Historian and journalist Minnie Kendall Lowther (March 17, 1869-September 18, 1947) was born near Fonzo, Ritchie County, the descendant of a prominent pioneer family. A horse-riding accident in the early 1890s confined her to a wheelchair for several years, ending her early career as a teacher.
During her recovery Lowther began to write historical articles and a column of social news for the Ritchie Standard. In 1911, she published her book, The History of Ritchie County. Lowther later became the editor of several newspapers, among the first West Virginia women to hold such positions. She successively was editor of the Pennsboro News, the Wetzel Republican, the West Union Record, the Glenville Democrat, and the Methodist Protestant Church Record. Her most significant editorial post was as editor and part owner of the Upshur Record of Buckhannon, for several years prior to 1920.
About 1920, Lowther moved to Washington. Here she gave tours at Mount Vernon; was active in the Daughters of the American Revolution; and resumed her career as a historian with the book Mount Vernon, Arlington and Woodlawn (1922). Later books include Marshall Hall (1925); Friendship Hill, Home of Albert Gallatin (1928); Mount Vernon, Its Children, Its Romances, Its Allied Families and Mansions (1930); and Blennerhassett Island in Romance and Tragedy (1936).
Lowther worked as a newspaper columnist in Washington, and spent her last years as a newspaper writer in Parkersburg. She died in Harrisville, in her native Ritchie County.
This Article was written by Ray Swick
Last Revised on October 07, 2010
Miss Lowther Taken by Death. Parkersburg Sentinel, 9/19/1947.
Minnie Kendall Lowther Papers. West Virginia & Regional History Collection, West Virginia University Libraries.
Minnie Kendall Lowther Papers. Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park archives, Parkersburg.