the Battle of the Somme in World War I was the perfect example of this hell. On the first day of the battle, 1 July 1916, there were 57,000 casualties, and the battle would drag on until 18 November 1916. Within a week, the battle was at a standstill with Germans, French and British forces grinding it out in a maze of trench warfare.

It was at the end of the first week that the Monmouthshire Regiment was thrown into action as a pioneer regiment, which meant that they were to create the trenches and defensive positions used by the fighting force. Monmouthshire, Wales was a mining region, and the engineering skills of the miners-turned-soldiers made them well suited for the task. In this regiment was Thomas Foy, a 37-year old sergeant who had been called to serve.

Thomas was the brother of my great great grandmother, Bridget Foy Groucutt. While Bridget and several siblings immigrated to the United States, Thomas remained in England. On 5 June 1915, with the war well underway, he embarked to France with the 3rd Battalion, Monmouthshire Regiment.

They found themselves at the Somme in July 1916 under withering artillery fire. On 7 July 1916, on the front lines, Sergeant Foy found himself just a few feet from his company’s commanding officer, Captain J. Merton Jones, who wrote in the casualty report:

I believe [Thomas Foy] was killed as I saw a shell (believed to be a 5.9) pitch, as it appeared to me in the night,  full upon him. I was about 2 to 3 yards from him and a minute previously had been [?] to him. Sever others pitched in the same spot afterwards and then getting away the wounded, I could not find Foy then, nor afterwards, neither did any man or stretcher-bearer help him to any Dressing Station. I therefore believe he was killed.



My third-great-uncle Thomas Foy was killed at the Battle of the Somme on 7 July 1916, one of over 95,000 British soldiers to die on this French battlefield. He is buried at the Mill Road Cemetery in Thiepval, France.


“British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920,” images, Fold3 ( : accessed 13 Nov 2016), record for Thomas Foy, 3rd Monmouthshire Regiment, page 325; National Archives of the UK, London, England.

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.

My cousin John R. Byrne in 1890

John R. Byrne is my 1st cousin, 4x removed. He was born in 1858 in Pennsylvania and died on 2 Oct 1932 in Everson, Fayette, Pennsylvania. This fascinating biography of the politician, newspaperman and entrepreneur  appeared in an 1890 printing of the “Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.”


Hon. John R. Byrne. Celtic blood flowed in the veins of many prominent citizens of the United States who have been conspicuous alike on the battle-field and in the forum, and to-day many of that blood and race throughout Pennsylvania hold and have held important public offices of trust and honor. One of the latter class is John R. Byrne, ex-member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He is the son of John L. and Mary (Lowry) Byrne and was born at Barnettstown, Carbon township, Huntingdon county, Pa., April 23, 1858.

John L. Byrne (father) was born in county Meath, Ireland, reared in the city of Dublin and as a participant in the Irish Rebellion of 1847 and ’48 found is necessary to immigrate in the latter year to Pennsylvania, where he located at Hollidaysburg. He was a brakes-man and railroad conductor for several years; a contractor on the Broad Top railroad and engaged in hotel keeping at Barnettstown and Everson, Pa. At the latter named place he died January 16, 1883 aged fifty-four years. He was a delegate to the first General Assembly meeting of the Knights of Labor ever held in America, which convened in 1887 at Reading, Pa., and was treasurer of the Miners’ and Laborers’ Benevolent Association during its palmiest days. When the attempted Fenian invasion of Canada from the United States occurred it found an ardent advocate in Mr. Byrne, who was an active member of the Fenian Brotherhood. He raised a company to join the Fenian army of invasion but it was never called into service, as the Fenian forces were dispersed without much fighting.

John R. Byrne attended the common schools of Huntingdon county, Pa., till thirteen years of age. He then entered a coal mine as a trapper boy for which he received thirty-seven and one-half cents per day ; he was soon transferred to driving and shortly afterwards engaged in digging, and remained in the latter employment until he attained his majority. In 1873 he moved with his father to Everson, Fayette county. In 1878, he migrated to Leadville, Colorado, where he remained one year and returned east as far as Pittsburgh, where he was married. In 1880 he returned to Everson, Fayette county, Pa., and resumed mining in which he continued until the great labor strike of 1881. He was made president of the organization that controlled and conducted the above strike and during its progress established the Miner’s Record, which he conducted for eighteen months and then changed the name to that of Scottdale Independent. In 1885 W.N. Porter became a partner with him in the newspaper business and in 1886 they disposed of the Independent to Hiram B. Strickler, who sold it in 1887 to a joint stock company which employed Mr. Byrne as editor. After eight months editorial service he returned on account of his eyesight becoming affected. On July 17, 1889, he became editor of the Tribune Press, of Scottdale, which he continues to edit as a republican editor. It is a four-page folio of thirty-two columns and is principally devoted to local news and labor interests. In December, 1887, he formed a partnership with his brother, Arthur P. Byrne, in the boot and shoe business at Scottdale under the form name of John R. Byrne & Co. They have built up a large trade and carry a full and well-assorted collection of boots and shoes. In 1886, he was elected from Fayette county to a seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He had a majority of 696 votes in a county that was strongly democratic prior to 1886, and was the first republican elected to the Legislature from that county since 1874. He served in the session of 1887-8 and was a member of five important committees. In 1888 he was a candidate for re-election but was defeated in the Republican party and opposition from coke operators.

