Matthew B. Lowrie

Mathew B. Lowrie (1773 July 28, 1850), served as the Mayor of Pittsburgh from 1830 to 1831.

Matthew B. Lowrie
Portrait of Matthew B. Lowrie,
c. 1830–1831
5th Mayor of Pittsburgh
In office
Succeeded byMagnus Miller Murray
Personal details
BornMay 12, 1773[1]
Edinburgh, Scotland
DiedJuly 28, 1850 (aged 76/77)
Political partyAnti-Masonic
RelationsWalter Lowrie (brother)
ChildrenWalter H. Lowrie

Early life

Lowrie was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, from where he emigrated with his parents the U.S. state of to Pennsylvania. As a young man he came to Pittsburgh and started a thriving grocery business. Lowrie was also active in religion, serving many years as a Sunday school teacher at the First Presbyterian Church. His brother, Walter Lowrie, served in the United States Senate, and his son, Walter H. Lowrie, went on to become Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Pittsburgh politics

Mathew Lowrie was elected mayor in 1830 and is credited with "modernizing" the fire department.

The city bought its very first steam powered fire engine and named it the "citizen". Lowrie was also instrumental in managing the city's rapid growth by adopting the "ward" system of governance for the first time in western Pennsylvania.

Later life

Lowrie died in 1850 after a bout with cholera, he is buried in Allegheny Cemetery and the site is marked by an obelisk.

Preceded by
Magnus Miller Murray
Mayor of Pittsburgh
Succeeded by
Magnus Miller Murray


  1. Swetnam, George (September 20, 1973). The Pittsburgh Press. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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