DANIEL A. MOWRY is the oldest representative of the fourth generation of the Mowry family in Derry township, Westmoreland county. The family is of Swiss lineage and was established in America by the great-great-grandfather, who emigrated from Switzerland and settled in Dauphin county, Pennsylvania, about the time of the outbreak of the Revolutionary war. His son, Michael Mowry, removed from Dauphin to Westmoreland county, and acquired a large tract of land in Derry township, from the heirs of Major Wilson. This tract has in subsequent years been divided and subdivided now a portion is in possession of Daniel A. Mowry. The original homestead is now owned by ex-Governor John Latta, of Greensburg. Michael Mowry and his wife died at the age of Seventy-two years. Their two children, Conrad and Catherine, were born in Dauphin county.
Conrad Mowry was reared upon the home farm in Derry township, learned the weaver's trade and followed that vocation during the active years of his life. He continued to reside, however, upon a portion of the old Mowry homestead, which had come to him as his patrimony. He and his wife Matilda lived to the age of seventy-two years, it being a coincidence that the paternal grandparents and great-grandparents all died at the same ate. Conrad and Matilda Mowry also had tow children: John and Nancy, the later the wife of Michael Shehan.
John Mowry, born at the ancestral home in Derry township, December 24, 1809, learned the cooper's trade in early life and followed that pursuit until about 1856, when he entered the employ of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and was thus engaged until his retirement from active business life. He, too, made his home upon the farm where he was born and reared. He held membership in the Lutheran church, in which members of the family have been active workers for more that a century, many of them holding office in the church. The political faith of the family has ever been in accord with Democratic principles, and John Mowry also followed in the path of his ancestors in this particular. He died December 18, 1883. In early manhood he married Mary A. Crusan, who was of Scotch descent, the emigrant ancestor having come to Westmoreland county more that a hundred years age. John and Mary A. Mowry had nine children, of whom three are living: Daniel A.; Michael Y., of Derry township; and Nancy R.. the wife of Samuel A. Wareham, of the borough of Derry.
Daniel A. Mowry was born in Derry township, Westmoreland county, June 13, 1847, was reared upon the home farm and educated in school No. 15, of his native township. From the age of ten years he was earning money in various ways and when seventeen years of age his name was on the pay roll fl the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, while at the age of nineteen years he entered upon an apprenticeship to the blacksmith's trade in the tow of New Derry. When he had completed his term of indenture he opened a shop in Millwood, which he conducted nine years, doing a large amount of railroad work. In 1878 he re-entered the service of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company in the capacity of a blacksmith for car inspectors in the motive power department, and in 1888 he was placed in charge of the company's store at Derry Station, where he remained until his election to the office of county commissioner in 1902. He was six times a nominee for county offices, having been nominated five times for the position of prothonotary. While the Republicans normally have a very large majority, he was defeated on one occasion by only a hundred and fifty votes and he was elected to his present office by a very large majority, which is indicative of his personal popularity an the confidence reposed in him by his fellow townsmen. He has always been a staunch Democrat and an earnest worker for the growth and success of the party. He is now serving as secretary to the board of county commissioners. For thirty-two years he has been a member of the A. O. of U. W. and for more that thirty years of Lamont Lodge, No. 568, A. F. and A. M. He is a member of the Veteran Employers Association of the Pittsburg division of the Pennsylvania railroad, and has been a fife long member of the Trinity Lutheran church, at Derry, serving as a member of the church council and secretary of the board. Mr. Mowry was married June 14, 1869, to Margaret A. Akins, of Derry township, a daughter of Andrew Akins. They have become the parents of eleven children, of whom nine are living: Maud E., the wife of L. A. Loughner, of Penn township, Westmoreland county; Mary M., wife of W. P. Best, of Derry Station; Albert T., of Derry Township, foreman in the machine shops at Conemaugh, PA. ; Andrew J., of Derry township, who is with the Pennsylvania Railroad Company ; Daniel A., and engine preparer at Derry ; Myrtle C., wife of L. S. Kelly, of Derry township ; Charles C., Bertha L. and Charlotte J., at home.
Source Pages 51 & 52 History of Westmoreland County, Volume II, Pennsylvania by John N. Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906
Transcribed December 31, 1999 by Marilynn Wienke for the Westmoreland County History Project
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/westmoreland/)
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