Biography of John Downs
Orleans County, NY Biographies





Downs, John, was born in Clarendon, Orleans county, January 22, 1846. His father, William, was a native of Ireland, being a son of Alexander Downs. William came to America in 1828, and settled in Troy, N. Y. A few years later he removed to Orleans county, locating in Holley, but soon afterward settled in Clarendon, where he engaged in farming. He was also a dealer in live stock for many years. His father, Alexander, came to this country in 1840, and after a short residence in Orleans county removed to Wisconsin. William Downs married in 1840 Jane, daughter of John Best, and they had two sons, William and John, and one daughter, Nancy. He was an active member of the Methodist church. He died in May, 1877, and his wife February 26, 1894. William Downs, jr., married Mary McFarland, and resides on the old homestead. Subject was educated in the public schools of Clarendon, and when a mere boy enraged in the live stock and wool business, buying and selling to eastern markets, gradually extending his operations until he became known as one of the largest shippers of live stock in the country. Between 1880 and 1890 he forwarded more sheep to New York than any other dealer who bought them direct of farmers, and was also the largest buyer in the Detroit market, having shipped 200 car loads to New York in one winter. In 1875 Mr. Downs became a partner in the well known firm of Hallwell & Willis, extensive wool dealers of Rochester, continuing eight years. In 1874, in company with George W. Stoddard and W. G. Rutherford, he organized a bank at Walden, Orange county, N. Y., carrying on a private banking business until 1883, when it was reorganized as the Walden National Bank, Mr. Downs severing his connection with the institution soon after. He was two years a agent of the firm of Nelson Morris & Co., of Chicago, dealers in dressed beef. In 1882 he purchased an interest in the banking business of Eddy & Bowman. of Holley, the firm name becoming Eddy. Downs & Bowman, and conducted business under that name until the death of Mr. Eddy in 1884, since which time the firm has been Downs & Bowman. Mr. Downs is largely interested in real estate and stone quarries. In 1885 he removed to Holley A monument to his enterprise and public spirit is the fine stone building known as the Downs Hotel, erected in 1892, and is the finest hotel in Orleans county. He is a Republican, is a member and vestryman of the Episcopal church; a member of Holley Lodge, I. O. O. F. and Murray Lodge No. 380, F. & A. M., and has passed most of the chairs. In 1885 he married Eva, daughter of Warren Glidden, of Clarendon, and their children are: John, jr., Nancy, Hattie and Gladys.

From:
Landmarks of Orleans County, New York
Edited by: Hon. Isaac C. Signor
Assisted by: H. P. Smith and others
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y. 1894


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