In taking up the history of Lanson E. Lowrance we announce him as being descended from both the French and the German, his remote American ancestor, paternally, having been a Frenchman and that of the maternal side coming from the German blood of Pennsylvania. When the Lowrance from whom our subject descends crossed the turbulent Atlantic and founded the family on our continent is not accurately obtainable, but Evelan Lowrance, father of Lanson E., was born in Catawba county, North Carolina, and it is believed that his father passed his life on American soil.
Evelan Lowrance was reared in his native county and reared his family in Alexander county, that state. His position as a trader, slave owner, tanner and public officer of his county made him a widely known personage, and he gathered about him much wealth before his death in 1851. He married a Miss Cole, whose antecedents were German, as before stated. Of their family our subject was the thirteenth child, only four of whom still live, viz: Milas, of North Carolina; Leander, of the same county; Mrs. Margaret Merreckson, of Yell county, Arkansas, and Lanson E., of this sketch. That the family was a patriotic one is indicated by the service of the sons, Nelson, Polser, Lanson, Lee and Morton in the army of their favorite Southland during the period of the Civil war.
Lanson E. Lowrance was born in Alexander county, North Carolina, March 10, 1845. He had some of the advantages of the good schools of his locality and time. He really began life when he became a soldier in 1862, and the three years he passed in the ranks gave him almost a veteran’s equipment for civil affairs at the close of the war. He joined Company A, Sixth North Carolina and was much of the time on detached service in Lee’s army and fought on Stony creek and Spottsylvania among other engagements of the war. When Lee’s army surrendered he made an attempt to join Johnson’s army, being determined to resist to the end and never surrender while a Confederate force was still in the field. He yielded to the inevitable, however, and returned to his home to find much of the family property swept away.
To resume life under the changed and unsettled conditions following the war was to him in his locality a task indeed. Accustomed to an outdoor life, a tent or a blanket for a cover and the earth for a bed, it was many months before he could find rest upon a real bed. His military rambling bred in him a desire to be out on the frontier and to be among those who were beginning life in a new country. About this time Dakota was being advertised widely and attractively and thither he went, and established himself near the mouth of the James river, where he opened a new farm. Farming and stockraising occupied him for a number of years following 1866, and he was fairly successful at both. He saw the country all around him pass from a wilderness to a community of beautiful homes filled with people from all climes and representing all races of men. He withstood the drouth, stemmed the flood and fought the giant mosquitoes of the Upper Missouri and came off victorious in the end. By chance Mr. Lowrance’s attention was directed toward Texas when he had really decided to make his future home on the Pacific slope. A Texas lady visiting in his community told of cheap lands, fine climate and fertile soils in her state and aroused an interest in the home-seeker-to-be and he visited the Lone Star state on a prospecting tour, with the result that be brought his family here and in Jack county he has since made his home. In selecting a home Mr. Lowrance chose a tract five miles west of Jacksboro on the T. C. S. survey, where he owns two hundred and eighty-three acres and where he resided until he purchased two hundred and six acres on the Vandever survey, somewhat nearer to the county seat. The general work of the farm absorbs him and the remnant of his once large family claims his parental care. The same zeal and the same energy possess him as of old, but the weight of years has brought the calm of seriousness and bodily vigor is on the wane. Still the active head of the family, the promptings of duty control him and he accomplishes results akin to the days of his youth.
In March, 1868, Mr. Lowrance married Apelin Ottison, a daughter of a Norwegian tailor and farmer and a man of much intellectual attainment. Mrs. Lowrance was born in the state of Iowa in 1854 and died in 1899. Her children are: Norman, who married Kate McMurtry and is a Jack county farmer; Eugene, whose wife was Myrtle Mayo, lives near his father; Daisy, wife of Lee Shaw, of Tyrone, Oklahoma; and John and Willia complete the family. Mr. Lowrance has given little thought to matters of politics and no time in its active manipulation. He is a Democrat, as were his immediate ancestors and his citizenship is of that character which numbers him among all good men.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas, Vol. II (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1906), pp. 219-220.