Mac Lowery was my great great grandfather. He was born McDonal Carol Lowery in Grassy Creek Township, Mitchell County, North Carolina in 1875, and he died on November 27, 1901 at Converse, Spartanburg County South Carolina. He was the son of John Stewart Lowery and Sarah Caroline McFalls.

The name McDonal may have been a maiden name of one of his female forebears. I have seen some research –albeit unsubstantiated– that attached this name to one of his ancestors. It makes perfect sense, the Scots name McDonal, as I believe this line of the family Lowery to have originated in the Scottish Highlands. I have not documented this “fact” and I’m treating it as speculation on some fellow researcher’s enthusiastic part for now.

The middle name of Carol may have been Carl, or Carlton. This was an often used name in the Lowery family. As I write this, I am paging through my electronic notes and I see no source for any middle name for my great great grandfather. I think that I must have some wayward slip of paper with reason for my thinking, or perhaps I am also an enthusiastic speculator.

Regardless of the name McDonal, Carol, or Carlton, he was known to friends and family and in legal documents as Mac Lowery.

Mac Lowery married Alice Elizabeth Atkins on November 25, 1894 at the home of his father John William Lowery in Union Mills, Rutherford County, NC. The Rev. George A. Hough performed the ceremony with T.P Goforth, Charles Young Logan, and E.M Hough as witnesses.

Alice Elizabeth Akins was the daughter of Lydall Charles Atkins (1858–1892) and Margaret Louise Bartles (1853–1947). The Atkins family is an interesting line — one of which I will go into another day; it traces back to the Allen, Bacon, Atwater, and Downs families of England. It was a long journey from the high courts of England to the high tops of the North Carolina mountains. It is a story worth telling.

Alice Elizabeth Atkins gave birth to one child — my great grandmother, Ida Letha Lowery, on September 6, 1895 in Rutherford County, NC. A year and one month later, October 1896, Alice Elizabeth Atkins was dead and Ida was left motherless. Mac Lowery’s mother Sarah Caroline McFalls Lowery had given birth to a son, Samuel, in 1895. Family tradition has it that Sarah Caroline nursed her own child Samuel as well as her grandchild Ida.


Ida Letha Lowery 1895-1992

Mac Lowery was still a young man when his wife and the mother of his only child died. He married again, this time to Lucy Helen Westall, born July 14, 1880 in Celo, Yancey County NC.

From information obtained from a 1910 census record, Mac Lowery and Lucy Helen Westall had three children, with only one living in 1910: Carlton Henry Lowery, born Jan 21, 1901 in Cliffside, Rutherford County. He died April 24, 1966 in Marion, McDowell County.

I cannot find the Mac Lowery family in the 1900 census. There is a Lucy Lowery who lived with the Sidney Barrett family in Gaston County. She is the right age to be Lucy Helen Westell, and Gaston County is only two counties east of Rutherford County. I’ve not researched this enough to be sure.

Mac Lowery was just missing. But, he made a final appearance on November 27, 1901, when he was shot and killed by William Lattimore near Spartanburg, SC. He left a daughter, my great grandmother Ida Letha Lowery an orphan who would live with her Lowery grandparents until her eventual marriage to Adam Teseniar.

After the death of Mac Lowery, Lucy Helen Westall Lowery married Sewell Clingman Beheler (1871-1954).

Ironically, Sewell Beheler was the son of Aletha Lowery (b.1852). Sewell Beheler was no doubt named after Atetha’s brother Suell /Sewall Lowery (b. 1853). Mac Lowery’s father John William Lowery was a sibling and they were all children of William Stewart Lowery.

I’ll do the math- Lucy Helen’s husbands Mac Lowery and Sewell Beheler were first cousins. Lucy Helen Westall Lowery Beheler died in 1828.

Rather than writing about the murder of Mac Lowery, I’ve cut and pasted the articles that I have found in newspapers of the era. I have heard the story many times over the years, and I believe that the following accounts of the tragic events are true to form.

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