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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
Rev. E. R. Dowell, whose work in connection with the Baptist church has been of a helpful kind in those communities and parishes where he has worked, is the owner of a farm of eighty acres on section 4, Jackson township, Livingston county. Coming to Livingston county in 1861, he is a native of Van Buren county, Iowa, his birth having occurred March 7, 1855, and his parents being E. R. Dowell, Sr., and Mary F. Dowell. His father was a prosperous agriculturist in his district and politically prominent, having served for many years as justice of the peace. He was a native of Meade county, Kentucky, and a son of James Dowell. Widely known and well beloved, the father passed away in January, 1903, at the venerable age of eighty-three years and eleven months. His wife still lives in Jackson township, at the age of ninety years, and has the distinction of being one of the oldest women in this section.
E. R. Dowell was reared under the parental roof, where he was well grounded in the old-fashioned virtues of honesty and industry by his parents, and in the acquirement of his education attended the district schools in the neighborhood of his father's home. Subsequently he rounded out his learning by taking courses at the Grand River College and was ordained on June 18, 1889, as a Baptist minister, Ever since he left school he has engaged in the dual occupations of farming and preaching, having achieved success along both lines, and now resides on the place, on which he settled over fifty years ago. There he has built a residence and made a number of other improvements, engaging in general farming and stock-raising.
On October 25, 1876, Rev. E. R. Dowell was married in Jackson township to Miss Mary J. Brassfield, a daughter of Adam and Mary A. (Fletcher) Brassfield, both prominent in the county. The father was widely and favorably known as one of the first settlers in the district, where he passed away May 22, 1893, at an age of nearly sixty-eight years, his passing being mourned by a great number of friends. His wife followed him on November 17, 1899, being about sixty-five years of age, and both found their last resting place in Brassfield cemetery. Rev. and Mrs. Dowell were the parents of six children, of whom five are living, namely: Benjamin A.. a blacksmith and farmer of Jackson township; Oliver R., who follows agricultural pursuits in the same township; Mary A., the wife of Straude Pond, who is foreman of the smelter mills of Joplin, Missouri; Corda B., a farmer of Cream Ridge township; and Paul M., attending district school No. 5. Charles F., another son, died at the age of nearly four years and is buried in Brassfield cemetery.
A practical man and a Christian gentleman, Mr. Dowell is highly respected and well beloved by all those who know him and are appreciative of his many distinctive qualities of mind and heart, which make for him friends wherever known. He has only one fraternal association, which connects him with the Masonic body, in which he is a master Mason, and he exemplifies the beneficent tenets which are professed by the brethren of that order in his daily life. Truly helpful and ever ready to cooperate in matters undertaken to benefit the people, he has not only been an interested witness of the changes which have occurred here, but a forceful factor in upbuilding and development.