Caswell County Genealogy
 

McDowell, William Gaston

McDowell, William Gaston

Male 1847 - 1931  (84 years)

Personal Information    |    Media    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name McDowell, William Gaston  [1
    Born 31 May 1847  [1
    Gender Male 
    Reference Number 1341 
    Died 13 Nov 1931  [1
    Buried Riverside Cemetery, Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I1329  Caswell County
    Last Modified 28 Jul 2022 

    Father McDowell, Major William Wallace,   b. 13 Feb 1823, Pleasant Gardens, McDowell County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Jun 1893, Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 70 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Smith, Sarah Lucinda,   b. 22 May 1826, Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Nov 1905, Buncombe County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 21 Jul 1846  Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Reference Number 11484 
    Notes 
    • McDowell, William W., married to Miss Sarah L. Smith, daughter of James M. Smith, July 21, 1846, in Asheville (Highland Messenger, 24 July 1846).

      Source: Marriage and Death Notices from Extant Asheville, N.C. Newspapers 1840-1870, An Index, Robert M. Topkins, Compiler and Editor (1977) (North Carolina Genealogical Society: 1983 Reprint Edition) at 33.

      McDowell Marriage Notice

      (for larger image, click on photograph)
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    Family ID F769  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Gardner, Martha Ann,   b. 6 Mar 1853, Yancey County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Jan 1933, Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Married 19 Sep 1877  [3
    Reference Number 11703 
    Children 
     1. McDowell, Nancy Lou,   b. 4 Oct 1878,   d. 19 Dec 1961, Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 83 years)  [natural]
    +2. McDowell, Sarah Estella,   b. 20 Jan 1880, Yancey County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Jan 1959, Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years)  [natural]
    +3. McDowell, William Wallace,   b. 31 Oct 1881,   d. 2 Feb 1953  (Age 71 years)  [natural]
     4. McDowell, Clarence Gaston,   b. 5 Jun 1883,   d. 23 Feb 1933, Buncombe County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 49 years)  [natural]
     5. McDowell, Mary Martha,   b. 24 Feb 1885,   d. 26 Dec 1979, Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 94 years)  [natural]
    +6. McDowell, Ellie Gertrude,   b. 4 Jun 1887,   d. 28 Jan 1986, Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 98 years)  [natural]
    +7. McDowell, Ernest Geddings,   b. 21 Dec 1888,   d. 26 Jun 1949  (Age 60 years)  [natural]
     8. McDowell, Annie Kate,   b. 30 Nov 1890  [natural]
     9. McDowell, Harold Clinton,   b. 2 Apr 1893, Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
    Last Modified 28 Jul 2022 
    Family ID F771  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Riverside Cemetery, Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Sarah Lucinda Smith McDowell and William Gaston McDowell
    William Gaston Smith Asheville Police Department 1908

    Headstones
    Martha Ann Gardner McDowell and William Gaston McDowell Grave Marker at Riverside Cemetery, Asheville, NC
    Martha Ann Gardner McDowell and William Gaston McDowell Grave Marker at Riverside Cemetery, Asheville, NC

  • Notes 
    • William Gaston McDowell (1847-1931)

      Sarah Lucinda Smith McDowell and First Child

      Martha Gardner McDowell and William Gaston McDowell

      Asheville Police Department 1908

      (for larger image, click on photograph)
      _______________

      First Photograph: Sarah Lucinda Smith McDowell and her first child, William Gaston McDowell.
      Second Photograph: Martha Gardner McDowell and William Gaston McDowell grave marker at Riverside Cemetery (Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina).
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      William McDowell served with the Asheville Police Department for 40 years,from a patrolman to Chief of Police.

      William Gaston McDowell was born May 31, 1847 in the old Buck Hotel (later, site of Langren Hotel and then a parking garage) on the northeast corner of Broadway and College Street in Asheville, North Carolina. He was the first child of William Wallace and Sarah Lucinda Smith McDowell. He lived with his family on the large farm two miles south of the square (in what is now Smith-McDowell House on Victoria Road) from late 1850's until he married in 1877.

      He was not quite 15 years old, in April 1861, when his father Captain W .W. McDowell led the Buncombe Riflemen from Buncombe County to join other Confederate troops in the War Between the States. He along with his mother and five brothers and one sister remained on the farm until he turned 17. During July 1864 he entered the Confederate service at Columbia, South Carolina as a machinist. He was guarding the Confederate Printing Press in Columbia when Sherman marched on Columbia (2/17/1865) and almost demolished the city. He was with the Confederates who were able to get a railroad engine and cars and moved the printing press machinery from Columbia to Lincolnton, North Carolina and from there to Cherryville, where it was left. Young McDowell returned to Asheville in April 1865.

      Following the war he worked with his father and on September 9, 1877, at the age of 30, he married Martha Ann (Mattie) Gardner of Yancey County. She was the daughter of William and Nancy Anderson Gardner. The McDowells lived in several houses in Asheville before building a large two-story house at 77 Victoria Avenue (now Congress Street). In 1926 they built a large house at 84 Forrest Hill Drive and lived there the rest of their lives.

      Gaston McDowell was brought up in the Presbyterian Church but legend has it that he was not permitted to go to church because he was caught dancing. His wife Mattie was reared in the Methodist Church so they raised their nine children as Methodist attending Bethel Methodist Church on Blanton Street. Many Sundays when there were visiting preachers at the church they would invite them to go home with them for Sunday dinner. Of course, the children would have to wait for the second table and when the talking went on too long after the meal the children would stomp up and down on the outside porch past the windows to remind the grown folks that they were still there and hungry.

      Mr. McDowell began his service with the Asheville Police Department during the administration of Judge E. J. Alston as Mayor (1884). He served in various positions ranging from patrolman to chief for a total of 40 years. He was the chief of the department in 1891 and 1892. He served as court officer of the city police court until he was 82 years old when he was forced to retire due to his failing health (1929). In 1928 Mr. McDowell at the age of 81 years was recognized as the oldest Citizen of Asheville born in Asheville. In 1927 Mr. & Mrs. McDowell celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Mrs. McDowell was an excellent seamstress and sewed for many of the best dressed ladies in Asheville. This was her means of helping support her large family.

      Gaston and Mattie McDowell had nine children; five daughters and four sons. Their first two children Nannie and Sally were born in Burnsville, North Carolina but the other seven were born in Asheville. They had 28 grandchildren who affectionately called they Daddy and Granny Mac. Mr. McDowell died November 13, 1931 age 84 years and 5 months, 12 days. Mrs. McDowell died a little over a year later on January 6, 1933 age 79 years 10 months. They are buried in Riverside Cemetery in Asheville, North Carolina.

      Source: Family and Descendents of William Wallace McDowell & Sarah Lucinda Smith McDowell, Frances Arthur McDowell, Compiler and Editor (undated but after 1997).
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      In 1883, William Gaston McDowell apparently was occupied as a "grocer" and had a residence just south of Asheville: "McDowell W G, grocer s limits, res same."

      Source: The Asheville City Directory and Gazetteer of Buncombe County for 1883-'84, J. P. Davison, Compiler (1883) at 32.

  • Sources 
    1. Details: Gravestone in the Riverside Cemetery (Asheville, Buncombe County, North Carolina).

    2. Details: Marriage and Death Notices from Extant Asheville, N.C. Newspapers 1840-1870, An Index, Robert M. Topkins, Compiler and Editor (1977) (North Carolina Genealogical Society: 1983 Reprint Edition) at 33.

    3. Details: The Smith-McDowell House: A History, Richard W. Iobst (1977), Western North Carolina Historical Association Republication (2006)
      at 36.