Samuel Oscar McDowell, veteran of the Civil war and retired editor, residing at Columbus, is one of the best known men of southeastern Kansas, a man also well known over the entire state. Mr. McDowell was born in Tippecanoe county, Indiana, March 3, 1848, a son of Calvin C. and Eliza Jane (Yeaman) McDowell. His father was born in Virinia, and his mother in New Jersey. His paternal grandfather, James McDowell, was also born in Virginia; was a manufacturer of salt in the Kanawha valley in West Virginia; a soldier of the war of 1812, and died at the home of his son, Dr. Calvin C. McDowell, in Cherokee county, in i88i, at the age of eighty-seven. In Tippecanoe county, Indiana, Dr. Calvin C. McDowell and Eliza Jane Yeaman were united in marriage and they had five children, two of whom are livingJames F., who resides at Hot Springs, Ark., and Samuel Oscar, three children having died in infancy. Dr. Calvin C. McDowell removed his family to Cherokee county in the fall of 1866, where he continued to reside the remainder of his days, following farming and the practicing of medicine. He died 1883, at the age of sixty-three. He was prominent in the affairs of the county in an early day; was a Republican in politics, and represented Cherokee county in the legislature one term. Both he and his wife were members of the Methodist church, and he was the organizer of the first Methodist class in Cherokee county, and thereby was esteemed the founder of his church denomination in this county.
Samuel Oscar McDowell laid aside his school books when fifteen years of age, and tendered his services to the defense of the Union. In November, 1863, he enlisted in Company M, Eleventh Indiana cavalry. He served for sixteen months, when he was severely wounded in the shoulder at Larkinsville, Ala, in May, 1865, necessitating amputation of the left arm, and in consequence thereof, he received his discharge. He then returned to his native county, attended the Stockwell Collegiate Institute, and became a school teacher. He came to Kansas in 1867, locating in Cherokee county, and in 1871 he was appointed postmaster at Columbus, which position he held for ten years. From 1876 to 1887, Mr. McDowell owned and published the "Columbus Courier." Later he and A. T. Lea established the "Galena Miner," which newspaper they sold two years later, and up to a recent date Mr. McDowell has been, in somewise, identified with the newspaper business. In politics Mr. McDowell is an uncompromising Republican. He was sergeant-at-arms of the Kansas state senate during the sessions of 1885-6-7, served as executive clerk to Governors John A. Martin and Lyman U. Humphrey, in 1887-8-9, and was chief clerk at the Kansas state penitentiary for two years. For five terms during the years 1879 to 1882, inclusive, and again in 1895, he served as mayor of Columbus.
For several years Mr. McDowell was a member of the State Republican committee, and has otherwise rendered active service in behalf of the Republican party whose men and measures he has always ardently supported. Fraternally, Mr. McDowell has long been prominently identified with the Grand Army of the Republic, and the Knights of Pythias. In 1902 he received the honor of being elected grand chancellor commander of the grand lodge of Knights of Pythias.
Mr. McDowell has been twice married. His first marriage was consummated in 1869, in Tippecanoe county, Indiana, to Miss Birdie McKinsey. She died in 1898, leaving one daughter, Mrs. Maude Pye, of Joplin, Mo. In 1904 Mrs. Lucilla E. Walrod, of Indianapolis, Ind., became Mr. McDowell's second wife. In church faith Mr. McDowell has followed the faith of his parents, and for many years has been a member of the Methodist church.Pages 219-220 from volume III, part 1 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 December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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