Publisher of the Santa Clara Journal

 Bio-Pen Pictures

            N. H. Downing, editor and publisher of the Santa Clara Journal, was born at Newark, Missouri, June 19, 1852. He was reared on a farm and is practically self-educated.  At the age of twelve years he lost his hearing, caused by spinal meningitis, which cut him off from schooling advantages, and he never attended an institute for the deaf.  He began his newspaper experience at Shelbina, Missouri, in November, 1882, when he purchased the Shelbina Index, which he conducted with little intermission until coming to California in February, 1886, when he took charge of the Livermore Review; but, becoming dissatisfied with the outlook there, he resigned two months after and “roughed it,” so to speak, from that time to November 1, 1886, when he purchased the Santa Clara Journal, which at that time was a “patent outside,” poorly patronized and doing a very small business.  Under his management, by February 1, 1887, it became a seven-column weekly, and all home printed.  January 1, 1888, it became a six-page weekly.  On May 1, 1888, he began to publish it as a semi-weekly paper.  The newspaper career of this remarkable man has been attended with wonderful success; his skill and executive ability as a manager place him on the highway of success, and as a writer he takes no low rank.  His loss of hearing cuts him off from political matters, and he takes but little interest in them.  When election time comes he selects his men and votes for them independent of what others may say.  On this point he is firm in the conviction that it is degrading to his manhood to allow any living man to influence his vote against his principles.  He is a member of no church, although he believes in the good of Christianity and aims to live a Christian life, such a life as he thinks acceptable in the sight of God, regardless how creeds may view it.

            On the seventeenth of April [no year given] he was married to Ida R. Drake, of Shelbyville, Missouri, a lady who descends from one of our oldest and best Virginian families, and who graces their home with that rare charm of mind and person born of the true lady, and for which our old Virginian families are noted the world over. She, like her husband, is not a member of any church, but believes in and lives a Christian life.  They are the parents of three children: Bertha and Bernie, twins, and Carl M.

Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
Pg. 280-281
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight