Sudden Death of Dr. William J McDowell

“This community will be startled this morning to hear the death of Dr. William J McDowell, one of the leading physicians of Portsmouth. This sad and unexpected event occurred at his residence on Second street, this (Saturday) morning, at 10 minutes past one o’clock.”

“Dr. McDowell had been ailing since Wednesday last, but was able to be down town Thursday and about the yard yesterday. Last night his condition suddenly changed for the worse, and doctors Cotton, Pixley, Kline and Bing were summoned, but to no avail; the doctor sank gradually, and while not anticipating death, said he was weary, tired and worn out. He had retained the full possession of his mental faculties until within five minutes of his demise. The immediate cause of his death is assigned as nervous prostration and affection of the brain.”

“William Jefferson McDowell was the son of the late John McDowell, Senior, and was born in this city September 14, 1821, to which place his parents had removed from Chillicothe in January previous. He was noted for an assiduous and patient devotion to his profession, in which none stood higher.”

“His was a blameless Christian life, one of self-sacrifice and duty, and he leaves behind him a bright and spotless name. Dr. McDowell was a close communicant of the Bigelow ME Church, and which church he has held every church office, being a Steward and Trustee at the time of his death. His venerable mother1 survives him. Due notice of the funeral will be given today or tomorrow.”2

  1. Mary Whiting Jefferson McDowell
  2. Sudden Death od Dr. Wm. J. M’Dowell. (1878, February 23). Portsmouth Times, p. 2.