Biography of Charles H. Downs
North Central Ohio Biographies





Charles H. Downs. Prominent among the successful business men of Ashland is Charles H. Downs, who is identified with the Charles H. Downs Studebaker Agency. He was born in Ashland, Feb. 28, 1882, the son of Richard G. and Sarah (Latter) Downs.

Richard G. Downs was born in London, England, as was his wife. He was educated in his native land and as a young man became a stationary engineer. About 1868 he came to the United States with his wife and two children and settled in Ashland. After a time he entered the employ of the Erie Railroad Company as a steam shovel operator. Since 1905 he has been interested in landscape gardening in this city. He lives on Vine Street. His wife died Nov. 3, 1898, and is buried in Ashland Cemetery. Both he and his wife were members of Trinity Lutheran Church. They were the parents of the following children: 1. Mrs. Fred Knapp, lives in Ashland. 2. Mrs. Charles Shopbell, lives in Ashland. 3. Robert, lives in Toledo, Ohio. 4. Frank B., jeweler, lives in Ashland. 5. Mrs. J. D. Scott, lives in Mansfield. 6. Walter, died in 1930, in Jeromeville, Ohio. 7. Albert, who died in 1926, in Akron. 8. Charles H., the subject of this sketch. 9. Edward J., lives in Ashland. 10. Mrs. Frank Poister, lives in Akron, Ohio.

Charles H. Downs was reared and educated in Ashland, where he has always lived. He spent 22 years in the employ of the Dr. Hess & Clark Company, as engineer in charge of the power plant. Since July, 1919, Mr. Downs has been interested in the automobile business, at that time having taken the agency for the Maxwell car, in partnership with Denslow W. Weir, the firm being known as Downs & Weir. On Jan. 1, 1921, they became local agents in Ashland County for the Studebaker car, and in that year also became local representatives of the White Motor Company. Mr. Downs purchased his partner's interest in the business, Jan. 1, 1929. He is now the dealer in Ashland County for the Studebaker automobile, Pierce Arrow automobile, and White Motor Company. They are also exclusive agents for General and Kelly Springfield tires, and carry a complete line of automobile accessories. The company's garage has a storage capacity of 100 cars and carries on a general automobile repair business.

On June 29, 1905, Mr. Downs was united in marriage with Miss Dade M. Soule, of Ashland, the daughter of Randolph and Martha (Mansfield) Soule, of Ashland. The latter died in 1928 and is buried at Ashland Cemetery. The Soule genealogy dates back consecutively for 10 generations to George Soule who came over on the Mayflower and it also dates back to 600 in England but some of the links are gone between 600 and 1620.

Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Downs: 1. Richard R., born Aug. 29, 1906, is service manager for the Charles H. Downs Studebaker Agency. He was married in 1925 to Miss Helen Morrow, a native of Kansas, and they have a son, Richard Randolph, Jr., born July 29, 1927. 2. Martha Elizabeth, born Aug. 17, 1908, a graduate of Ashland High School, class of 1926, and attended Wittenberg College. She is a stenographer in her father's office.

Mr. Downs is a Republican, a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, and belongs to the B. P. O. Elks, Lions Club, and Ashland Country Club. His wife is a member of the Ashland Musical Club, and is soloist in Trinity Lutheran Church. She also belongs to the Sorosis Club.

It was largely through the influence of Mr. Downs that a monument was erected in memory of the Studebaker Brothers on the Lincoln Highway at Pleasant Ridge. This was the site of the old Studebaker blacksmith shop.

John B. Mansfield, uncle of Mrs. Downs, was the author of the first history ever written of Ashland County. He was a well known teacher in the county and was a member of the first graduating class of Ashland High School. Mrs. Downs has in her possession the genealogy of the Soule family, which dates back to George Soule, who came to this country on the Mayflower. Her grandfather, Warren Soule, served throughout the Civil War.

From:
History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931


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