Member Biography

Morrow Barr Lowry 

Sessions Office Position District Party
1862       27 Republican
1863       27 Republican
1864       27 Republican
1865       29 Republican
1866       29 Republican
1867       29 Republican
1868       29 Republican
1869       29 Republican
1870       29 Republican

COUNTIES: Crawford, Erie  


03/06/1813 - 01/19/1885

Morrow Barr Lowry (R27) Crawford and Erie Counties 1862-1864 (R29) Crawford and Erie Counties, 1865-1870

Early Life:

Morrow Barr Lowry, born March 6, 1813, Mayville, Chautauqua County, New York; son of Morrow and Anna Barr Lowry; old log schoolhouse education; engaged, hardware store, 1828; moved Buffalo New York  hardware store through 1831; engaged business, wholesale butter distribution and cattle sales, Conneautville, Crawford County; elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1842-1843; delegate, Republican National Convention, 1860; private, Civil War, 1861; elected, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1862-1870; married, Harriet S. Hendersen Lowry; died, January 19, 1885 (aged 71), Kirkbride’s Asylum, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania; interment, Erie Cemetery, Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania. 

Early Career: 

Engaged business, wholesale butter distribution and cattle sales.

Financed, formation of Erie’s 83rd Regiment, private, mustered in, August 27, 1861, donating $2,000 to care for wounded and indigent soldiers from the regiment, mustered out, corporal by Presidential Order, Nov. 11, 1861.

Pennsylvania Politics: 

Elected, Democrat, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, 1842-1843. 

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 27th district, Crawford and Erie Counties, 1862-1864; committee assignments, Federal Relations, Pension and Gratuities and Railroads. 

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 29th district, Crawford and Erie Counties, 1865-1870; committee assignments, Federal Relations and Railroads.  


As a merchant in Crawford, Pennsylvania, met an obscure farmer, John Brown (the abolitionist), who ran underground-railroad, aiding fugitive slaves with transportation to Canada. Followed Brown’s example, responsible for helping hundreds of runaway slaves to freedom. Described as an early Democratic-Abolitionist, Lowry abandoned the party after the Dred Scott decision and James Buchanan‘s election as president. In November 1859, Lowry received permission from Governor Weiss of Virginia to visit his old acquaintance from Crawford County, John Brown, jailed in Charles Town, Virginia (West Virginia) and condemned to hang that December. Surrounded by an army escort, Lowry bid farewell.  
Suffered a paralytic stroke in his final year of senate service. Retired to manage his business interests, he also spent time in Kirkbride’s Asylum, Philadelphia, convalescing, until he was committed fulltime, 1876.  


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members "L""Wilkes University Election Statistics ProjectWilkes University.

Manual of Rules and Legislative Directory together with the Constitution of the United States and of Pennsylvania Smull, J.A., (Editor) (1866) pages 261-263.

Smull’s Legislative Handbook, (1870) Smull, J.A., (Editor) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 433, 436-438.

The New York Times (New York, New York) Saturday, January 24, 1885, Page 5
Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Saturday January 24, 1885, Page 2

Morrow Barr Lowry (1813-1885) - Find a Grave Memorial