Walter M. Lowrey

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Walter M. Lowrey
Born (1921-07-19)July 19, 1921
Mansfield, DeSoto Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died May 29, 1980(1980-05-29) (aged 58)
Caddo Parish, Louisiana
Alma mater

Louisiana State University

Vanderbilt University
Occupation Historian
Professor at Centenary College of Louisiana
Years active 1940s–1980

Walter M. Lowrey (July 19, 1921 – May 29, 1980)[1] was a historian affiliated with Centenary College, a Methodist-institution in Shreveport, Louisiana, who was also a founding member of the Louisiana Historical Association.

Lowrey was born to John William Lowrey, Sr., and Loretta Lowrey (ca. 1881-1970) in Mansfield, the seat of DeSoto Parish south of Shreveport. He had three brothers and two sisters.[2][dead link] He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. During World War II, he served in the United States Army in the European theater of operations. He subsequently obtained a Master of Arts from LSU and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.[3]

He was professor of history and the dean of arts and sciences at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux in Lafourche Parish in south Louisiana. In 1963, he joined the Centenary faculty; he was subsequently named Centenary's "Outstanding Professor of 1966."[3]

In 1948, Lowrey wrote the article "The Political Career of James Madison Wells," a former Louisiana governor in the then entitled Louisiana Historical Quarterly.[4] He penned the article on the Red River in the publication The Rivers and Bayous of Louisiana.[5] Through his role as chairman of the United Methodist editorial committee in the late 1970s, Lowrey spearheaded the project A History of Louisiana Methodism.[6][dead link] The project includes the history of the church's extensive network of circuit riders.[7][dead link]

Lowrey's affiliations included Phi Kappa Phi, the scholastic honor society; Omicron Delta Kappa, the leadership fraternity; the Southern Historical Association, and the North Louisiana Historical Association, of which he vice president. He was also a member of the Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church, the Historical Study Committee of Shreveport, and the Louisiana Committee for the Humanities.[3] From 1963–1964, he was president of the Louisiana Historical Association, an organization now based in Lafayette which publishes A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, both on-line and in hard volume.[8]

Lowrey died suddenly at the age of fifty-eight. Colleague John D. Winters of Louisiana Tech University, wrote a tribute to Lowrey in the Journal of the North Louisiana Historical Association, since renamed North Louisiana History, in which he referred to Lowrey as "a skilled researcher, polished writer, and a master teacher."[3]

Lowrey's principal colleague in the Centenary history department was W. Darrell Overdyke, a specialist in the American South.


  1. ^ "Social Security Death Index". Retrieved March 11, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Mrs. Loretta Lowrey". Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d John D. Winters, "In Memoriam: Walter M. Lowrey, 1921–1980", The Journal of the North Louisiana Historical Association, Vol. 11, No. 3 (Summer 1980)
  4. ^ Walter Lowrey, "The Political Career of James Madison Wells", Louisiana Historical Quarterly, 31 (October, 1948), pp. 995–1123
  5. ^ "Lauren C. Post, A review of The Rivers and Bayous of Louisiana". Louisiana History. Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Louisiana Commission on Archives and History". Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Methodist Circuit Riders". Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Presidents of the Louisiana Historical Association Since Reorganization in 1958". Retrieved March 11, 2011. 
Preceded by
Garnie W. McGinty
President of the Louisiana Historical Association

Walter M. Lowrey

Succeeded by
Charles L. Dufour