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William L. Downey

Source: Biographical Record of Bartholomew County, Indiana - 1904 - B. F. Bowen, Publisher, pages 407 - 408
Submitted by: Sheila Kell


WILLIAM L. DOWNEY - William L. Downey, a native of Indiana, was born in Switzerland county, on the 18th of April, 1858, and is now a representative farmer of Bartholomew county, living in German township and owning property in Taylorsville. His parents were Rev. Amos and Mary G. (Pavey) Downey. The father's birth also occurred in Switzerland county, his natal year being 1823, while the mother was born in 1826. Rev. Amos Downey became a minister of the Christian church and was well known throughout this portion of the state, preaching the gospel in many different places. He was devoted and zealous in his efforts to extend the cause of Christianity and to upbuild his denomination and his labors were not without good results. Many there were who were benefitted and whose lives were better because he lived. He voted with the Democratic party, but never took an active interest in political affairs. His entire attention was devoted to providing for his family and to his church work. He passed away in Switzerland county, March 11, 1899, but his memory is still enshrined in the hearts of those who knew him. In his family were seven children: Phebe J., who married Rev. Nathan Van Osdal, but is deceased; James S.., who married Elizabeth Vanatta and is a salesman for a Louisville firm; Sophia A., the widow of Dr. J. W. Van Osdal, late a physician of Dillsboro, Dearborn county, Indiana; Horace, who married Hettie Gillingham and resides at Connersville; William L., of this review; Charles W., who was connected with the sale of musical instruments, but is now deceased; and Mary A., the wife of J. R. House, a merchant at East Enterprize, Switzerland county.

William L. Downey pursued his education in the public schools and was reared amid the refining influences of a good Christian home. On the 17th of September, 1885, he was united in marriage to Miss Mattie Breeding, daughter of John H. and Lavina (Stillabower) Breeding. Her father was born near Ediburg, Indiana, in February 1829, and her mothr's birth occurred in Germany.

The paternal grandparents of Mrs. Downey became residents of Kentucky and removed thence to Indiana. Mr.. Breeding was a farmer by occupation, following that pursuit throughout his entire business career, and his death occured on the 5th of September 1902. He was twice married, the mother of Mrs. Downey, who is still living being his second wife, the first being Lorena Knight. In their family were ten children: Isaac, Alexander, Mattie, William, John, Sherman, Katie, David, Nettie and Edgar. Mr. Breeding was a Republican in his political affiliations and kept well informed on the quetions and issues of the day, but never sought or desired public office. His religeious faith was that of the Christian church, in which he held long membership.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Downey have been born two children, Nina and Raymond. Mr. Downey has always been a warm friend of the cause of education and in 1898 was elected township trustee by a majority of four in a Republican township, though he is a strong Democrat. He and his wife belong to the Christian church and fraternally he is connected with Taylorsville Lodge, No. 307, Knights of Pythias, and has passed all the chairs of the lodge.