The Family History Page

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Peter Mowry

Peter Mowry, 1770-1833 Peter Mowry was born on September 14, 1770 in PA to parents Christian Mowry and Margaret Klingensmith. He began studying medicine with Dr. Nathaniel Bedford at age 19 and became a doctor (quite wealthy for his time). He married Elizabeth Gray in 1795.

After the death of his first wife in 1809, Peter remarried. His second wife was Eliza Addison (marriage in 1816). Peter was a physician who resided (at least in part) at Diamond Alley (or Street) until about 1800. After 1800 he was living "in a brick house at the corner of Market and Front Streets and had probably the most extensive medical practice in Pittsburgh" according to The Planting of Civilization in Western Pennsylvania (authored by Buck).

He actively attended Trinity Episcopal Church on Sixth Avenue in Pittsburgh, where he was a vestrymen. Peter loved to play cards, and it is said that he made frequent trips down the river to New Orleans for that reason. One of his homes had a silver front door knocker and Peter owned a sword; most likely Peter could be considered a Federalist near-aristocrat.

Peter died on May 5, 1833.

    Submitted by author Russell Patience in September 2005. From his paper (p.20) entitled Lewis Peters, Tanner and Innkeeper, of Lancaster and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1772-1833:

      "Creditors had accumulated ten judgments against Lewis Peters, totalling $3,342.15 prior to February 7, 1820. He had also been sued by Dr. Mowry, presumably for medical fees, but Dr. Holmes agreed on January 23, 1820 to pay the charges. Holmes had been Mowry’s pupil and partner in medical practice, and he may have wanted to avoid embarrassment by paying the fees owed to his preceptor by his insolvent father-in-law."77

      77. See List of Judgments, 3 pages, marked "A", rider to page 32 of trial notes of Judge Moses Hampton at the new trial commenced January 14, 1863, EJECTMENT. For Holmes as pupil of Dr. Peter Mowry, see Pioneer Medicine in Western Pennsylvania by Theodore Diller, M.D., published by Paul B. Hoeber Inc., New York, 1927, page 113. For partnership of Holmes and Peter Mowry, see advertisement "A Dissolution of Partnership" in Pittsburgh Gazette, Tuesday, April 14, 1818, page 3.

      From the Table of Abbreviations, EJECTMENT refers to: original documents filed in the ejectment action Wallace, Pomeroy et al. v. Shepley R. Holmes, case no. 330, July Term 1846, Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County, PA., on file in the Allegheny County Prothonotary’s Office, Pittsburgh, PA.

    Mr. Patience wrote me with the following information about his paper: "I wrote a paper, now at the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania and included in their online catalogue, on the life of my g-g-g-g-grandfather, Lewis Peters. He and his family were patients of Dr. Mowry, and Lewis Peters' son-in-law, Dr. Shepley Holmes, was once a pupil of Dr. Mowry and was briefly his partner in the practice of medicine.

Elizabeth Gray

Elizabeth Gray married Peter Mowry in 1795. She died in 1809. They had three children:

  • Bedford, died as a young man
  • William, died as a young man
  • John C. Mowry, born 1806-1830
Eliza Addison

Eliza Addison married Peter Mowry in 1816. Eliza was 28 when she married Peter, who was 46. She was a sister of Dr. William Addison (appointed as one of the executors in Peter's will) and the daughter of Judge Alexander Addison, who is described in Whiskey Rebels, The Story of a Frontier Uprising by Leland Baldwin.

When Peter died, he left to Eliza all his household effects and farming implements and stock, and the house they were currently living in.

Eliza and Peter had the following children:

  • James Ross, born 1817 Named after the conservative Senator James Ross. Was stolen by the Indians. Later migrated to Toledo, Ohio and married an Indian girl. His daughter was named Cuba U Quit.

  • William May have been named for Eliza's brother Dr. William Addison (1801-1862)

  • George Ross

  • Major James Grant
    Named after the Major who led the expedition that ended the French occupation of Fort Duquesne

  • Alexander Alexander's father's will left him his professional books, medicines, and shop furniture (Alexander became a doctor as well.)

  • Unknown (perhaps Elizabeth N. Davis)
    Peter's will left Elizabeth the house in Pittsburgh and $1000 of his stock in the Bank of Pittsburgh

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