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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesIllinois

Finis Ewing DOWNING

(1846-1936)

DOWNING, Finis Ewing, a Representative from Illinois; born in Virginia, Cass County, Ill., August 24, 1846; attended public and private schools; engaged in mercantile pursuits in Virginia, Ill., and Butler, Mo., 1864-1880; member of the board of aldermen, Virginia, Ill., 1876-1878; mayor 1878-1880; clerk of the circuit court of Cass County 1880-1892; studied law; was admitted to the bar in December 1887 and commenced practice at Virginia, Ill.; engaged in the newspaper business 1891-1897; secretary of the State senate in 1892 and 1893; presented credentials as a Democratic Member-elect to the Fifty-fourth Congress and served from March 4, 1895, to June 5, 1896, when he was succeeded by John I. Rinaker, who contested his election; unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1896; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for secretary of state of Illinois in 1896; resumed the practice of law in Virginia, Ill., and also engaged in the real-estate business; died in Virginia, Ill., March 8, 1936; interment in Walnut Ridge Cemetery.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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