Randolph County, Indiana
John L. Downing
There are always
valuable lessons to be gained in pursuing the life histories of such men as the
late John L Downing, one of Randolph county's well-known and
highly-respected citizens of a past generation, whose life forcibly illustrated
what energy, integrity and a fixed purpose can accomplish when animated by
noble aims and correct ideals. During the years of his residence in this
locality he held the unequivocal confidence of those with whom he came into
contact, for he was a man whom to know was to trust and admire owing to his
many commendable attributes of head and heart. When the "reaper whose name
is death" gathered him in his sheaves while in the fullness of his
strength and prime of life, his loss to the community was keenly felt.
was born November 29, 1862, in Randolph county. He was a son of Dennis and
Emiline (Lenington) Downing. The father was born in Henry county, Indiana,
and soon after his marriage moved to Randolph county, where he died when our
subject was a small boy. The mother was also a native of Henry county. Her
death occurred in August, 1891. Dennis Downing devoted his life to farming,
and politically he was a Republican. His family consisted of four children,
namely: Frank is living; Mary and Jennie A. are both
deceased, and John L., of this memoir.
John L. Downing
grew to manhood on the home farm and he received his education in the common
schools. On March 17, 1887, he married Maggie C. Gettle, who was born in
Randolph county, June 25, 1870, and she is a daughter of John N. and
Caroline (Maurer) Gettle. She was reared in her native community and was
educated in the public schools. Her father was born in Germany, from which
country he emigrated to the United States when a boy, first locating near
Winchester, Ohio. He came on to White River township, Randolph county, Indiana,
fifty-eight years ago, being among the early settlers here, and, being a man of
thrift he soon had a good home established. He was born September 2, 1822, and
his death occurred June 6, 1897. The mother of Mrs. Downing was
born in France, October 30, 1833, and when fourteen years of age
she emigrated to the United States, being forty-one days on the Atlantic
ocean; her death occurred June 12, 1912.
To John L.
Downing and wife thirteen children were born, ten of whom are living at this
writing, namely: John N. is living; Lena Eleanora is deceased;
and Ethel are both living; Jennie is deceased;
and Magdalene are both living; Frank is deceased;
Alta, Agnes, Ardis, Adolph and Margaret are all living.
John L. Downing
devoted his life successfully to general farming and stock raising. However,
the last eight years he was in failing health and did little active work,
keeping his farm rented. His place consisted of ninety-four and three-fourths
acres, which is productive and well improved, including a good dwelling and
numerous outbuildings. Here the widow and children still reside but the land is
Downing was a Republican, and was a member of the Methodist church. He was
called to his eternal rest on October 15, 1913. He was an honest, upright man
and liked by all who knew him. He bore his long sufferings patiently and with
rare Christian courage.
Past and Present of Randolph County, Indiana, 1914.
Contributed by Gina Richardson
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