biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
W. H. DOWNING is a native of Lee County, Iowa, born Aug. 25, 1843, and is a son of D. B. and Susan (Martin) Downing, both natives of Pennsylvania. His parents were early settlers of Lee County, Iowa, as well as of Mahaska County. They came to this county in 1844, locating on section 8, Des Moines Township. Here W. H. was reared, working on his father's farm, and attending the district school when the opportunity was offered. He was married, April 3, 1870, to Matilda Burton, a native of Clark County, Ind., daughter of Leonard and Susan Burton, whose sketch appears in this work. They have had but one child, Susan Jessie, who died July 14, 1881, aged seven years. Mr. Downing enlisted in Co. E, 33d Iowa Vol. Inf;, July 22, 1862, and served three years, participating in the following engagements: Helena, Little Rock, Jenkins' Ferry and siege of Mobile. In the latter engagement they were under fire fourteen days. At Jenkins' Ferry there were thirty-eight men of his company in the engagement, which lasted seven and one-half hours, nineteen of the number being wonnded and one killed. During the term of his enlistment he was in numerous skirmishes and long marches, it being estimated that the regiment marched about 12,000 miles. In all that time he never was off duty or lost a single day, never asking or receiving a furlough. He was mustered out at Rock Island, Ill., Aug. 8, 1865, when he returned home and resumed farming, which occupation he has since followed. He is now the owner of thirty-eight acres of good land, and his wife is the owner of forty acres. In politics he is liberal, and has been honored by his fellow townsmen with several local offices, serving as Township Trustee three years, Road Supervisor three years and School Director one year. He is a member of Given Lodge, I. O. O. F. His wife is connected by membership with the Methodist Protestant Church.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy