Thomas P. Downs, assistant cashier of the German National Bank, of northern Kansas, located at Beloit, is a native Kansan and was born June 9, 1881, in a dug-out on his father's farm in Graham county, six miles south of Densmore. He is a son of Frank and Mary (Curley) Downs, both natives of Ireland. Frank Downs was born September 20, 1834, and came to America with a brother in 1860, locating in Knox county, Illinois, where he followed farming until the spring of 1881, when he came to Kansas and took a homestead in Graham county, where he continued the occupation of farming until his death in 1908. The mother now resides in Beloit. She has just returned from southeastern Wyoming, where she and her daughter, Nora, homesteaded and proved up on a claim, an exceptional thing for a woman of seventy-two years of age. She was born in Ireland, November 11, 1841, a daughter of Patrick and Mary Curley, both natives of that country. She came to America in 1862 to join her brother, Thomas, who resided at Galesburg, Ill., which at that time was a wild prairie country. In 1881 she came to Graham county, Kansas, on the frontier, and in 1908 went to Wyoming and located on her claim, where she remained until 1912. Thus she has followed the frontier on its westward march for full half a century. Thomas P. Downs is one of a family of nine children, as follows: James, born September 9, 1866, and died September 10, 1881; Margaret, born November 10, 1868, was a teacher for ten years, and is now the wife of J. C. Cambridge, farmer, Sharon Springs, Kan.; John, died in infancy; Nora, born February 28, 1872, has been a teacher in Kansas and Wyoming for twenty years and now resides in Wyoming; Francis Leo, born September 7, 1874, farmer, Phillips county, Kansas; Mary, born October 4, 1876, who was also a teacher for twelve years in Kansas and now the wife of S. P. McGee, farmer, Wallace county, Kansas; Katherine, born in 1878, and died at the age of two years; Thomas P. (subject), and a child who died in infancy.
Thomas P. Downs was educated in the public schools, graduating from the Cawker City High School in the class of 1899. After teaching three years in Mitchell county he was elected principal of the second ward school of Beloit. After serving in that capacity two years he became head of the mathematical department of the Beloit High School, and after two years in that department became principal of that institution. He served with entire satisfaction in this position until December, 1909, when he resigned to accept a position as clerk in the First National Bank of Beloit. In January, 1911, he became teller and the following April was promoted to assistant cashier, which position he held until July 1, 1912, when he accepted his present position at the German National Bank. While Mr. Downs was engaged in teaching he was very active in general educational work, having devoted his time between school years to institute work as instructor in Mitchell and Ottawa counties. He was one of the best qualified educators in the State, having taken special courses at the State Normal School at Emporia and in the Kansas University at Lawrence. He also studied law at the latter institution. Mr. Downs was married June 10, 1908, to Miss Marie Elizabeth, daughter of William C. and Elizabeth (Tennis) Walsh, the former a native of Ireland and the latter of Holland. They have one child, T. P. Downs, Jr., born July 4, 1910. Mrs. Downs is one of a family of six children, all of whom now reside in Beloit, Kan. Mr. Downs is one of the progressive young men of central Kansas who justly merits the confidence and esteem in which he is held by all who have had an opportunity of knowing him. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and the family are communicants of the Catholic church.Pages 336-337 from a supplemental volume of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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