William C. Downing house

North West Corner Johnson and Greene Streets
Current Address: 259 W Johnson Street



Germantown Independent Gazette. Handsome Homes of Germantown. Mt. Airy & Pelham. Germantown: Germantown Independent Gazette, 1899. Print.



Geo. W. & Walter S. Bromley. Atlas of the City of Philadelphia. Volume 7 22nd Ward.  Philadelphia: G.W. Bromley and Co., Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 1899. Plate 12.




Geo. W. & Walter S. Bromley. Atlas of the City of Philadelphia. Volume 7 22nd Ward.  Philadelphia: G.W. Bromley and Co., Athenaeum of Philadelphia, 1899. Plate 12.

-----

RESEARCH ON BUILDING

In Bromley's 1889 atlas of the 22nd Ward Philadelphia, the house is shown with much the same footprint, indicated that it was built by then, and that it was then owned by James C. White.


Geo. W. & Walter S. Bromley. Atlas of the City of Philadelphia. Volume 7 22nd Ward.  Philadelphia: G.W. Bromley and Co., Athenaeum of Philadelphia., 1889. Plate 12.


The real estate news published in 1894 recorded this change of ownership of the site. According to CENSUS data, Robert W. Downing is William C. Downing's father.


The Latest News in Real Estate. William a Arthur & Bro. To Erect Eighteen Fine Dwellings in the Thirty-Fourth Ward. News/Opinion. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Inquirer, December 6, 1894. Page 7.


RESEARCH ON OWNER

Boyd's city directory of 1900 not only showed W. C. Downing's home address, but also proved his occupation as a coal dealer, since his company's name was listed under the "Coal Dealer, Retail" section in the directory.

    
Boyd. Boyd's Co-partnership and Residence Business Directory of Philadelphia City. Philadelphia: Boyd's Directory Office, 1900. Ebook.

The following excerpt is from the "Coal Dealer, Retail" section:
 
Boyd. Boyd's Co-partnership and Residence Business Directory of Philadelphia City. Philadelphia: Boyd's Directory Office, 1900. Ebook.

Several newspaper articles around 1889 to around 1900 mentioned the Downing Bros as one of the biggest retailers of Coal Trade in Philadelphia. The following excerpt from the Coal Trade Journal in 1914 recorded that the Bell Coal Co. was going to purchase the business of Downing Bros, probably indicating either the leave of Dowing family from the business.


The Coal Trade Journal, volume 46, December 2, 1914, pp.1359, edited by Frederick E. Saward, New York

In terms of social life, Mr. and Mrs. William C. Downng were constantly mentioned in the Society section of Philadelphia Inquirer between 1889 to 1900; newspaper tended to record their private events such as going to hotsprings or attending friends' private parties.


Society. News/Opinion. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Inquirer, January 6, 1895. Page 14.


Society. News/Opinion. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Inquirer, March 13, 188. Page 32.

CURRENT STATUS

Downing's house is no longer at the original site. The site, with the current address as 259 W Johnson Street, is currently occupied by Green Manor Apartment.





Google Map


Reference:
"United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M6YP-94X : accessed 21 March 2017), William C Downing, Philadelphia Ward 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States; citing ED 601, sheet 6A, line 40, family 120, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 1623; FHL microfilm 1,821,623.

Philadelphia Inquirer. America's Historical Newspapers. Web.



downinghouse.html; 03/21/2017; JW