William Nathan McDowell
William (Bill) Nathan McDowell (1882-1966).gif
Sex: Male
Birth: April 18, 1882 (1882-04-18) (139 years ago)
Death: May 6, 1966 (age 84)
126 years ago
Father: Nathan Richard McDowell (1854-1925)
Mother: Chalania Alvira Van Keuren (1860-1934)
Spouse/Partner: Mary F. Benedict (1887-1965)
Marriage: October 7, 1903 (age 21)
118 years ago
2nd Spouse: Margaret Piatt (1879-1952)

William Nathan McDowell (1882-1966) and Ralph Freudenberg (1903-1980) in Winterton, New York on December 26, 1926

William Nathan McDowell (1882-1966), and others, on July 15, 1934 in Port Orange, New York

Woman Picking Berries Finds Big Rattlesnake. Reptile Killed By William McDowell on Sunday was Over 5 Feet Long

William Nathan McDowell (1882-1966) aka Bill McDowell. He worked for the railroad during World War I and later was house painter, carpenter and handyman. He died of gangrene when he cut his foot with an ax while splitting wood. (b. May 18, 1882; Westbrookville, Sullivan County, New York, 12785, USA - d. May 06, 1966; Liberty, Sullivan County, New York, 12754, USA) Social Security Number 086145369.

Parents[edit | edit source]

Siblings[edit | edit source]

First marriage[edit | edit source]

On October 07, 1903 Bill married Mary F. Benedict (1887-1965) and they had one child: Charles William McDowell (1907-1975). They then divorced and Mary married Frederick Eugene Skinner, a cattle dealer from Westbrookville. Frederick was the son of James Skinner and Lucinda Jane Tompkin. Mary was the daughter of Jonathan Benedict (1850-1879) and Nancy L. Culver (1850-1924).

Second marriage[edit | edit source]

Bill then married Margaret Piatt (1879-1952) aka Mae Piatt. Margaret was the daughter of William Lewis Piatt (1834-1918) and Phoebe Hubbard (1853-1910).

Rattlesnake[edit | edit source]

August 11, 1919: "Woman Picking Berries Finds Big Rattlesnake. Reptile Killed By William McDowell on Sunday was Over 5 Feet Long. A rattlesnake, five feet, one inch long, was killed by William McDowell of 1 Mill street, Sunday afternoon in the hills back of Westbrookville where Mr. McDowell and his wife were picking huckleberries. Mr. McDowell believes the snake, some of the rattles of which were apparently missing, was about 16 years old. Mrs. McDowell well was bending over picking, berries when her attention as attracted by a noise at her back. Turning she discovered the reptile coiled and ready to spring. Stepping aside lest snake should strike strike, Mrs. McDowell summoned Mr. McDowell a few feet away. With the aid of a short stick Mr. McDowell [managed] in stunning the snake and severed the head at the neck. ..."

Death[edit | edit source]

He died of gangrene after cutting his foot while chopping wood.

Memories about William McDowell[edit | edit source]

  • According to Elmer Jay McDowell (1941): "Bill lived in the upstairs apartment of a 2 story house. There always seemed to be paint cans and painting paraphernalia in the hallway. He would sometimes play a violin in a style for square dancing. He had two, one was larger and must have been a viola. He also would play a pump organ that was in the living room. He didn't seem to think too much of kids but could be persuaded to 'show off'. He was a portly man with a cookie duster mustache. My dad always said he was a lady's man, and I remember him always having a girl friend in his older age. He was living alone in a mountain home in his 83rd year when he cut his foot with an ax while splitting wood. In typical McDowell fashion, he didn't get medical treatment, got gangrene, had first one and then the other leg amputated, and died as a result."
  • Richard Potts wrote on on June 05, 2006: "[I am] Viola McDowell Page's grandson. I believe I have some second-hand knowledge about Bill McDowell that might be of interest to you. Bill's first marriage to Mary Benedict did not end with her death. They were divorced. She then married Fred Skinner a cattle dealer from Westbrookville. I always knew her as Aunt Mame as she was my grandfather's (Archibald R. Page) cousin. My grandmother told my sister Roberta that she, my grandmother, could understand Mame divorcing Bill but felt that she should never have abandoned their son when she left Bill. I only remember meeting Bill McDowell once. When I was 9 or 10 (1953-1954) I stayed with my Grandmother for a week or two in the summer. Bill dropped by to visit. My memories of that are not very clear but the impression of the visit meshes well with Elmer's impression of Bill's attitude toward kids. (Asa, 'Uncle Ace' dropped by to visit on another day and took me fishing at Wolf Lake) My mother told me that Bill was his mother's favorite. So when Oscar, age 12, or so the story goes, was working and Bill was not, she used Oscar's pay one week to buy Bill shoes. Oscar did not think that was fair so 'in typical McDowell fashion' left home. His family reputedly did not hear from him for 7 or 8 years. When they did he was a carpenter on Long Island."

External links[edit | edit source]

Images[edit | edit source]

Ancestors[edit | edit source]

William Nathan McDowell (1882-1966)'s ancestors in three generations
William Nathan McDowell (1882-1966) Father:
Nathan Richard McDowell (1854-1925)
Paternal Grandfather:
Martin Carpenter McDowell (1828-1908)
Paternal Great-grandfather: Martin G. McDowell
Paternal Great-grandmother: Elizabeth Carpenter
Paternal Grandmother:
Martha Baker (1825-1894)
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Chalania Alvira Van Keuren (1860-1934)
Maternal Grandfather:
Tjerck Van Keuren II
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Tjerck Van Keuren I
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Maternal Grandmother:
Catherine Scott (c1840-?)
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Maternal Great-grandmother:
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