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Mt. Hope Pioneer Cemetery ~ John Downing
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Downing, John
LAST: Downing FIRST: John MID: 
BORN: 1 Nov 1828 DIED: 16 Sep 1887 BURIED: 18 Sep 1887
OCCUPATION:  Farmer; State Legislator
BIRTH PLACE:  Pennsylvania
DEATH PLACE: Marion Co., Oregon
MARRIAGE - "John Downing & Temperance E. Hunt, m 12 Apr 1849; William Simpson, M. G. #2";
1870 OR CENSUS - John Downing, age 43, farmer, b. Pennsylvania, is enumerated with Temperance, age 36, b. Indiana, along with Edwin, age 15, Albert, age 12, Alice, age 10, Marion, age 6, Herbert, age 3, and Harry, age 9 months, all born in Oregon. Also enumerated with the family is Mary Riches, age 18, b. Oregon, Temperance King, age 17, b. Oregon, and William King, age 25, laborer, b. Iowa;
MARRIAGE - "John Downing, over 21 & Miss Mary J. Carpenter, over 18, m 04 Oct 1877 at house of John Downing; L. L. Rowland, M. G. Wit: William Manning & Mrs. E. N. Hunt. Aff. S. R. Jessup #2070 pg 352";
1880 OR CENSUS - John Downing, age 51, farmer, b. Pennsylvania, is enumerated with wife Mary J., age 30, b. Wisconsin, along with Alice, age 19, b. Oregon, Marion, age 15, b. Oregon, Herbert, age 12, b. Oregon, Harry, age 10, b. Oregon, and Everett, age 1, b. Oregon;
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (From Hellie, Mader & Rickey):
A Hospitable Pioneer Home – By a Pioneer’s Daughter.
I doubt if there is a son or daughter from any Marion County pioneer family that has not at some time enjoyed the hospitality of Uncle John Downing, at his fine old colonial mansion, near Sublimity, this county.
Uncle John has long since been gathered to his fathers and the mansion burned years ago, but dear are the memories of both.
It is hard to think of one without the other, they were so well suited, the man to the house and the house to the man.
The house was built in a setting of fine old fir trees about two miles north of Sublimity in the year 1859, by John Goff, a pioneer carpenter of great ability and was full two stories and had wide, low gables, and faced the west.
You entered across a wide verandah with octagonal columns supporting a portico, but I loved, most, the everyday entrance on the south, through the latticed porch, where I so often saw Uncle John.
He was tall and spare, with black hair and beard, slightly streaked with gray, and he had a way of holding his head back proudly, making a sort of double chin.
The main house was divided into a living room and parlor of ample proportions, separated by a wide hall containing the only spindle staircase the country could boast of for miles around.
At the end of each of these two largest rooms was a wide fireplace, and at one side of the one in the parlor was a built-in bookcase and desk of finely-polished, curly Oregon maple and on the other side was a cupboard, made of the same wood, with glass doors, where was kept the silver water pitcher and other heirlooms I admired so much but could not handle.
I will not pass by this old drawing room without a word to its furnishing. There was the good “store” carpet with its bold, conventional design (most of us had only rag carpet) and the center table upon which rested the family album and daguerreotypes all so precisely set. Over this, suspended from the ceiling, was a fly castle, wonderfully constructed by the daughter of the home.
There was a haircloth sofa, the what-not, and lastly, the only square grand piano I knew existed outside of cities, and over this the oil portrait of the beautiful adopted daughter, Mary, who had passed on many years before. Every article in that dear old room was admired by me. I was a privileged character around that old home and it was a delight for me to tiptoe though the door and just stand and look.
The room was seldom used except for on gala days, weddings, and funeral, and seemed almost sacred to me. We were plain folks at home and this room represented to me all that was grand and lovely.
I love to close my eyes and imagine it all over again. I can see the fine old walnut bedstead in the corner of the living room, the easy chairs, the big clock on the mantel, with its vases of candle lighters on either side, and the built-in cupboards at the side of the fireplace, so interesting because the drawers contained ammunition for the stacks of guns that always stood in the chimney corner.
