Biography of William C. Downs
Jasper County, MO Biographies





WILLIAM C. DOWNS.
One of the early settlers of Jasper county is William C. Downs, a venerable gentleman, honored and esteemed by all who know him. He was born in Coshocton county, Ohio, June 16, 1828, and is a son of George H, and Olive (Pingree) Downs. The father was born and reared in New Hampshire, and in Ohio was married to Miss Pingree, who was a native of Vermont and a relative of ex Governor Pingree, of Michigan. They removed to Clinton county, Indiana, where Downs owned a farm, but by trade he was a hatter and for many years followed that pursuit. In 1870 he removed to Cooper county, Missouri, where he spent his remaining days, dying at the age of seventy seven years. During the greater part of his life he was a member of the New Light Christian church, and in his political views he was first a Whig and afterward a Republican. He served as justice of the peace and in other local offices and always discharged his duties with promptness and fidelity. He possessed considerable musical ability and played the fife with skill. When the war of 1812 was inaugurated he went to the army and was the captain of a company, and afterward received a pension in recognition of his services. His sword is now in the possession of our subject. His wife died in Indiana, when about seventy three years of age.

William C. Downs is the youngest and only surviving member of the family of ten children, four of whom reached mature years. He was only two years old when his parents removed to Clinton, Indiana, where he was reared and educated. Having arrived at years of maturity, he was married, October 17, 1850, to Sarah A. Taylor, a native of Decatur county, Indiana, where her girlhood days were passed. Three children who are yet living grace this marriage, namely: George H., who is now farming in Jasper county; Mary J., wife of Dr. A. B. Lull, of Washington; and Lucinda, wife of M. T. Borden, of California. One child, Ettie, became the wife of Jefferson Davis, but is now deceased. October 17, 1900, Mr. and Mrs. Downs celebrated their golden wedding.

Mr. and Mrs. Downs began their domestic life in Clinton county, Indiana, where he was engaged in farming until the fall of 1867, when he came to Jasper county, Missouri, and located upon a farm, which he has since made his home. All of the improvements upon the place stand as monuments of his thrift and enterprise. He has a valuable tract of one hundred and twenty acres, richly cultivated, and is still engaged in general farming, although he has passed the Psalmist's span of three score years and ten. He is yet active and his useful business career should be the shame of many a man who, grown weary of the struggle and trials of business life, would relegate to others the burdens that he should bear.

In his political views Mr. Downs was a Whig in early life and voted for Winfield Scott. He afterward gave his support to J. C. Fremont in 1856, Lincoin in 1860 and again in 1864, and once voted for Grant. Since that time he has not been bound by party ties, but casts his ballot as he thinks best. He has served as school director a long time and the cause of education finds in him a warm friend. He is a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian church and has held a number of offices therein, including that of ruling elder, in which capacity he served for a number of years.

From:
The Biographical History of Jasper County, Missouri
By Hon. Malcolm G. McGregor
The Lewis Publishing Co.
Chiago 1901


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