Friday’s Faces from the Past – 50% Ain’t Bad

Click to enlarge. Family photo.
The headline refers to the number of people I can identify in this mid-1940’s era photo. On the left is my great grand uncle James Pepperney (1906 – 1999). On the right is his sister, my great grandmother Margaret Pepperney Lowry (1902 – 1980). But who are the two people on the middle? Regardless, they all look dapper! Perhaps they are heading off to church or for some celebration.
If you can help fill in the details, and I’m certain someone can, please leave a comment!
Update (4/6/14): Jim and Jeanne Pepperney emailed me to say that the middle individuals are Mary (Ada) Swagner Pepperney and Bill Pepperney. These are James and Margaret’s aunt and uncle. Bill was my great great grandfather George’s brother.

Peace Be With You!

When I graduated from Ursuline in 2000, my graduation party featured a life-size picture of me in my tux before senior prom, printed on white paper so family and friends could write a message of support/good luck/inspiration. It’s a fairly common thing, I suppose, for a new graduate to need all the help he can get leaving the nest for the first time. Afterward, not wanting to dispose of these sentiments, I folded this massive piece of paper and stored it in a Rubbermaid container where it sat for years. Sorting through some boxes this past summer, I realized it wasn’t practical to keep it when I needed to make room in those bins for my Lego’s, a Star Trek comic book collection and a stockpile of Air Force unit patches, enough to outfit an entire squadron, that still clogged my old bedroom at my parents’ house.

I took one final read of what was written on that large piece of paper. Some comments were witty, others sentimental, and some were just plain stupid (“Never change!” – like that’s even possible). Of everything written, there was one comment that stuck with me. In the top, right corner, my grandpa Howard Witt wrote something so very Howard – “Peace be with you!”. My Grandpa Witt had incredibly strong faith and shared that faith where he could, whether in writing, in his spoken words or in the stained glass crosses he crafted that still grace many homes in Youngstown (and don’t forget The Vatican!). I cut this corner off the rest of the paper and it’s in my scrapbook, a fantastic reminder of an honorable and loving grandfather.

Carry on!

Grandpa Witt and a very young me taking a stroll during a trip to Topeka, Kansas to visit relatives.

Friday’s Faces of the Past – Grandpap, Pap, Charles and Jr.

Four generations of Lowrys in Leetonia, Ohio.

This photo has recently soared to the top of my list of favorite photos. Four generations of Lowry men in one shot, with a history that dates back nearly 185 years.

The oldest Lowry, Michael ‘Grandpap’, was about 97 years old when this photo was taken on 12 February 1928. My dad tells me that he was blind and nearly deaf at this point. As he died in June 1928, he would not survive more than a few months after this photo. Incredibly, a man who spent his life as a coal miner lived long enough to be the oldest in a photo of four generations. Check out his moccasins!

My 2nd great grandfather Michael ‘Pap’ was 59 years old. Michael and Bridget Conley Lowry’s youngest son was born in August 1868 in Huntington, Pennsylvania. He died in 1949 in Mayhew Nursing Home in Columbiana County.

My great grandfather Charles Edward Lowry was born in September 1899. He died in 1975. The little man with the double-breasted peacoat is my grandfather Chuck. I never knew him as ‘Junior,’ but it’s been great to see more than a few pictures with that caption. My great-grandmother Margaret Pepperney Lowry was quite the photobug and was excellent at providing captions.

I have a lot of photos from the late 1920s that I’ve scanned and will be publishing over the next few weeks, but this one is the cream of the crop.

Michael Lowry Sr., Michael Lowry Jr., Charles E. Lowry, and Charles J. Lowry, photograph, taken in Leetonia, Ohio in February 1928; digital image, photocopy of original, scanned in 2013 by Joseph Lowry; privately held by Patrick Lowry, [address for private use], Poland, Ohio; Three men and a young boy on a porch; Provenance is Mary Pepperney Lowry to Charles Lowry to Mary McCaffrey to Patrick Lowry.

Family Friends Friday – The McDermott’s

My grandparents Chuck and Jean Lowry loved traveling, and they loved traveling with Bob and Marion McDermott. Here are some photos of a trip to Miami, Florida around 1966. All of the photos are from a box of photos given to me by my dad about five years ago. I can’t confirm that they are all from the same trip.

It’s pretty easy to tell who the photographer is in most of these photos. Bob, here.

Photographer: Probably Chuck.

Photographer: Probably Bob.

What is on my grandfather’s head?!

Photographer: Probably Marion.

Marion and Chuck. Looks to be in front of a hotel.

Plaid. Way too much plaid.

Perhaps taking in a horse race or going to see the world-famous flamingos of Hialeah Park.

Chuck, Marion and Bob.

Charles and Jean Lowry vacation photographs, original, scanned. Photographs are 4″x4″. Inherited by Patrick Lowry (son of Charles and Jean). Owned 2013 by Joseph Lowry (son of Patrick), (address withheld)

Photo of the Day: The Witt Siblings

Among the many photos that I scanned over Christmas was this amazing shot of my grandfather Howard Witt and his siblings. Based purely on perceived age, and no doubt requiring some straightening out by my aunts and uncles, are:
(l to r, back), Francis (1920 – 2002), William (1922 – 2011), Governor (1919 – 2004)
 (l to r, front) Frederick (1924 – 2009), Howard (1929 – 2001), Ruth (1926 – 1932)
The only sibling missing is Helen (1934 – 2009) who was not yet born when I estimate this photo was taken around 1930.
If you know better than I, can you help me correct the identification? Thanks! (corrected by my mom! Thanks!)

