Documentary History of American Water-works

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Biography James M. Loweree

James M. Loweree

James M. Loweree was born in New York around 1815.  Nothing is known about his early life, but he was awarded a franchise to build gas works in Flushing in 1855.  He built water works in Long Branch, New Jersey in 1877 and the following year received a franchise to build water works in Houston, where he developed a malarial fever.  He died on September 19, 1881 while building water works in Perth Amboy.  He was also working to establish a new railroad in Florida at the time of his death.  

He entered enter a partnership with his son Frank in early 1881 to build water works, and Frank carried on the business after his father's death.

James M. Loweree's Water Works Experience
City State Years Projects
Long Branch NJ 1877 Contractor; officer of Long Branch Water Company
Houston TX 1878-1879 Developer and superintendent
Perth Amboy NJ 1881 Incorporator and contractor.

Frank M. Loweree's Water Works Experience
City State Years Projects
Knoxville TN 1881-1883 Incorporator of the Knoxville Water Company; contractor
Hopkinsville KY 1884 Failed to pursue contracted work.
Montclair NJ 1885 Proposal

1855 "Gas in Flushing," Brooklyn Evening Star, September 22, 1855, Page 2.
The Trustees have granted to James M. Loweree, Gilbert Hicks and Chas. G. Willett, the privilege of laying as much pipe as they please, and making all the gas for the inhabitants.

1868 "Opening of the Long Branch Gas Works," Times Union (Brooklyn, New York), July 28, 1868, Page 2.
In May last the Company accepted the proposals of Mr. James M. Loweree of New York and Mr. Joseph H. Thomas of this District, for the construction of the requisite works for the manufacture and distribution of gas.

1871 Monmouth Democrat, July 20, 1871, Page 3.
Keyport, July 17, 1871.  The contract for putting up the Matawan and Keyport gas works, has been given to James M. Loweree, of Red Bank, to be completed in five months.

1875 "Perth Amboy, N.J." The Daily Graphic (New York, New York), May 28, 1875, Page 3.
The works of the Perth Amboy Gaslight Company are at the extreme southern end of the city, their proximity enabling them to procure their coal by water, thus cheapening the cost of gas to consumers.  the streets, public buildings, and many stores and private dwellings are lighted with this was, which is universally admitted to be excellent in quality.  The works were constructed by J. M. Loweree, Esq., in 1870.

1876 Matawan Journal (Matawan, New Jersey), December 16, 1876, Page 2.
The Long Branch water works are now a fixed fact.  The stock has all been subscribed, and Mr. J. M. Loweree, of Red Bank - an able manager - is to superintend the work.

1878 "Gas Light Companies," Monmouth Democrat, April 18, 1876, Page 1.
Red Bank - Red Bank Gas Light Company.  Incorporated in 1868.  President, Asher S. Parker, Secretary and Treasurer, Anthony Reckleas.  Superintendent, James M. Loweree.

1881 The Daily Register (Red Bank, New Jersey), February 3, 1881, Page 1.
Mr. Frank M. Loweree, recently of the firm of F. M. Loweree & Co., proprietors of the iron foundry, has associated himself with his father under the firm name of J. M. Loweree & Son. The business of the firm is to establish water-works in any towns throughout the country. Mr. J. M. Loweree is at present in Florida, but he expects to return in the course of two or three weeks, when operations will be immediately begun on the water-works at Pertli Amboy, that borough having decided, at a recent election, and by a vote of 835 to 97, to accept the proposition of the firm in regard to furnishing the town with water.

1881 An act confirming the organization of the Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Halifax River Railway Comopany and to grant certain Ferry Privileges and lands to said company.  February 28, 1881
James M. Loweree, William S. Sneden, Samuel B. Hubbard and others.

1881 American Machinist 4:7 (May 14, 1881)
The Perth Amboy Water Company, Perth Amboy, James M. Loweree, William King, Alfred Hall and others, incorporators.  Capital cost $100,000.  To construct, maintain and operate Water-works in the city of Perth Amboy, N.J.

1881 James M. Loweree (1815-1881) grave

1881 "James M. Loweree," The Daily Register (Red Bank, New Jersey), September 21, 1881, Page 2.
He also built the water works in Long Branch, and in Houston, Texas, and just before his death was awarded the contract to build a large water supply system in another southern city.  While engaged in the Houston water works, a work of which Mr. Loweree was justly proud, as being the finest had built, and among the finest in the country, he was stricken with malarial fever, which developed into consumption of the bowels, of which disease he died.  At the time of his death he was engaged in building the water works at Perth Amboy, the contract for which was awarded to him some few months since by the town.

1883 An act to amend An act entitled An Act confirming the organization of the Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Halifax River Railway Company and to grant certain Ferry Privileges and lands to said company, approved February 28, 1881.  February 26, 1883.
Whereas, James M. Loweree, the owner of the majority of the stock, and the principal proprietor and projector of said railway company, having died in September, 1881.

1885 "Offers for a Water Supply," The Montclair Times, May 16, 1885, Page 3.

1887 "Mrs. Loweree Divorced," The Daily Register (Red Bank, New Jersey), April 6, 1887, Page 1.
Her Marriage Annulled on the Ground of Desertion.

1889 "Frank M. Loweree," The Daily Register (Red Bank, New Jersey), May 8, 1889, Page 1.
Died Sunday at the age of 42 years.

1904 "Institutions and History of Flushing," The Brooklyn Daily Times, December 17, 1904, Page 19.
One of the leading industries of Flushing is the New York and Queens Gas Company.  The first certificate of stock was issued May 1, 1856 to James M. Loweree, bearing his signature as President, and attested by Charles A. Willets, as Secretary.  At that time the company was known as the Flushing Gas Light Company.

Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Halifax River Railway (Wikipedia)

2020 Morris A. Pierce