Biography of Benjamin F. Downing
Winona County, MN Biographies

BENJAMIN F. DOWNING, son of Francis and Elisabeth Downing, was born in Franklin county, Ohio. January 24. 1816, and is of Scotch Irish and English descent. When he was fifteen years old his father emigrated to Indiana, and settled in Tippecanoe county. He lived there five or six years and then removed to Laporte county, Indiana, where the subject of this sketch was married to Miss Malinda Baldwin, by whom he has had thirteen children. Sarah E., Mary Ellen, Cordelia L., Nancy A., Malinda M., Francis L., Oscar F., William A.. Charles E., Jared A., Julia A.. Gilbert P. and Isaac C., four of whom are dead; Charles E.. Gilbert P., Mary E. and Cordelia L. The rest are all living. Mr. Downing moved from Laporte to Jasper county in the year 1850, and settled near Rensselaer (the county at that time being thinly settled, but full of wild deer and game of all kinds), where he found great sport in hunting, often killing three or four deer in one day. But his family being sick much of the time with the ague, he emigrated to Minnesota in the year 1863, and settled first in the village of Homer, but subsequently bought land on Homer ridge, where he yet resides. His mother and father both died at his house, she at the advanced age of ninety years and his father at the age of seventy two. Mr. Downing had five brothers and four sisters. His father was in the war of 1812. Most of his ancestors were long lived and religiously inclined, thany of whom were ministers of the gospel, himself joining the Methodist church at the age of seventeen years. Mr. Downing has been a conscientious, hard working. energetic and industrious man, believing that hard work is the only honest way of making a living. He is a good farmer and owns a nice farm near seven miles from the city of Winona, and is a republican in politics. Malinda Downing. his wife, the eldest child of Gilbert and Sarah Baldwin, was born in Gallio county, Ohio, March 12, 1822. She also descended from Scotch and Irish ancestors, some of whom lived to a remarkable old age, her great-grandfather Waddle living to over the age of one hundred years. None know mother Downing but to love her. She has devoted her life to the wants of others. In good works and in raising a large family she has done a mother's part, and for deeds of charity and kindness will long be remembered throughout her large circle of acquaintances.

The History of Winona County
Together with Biographical Matter, Statistics, Etc.
BY: A. T. Andreas
H. H. Hill and Company, Publishers
Chicago 1883.


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