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Simon Ezra Thomas "Tom" Downer
Birth: Sep. 22, 1893
Lancaster County
Nebraska, USA
Death: Sep. 10, 1970
Lancaster County
Nebraska, USA

Tom Downer is my Grandfather.
Age at Death: 77


1 - Cecilia Catherine Cavanaugh Downer.
2 - Grace May Downer.

Cecilia Catherine Downer Bargas
Josephine Downer
Viva Downer Wright
Virginia Clara Downer
Enola Downer Burdick
Frances Downer Young
Simon Ezra Thomas Downer


Caroline Alice Downer "Maude" b 1892.
m. 1. Cody 2. Byrd
Maybelle Claire Downer m.Munson
Virginia Pearl Swenson m. Potter


Tom had a difficult life as a child. He was often at odds with his mother and two sisters whom he supported from the age of 10.

At 12 years old, Tom ran away and joined the Navy. When his mother found him and proved his real age to the Navy, he was sent home. At 14 years old, Tom again ran away and this time he joined the Army. Two years later his mother found him and once again he was sent home. His mother kept finding him; Although he ran away, he would send his paychecks home to support his mother & sisters.

Tom was a member of the Nebraska Armory Light Infantry. The Light Infantry was the front line unit, protecting borders.

Grandpa Tom also joined the Marines! He enlisted at age 17 and stayed with the Marines until he was moved into the Army for 'The Emergency'. After this he was discharged from the Army, and returned to the Marines.

*I found a Discharge Certificate from the Army. This was during WWI. Tom had been moved from the Marines into the Army and sent to the Front Lines for "The Emergency":
To all Whom it May Concert: Know ye, That Simon E.T. Downer, Army Serial No. 1,065896 a Private of Eight Hundred Seventy-First Repair Squadron Signal Corps, US Army, who was enlisted on the 14th day of December, 1917 at Fort Logan, Colorado to serve for the period of The Emergency was Honorably Dischared from the service of the United States on the 6th day of 1919, by reason of demobilization.
Character given on discharge: Excellent.

In one branch of the military or another he proudly served his country for over 30 years.

The emblem on Tom's Marine uniform sleeve shows he is a Marksman.

A marksman is a person who is skilled in precision, or a sharpshooter shooting,[1] using projectile weapons, such as with a rifle but most commonly with a designated marksman rifle and/or a sniper rifle, to shoot at long range targets. The main difference between a marksman and a normal sniper is that a marksman is usually considered an organic part of a team of soldiers, whereas regular snipers tend to work alone or with other snipers. In the military, marksmen are sometimes attached to an infantry squad where they take accurate long-range shots at valuable targets as needed, thus extending the reach of the squad.


WWI Honor Roll Lancaster Co. Nebraska 159b

LINCOLN, NEB. Born Lincoln, Neb., Sept. 22, 1893. Wife, Grace. Entered the service Dec. 12, 1917. Aviation Mechanic. Training at St. Paul, Minn. Previous service with U. S. Marines and on Border in 1916.

Tom Downer also worked with the FBI of the Bay Area.

Tom Downer spent his life Protecting his Beloved Country.


Grandpa loved the sport of Boxing. Starting as a young man he learned the sport while in the Army and continued boxing as a Marine. Tom Downer


Moving from Lincoln Nebraska to Fairfield California and having learned to weld while in the Navy, Grandpa Tom hired on at Mare Island Vallejo as a Specialist in the Sheet Metal Shop.

After Grandma Cecilia passed away in 1959, Grandpa Tom moved back to Lincoln Nebraska. There he married Grace May Downer, to whom he had been married and divorced, prior to meeting Cecilia. We have heard of a first wife, who was German with whom Tom had a son. At the outbreak of WWI this woman returned to Germany taking the son with her. The family has no further information on this, but I would love to learn more.

*A second story on the first wife is that she died while Tom Downer was serving with the NE Troops, and her mother took care of the baby boy. After Tom re-married he came to claim his son only to be told the grandmother and child had moved back to Germany. Some 30 years later he was told the story was a lie and the son had grown up in America. Tom however was never able to find his first born child or see him again.


^*^*^Thank You to Everyone who leaves a flower for my Grandfather. I appreciate it.^*^*^

**A Special Thank You to Tony & Cindy Lloyd for the grave-marker photograph & cemetery information**

**Anyone with information on Simon Ezra Thomas "TOM" Downer, please feel free to contact me. **

Family links: 
  Ezra Downer (1870 - 1946)
  Cecilia Catherine Cavanaugh Downer (1892 - 1959)
  Grace May Downer (1894 - 1979)
  Cecilia Catherine Downer Bargas (1921 - 2010)*
  Josephine Downer (1923 - 1923)*
  Viva Downer Wright (1924 - 2003)*
  Virginia Clara Downer (1928 - 2007)*
*Calculated relationship
Wyuka Cemetery
Lancaster County
Nebraska, USA
Plot: Sec-37 Lot-232 Sp-3
Created by: S Chaney
Record added: Feb 04, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 33549503
Simon Ezra Thomas Tom Downer
Added by: S Chaney
Simon Ezra Thomas Tom Downer
Added by: Tony & Cindy Lloyd
Simon Ezra Thomas Tom Downer
Added by: S Chaney
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Simon Ezra Thomas Downer, he served in what I see here Three Branches of the US Military. Thank you!!!!
- Jonathan Robert De Mallie, Historian
 Added: Apr. 21, 2015

- Angel of Flowers
 Added: Mar. 7, 2015

- S Chaney
 Added: Jan. 28, 2015
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This page is sponsored by: S Chaney

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