Clipped From San Francisco Chronicle

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 - Pneumonia Carries Off the Ex - Governor Record...
Pneumonia Carries Off the Ex - Governor Record of JSs Weil - Spent Life He Was One Wfio Helped Hake History for California Special Dispatch to tbe CffBOtJCU Los ASGELI3 March 1 Shortly after lunch eon to - day the city was startled by the announcement of the death of ex - Governor John G Downey The family residence at 345 South Main street was soon thronged with people many of whom had been close friends of the departed Governor ever since became to this city and expressions of deep regret were heard on every hand Death came suddenly and almost without warning and hundreds who were familiar tott a POWXKT with the robust figure of the deceased and who had seen him on the streets within the past week could scarcely credit the report of his demise When the news became general many prominent citizens thronged the rooms of the residence and thousands of people throughout the city spoke with regret of the death In the corridors of tbe Courthouse tbe lobbies ot the down town hotels in the counting Toom store and shop wherever the news had gone the same feeling was apparent The ex - Governor suffered a slight attack ot pneumonia on Saturday out rallied almost immediately and laughed at the solicitude of the members oi his household On Sunday he drove out for a short time but soon returned to his home and Immediately became violently ill Dr Wise was called and remained at bis bedside almost constantly until his death This morning it became apparenythat the end was near He dropped into a calm seem ingly restful sleep As the noon hour approached his breathing became more laborious and heavy and at precisely 12 oclock the end came So peaceful were his last moments that the household was hardly aware of his demise when it occurred His life went out without a struggle or a pain and the watchers beside his couch could scarcely be lieve that all was over Fathers McCaulifie Fitzgerald and Hartnell were among the few who witnessed Governor Downey s death They had attended him con stantly and iaithiuliy John G Downev was a native of Ireland f having been born in his grandfather a house t astie Sampson county Koscommon June - i 182 - In his eary years he worked on the farm of his ancestors After a preliminary education under the eminently practical system maintained in tbe national schools of Ireland he came to America whither two half sister had preceded him In 1842 and attended a Latin school in Maryland In his studies his tastes leaned toward the classics rather than toward mathematics At an early age he was apprenticed to learn the drug business in Washington In 1849 he came to California The journey was made by ay of the isthmus He had just 10 in silver and a gold watch when he landed in San Francisco The first thing he did was to pawn his watch and start for the mines In 850 he went to Los Angeles where he pened a druar store The venture was profit able and at the end of three vears the new comer had a fortune of 30 000 rrom aisnensmc a rues ne turned to the raising of sheep and cattle In this venture as in most of his undertakings fortune smiled upon him Prominence in public affairs came to him early for in I860 when he was but 32 years of age he became Governor ot Call tornia He had been elected on the Demo cratic ticket as Lieutenant - Governor It had been arranzed beforehand that Latham should retire and that Downey snould De installed as Governor He was President of the Senate and Lieutenant - Governor for only five days Though young in years when he became chief Executive of the Slate his admin 1st ration wag mama oy maturity of udg ment The first building of importance in Los An geles was the Downey block the erection of which began in 1869 The site which Dow ney got for 16 500 with ten years in which to pay for it was selected with rare good Judg - - ment as to the growth of the Southern metropolis Governor Downey was married first in 1852 at Los Angeles to Miss Gulrado daughter ot a distinguished Mexican who had come to California in 183a Mrs Downey was killed in tbe memorable Tebachapi railway disaster Jan nary 20 1883 Governor Downey was on the same train and sustained injuries from which he never fully recovered In 1888 Governor Downey was married to Rosa V Kelley The ex - Governor was essentially a public spirited citizen Besides occupying - the position of the States Executive he filled numerous places of trust including the offices of the Collector of the Port of San Pedro Councilman and member of the Legislature He was very liberal in his giving to educa tional and religious institutions in Southern California donating among other things the land on which the University ot Southern California was established

Clipped from
  1. San Francisco Chronicle,
  2. 02 Mar 1894, Fri,
  3. Page 3

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