A Pictorial History


   Lowry, Virginia

Page One

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 "On the Trail of the Lonesome Pine"


Lowry_Map.JPG (48554 bytes)Lowry, a village situated about five miles east of Bedford on the Norfolk and Western Railway, was named for Nelson Lowry, who donated land for the railroad in 1853. 

Meadowbrooke.JPG (38037 bytes) There were once five Lowry homes in the village of Lowry, built for Harry, John Sr., Richard, Lunsford and Henry Lowry, all sons of Nelson Lowry to whom he gave land and slaves. Meddowbrooke was the home of John Lowry Jr., built about 1790.  It was later purchased by my Great-grandfather B. R. Markham in 1874.

Peaks of Otter Winter.JPG (60235 bytes)John Lowry, Sr., at one time owned from what is now the village of Lowry to the "Peaks of Otter".  He was granted this land for his service in the Colonial Wars by Great Britain.

Slaves to be Sold.JPG (71370 bytes)By the time of the Revolution John Lowry, Sr. was the largest tobacco grower and slave owner in the Bedford County. He served as a County Justice.  In 1778 He Married a Miss. Triplett.                        

John, a grandson, was killed at the Battle of Antietam. William, another grandson, was known as one of the finest Latin scholars in the south.  Another grandson, Henry Clay Lowry, graduated in law from Washington & Lee University. The book, OUR KIN, states that William Lowry was the first to come to this section of the state. Other references state that those residing in Virginia previous to his settlement here had their homes in the eastern part of the state. Both William and John appear in the deeds of Bedford County in the 1760s. It is not known if or how these two might be related.   

John Brown.JPG (36855 bytes)There is a tradition that John Brown lived in a cave in the timberland of a Lowry Plantation and that he went out and talked with slaves living on this and other plantations. It is known that Brown did get several slaves to run away. One of their meeting places was in the small cemetery (now owned by Dr. Freeman Jenrette). A black servant revealed Brown's activities but her son told Brown of the plan to capture him and he escaped.   From 1853 to 1855 there was on Nelson Lowry's property a large tobacco warehouse, a blacksmith shop and a shoemakers establishment.

Lowry_Home_Place.JPG (46640 bytes)With the advent of the Civil War many young members of the Lowry Family were called to arms in the defense of their homes and property. They returned from the conflict greatly impoverished.     These residents liberated their slaves and strived to resume their peaceful, and  constructive lives. On the death of older family members, the old estates fell into the hands of strangers. Most have been sold and resold many times dividing each time into smaller parcels of land.  

Home_of_John_Byrne.JPG (46242 bytes) Only one of the families once owning homes in the vicinity of  Lowry before the Civil War, have descendants still living at the homestead. This is John Byrne Jr., the  great-grandson of Lawrence Byrne.   

Byrnes_Store.JPG (38985 bytes)John Jr's father John Byrne Sr.,  owned and lived in the Old Nelson Lowry home located near the railroad, and also owns a plantation three miles south  of   Lowry, originally the property of his grandfather some years before the Civil War.  

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