EDITOR’S NOTE: Jean McDaniel, former director of the museum, uncovered a bit of history about Edward Mott Downer, namesake of the Avery-Downer House, when she took a look at the Electoral College in 2004. Following are excerpts from an article she wrote in 2004 of the day Downer cast his electoral vote for William McKinley, who won the hotly contested national election for president in 1896, running against William Jennings Bryan.
“The day of the electoral vote, Edward Downer probably boarded a train for Columbus at the T & OC Stations where the Parker Realty is today, or at the long gone Union Station at Kylesburg just south of Granville. Arriving at Union Station in Columbus, he would have hired a hack (horse and buggy cab) to take him to the Statehouse.
There he would have met the other 22 electors – all party faithfuls. I am sure they lunched together as did the GOP Electors of 2004, probably in the dining room of the Neil House right across from the State Capitol. The Neil House was also the home of Governor McKinley and his wife during his term of office.
Granville’s Bicentennial history honors Edward Mott Downer (1826-1914) who stepped forward to fulfill a citizen’s role in the United States of America’s free election process which followed the same format that was implemented in 1804 and has not changed to this day.”