El Dorado County
ALBERT J. LOWRY
A half century has passed since Albert J. Lowry came to California, arriving here in 1850, the year of the admission of the state into the Union. He is therefore numbered among her pioneer citizens and has borne his part in the arduous labors which have contributed in a large measure to her development, material progress and substantial upbuilding. He is a native of Ohio, born in Roseville, Muskingum County, on the 16th of December, 1828. His grandfather, Canada Lowry, resided in New York and Pennsylvania in his early life and afterward became one of the pioneer settlers of Ohio. His son, Jeremiah Lowry, the father of our subject, became a carpenter and subsequently engaged in merchandising. He married Susannah Haney. The father attained the age of seventy-nine years, and the mother, surviving him for several years, passed away at about the same age. They were members of the Christian Church and their lives exemplified their faith. Ten of their children are still living in the year 1900.
Albert J. Lowry, their eldest child, is indebted to the public school system of his native state for the educational privileges which he enjoyed. He participated in the sports of boyhood during the periods of vacation and also performed such duties as were assigned to him. In 1850 he crossed the plains to California, making the journey with a party from Missouri. They were five months upon the way, and the usual incidents of such a trip befell them. The wagons were hauled by oxen and Mr. Lowry drove a team, aided in the cooking of the meals and rendered himself generally useful on the trip. It was on the 18th of August, 1850, that he arrived in Placerville, just three weeks before the admission of California into the Union. Mining was then, as now, the leading industry of the state, and he began placer mining with a pick, shovel and rocker. The business was new to him and he met with only moderate success; but he continued his operations in the mines until 1861, when he was appointed deputy sheriff. He served for two years and was then appointed deputy county clerk, serving for one term. On the expiration of that period he was made postmaster under the administration of President Lincoln, acting in that capacity for almost twenty years, or until the first election of President Cleveland, when he was succeeded by a Democrat. No higher testimonial of his efficiency and fidelity could be given than the fact of his long continuation in office. On the 28th of December, 1870, he had also been appointed agent of the Wells-Fargo Express Company and is still serving in that important office. Nor has this ended his public service. For four years he was one of the county supervisors of El Dorado County, being elected to that position in 1889. In his early manhood he was a Douglas Democrat; but when the country became involved in civil war he joined the ranks of the Republican Party, and has since become one of its stalwart advocates.
Mr. Lowry is a worthy exemplar of Masonic principles. He joined the order in 1869, receiving the master’s degree at Indian Diggings. He has filled various offices and had the honor of being master of El Dorado Lodge, No. 29, F. & A. M., for five years.
In 1872 Mr. Lowry was united in marriage to Mrs. Sarah Corning, the widow and C. W. Corning and a daughter of James and Agnes Ardery. By her first marriage Mrs. Lowry had a daughter, Edna, now the wife of T. J. Harris, of San Francisco. Mr. and Mrs. Lowry became the parents of one daughter, Susie, the wife of G. C. Groezinger, also of San Francisco. Mrs. Lowry is a valued member of the Presbyterian Church and a lady of many excellent qualities and enjoys in a marked degree the esteem of all who know her. Our subject and his wife have a delightful home in Placerville and the circle of their friends is extensive. Through fifty years’ residence in California Mr. Lowry has become thoroughly imbued with the progressive spirit of the age and has taken a deep and abiding interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the state, doing all in his power to promote the growth and substantial upbuilding of the county in which he resides.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.