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Rowdy Joe Lowe


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Joseph Thomas Lowe, also known as Rowdy Joe Lowe, born 1846 in Illinois.

Joe Lowe and his wife Kate wandered into Kansas from Illinois where they set up a combination saloon-brothel in West Wichita, Kansas. Following the boom railroad towns they opened similar establishments in Ellsworth and Newton, Kansas.

Joe shot and killed a man in Newton named A. M. Sweet after Sweet threatened to kill Joe. The Topeka Kansas Daily Commonwealth reported Joe immediately surrendered to the Sheriff. In Wichita, Joe fled custody after killing Edward Beard. Delano, Kansas- Gunman Edward T. Beard, AKA Red Beard, died two weeks after being shot by gunman Rowdy Joe Lowe. Beard was at odds with the dreaded gunman Rowdy Joe Lowe, who had built a saloon next to Beard's (winning in a race to see who could build a dance hall first). On October 27, Beard, drinking heavily, accused one of his prostitutes, Jo DeMerritt, of stealing from him. DeMerritt threw a bottle at him and fled next door to Lowe's saloon. The drunken Beard followed her, staggered into Lowe's, and in the smoke-filled place mistook another prostitute, Annie Franklin, for DeMerritt. He fired a shot which struck the woman in the stomach. Lowe then grabbed a shotgun and exchanged shots with Beard. Lowe's shot missed but Beard's bullet grazed Lowe's neck. A stray bullet struck and wounded bystander Bill Anderson who was standing at the bar. Beard fled and Lowe, as drunk as his quarry, went after him. Both men, mounted on horses and racing out of town, had a running gunfight. Lowe caught up with Beard near the river bridge and emptied his shotgun into him, then rode back to town where he turned himself in to the sheriff. Beard was found critically wounded in the arm and thigh, loaded with buckshot. He clung to life for two weeks, but through loss of blood died on this date.
He wandered through Texas and finally 'settled' in Denver, Colorado. While drunk and belligerent Lowe insulted a local Denver Colorado police officer. As tempers flared both men went for their guns and Joe was shot dead.

Joe Lowe is buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Denver, Colorado.

... as seen through the eyes of one person.


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