Philip W. Downes (1837-1895)

Philip W. Downes, 1858

Philip W. Downes was the eldest son of William H. Downes and his wife Annie Hardcastle Downes and was born in Caroline County, Maryland in 1837. When he was ten, his father was elected as a Maryland state delegate. The younger Downes entered Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he was elected as a member of the Union Philosophical Society and graduated with the class of 1858. Downes studied law in Easton, Maryland and was admitted to the Maryland bar in 1861.

Based on available records, the activities of Downes over the next decade or so are unclear; it is known that he served as Maryland's commissioner of fisheries from 1874 to 1878. Beginning in 1877, successful already in business and his practice, Downes began buying up sections of the Upper Denton, Maryland waterfront on the Choptank River. A few years later, he owned most of the properties south of the Denton Bridge. The operation and later sale of these properties made him a wealthy man. Downes became the first president of the Denton National Bank in 1881 and a director the next year of the newly established Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Denton.

By 1880, Downes had been married to his wife, Annie, for more than a decade and the couple had two children, James, aged ten, and Armand, aged two. He also had gained the title "Colonel" by that point in his career. Philip Downes died in Denton, Maryland in 1895. He was fifty-eight years old.

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Dickinson College Archives
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