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.

My Genealogy Database in 2015

I maintain all of my genealogical information using a software application called Family Tree Maker. Here’s the current snapshot of my database:

People: 2,335
Marriages: 658
Places: 768
Media: 2559 (photographs and document images)

Repositories: 14
Source Groups: 268
Source Citations: 4313

4,313 citations equals 1.85 citations per person, just shy of two. As many ancestors have many more citations, it’s safe to say that there are people in my family tree for whom I have no proof. Hopefully over the next year I can get that number much higher.

By documenting this information at the start of the year, I hope to be able to track the growth of my family tree year to year. Since this is the first time I’ve done this, I have nothing to compare, but next year should prove interesting.

Happy New Year!

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.

Military Monday – John Pepperney at the Third Battle of Winchester

In the late summer of 1864, Confederate General Jubal Early marched his men up the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, with Union General Philip Sheridan and his Army of the Shenandoah not far behind them. The concern for the Union Army was that if Early went unchecked, he had an easy path down the Potomac River using the nearby railroads to force his way into Washington, D.C. With the 1864 presidential election not far away, and political catastrophe for Lincoln if Early got close to Washington, Sheridan knew he had to stop him.

One of the men in this Army, under Wright’s VI Corps, Getty’s Division, Wheaton’s Brigade, the 139th Pennsylvania Infantry and finally D Company, was my great grand uncle John Pepperney of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

John was born in Prussia on 15 January 1845 to Jacob and Anna Maria Krotterin Pepperney. He arrived in America around 1852 and his family settled in Reserve Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. John was inducted into the Federal army on 1 September 1862 when he was 17 years old. The 139th Infantry was comprised of men from Allegheny County. Many of them were no doubt immigrants like John who either volunteered or were drafted to fight for their new country.

Within two days of being organized, the 139th Infantry found itself in Manassas, Virginia where it buried the bodies of the men killed at the Battle of Second Manassas. It was no doubt a grisly welcome to the army and made the reality of what was in front of them very real. The official summary of service of the Pennsylvania regiments tells this tale well:

After that, John and the 139th found themselves confronted by the enemy in battles we know well from history books. Antietam. Fredericksburg. Chancellorsville. Maryes Heights. Gettysburg. Wilderness. Spotsylvania. Cold Harbor. Petersburg. That John made his way through the hell of those battles unscathed is a miracle. That is, until he arrives near Winchester, Virginia on the evening of 18 September 1864.

At 3 a.m. on 19 September, General Sheridan launched his attack on Early’s men from the north, pushing his leading forces back into Winchester. This early action by cavalry allowed Sheridan to organize his infantry forces marching from Berryville to the east.

Company D of the 139th Infantry was square in the center of the VI Corps assault on the Confederate lines. To their right were no fewer than 13 Union brigades while to their left just General Daniel Bidwell’s brigade held the end of the line. With cannon fire shooting over their heads, the 139th Infantry advanced down the Berryville Road. They entered into Winchester as the Confederates pulled out, leading a retreat to Strasburg, 20 miles to the south. It was during this action that John was wounded. What caused this injury remains unclear, but the muster rolls of the 139th Infantry state he was injured on this date and at this place. Still, his injury was minor enough to keep him with the Army. John Pepperney would continue with the 139th Infantry through the remainder of the war and was mustered out of service on 21 June 1865.

The interchange of Interstate 81 (north and south) and Route 7 (east and west) in Winchester, Virginia. It was just a few hundred feet to the south of the interchange where the 139th Pennsylvania advanced on the Confederate troops on 19 September 1864.

The Third Battle of Winchester was the bloodiest battle in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 and effectively pushed the Confederate army out of this part of Virginia.

Bates, Samual. “History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5; Prepared in Compliance with Acts of the Legislature, by Samuel P. Bates.” Making of America. University of Michigan, 1 Jan. 1869. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

“139th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Civil War Volunteers,” Pennsylvania Volunteers of the Civil War, ( : accessed 28 Nov 2020), article on the 139th Infantry.

“Third Battle of Winchester.” Civil War Trust. Civil War Trust. Web. 23 Mar. 2015.

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.