Lee County Biography


Success flauntingly plays before the dreamer but succumbs when arrayed against determined effort, unfaltering perseverance, laudable ambition and honorable purpose. An analyzation of the life record of George J. Downing shows that these qualities have constituted salient features in his history and brought him to his present enviable position in mercantile and financial circles of Lee county. He is now proprietor of one of the leading grocery stores of Dixon and also the owner of valuable business property. Mr. Downing was born in Kane county, Illinois, in 1875, and is a son of Major O. J. Downing. He supplemented his public school education by a three years' collegiate course in the Dixon Normal School and then made his initial step in the business world as an employe of J.H. Morris & Sons, grocers, with whom he remained for eight years, his long connection with that establishment plainly indicating his fidelity and capability. Ambitious, however, to engage in business on his own account, he carefully saved his earnings and in 1900 opened a general grocery store, handling a full line of both staple and fancy groceries. The tasteful arrangement of the establishment, the reasonable prices and his reliable business methods have brought to him a growing patronage and his success is most gratifying. As prosperity has attended his efforts Mr. Downing has become interested in real estate. He erected one of the largest buildings in Dixon at Nos. 110-116 First street. It has a frontage of one hundred and one feet and the main floor is used for an express office, garage and steam rubber works, while on the second floor is the armory.

On the 13th of September, 1909, Mr. Downing was united in marriage to Miss Golda Coburn, of Elgin, Illinois, and they have many warm friends in Dixon, the number continually increasing as the circle of their acquaintance widens. Mr. Downing is a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and also has membership with the Knights of the Maccabees and the Knights of Pythias. He has never figured prominently in public connections aside from business, preferring always to concentrate his energies upon his commercial interests which, capably directed, have constituted the foundation and source of his success. He deserves much credit for what he has accomplished and he enjoys in large measure the confidence and Respect of colleagues and contemporaries.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1914 History of Lee County Illinois Vol 2 by Frank E. Stevens.

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