On July 3, 1880, he was united in marriage to Joanna Lynch, daughter of John Lynch, of Everson. To this union have been born three children: Henry W., Arthur L. and Florence E.

He is a member of Scottdale Conclave, No. 172, Independent Order of Heptasophs. In religion he is a Roman Catholic and a republican in politics. Mr. Byrne has ever labored in the interests of his political party and given largely of his time for the advancement of its aims. He resides just across the Westmoreland county line, at Everson, in Fayette county, Pa., but carries on his business in Scottdale.; has been identified with the interests of that borough for nearly ten years. He has for many years been one of the labor leaders of southern Pennsylvania and a recognized authority on labor subjects with many workingmen.

Wiley, Samuel T., Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, (Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, Dunlap and Clarke, 1890), 232; digital images, Google Books ( : accessed 30 Jul 2016).

Dead or Alive? It Depends!


This notice from the Youngstown Vindicator was probably not too reassuring for anyone who may have circling the drain on April 1, 1930. While your vital signs indicated you were dead, the Federal government was willing to give you a few extra days.

As the Vindicator reported on 30 March 1930, anyone who died between April 1 and the time the census taker (more properly, the “enumerator”) arrived at the home was counted as being alive. Likewise, anyone who was born after April 1 but before the enumerator came to the home, often weeks later, was not counted. The enumerator’s instructions would have read, “Enter the name of every person whose usual place of abode on April 1, 1930, was with the family or in the dwelling place for which the enumeration is being made.” By counting everyone who was living on April 1, the Census would more accurately reflect a single day in time.

“Census Will Count You As Alive If You Die April 1”, Youngstown [OH] Vindicator, 30 Mar 1930, page A2, col 4; digital image, ( : accessed 17 May 2016), Google News Archive.

Steven Ruggles, Katie Genadek, Ronald Goeken, Josiah Grover, and Matthew Sobek. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 6.0 [Machine-readable database], “1930 Census: Enumerator’s Instructions,” Minneapolis : University of Minnesota, 2015.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday


Howdy partner! This was Halloween 1987. I was the coolest gunslinger on the Northside of Youngstown (and in the 80’s, Youngstown had more than a few gunslingers) and my sister was a princess (she still is). My vest was homemade by my mom, from a pattern that she bought. The cowboy hat was loaned to me from my mom’s friend, Shirley Morrison. I disctintly remember the Halloween parade at Saint Edward School where the elementary school kids paraded around the classrooms of the upper grades. My costume was a huge hit with the 8th grade girls. I have a hard time believing that today you could get away with taking a pair of cap guns into school.

Caroline Lowry [Nagy] and Joseph P. Lowry, photograph, taken in Youngstown, Ohio, around Halloween 1987; digital image, photocopy of original, scanned in 2015 by Joseph Lowry; privately held by Rebecca Lowry, [address for private use], Poland, Ohio; Two children in Halloween costumes of cowboy and princess; Provenance is Rebecca Lowry to Joseph Lowry.

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.

Are Henrietta Bahle and Rachel Bahle one and the same?

Jacob Bahle was a German immigrant to the Pittsburgh area who fought in the American Civil War and worked as a general laborer for much of his life. He married in 1860 and raised at least nine children in the Deutschtown neighborhood, an enclave of working class Germans on the north shore of the Allegheny River. Jacob and his wife spent many of their years at 832 Perry Street.[1] A search of available record groups revealed census schedules, probate indexes, Civil War pension files, Pittsburgh city directories and death certificates for Jacob and his wife. Many of these documents include the same address, informant, surname or list of children. While Jacob Bahle’s name appears almost universally in these sources, the name of his wife is listed variously as Henrietta or Rachel. Never are both used together as if one is a middle name or nickname. Are Henrietta Bahle and Rachel Bahle, who lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from approximately 1860 until 1921, one and the same?

