Toweys Who Contributed to Society
Some Toweys became famous because they contributed to the betterment of peoples in their locale or, perhaps, to his/her respective country. We earnestly hope to identify their contribution to society.
If you know of a famous Towey, anywhere in the world, please submit your recommendations and legends using the contact form at bottom of our Home Page.
Thomas Towey, Hero of “Towey Ballad”
The Towey Ballad was written around 1886 about three Land War heroes from Ballaghaderreen, Thomas Towey, Michael Morris Roe and Michael Rogers.
- Thomas Towey was a tenant farmer in Barnaboy (in Co Mayo at that time), who used the Plan_of_Campaign against the Viscount Dillons about 1887 for which he was arrested and imprisoned. The Towey Ballad was written about his historical incident.As well, Anne Deane wrote about Thomas Towey during a period known as the “Land War” in the book titled The Dominant Churchby Fr. Liam Swords, which is a social and political history of Ballaghaderreen and its surrounding area from about 1800 to 1960. Anne Deane wrote:
- “Tom Towey unfurled the Plan of Campaign on the Viscount Dillon estate and brought the noble land rack-renter to his knees. Now Tom has been thrown on the roadside to perish. Nevertheless he continues his agitation and the arrest of the brave gallant Towey was recorded in a ballad which describes how crowds followed police to their station from where he was escorted to Galway jail.“
- A bit of history: Land and property was forcibly taken by Great Britain from Irish Catholic landowners from about 1556 until 1700, approximately, and given British soldiers who mostly sold the land to absentee English and Scottish Protestant landlords. These landlords generally lived outside Ireland and enjoyed high life in Britain.
These British rack-renter landlords charged excessive and unjust rents. Irish crop failure, famine, bankrupsy and mass evictions occurred. 1879 to 1903 was known as the Land Law Period, a time of great British agitation, intimidation and Irish refusal to pay exorbitant rents.
- The several Viscounts Dillon were absentee landlords and rack-renters for the Ballaghaderreen area from about 1700 to 1900. They drained the Irish local wealth in rent from Catholic tenants and spent it in their home country.
Rev. James P. Towey, C.S.P.
Father Towey resided at St. Lawrence Parish, Minneapolis, in 1920 and 1921 while with Newman Apostolate, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. He was later pastor of St. Lawrence Parish, Minneapolis from 1944 to 1947. Father Towey was born in 1882 in Santa Rosa, CA and was a Paulist priest for 46 years from ordination on 25 May 1907 to death 1 February 1953. He frequently visited his relatives in Rochester, MN.
- Rev. James P. Towey is the son of Peter Towey who were born in Bockagh, Ballaghaderreen in 1837 and Mary Keegan Towey born about 1855 in Milford, MA. Peter Towey and Mary Keegan were married in Sleepy Eye, Brown County, Minnesota on 13 June 1881 and lived in Pleasant Grove, MN for many years before moving to California.
- The Rev. James P. Towey was an associate priest in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and New York City before performing as Chaplain in World War I at St. Nazian, France. Upon separation, he resided at St. Lawrence Parish, Minneapolis before assignments in Berkeley, CA, Los Angeles, again in San Francisco, then Minneapolis, and Los Angeles where he passed away 1 February 1953. His body laid in state at Old St Mary’s Catholic Church, San Francisco (where he was pastor 1928 to 1940) and is buried at Holy Cross Mausoleum, south of San Francisco.
John W. Towey, Powers, Michigan
During the summer of 1931 ten employees of a railroad tie sawmill complained of severe asthmatic-like symptoms. Almost concurrently thirty-six employees of another sawmill had similar symptoms. John W. Towey, M.D., Director of Pine Crest Sanitorium in Powers, Michigan, discovered the causes and solutions for this new disease, identified as “Towey’s Disease“
John Towey, Rochester, Minnesota, Actor
John Towey is an actor, and now actor and classical pianist, who played in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, ER and several other TV shows. Rochester Magazine, in April 2010, interviewed John Towey which may be read at Rochester Magazine.
Jim Towey, Former Presidantial Aide
Jim Towey grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. He graduated from Florida State University in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science Degree and earned a Juris Doctor degree in 1981 from the Florida State University College of Law.
- Towey represented the late Mother Teresa on legal matters in the United States and Canada from 1985 until her death and often traveled with her. Starting in 1991 he served as Florida’s District Director of the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services. In 1996 he founded Aging with Dignity, a national non-profit organization to help families plan for and care during times of serious illness.
- From 2002 to May 2006 Jim Towey was appointed by U.S. President George W. Bush as Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. He has served as President of Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, since July 1, 2006 and resigned at end of 2009 – 2010 academic year. Jim Towey’s accomplishments may be read at wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Towey
James F. Towey, Chairman, Olin Corporation
James F. Towey, a native of Wood River, IL, was Chairman of Olin Corporation, Stamford, Connecticut (a Fortune 500 company) from 1972 to 1980. Under his direction, Olin owned over 60 manufacturing plants in 25 states and 11 foreign countries.
- James was born on March 1, 1916 to parents James K. Towey and Anna O. Towey. He attended school in Wood River, IL, playing football and basketball. He graduated in 1934 as high school valedictorian, then graduated with honors in 1939 from the University of Illinois, Champaign, having earned business degrees in economics and accounting.
- Upon Army discharge in 1946, he was employed by Olin Industries in East Alton, IL as Assistant Controller. From there he rose to corporate positions within Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation in New York City (1955), general manager of Brass Division, East Alton, IL (1964), Chief Financial Officer at Olin Corporation headquarters in Stamford, CT (1970), elected to Board of Directors (1970) and Chief Executive Officer of Olin Corporation from 1972 to his retirement in 1980. Also see James Towey Memorium
- Upon James’ retirement, Olin Corporation contributed $250,000, to launch the James F. Towey Professorship in Strategic Management at the Business School, University of Illinois. He was also presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Law degree from Morehead State University. After James’ death on March 15, 1999 his family contributed monies to bring the total to $1,250,000 and establish the James F. Towey Chair in Strategic Management at the university.
- President Richard M. Nixon appointed James to the United States Assay Commission in 1969. James was also a board member of Alton Manufacturing Association, Monticello College, and the Illinois State Chamber of Commerce.