Loy Powell, “Drunk & Dis” 28 July 1951

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Loy Powell had been drinking in the Lincoln hotel for some time when he saw another customer, James Wise, arguing with Walter Tewell, an off-duty policeman. He watched as Tewell ended the argument by arresting Wise, who continued to struggle. When a patrol car arrived, Loy saw an officer beat Wise unconscious with a nightstick. Loy ended up becoming involved, one way or another, and the officer beat him, too. The hospital gave Wise eight stitches in his scalp. Loy got a bandage and surgical tape.

Loy was arrested several times over the years, mostly for disorderly conduct. In 1948, he was fined $10 for trying to entice a girl into his car on Lutton street at 2:30 in the morning. In 1953, he and two other men were arrested for fighting in a bar in East Long avenue. In 1969, he was arrested for assaulting a police lieutenant in the police station where his friend had been placed in a cell for assaulting a police officer earlier that evening. In 1970, his license was suspended for intoxicated driving. In 1973, he and Walter Criss were arrested for yelling and cursing in the Red Hot restaurant. In 1974, he and William Sankey were arrested for arguing and fighting in front of a West Washington street bar. Later that year, he crashed his car while driving without a license.

Loy painted houses and occasionally fell from great heights—40 feet in 1957, and 44 feet in 1960. He died in 2003, at the age of eighty-one.

Sources: New Castle News (23 August 1948, “Two Fined $10”; 6 February 1951, “Two Fined For Part In Altercation In South Side District”; 23 July 1953, “Arrest Trio”; 21 August 1957, “Four Injured By Falls Yesterday”; 14 June 1969, “Two Policemen Assaulted In Related Incidents”; 17 December 1970, “36 Drivers Have Licenses Suspended”; 25 June 1973, “City Police Charge 5 For Conduct”; 26 January 1974, “County Report”; 2 October 1974, “County Report”; 17 January 1978, Edge Chiropractic Life Center advert).




  1. Very interesting. Small note: From the sources, you have listed New Castle News 23 August 1848, “Two Fined $10” which should be 1948 🙂

  2. Mike says

    Repeated concussions can cause “social instability, erratic behavior, and poor judgment” according to Wikipedia. However his falls seem to postdate his other adventures.

    • So can long-term heavy drinking, which I suspect (perhaps unfairly, but you can see why) might be more to do with it…

  3. Thanks to an ancestry.com sub, there are a few more data points available.

    He was buried Graceland Cemetery in New Castle. An index to his obituary in the New Castle News lists him as “Loy F. Joey Powell.” The F stands for Francis.

    Name: Loy F. Powell
    SSN: 171-14-3333
    Last Residence:
    16101 New Castle, Lawrence, Pennsylvania, USA
    BORN: 23 Apr 1922
    Died: 16 Nov 2003
    Source: US Social Security Index

    City directories in the 1990s had him living at 3310-1/2 Old Pittsburgh Rd

    According to census records, he was the youngest of four children (as of 1930), his father was a carpenter, and his parents owned their home.

    He registered for the draft in 1942. Service records show he entered the Navy (Seabees) in January 1943, was shipped overseas (to the “Asiatic Pacific Theater of War”) for two years until after the war ended, and was discharged in January 1946. He applied for WWII veteran compensation in 1950–at which time he was single and living with his parents– and was found to be owed $485 but due only $135 after deducting a previous payment of $350.

  4. Mario E Perkins says

    Loy was a friend indeed, I love people who step in to confront what is wrong. I bet a lot of my kind loved Loy after stepping in to take that but-kicking w/ Mr. Wise, I would have bought him a beer everyday.

  5. Michelle razo says

    Love this! So glad to find it! Of course I knew Loy Ever since I was little & Mr Wise was my grandfather! These two were neighbors & friends for years! This brought back very good memories

    • Ah! The news story makes it seem like James Wise was just another customer, perhaps a stranger to Loy, but if they were friends it makes more sense that Loy would jump in when the arrest got rough. I’d suspected that might be the case, but I couldn’t know for sure. Thanks so much for writing! I’ll have to amend the first paragraph now…

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