Michael Lowry. One of the prominent and substantial families of Champaign County bears the name of Lowry and this name for half a century has represented here good citizenship, honest industry and faithful membership in the Roman Catholic Church. While not an unusually prolific family, it is a long-lived one and at present there are three generations residing at Philo, Illinois.
Michael Lowry was born in County Tipperary, Ireland, June 9, 1850. His parents were John and Margaret (Nolan) Lowry, natives of the same county, and from there they came to America and to Illinois in 1865. John Lowry settled on a farm in Will County, near Joliet, and remained there for six years and then removed to Crittenden Township in Champaign County, where he bought 160 acres of land. He cultivated and improved his property and died there in November, 1874. His wife survived him for thirteen years, her death taking place February 24, 1887. They were the parents of five children, namely: William, who is a resident of Peoria, Illinois; Michael; James, who is a farmer in Crittenden Township; and Thomas and John, both of whom are farmers in Champaign Township.
When the family removed from Will to Champaign County Michael Lowry went to Chicago and there for four years he was engaged in railroad work. He then returned home and assisted in the farm work on the homestead until 1877 and then returned to Chicago. After his marriage in that city he returned to Crittenden Townhip and engaged in farming until 1881, when he moved to Philo and has resided here ever since, one of the most respected residents of the place.
Michael Lowry was married February 8, 1877, to Miss Catherine Bowling, who was born at Cascade, Wisconsin, February 14, 1857, and died at Philo, Illinois, October 14, 1896. Six children were born to them, all of whom survive, as follows: John F., who is a resident of Philo; Margaret, who is the wife of A. C. Paris, of Champaign; Martin J., who lives at Becatur; Charles E., who is postmaster at Philo; Walter A., who lives with his father; and Howard W., who is a resident of Champaign. While residing in Philo Township Mr. Lowry served for six years on the school board and for eight years was township supervisor, and he was postmaster at Philo for four years, his good judgment making him an excellent public official which his honest performance of duty made effective. He is a member of St. Thomas Eoman Catholic Church, as was his wife, and he belongs to the Knights of Columbus.
Charles E. Lowry, postmaster at Philo, Illinois, and a well known business man of this place, was born at Philo, December 30, 1885, and is the fourth child and the third son born to Michael and Catherine (Bowling) Lowry. He was educated in the public schools and after his graduation from the Philo High School in 1903 he went to Becatur and for six months remained in that city as a clerk in a mercantile house. After returning to Philo he accepted a clerical position with the Wabash Railroad at the Philo depot, and remained discharging his duties for three years and then left the railroad and became associated as a clerk with his father in the restaurant business. After an experience of eighteen months, in partnership with his brother Walter he bought his father’s interest and they conduct the business together. On February 11, 1914, Mr. Lowry was appointed postmaster at Philo, having taken the civil service examination in 1913. Philo is a growing town and the postoffice business here is heavy. Although appointed to office under a Bemocratic administration, Mr. Lowry has always been independent in his political views. He is a member of the Roman Catholic Church and belong to the Knights of Columbus.