Chuck Lowry in the ‘Ursulinian’

The Ursulinian is the yearbook of Ursuline High School in Youngstown, Ohio. Lowry’s have been appearing in the ‘Ursulinian’ for 70 years. Probably their first appearance was a 1939 class photo. Chuck Lowry (1924 – 2007) was in 9th grade. Can you find him without using the key on the right?

The 1941 Ursulinian featured this tennis team shot, and the yearbook makes it seem that it was Ursuline’s first. Chuck was a tennis phenom and would go on to win accolades across the city for his abilities at the sport.

Photo Friday: The Birthday Party

On 3 October 1949, my great great grandmother Henrietta Rogers Wolford celebrated her 80th birthday. The family had a nice party to celebrate. These photos were shared with me on by a person who is probably a distant cousin and has the original images. He confirmed the date and events for me and provided the first two names below. My grandmother Barb Viti, Henrietta’s granddaughter, provided the rest. The bottom photo appears to show a framed photo of Henrietta and her late husband Stanton on the table.
In the top photo from left to right are:
  • Etta Frohwitter Richardson (daughter of Stanton’s sister Florence)
  • Ida B. Frohwitter Schuessler (daughter of Stanton’s sister Florence)
  • Doris Wolford (rear) (daughter of Mabel and UNK Wolford)
  • Dorothy Wolford (middle) (unknown relation)
  • Agnes Wolford Owens (front) (daughter of Henrietta and Stanton)
  • Henry Owens (husband of Agnes Wolford)
  • Henrietta Wolford (my great great grandmother)
  • Mabel Wolford Curry (daughter of Henrietta and Stanton)
  • Eva ‘Babe’ Wolford (daughter of Henrietta and Stanton)
  • Bernard Curry (husband of Mabel Wolford)
  • Caroline Porubsky Wolford (wife of Raymond Hudson Wolford and my great grandmother)
  • Raymond Hudson Wolford (son of Henrietta and Stanton and my great grandfather)

Photo Friday: 1960’s Installation Dinner

This photo is from either the 1962 or 1963 installation of Ethel Parker Bixler (1896 – 1972), left, as Worthy Matron and Paul William Bixler (1900 – 1982) as Worthy Patron of the Order of the Eastern Star at the famous Shrine Temple in Los Angeles. Paul’s sister Florance Bixler Cramer (1903 – 1990), right, served as the Installation Officer. Paul is my great grand uncle.

Relationship to me:
Paul William Bixler (1900 – 1982)
son of:
William Joseph Bixler (1875 – 1944)
father of:
Helen M Bixler (1898 – 1985)
mother of:
Howard D Witt (1929 – 2001)
father of:
Rebecca Ann Witt
mother of:
Joseph Patrick Lowry

Family collection

Photo Friday: Around the Firehouse

I’ve been a volunteer firefighter/EMT since 2004. It was interesting to me to learn that it is a family profession. My great uncle Fred Witt was a firefighter in Skokie, Illinois. This photo, taken in 1956, shows firefighters in front of the Hamlin Avenue Station. They include (left to right) Captain Jaeger, Bobby Burke, Bernie Weber, Rich Baumhardt, Al Suckow, Russ Van, and Fred Witt. They are standing in front of a 1948 American LaFrance pumper with 1,000 GPM capacity.
This photo was taken in 1969. Fred Witt, now a lieutenant on the fire department, is kneeling in the center (white shirt) with his men at the Floral Avenue Station. This is the last shift for his crew before this firehouse closed later that day.
Relationship to Me:
Frederick E Witt (1924 – 2009)
son of:
Helen M Bixler (1898 – 1985)
mother of:
Howard D Witt (1929 – 2001)
father of:
Rebecca Ann Witt
mother of:
Joseph Patrick Lowry

Illinois Digital Archive. “Skokie Fire Department Floral Avenue Station Photograph, 1969.” Accessed September 20, 2012.

Skokie Historical Society. “Firefighters of Skokie, Illinois, 1881 – 1987.” Accessed September 20, 2012.

Photo Friday: Tin Workers

Taken around the turn of the 20th century, this group photo of workers include several family members. Dressed for the trade of tin work, it is believed that the man on the right is Noah E Groucutt (1882 – 1967) and the man in the center is his father, George Leo Groucutt (1862 – 1941). George had five sons and several of them may be included in this photo, but that hasn’t been confirmed. The Groucutt family in 1900 lived in New Castle, Lawrence, Pennsylvania. Where these men worked is unknown however New Castle was home to the world’s largest tin mill, the Greer Mill, which opened in 1893.

According to the Lawrence County History Society,

In the early 1900′s, New Castle was a one-industry town. Individuals and families made decisions based on predictions of how the tin mill was running. Even local entertainment evolved around the mill. Children played at the company playground and attended movies at the Company Theater.(1) 

There is a similar photo on the website of the Lawrence County Historical Society (seen here, under ‘Industrial Boom’). I’ve emailed them to see if they have any additional details on their photo or the one above. If I get a reply, I will include that information here.

Lawrence County Historical Society. “New Castle, Portrait of an American City.” Accessed September 17, 2012.