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Fred L. Lowman. One of the most capable educators of Champaign County is the present superintendent of the Fisher public schools, Fred L. Lowman. He is a man of varied and versatile gifts and accomplishments, and well fitted for his place in the educational system of this leading Illinois County. He has come in close touch with the facts and problems of life, is a man of broad sympathies and enthusiasm and is in every way qualified to direct and administer a school and have charge of the training of the men and women of the next generation.
Mr. Lowman was born in Champaign County, February 8, 1885. He is the oldest of the seven children, five sons and two daughters, of John Lewis and Minerva (O’Bryan) Lowman. Five children are still living. His father was born in Douglas County, Illinois, October 20, 1858, was educated in the common schools, and is still living. His people came out of Ohio and settled near Cook’s Mill in Douglas County in early days. John L. Lowman is a Republican and cast his first presidential vote for James A. Garfield, the president who began life on the towpath of a canal in Ohio. Mrs. John L. Lowman was born in Champaign County, February 8, 1855. She is still living, as is her aged mother, now eighty-five. A coincidence is the fact that Mr. Lowman, his mother and grandmother were all born on February 8th.
Mr. Fred L. Lowman, as the oldest in a large family, and his parents being people of moderate circumstances, he had to take the responsibilities of life at an early age and in his ambition to secure an education and make the best of his native talents had to go out and secure the means and opportunities as best he could. He attended the common schools and in 1902 completed the course of the Parkville High School. After taking a review normal training course at Urbana, he took charge of the grade school work in the Parkville schools in the fall of 1902. While that was the beginning of his career as an educator, Mr. Lowman has never stopped in adding to his individual accomplishments. Much of his higher education was secured through correspondence courses with a correspondence school at Peoria, Illinois. He also took up the study of law and science at Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana. He carried a very heavy amount of work in that institution and in 1907 received a well merited diploma as a graduate of the law department with the degree LL. B, having also received 98 of the 120 units necessary for the B. S. degree. He lacked only two weeks of work necessary to receive his degree Bachelor of Oratory. Through all this course of study he worked to pay his way. He taught school in his home district and boarded at home, where he did not have to pay board, and in this manner was able to save the means whereby he might attend college.
After graduating at Valparaiso Mr. Lowman went to Hammond, Indiana, in July, 1907, and entered the practice of law under the name White & Lowman. This partnership was continued until February, 1908, when Mr. Lowman sold his interests and then for a brief time practiced with a Mr. Riley. Giving up law practice, he returned to Champaign County and in the ‘fall of 1908 became principal of the Penfield public schools. He remained there four years and made an enviable record as a teacher. In 1913 he resumed the superintendency of the Fisher schools, and has been in active charge there for the past four years. His work in these schools has contributed materially to his prestige as a successful educator.
The Fisher school building is thoroughly modern in every detail of construction and equipment. It is most healthily situated, standing on an eminence commanding a beautiful view of the town and surrounding country. Mr. Lowman has six teachers under his supervision. The commencement exercises for the class of 1917 occurred May 18, 1917.
Mr. Lowman married Miss Katharine Curzon of Champaign, Illinois, directly related with the family of English nobility of which Lord Curzon is a conspicuous member. Mr. and Mrs. Lowman were married March 18, 1906. They have one daughter, June, aged four years.
Mrs. Lowman was born at Darrien, Connecticut, October 30, 1885. She was educated in the Champaign High School, from which she graduated with the class of 1904. She also took musical studies in Valparaiso University and for two years was a popular teacher in Parkville, Champaign County. She is one of the active workers of the Domestic Science Club at Fisher. She is also an honored member of the Eastern Star Chapter. Mr. Lowman is a member of the Episcopal Church, while Mrs. Lowman is a member of the Scientist Church. He is a Republican politically and in the course of his voting he supported Mr. Taft for president. Fraternally he is affiliated with J. R. Gorrin Lodge No. 537, A. F. & A. M., of Sadorus, Illinois.
Mr. Lowman has also taken instruction in the Carnegie School of Correspondence at Pittsburgh and at the American University of Chicago. There are few men in Champaign County who have a better balanced and altogether more liberal education. For this he enjoys special respect and admiration because at the outset he was a boy without means and has struggled along, led by a strong ambition, until he has fitted himself for a place of thorough usefulness in the world.