Fannin County Folks & Facts Page: 251
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JOSEPH MEEKS LOWREY
Joe Lowrey was born on a farm near Sparta, Tennessee in
January 1868. He was brought by his pioneering father and
mother Charles Addison and Mary McConnell Lowrey to
Texas in 1880 along with his brothers Mark, Frank, Jim and
sister Carrie to Hutchins Station in Dallas County. A younger
brother Add was born in Texas north of Lannius where his
father farmed for many years.
At the age of 17 Joe had his hip dislocated in a game of
leap-frog with other boys. The country doctor diagnosed the
pain as rheumatism and Joe walked with a limp, one leg be-
ing nearly two inches shorter than the other. But that never
kept him from being ambitious and wanting to succeed in
He attended school at Lannius, read and studied and ob-
tained a teacher's certificate and taught in the New Prospect
School which later became the Hilger community. Later he
took a job in Dodd City in a drug store, then later worked in a
drug store in Windom. For a time he went to business school
in Paris studying business arithmetic for the Crowdus Drug
Company. He wrote an outstanding, beautiful Spencerian
handwriting and in 1892 W. H. Lemons county clerk of Fan-
nin County asked him to come and copy deeds on record as
deputy county clerk and later, copied a set of abstract books,
taking the place of Sumpter Lipscomb who had died. Later
Joe went to work for John Boyd, father of Walter Boyd of
Bonham, in insurance and purchased an interest in the busi-
About this time in 1895 he went to Austin as committee
clerk in the Senate for Honorable Ed Agnew, the state sena-
tor. Later Joe was promoted to assistant engrossing clerk,
copying state records for five months in the capitol.
When the legislature adjourned he came back to Bonham
and took a position with Boyd and Colonel Nat Bradford. On
the death of Boyd he bought his interest in the firm with
Bradford. Later he was elected and served two terms as city
tax collector and assessor. He sold his interest in the insur-
ance business to James A. Duncan. Later he was in partner-
ship in the insurance business with Albert Taylor which in-
terest he sold to F. M. Gibson in 1903. Then he went into
business for himself in all kinds of insurance and real estate.
Serving as alderman for four years from 1914 to 1918, he
became mayor pro-tem upon the resignation of Mayor Joe
Thurmond who went into service for World War I.
In 1911 Joe took and bought the office building on Fourth
Street for his real estate and insurance business. At one
time his son Joe Bennett was in business with him. Later his
son-in-law Harry Swann bought into the business and it be-
came Lowrey and Swann. He owned the Bonham Abstract
Company which was run and operated by Misses Myrtle and
Phebe Hancock for many years. He sold the company to T.
C. Williams and Arthur Maxwell.
Joe Lowrey helped to organize the Bonham Building and
Loan Association and was the secretary-treasurer until Janu-
ary 1943 when he resigned as a director. He was secretary
for many years of the Willow Wild Care Association.
Joe was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian
Church but, when in 1895 he married Mildred Cox, he be-
came a member of the First Methodist Church with her and
served 25 years on the board of stewards and was a faithful,
active member of the church. Later he and his wife joined
the Union Presbyterian Church and in 1929 they moved
again into the First Presbyterian Church where he served as
an elder until his death March 29, 1950. He and his wife and
three of their four children are buried in Willow Wild Ceme-
His wife Mildred Cox was born November 6, 1873 and
died in October 1958. Her biography is in the Joseph War-
ren Cox sketch and their children and grandchildren are
listed there. BY MRS. H. D. SWANN
ISAAC AND ANDREW LYDAY
Indians and wild animals roamed the prairie when two
brothers from Tennessee settled in Fannin County near the
present town of Ladonia.
Isaac Lyday born 1813 and Andrew Lyday 1804-1849 re-
alized that protection was necessary if settlers were to sur-
vive the hardships of Texas privation. Together the brothers
founded Fort Lyday, which served as a haven to hundreds of
pioneers who moved into the county in early days of the
Isaac was married in 1839 to Lucinda Clark, the daughter
of David and Minerva Inglish Clark of Clarksville. Their chil-
dren were John H. born 1840; Anne E. born 1842; Amanda
born 1842; and Andrew W. born 1847. The children found
ready playmates with the many children of pioneers who
lived in the fort and they called their playground the domain
of the fort.
Little is known about Andrew. His only child was Mary
(1832-1847) and his wife is unknown. Perhaps he was a wi-
dower when he came into the county. BY JOHN AVERY
JOE BANKS LYLE
Joe Banks'Lyle born December 6, 1834 in South Carolina
was the son of James and Elizabeth Lyle. James was a min-
ister of the Associated Reformed Church. He was born in
Philadelphia but moved to South Carolina where his wife was
Joe Banks was enlisted in Company "C," 5th Regiment,
South Carolina Infantry in 1861. He was a gallant soldier
and received many honors.
When the war was over he returned home and established
a private school for boys, Aiken Institute. He was married to
Medora C. McArthur in 1865. She remained with her family
in South Carolina when Joe Banks came to Texas. After a
year she made the trip to Texas with her two small children
in a wagon with only two teenage boys for company. The
boys were her brother, Blackstone McArthur and a cousin
They remained in Paris for some years, then came to Bon-
ham. There Capt. Lyle was head of a girl's school called Ma-
sonic Female Institute.
While living in Lamar County, Blackstone married and
when his wife died leaving four small children, the Lyles took
the children as their own because Blackstone did not long
survive his wife.
Capt. Lyle went to Caddo, Oklahoma from Bonham be-
cause he thought the Maytubby Springs near Caddo would
be developed into a fine health resort. He died August 17,
1913. His wife and two sons Edgar and Joe Banks, Jr. and
one daughter survived him. BY LELLAH H. LYLE
RICHARD WINES MACON
The sixth child born to William Pleasant Macon and Kizah
Ann Macon was Richard Wines born April 2, 1886 in Boliver,
Tennessee and died February 7, 1952 in Leonard. He mar-
ried Birdie Mead on November 15, 1908 at Macon's Chapel
near Leonard. To this couple five children were born: Ellison
Mead was born August 22, 1909 and married Berta Brown
December 20, 1934. They live in Lubbock and have one son
Max who married Carolyn Mimms of Lubbock. Max and Car-
olyn have three children: Melonie, Chris and Alison. Their
home is in Wichita Falls.
R. W. Jr. was born August 18, 1914. He married Lennie
Daniel March 20, 1942. They live in Sherman. To them twins
were born, Linda and Brenda. Linda married Roy Ferris and
they have one daughter Lori and they live in Sherman.
Brenda married Paul White. They have two children Tannie
and Heidi. Their home is in Abilene.
Vivian Frances born April 29, 1916 married Wyndle
Hughes Oct. 2, 1936 in Leonard. Their home is in Kountze.
They have three children: Caron, Norma and Macon. Caron
married Bill Noland of La Marque and they have two chil-
dren, Craig and Cathy and live in La Marque. Norma married
Phil Elkins of Abilene and they have three children: Monica,
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Bonham Public Library. Fannin County Folks & Facts, book, 1977; Bonham, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth1151234/m1/263/: accessed December 5, 2023), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Fannin County Historical Commission.