The earliest identified source that includes Jacob Bahle and his wife is the 1870 U.S. Census. Jacob Baily [sic], aged 37, worked in a cotton mill while his wife Henrietta, aged 26, kept the home. Henrietta was born in Ohio to foreign-born parents.[2] Ten years late the 1880 U.S. Census would likewise indicates Jacob Bali [sic] and Henrietta were living in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. While this census would indicate Henrietta was born in Pennsylvania, it is consistent with the enumeration ten years prior in that her parents were born in Württemberg. She again kept the home while her husband Jacob remained employed in a cotton mill. By now they had five children, including George, John, Charles, Jacob and Annie.[3]

On 22 June 1898, Jacob completed a form as part of his Civil War pension application that asked the question, “Are you married?” Jacob’s answer reads, “Yes, wife maiden Rachel Schauffer.[4] This is the earliest known record that names Rachel instead of Henrietta. The informant writes that Victor Scriba, a Justice of the Peace, married Jacob and Rachel on 22 October 1860. The form names their children, including George, John, Jacob and Annie as seen in the 1880 Census. Additional children named include Joseph, Mary and Anthony [Andrew?]. Without the date of marriage, it would be simple to assume that Jacob’s wife Henrietta was deceased and that Rachel was a second wife. However, knowing that they had been married for 38 years at this point helps build the case that Rachel and Henrietta are the same person.

Two years after filing for his pension, Jacob Bahle’s family was enumerated in their home at 832 Perry Street in Pittsburgh for the 1900 U.S. Census. This time, it wasn’t Rachel living with Jacob but Henrietta. She and Jacob were enumerated as being married for 40 years. She was born in Ohio and as in 1880, her parents were born in Germany. In the household are 12 people, including two sons, Joseph and Andrew, daughter Annie, her husband Jacob Mauer, their children and three boarders. [5]

The 1900 Census would be the last in which Jacob and Henrietta were enumerated together. On 14 September 1908, Jacob Bahle died of uraemia at the age of 76.[6] The informant on Jacob’s death certificate was Mrs. Henrietta Bahle of 832 Perry Street. He was buried in Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Ross Township, just north of Pittsburgh.[7] His obituary, appearing in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette a day later, likewise names his wife as Henrietta Bahle (nee Shauffer).[8] This surname is similar to that listed in the 1898 pension application, with a spelling variation of Schauffer (note the “c” missing in 1908).

Just one week after Jacob’s death, on 21 September 1908, a request for a widow’s pension was filed. This time, the name on the record was Rachel Bahle. In an affidavit sworn before a notary, Rachel indicated that Victor Scriba, a justice of the peace, married her to Jacob on 22 October 1860. The name Henrietta does not appear in the document. However, consistent with other documents is the address at 832 Perry Street and Jacob’s death date of 14 September 1908.[9]

Pittsburgh city directories are universal in accepting Henrietta as the wife of Jacob, such that the 1909, 1916 and 1918 directories include her as the widow of Jacob and the address of 832 Peralta Street.[10] In 1920, the census enumerator found Henrietta and not Rachel living alone in the rear apartment of 832 Peralta. Her daughter Annie Mauer was living in the front apartment. Again, she’s enumerated as being born in Ohio to parents who were born in Germany.[11]

The elderly woman who lived at the rowhouse at 832 Peralta Street died at the age of 78 on a cold and rainy Sunday, 6 March 1921.[12] The name on the death certificate reads Henrietta Bahle.[13] No middle name or initial was used and no mention of Rachel. Her daughter Annie Mauer served as the informant of her death, indicating Henrietta’s father was John Schnauffer and her mother name unknown. Her obituary appeared in the Pittsburgh Press the next day under the same name, the wife of the late Jacob Bahle, nee Schuaffer, with no survivors listed.[14]

While Henrietta had died, this was not the end of Rachel in available records. The probate record of Jacob’s wife names her as Rachel. Incredibly, it includes an alternative name, but not the one this search expected. “Rachel (or Rachael) Bahle”, as printed in the Allegheny County Proceedings Index, included her date of death of 6 March 1921. The executor William Rosemeier filed his account of her assets with the probate court on 10 November 1921. It was Rachel’s name in the filing.

It’s not uncommon for someone to have a nickname or use a middle name, but it’s rare for it to be unexplained through most of one’s documented life, switching back and forth in legally binding documents with little rhyme or reason. Regardless, there is sufficient direct evidence to state that the woman who lived much of her life at 832 Perry (or Peralta) Street with Jacob Bahle used both names. Was she Rachel Bahle or was she Henrietta Bahle? She was both.

