Woman of the Century/Mary D. Lowman
LOWMAN, Mrs. Mary D., municipal officer, born in Indiana county. Pa., 27th January. 1842. MARY D. LOWMAN. Her maiden name was McGaha. She resided on a farm until she had fitted herself for teaching. She was a successful teacher for a number of years. In April, 1866, she became the wife of George W. Lowman, and they went to Kansas. Being deeply, interested in the condition of the colored race so recently emancipated, she became a teacher among them for three years. Her health becoming impaired, she then applied herself for some years to domestic affairs. She was an earnest worker in the cause of Christianity. Early in life she identified herself with the Presbyterian Church, and has remained loyal to its interests. She served in 1885 as deputy register of deeds in Oskaloosa, where she has resided for many years. In 1888 the women of Oskaloosa, feeling that the municipal affairs of their city might be improved, decided to put in the field a ticket composed entirely of women, with Mary D. Lowman for mayor. The move created much excitement. When the result was declared, it was found that Mrs. Lowman had been elected mayor, with a common council of women, by no small majority. They served for two years, being reelected in 1889, and an examination of the records of the city will show how faithfully they executed the trust. When their administration began, they found an empty treasury and the city in debt. At the end of the year they had made many public improvements, and there was money in the treasury, showing conclusively that a woman's ideas of economy may extend beyond the domestic side of life. They closed the business houses that were wont to open their doors on the Sabbath, and many other reforms were brought about under her administration. She was not the first woman mayor in Kansas, bat she was the first with a full council of women. She has two children, a son and a daughter.