This drawer contained the cow’s horn trumpet with which the boys called the hounds and made the howl so terribly, and also it contained a pair of dreaded “pullicans” (dental forceps) with which Uncle John relieved the neighborhood toothache, with me as an occasional unwilling victim.
Back of the living room was the large dining room that could seat all the heads of families for miles around, with the young folks waiting for the second table. We gathered here at game dinners, when the men of the neighborhood hunted for a week before, at oyster suppers, wedding dinners, and on Sundays.
I will not forget the savory odors emanating from the kitchen, as we children played around the pump on the long back porch and surreptitiously peeped in the milk house where the pies and other goodies stood in tempting array. Uncle John always made us feel so welcome. There seemed to be such an abundance, and the dinners were always so well cooked, it is no wonder it was such a popular place.
I am afraid genuine hospitality is on the wane, with most of us. We do not feel welcome without a special invitation, nor do we take time to really visit as we did then.
We used to take all day for it, going home at night loving our friends more for this closer fellowship.”
Downing – At his home, about three miles north of Sublimity, Marion County, Oregon, on Thursday morning, Sept. 16, 1887, John Downing.
Thus the breath of life departs from another of those who helped to hew the wilderness of the Pacific Coast into a land of homes and plenty. John Downing was born in 1826, and came to Oregon in 1847. He settled on the farm on which he has since resided, three miles north of the little town of Sublimity, and fourteen miles east of Salem, in this county directly after arriving here, and has ever been a useful and active citizen. He presented this county in the legislature in 1872 as a republican.
For a number of years he has been a prominent prohibitionist, and was candidate for the state senate on that party’s ticket at the last election.
Mr. Downing leaves a large family, consisting of six sons and one daughter, all but one son by his first wife, Tempa Hunt Downing, who died in 1878. His second wife also survives him. His sons are Ed. A. Downing, attorney at law Salem; Albert Downing, Lieut., Marion T. Downing, Herbert Downing, Harry Downing, and a younger son who are all at home near Sublimity, and his daughter, Mrs. Alice Patton, wife of county assessor, T.B. Patton.
The funeral will take place from the house on Saturday at 10 o’clock a.m. and the body will be interred in the Hunt family burying ground on Henry Warren’s farm near Clymer.
[uncited newspaper clipping]

John Downing, an early pioneer of Waldo Hills died Friday, September 16, 1887. He was a man that inspired love and respect from those who knew him. His house was crowned with hospitality.
He was born in Pennsylvania in 1827, a son of Alexander and Elizabeth Downing. In 1847, he made the trip across the plains in a wagon train headed by Captain Levin English, who had made the trip before in 1845. After arriving in Oregon he took up a donation land claim upon which he lived all his life. He was married to a young girl, Temperance Hunt, who he had met while making the trip to Oregon. They were married at her father’s home in Waldo Hills on April 12, 1849. Mrs. Downing was born in Indiana Jan. 16, 1834, and proved a fine wife for this worthy man. They were both well respected by other pioneers. The following children were born to them: Edwin A., Albert Lester, Alice Izore, Marion Thomas, John Herbert, and Harry Carleton.
After Mrs. Downing’s death on September 16, 1876, John Downing married Miss Jennie Carpenter on Oct. 11, 1877, who proved herself a good wife and mother to his children. To this union Everette D. was born.
[uncited newspaper clipping]
John Downing
Sep 16, 1887
58 Y's 10 M's 15 D's
[west face of monument]
Hellie, Mader & Rickey
Marion Co. Oregon Marriage Records 1849-1871, Vol. I, pg 1
1870 OR CENSUS (Marion Co., Sublimity, FA #1524)
Marion Co. Oregon Marriage Records 1874-1879, Vol. III, pg 30
1880 OR CENSUS (Marion Co., Sublimity, ED 87, pg 156D)

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