[1] Perry Street north of the Allegheny River was renamed Peralta Street shortly after the 1907 annexation of the City of Allegheny by the City of Pittsburgh and the creation of duplicate street names. The addresses of 832 Perry Street and 832 Peralta Street refer to the same house. For a discussion on street names and naming in Pittsburgh, see George Thornton Fleming, Pittsburgh, how to See it: A Complete, Reliable Guide Book with Illustrations, the Latest Map and Complete Index (Pittsburgh : William G. Johnson Publishing, 1916), 47, “Streets and Street Names”; digital images, Google Books, ( : accessed 22 Mar 2016).

[2] 1870 U.S. census, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Allegheny, p. 32 (penned), family #249, Jacob Bahle household; digital images, ( : accessed 22 March 2016); NARA microfilm publication M593, roll 1290.

[3] 1880 U.S. census, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Allegheny, p. 44 (penned), enumeration district (ED) 24, household #426, Jacob Bahle household; digital images, ( : accessed 22 March 2016); FHL microfilm 1255087, image 553.

[4] Jacob Bahle (Pvt. Co. H, 6th Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, Civil War), pension no. 931,333, Case Files of Approved Pension Applications …, 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Record Group 15 Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[5] 1900 U.S. census, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Allegheny, enumeration district (ED) 33, sheet 14, family #318, Jacob Bahle household; digital images, ( : accessed 22 March 2016); NARA microfilm publication T623, Roll 1355.

[6] “Jacob L. Bahle,” The Pittsburgh Press, 14 September 1908, online index and digital index ( : accessed 25 March 2016), citing print edition page 3, column 1.

[7] Jacob Bahle, Saint Mary’s R.C., Troy Road, Ross Township, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Veterans Burial Cards, 1777–2012 ( : accessed 23 March 2016); Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Bureau of Archives and History, Pennsylvania Veterans Burial Cards, 1929-1990, Series 1.

[8] “Jacob L. Bahle,” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 15 September 1908, online index and digital index ( : accessed 25 March 2016), citing print edition page 6, column 2.

[9] Declaration for Widow’s Pension, 21 September 1908, Rachel Bahle, widow’s pension application no. 904,770; combined with Jacob Bahle (Pvt. Co. H, 6th Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, Civil War); Case Files of Approved Pension Applications …, 1861-1934; Civil War and Later Pension Files; Record Group 15 Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[10] R.L. Polk, compiler, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, City Directory (Pittsburgh: R. L. Polk & Co. and R.L. Dudley, 1909), 139; also subsequent years by the same title: (1916) 485, (1918) 469; U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995, digital images, ( ; accessed 25 March 2016).

[11] 1920 U.S. census, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Pittsburgh, enumeration district (ED) 694, sheet 5A, family #133, Henrietta Bahle household; digital images, ( : accessed 22 March 2016); NARA microfilm publication T625, Roll 1526.

[12] “The Weather,” The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 6 March 1921, online index and digital index ( : accessed 25 March 2016), citing print edition section 1, page 6, column 5.

[13] Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, “Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906-1963”, No. 22419 (stamped), Henrietta Bahle entry, died 6 March 1921; indexed database and digital images, ( : accessed 25 March 2016); citing “Pennsylvania Death certificates, 1906–1963”, Series 11.90, Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (

[14] “Henrietta Bahle,” The Pittsburgh Press, 7 March 1921, online index and digital index ( : accessed 25 March 2016), citing print edition page 24, column 5.

Who Was New Castle’s Oldest Resident in 1925?

Just who was New Castle, Pennsylvania’s oldest resident in 1925? It was none other than my 3rd great grandmother Esther Callahan Rogan. Grandma Rogan was born in Liverpool, England on April 23, 1832 and arrived in the United States in 1851. After living in New York and briefly in Ontario, she was living in New Castle by 1870 with her husband James and children. Many of her later birthdays, including her 84th and 90th, were featured in the New Castle News. The blurb below, written as an answer to a newspaper trivia question, tells us that 93 year old Esther Rogan of 467 Blaine Street is the ‘most aged’ lady or gentleman in the city.

Grandma Esther died in New Castle February 19, 1927 at the age of 94.

“Are You Familiar With Your City?”, New Castle [PA] News, 11 Jun 1925, page 2, col 5; online index and digital image, ( : accessed 6 Jan 2016), Newspaper Archives, 1700s-2000s.