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Biography - WILLIAM W. LOWIS

Possessed of industry, zeal, a real love of his chosen work, clever wit and an individual style, with a high ideal of journalistic work, William W. Lowis of Greenville, Illinois, dean of the newspaper men of Bond county, established a widespread reputation in this state among his colleagues, and from the close of the Civil war until his practical retirement from this field of endeavor, in May, 1906, was associated in official capacities with some of the leading periodicals of the state. Mr. Lowis, who for five years has been acting in the office of postmaster of Greenville, was born in Spalding, Lincolnshire England, February 10, 1846, and is a son of John Walker and Elizabeth Ann (Bond) Lowis.

John Walker Lowis was born in Louth, England, and as a young man learned the draper's trade, which he followed at Spalding until May, 1850, in that year coming to the United States and settling in Janesville, Wisconsin. Two years later he removed to Freeport, Illinois, where for several years he held the office of deputy recorder of deeds, and in 1872 he went to Escanaba, Michigan, retired from active life and lived with his children until his death in 1874. He was a Northern Democrat during the Civil war, and a faithful member of the Episcopal church. Mr. Lowis was married (first) in England, to Elizabeth Ann Bond, who died at Janesville, Wisconsin, in 1850, and to this union there were born eleven children, of whom William W. was the sixth in order of birth. In 1852 the second marriage of Mr. Lowis occurred, when he was united with Miss Mary Nichols, of Janesville, by whom he had two children. Mrs. Lowis survives her husband and makes her home with her daughter in Escanaba, Michigan.

William W. Lowis was four years of age when the family came to the United States, and his education was secured in the common schools of Freeport, Illinois. In completing his schooling he became clerk in a store in Janesville, Wisconsin, from whence he enlisted for service in the Fortieth Wisconsin Volunteers, and served six months during the Civil war, participating in some heavy engagements in Tennessee and Alabama. On receiving his honorable discharge he went to Freeport, where he was initiated into newspaper work, serving an apprenticeship to the printer's trade in the office of the Freeport Bulletin. After one year he was made foreman of the office, a position which he held for fifteen years, and then went to Lanark, Illinois, where for two years he published the Carroll County Gazette. Disposing of his interests there, he removed to Lena, Illinois, and for sixteen years was owner and publisher of the Lena Star, and in 1893 came to Greenville and purchased the Advocate. This paper, one of the oldest in the state, was established in 1854, and is now published twice a week, having a circulation of two thousand. In 1898 Mr. Lowis made William C. Carson his city editor, and in May, 1906, that gentleman took over the active management. In May, 1908, the firm of Lowis & Carson was formed, Mr. Carson at that time becoming half-owner, editor and business manager, although Mr. Lowis still holds a half-interest in the newspaper. The Advocate is one of the leading Republican organs of Southern Illinois, and is equipped with a plant that is in every way sufficient to its needs. The policy of the paper shows that its publishers realize the great responsibility they have assumed in these days when newspapers practically control public opinion, and by the hearty support it is being given it has been demonstrated that the reading public appreciates the efforts of the owners to put forth a clean, reliable source of information. In 1906 Mr. Lowis was appointed postmaster of Greenville, in which office he has served to the present time. He served as private secretary to Lieutenant-Governor W. A. Northcott during his first term, and has always been prominent in Republican politics, being chairman of the Republican County Central Committee for several years. The best interests of Greenville have been uppermost in his mind, and he was largely instrumental in securing the Federal Building for this city.

On January 6, 1870, Mr. Lowis was united in marriage with Miss Mary Jane Newcomer, and they had one son, who died at the age of four years. Mr. and Mrs. Lowis are consistent members of the Episcopal church. He has been prominent in Grand Army circles, and was adjutant and commander of the local post for a number of years, while fraternally he is connected with the Masons and the Court of Honor.

Extracted 10 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from 1912 History of Southern Illinois, by George W. Smith, volume 3, pages 1120-1122.

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