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Samuel Nelson Downing, owning and operating a splendid, well kept farm of one hundred and eighty acres on section 3, Mount Pulaski township, was born in Logan county, his birth occurring December 21, 1870. He is the ninth child in a family of eleven children, his parents being Thomas and Melita Downing, both pioneer settlers of Illinois. The father, who was born December 19, 1827, in Ohio, came to Illinois while yet a youth and died in Logan county, November 14, 1879. The mother was born in Illinois, March 26, 1834, and passed away January 2, 1907.

Samuel Nelson Downing remained under the parental roof until his marriage, attending the public schools and assisting his father in the conduct of the farm, and upon the death of the latter he aided his brothers in operating the place and caring for their mother. On July 4, 1897, he was united in marriage to Miss Edith Bowles, who lived but three years thereafter, her death occurring April 14, 1900. They began their domestic life in the house he at present occupies. On the 11th of March, 1903, Mr. Downing was again married, his bride being Miss Hattie Michaels. She was the third child in a family of nine and was a daughter of Samuel and Mary Michaels, of Logan county. Her birth occurred February 26, 1886. To this union there have been born two children: Hubert E., whose birth occurred April 28, 1904; and Virgil D., born July 28, 1905.

Mr. and Mrs. Downing both attend the Christian church of Mount Pulaski and are numbered amongst the best citizens of the community. He is a member of Mount Pulaski Lodge, No. 454, I.0.0.F., and of the Modern Woodmen of America, Mount Pulaski Lodge, No. 154. He is a democrat and has always been one, and is alert and well informed upon the questions of the day. His life has been a busy one and his success is well merited.

Source: History of Logan County, Illinois, by Lawrence B. Stringer. Chicago: Pioneer Publishing Company [1911]. pp. 339-40.

Submitted by Cheryl Rothwell who shares common multiple lines of Downing ancestors with Samuel Nelson Downing.