|01/13/1896 - 01/09/1898|
In the Senate for the county of Lee is the Hon. John Downey. He is an Irishman and comes of excellent Irish ancestry and parentage, and possesses all the warm and generous qualities of the Celtic race. He was born near Belfast in 1834. and at the age of 20 years set sail for the new world. After reaching the United States he lived in the state of New York for about two years, then went to Ohio, and soon afterwards crossed the Mississippi into the Hawkeye state, settling in Lee county, of which he has since been a resident and continuously engaged in agricultural pursuits. Previous to being chosen Senator by his brethren of the Democratic faith he held the office of justice of the peace for 18 years. In party service he was chairman of the county central committee and had charge of several victorious campaigns. He is a member of the Odd Fellows. Senator Downey was raised in the Presbyterian church, and although not a member of any, is liberal in his views and a friend of all denominations. During the session of the Twenty-fifth General Assembly he served on the standing committees on appropriations, suppression of intemperance, agriculture, charitable institutions, constitutional amendments, suffrage and federal relations. Quite a number of the measures he proposed were enacted into laws. He did good work in the committees and was well liked by both Democrats and Republicans, as on public questions he showed common sense and good judgment. In political matters he acts in entire harmony with his party.
|01/08/1894 - 01/12/1896|
Lee county's delegation in the legislature is solidly Democratic. In the Senate for the county is the Hon. John Downey. He is an Irishman, having been born near Belfast in 1834. His parents, Thomas Downey and Sarah Mahaffy Downey, came to this country when John was a child and located on a farm in Lee county. He was sent to school both in the old country and in America and gained a fair education. He has always followed farming as his vocation. Previous to being chosen Senator by his brethern of the Democrtic faith he held the offices of justice of the peace and township trustee. In party service he was chairman of the county central committee and had charge of several victorious campaigns. He is a member of the Odd Fellows and belongs to the Presbyterian church. He interests himself specially in legislation on the liquor question, and coming from an anti-prohibition district he of course wants to see some change made in the present statutes. He also wants to see some reforms inaugurated in regard to the State revenue system.