Lowry City, “The Pride of the Prairie”, located in Butler Township on Section 15, Township 39, Range 26.
Lowry City has had a Post Office from 1871 through present.
Osceola Herald, 15 June 1871:
This is the name of the new town eight miles north of Osceola, on the C. & M. Branch of the T.N.R.R., which has been laid out and is owned by our fellow townsman, John Hancock, Esq.
In point of location, we can say it is most advantageously located, being surrounded by a country which for agricultural purposes is not excelled by any in South West Missouri. It is directly on the line of the above named R.R., and is to be a station on said road. Already the road is graded through the town and the depot grounds selected and laid off. We understand that building is now going on rapidly there, and are convinced of the truth of our information from the fact that it is certainly a desirable place, and now is the time for business men to “drive their stock there”.
Our old friend G.W. Penn, who has long been a resident of this county and knows well where is the best place in these stirring times to locate, has secured him a lot and built a fine store house and is now selling goods to many customers.
Dr. Wm. H. Walker is starting a drug store there, and we are told others are making arrangements to go into business there.
Being just half way from Osceola to Connsville, and in such country it is, being easily accessable by all the roads, this place will certainly make a good town. We have been shown a lithograph plat of the town and it certainly looks well on paper and in our mind’s eye its future far excels that.
As an indication of the way it is viewed from a distance, we see that the Post Office Department has all ready recognized this new town by establishing there a post office, although there is one within two miles of it (Park’s Grove), and has so far changed the daily mail route from Osceola to Clinton, as to make this a route, and now the stages pass there daily.
Nearly two-thirds of the grading is already done between Lowry City and Clinton, and one lot of hands are working on this side of Lowry City. All are making fast progress. Our information is that the arrangement is made and all is ready to put on the track and rolling stock as soon as the grading is done to this place (Osceola), and if work progresses as favorably as the prospects now are that it will, we may see the cars ere another winter pass through Lowry City and discharge freight and passengers in Osceola.
Missouri State Gazetteer and Business Directory, 1881:
Lowry City – First settled in 1870, has now, census of 1880, 195 inhabitants, and is located in Butler Township, St. Clair County. Clinton, its shipping point, is eighteen miles north and Osceola (county seat court house), its bank location, is eight miles south. Tri-weekly mail stages run to the above places. Shipments, stock, wheat, corn and flax seed. A Methodist church has been erected at a cost of $1,500. Land is worth from $5 to $20 per acre. John B. Bell, postmaster.
Barnett, J.R. – hardware
Bell, John B. – general store
Browning, W.G. – drugs
Deringer, E.J. – dentist
Pen, Mrs. Martha – hotel propr.
Poindexter, W.D. – blacksmith
Tressell & Maubrey – furniture
Ventrees & Houk – blacksmiths
Vermilyer, C.H. – wagon maker
Wright, James P. – physician
Wright, J.P. & Co. – general store
Wright, G.W. – hotel and drugs
Missouri History Encyclopedia, 1901:
Lowry City, a village in St. Clair County, on the Kansas City, Osceola & Southern Railway, eight miles north of Osceola, the county seat. It has a public school, a normal and business institute, churches of the Baptist, Methodist Episcopal, Methodist South and Presbyterian denominations; two newspapers, the “Independent” and the “People’s Voice”, both independent; a bank, flour mill and a sawmill. In 1899 the population was 650. The town was platted in March 1871, previous to the completion of the railway. Its founder was John Hancock, who named it in honor of a friend residing in Indiana.
Early history extracted from Lowry City Centennial Book 1871-1971:
Lowry City, the Pride of the Prairie, lies about seven and one-half miles north of Osceola. It is on the high divide between the Osage and Grand Rivers.
Original Homestead Entry Records show that Section 13, Township 39, Range 26 where the original town of Lowry City was platted, was entered for homestead by three persons: Edwin Reed, John Barnett and Thomas N. Hensley, all in the year 1857.
Early in March 1871, the then proposed railroad between Osceola and Clinton having assured John Hancock that his offer was accepted, a plat of the town was drawn and a lithograph of the plat executed. In May 1871, John Hancock named this town Lowry City, in honor of a wealthy resident of Evansville, Indiana, for whom he formerly clerked years before.
J.P. and G.W. Wright put up the first store or business house and were the first merchants. D.M. Reid started the first blacksmith shop; R. Wright, the first carpenter; C.F. Huebner, the first shoemaker. All these settled here in the spring of 1871.
The town grew fast and in a few months these business firms were doing business:
General Store – J.P. Wright & Co.
Hardware – G.W. Houk
Drugs, groceries, boots, shoes – G.W. Wright
First postmaster – J.P. Wright, succeeded by J.R. Hopkins, Wm. Hook, John P. Bell, J.H. Trissel, and J.M. Francis
Physicians – Dr. J.P. Wright, Dr. Jos. A. Mee
Dentists – E.J. Dearinger, A.S. Wright
Tinner – J.P. Barnett
Blacksmith – W.D. Poindexter
Wagon manufacturer – Vermillion
Wright House – G.W. Wright, Prop.
Hotel Penn – Mrs. Penn
Carpenters – J.H. Trissell, Mr. Fields
Grange Store – Phillip H. Clear
Drugs & Groceries – W.G. Browning
Millinery – Mrs. Missouri Poindexter
Dry Goods – H. Tutlock
Billiard Hall – James Cardwell
Hardware Store and Postmaster – W.H. Dawson
Harness Maker – C.F. Huebner
Lowry City Independent – V.W. Kearney, first editor; sold to J.D. Ball; sold to Frank O. Denney; sold to Edwin C. Hadley and son Ralph.
St. Clair Co., Missouri History 1883:
Lowry City was platted in March 1871 and named the following May, 1871 by John Hancock, in honor of a wealthy resident of Evansville, Indiana for whom he had clerked years ago. The first post master was J.P. Wright.