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John F. Downs

DOWNS, KUNSE, HENDRICKS

Posted By: Sharyl Ferrall (email)
Date: 4/13/2007 at 05:47:19

JOHN F. DOWNS, foreman for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad at La Crosse, was born near Lansing, Allamakee county, Ia.,
Dec. 19, 1858. His father, John Downs, was a native of Dublin, Ireland. He came to America some time in the 40's, landing at New Orleans, from which place he went direct to Pennsylvania. There he married Sybella Kunse, who was born in the Keystone state, and soon after their marriage went to Iowa, where be bought 200 acres of land and followed farming for the rest of his life. His wife died on March 18, 1866, leaving four sons. George and James are farmers near
Emmettsburg, Ia., John F. is the subject of this sketch, and Henry P. is a traveling salesman for a wholesale paper house in St. Paul, Minn. After the death of the mother the father married again. His death occurred on June 1, 1896, and his widow and her daughter still live on the old farm near Lansing.

John F. Downs received his education in the country schools. In 1882 he married Miss Emma, daughter of Adam Hendricks, of Montevideo, Minn., though she was born and educated at Lansing, Ia.

On Aug. 22, 1882, Mr. Downs and his wife became residents of La Crosse, where he has since been in the employ of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad, with the exception of three years he was with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy.
He belongs to the Switchmen's union, the Knights of Columbus and to St. James' Catholic church. In politics he is a Democrat and since the spring of 1903 has held the office of alderman from the Fifteenth ward. The fact that Mr. Downs has been promoted to the position of foreman for one of the greatest railroad systems in the West, shows that his work and habits are of a character to commend him to the officials of the company.

Mr. and Mrs. Downs have five children:
May, Clio, Sybella, Berenice and John, all born in La Crosse. Mrs. Downs' father is deceased and her mother still lives at Montevideo.

pg 286-287
MEMOIRS OF LA CROSSE COUNTY FROM THE EARLIEST HISTORICAL TIMES DOWN TO THE PRESENT
edited by BENJAMIN F. BRYANT
MADISON, WISCONSIN
WESTERN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
1907
_________________________________________

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