WILLIAM DOWNER, a prominent business man of Irondale, Jefferson county, had devoted his life since fifteen years of age to the brick manufacture, and few men are as thorough masters of the business. He bgan as a laborer in a yard at Hammondsville, and worked until 1866, after which for a few years he engaged in house painting, but subsequently came to Irondale and bought an interest in the brick works, with which he has since been connected. These works were established in 1867 or 1868, by Minor, McBane & Co. The firm subsequently became Wallace, Minor & Co., then Wm. H. Wallace & Sons, and is now R. G. Wallace. At first but $4,000 was invested but the capital now is over $12,000; about twenty-five men are employed, and the annual product is a millon and a half of brick, and about 4,000 tons of manufactured clay. CLeveland is the principal market, but large shipments are also made to Canada, New York, and the west. For the last eight years Mr. Downer has not owned any interest, but has held the position of general manager. Mr. Downer was born at Hanover, Columbiana county, Ohio, March 12, 1849, the son of Zadock and Phoebe (Hart) Downer. The father was a blacksmith in early life, but for twenty years prior to his death, which occurred July 3, 1869, was in the hotel business in Columbiana and Jefferson counties. His widow is still living at Minerva, Stark county, Ohio. Mr. Downer was married October 14, 1869, to Mary J., daughter of George and Lydia R. (McCarle) Dyal, the former of whom died at Irondale, November 10, 1886. He was in early life a farmer, but later in the dry goods trade. His widow is still living at Irondale. Mr. and Mrs. Downer have six children: Franklin C., Clara Olive, Harry C., William Dyal and Lydia Evaline and Helen Madge, twins. He and family are members of the Masonic order, and in politics a republican.
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