Hardin County

William Downey

An old writer for Independent passes away in Oklahoma City. William Downey veteran of Civil War resided in Rosiclare for 60 years.

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ill. (Aug. 13, 1930) — Many Independent readers will be saddened at the announcement of the death of William Downey at Oklahome City, Oklahoma, August 3, 1930, after a painful illness of several years duration, of ailments due primarily to senile debility.

He was born September 18, 1840, and was therefore 89 years, 11 months and 13 days old at the time of his death. He lived about the first 60 years of his life in Rosiclare, and during that time he was married four times. To his first marriage, two children were born but lived only a few years. His second marriage was to Emma Dimick, who bore him two children, a girl and a boy. The girl died before she was grown, and the boy, Charles is still living and is the only child he leaves. The last two marriages were childless.

While in the prime of youthful manhood, Mr. Downey entered the United States service, being among the first to enter the Civil War from this county, enlisting and leaving September 1, 1861 in Company C-48th Illinois Infantry, and after four years service was discharged and came home in 1865.

The subject of this sketch like most of the Civil War boys who came home in 1865, had had enought war and most of them felt that he must hunt himself a wife and settle down to civil life. Soon after his marriage, he was impressed with the belief that he should join some good lodge and a church and live right himself and try to get others to do the same. Through the influence of friends he joined Empire Lodge I.O.O.F. and affiliated with the Christian Church in both of which he found great encouragement and influence to live right himself and persuade others to do likewise.

The fact that he bore the deserved reputation of being honest and upright in his dealings with his fellow man, and in so far as we know or believe, the lodge and church to which he belonged never had occarion to charge him with any violation of the rules and regulations of either, never even deserving a repramind. He evidently did by both precept and example accomplish much good.

Uncle Bill as he was familiarly called, left Rosiclare some 30 years ago and spent most of his time since then in Oklahoma, but kept in touch with his relatives and friends here through the Independent for which for several years he was a regular correspondent and his letters were read and favorably commented on by Independent readers.

His remains found a last resting place by Oklahoma Odd Fellows in a nice burying ground in the state. While his suffering much of the time during the last several years had been very great, when the end came August 5, he passed to the Great Beyond entirely free from pain and suffering.

Peace to the ashes of this grand old man, and sincere sympathy to Charley and other more distant relatives.

Thanks to Wanda H. Reed for contributing this article by John Allen Oxford to the Hardin County ILGenWeb site. The Hardin County Independent published this article on Aug. 13, 1930.

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