JOHN DOWZER, who is now carrying on a large coopering establishment where barrels are manufactured for the Staunton Milling Company, began business in this line soon after locating in this place in 1868. He purchased a cooper shop of Mr. McAllister, and soon built up an excellent trade. So rapidly did his business increase that it son became one of the leading industries of the county and furnished employment to thirty men, while the daily output was about four hundred barrels. The greater part of these were for the exclusive use of the Royal Gem Mills Company and he continued to supply them until 1882, when the mill was blown up. For about ten years afterward he lived a retired life, doing little business until 1891, when he again opened a cooper shop near the coal shaft of the Wabash depot, where he now follows his trade. He supplies the entire demand of the Staunton Milling Company and has a good business.
As Mr. Dowzer is widely known throughout this community we feel that a sketch of his life will be received with interest by man of our readers. He was born among the hills of Wicklow County, Ireland, on the 18th of December, 1830, and belongs to a family which was originally of English origin. His ancestors emigrated from England to the Emerald Isle during the Conquest. Michael Dowzer, father of our subject was born in Ireland, and when a young man learned the trade of a cooper, which he followed throughout his entire life in connection with the occupation of farming. In the county of his nativity he remained until his death, which occurred at a ripe old age. He married Miss Sarah Hopkins, a lady of Irish birth who also spent her entire life in her native land. Both were members of the Episcopal Church and were highly respected people.
Mid play and work John Dowzer spent his boyhood days and when a youth, entering his father's shop, he learned the trade of a cooper, which he has since followed in pursuit of fortune. Believing that the new world afforded better advantages to young men that the old countries, he determined to emigrate to America and in 1850 crossed the broad ocean, locating in Toronto, Canada. Subsequently he crossed the line into "Free America," and after spending a few years in the South, came to Macoupin County, Ill., in 1868.
In Staunton, Mr. Dowzer was united in marriage with Mrs. Mary (Carson) Smith who was born in Ireland, and when young came to America. Almost her entire life has been passed in St. Louis and in the city where she yet makes her home. She has been a faithful wife and a true helpmate to her husband and is a lady of intelligence and worth. Both Mr. And Mrs. Dowzer are identified with the Covenanters Church of Scotland. Their union has been blessed with three children, a son and two daughters - Mollie D., John C. And Maggie. The son is now assisting his father in his business. Mr. Dowzer is a self-made man who began life without capital and has worked his way steadily upward, overcoming by a determined will and energy the obstacles in his path, until he has preached a proud position and is numbered among the substantial citizens of the community.