John M. McDowell, farmer, Malone Township, Tazewell County, Ill., was born in Franklin County, Pa., May 27, 1850, the son of William E. and Elizabeth May (Davidson) McDowell, who were natives of the same county. The father was born in 1821 and died in 1885; the mother’s death occurring July 9, 1892.
The maternal grandparents, Patrick and Jane (McDowell) Davidson, were also natives of Franklin County, as were the paternal great- grandparents, Capt. William and Elizabeth (Van Lear) McDowell. Capt. William McDowell was a patriot soldier of the Revolutionary War, in which he served seven years and received a commission as First Lieutenant. He died in 1834.
The paternal grandparents were William and Sarah (Work) McDowell, natives of Franklin County. Mrs. McDowell died there July 30, 1844. The husband removed to Tazewell County, in 1857, locating on a farm in Delavan Township, where he died in 1862.
William E. McDowell, father of the subject of this sketch, while a resident of his native State, served as Captain of a company of militia for several years, and in 1855 located on a farm in Section 25, Malone Township, Tazewell County, where he passed the remainder of his life, in the meantime serving three terms as Township Supervisor.
John M. McDowell remained under the parental roof until twenty-six years of age, meanwhile obtaining his education in the public schools, and on March 9, 1876, was married at Delavan, Ill., to Miss Elizabeth Irvin. His wife was born February 23, 1856, and is the daughter of James and Rachel Ann (McNutt) Irvin, natives of Washington County, Pa., who, after a brief residence in Ohio, located in Delavan Township, in 1865. Mr. Irvin was a carpenter by trade, and resided in Marshall County, Ill., where he died February 25, 1903, his wife having preceded him in 1900.
Mr. and Mrs. McDowell are the parents of four children: Myrtle B., Pearl Maxwell (a teacher). William Edmund, and Rachel Ann.
Mr. McDowell is an enterprising and successful farmer, and the owner of 160 acres of land which he has brought to a high state of cultivation. In July, 1897, he suffered a heavy loss from the ravages of a cyclone which passed over his community, destroying all his farm buildings except the dwelling house and killing the most of his live stock, the damage to his premises and growing crops amounting to about $3,500. Mr. McDowell’s uncle, Henry C. McDowell, living about one-half a mile north, and five other people, lost their lives, besides suffering the complete destruction of their farm buildings from the devastating effects of this disastrous storm.
Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Tazewell County - page 1043
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