Pages 229-230, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




MRS. MARY M. BROWNING, of Savonburg, was born in Franklin County, Illinois, April 3, 1853. Her father, Colonel James J. Dowlins, was also a native of that State, and there married Susan Ann Hartley, who was born in Kentucky and went with her parents to Illinois when a maiden of twelve summers. The Colonel was a prominent and influential citizen of his community, and for a number of years officially served as county clerk of Franklin County. When the Civil war broke out he resolved to aid in the preservation of the Union, and in August, 1861, enlisted in the Eighty-first Illinois Infantry, of which he was commissioned colonel. After serving one year and nine months, during which time he had participated in the battle of Fort Donelson, and had sustained a severe wound in the head at the battle of Shiloh, he proceeded to Vicksburg, where on the 22nd of May, 1863, he laid down his life on the altar of his country, a minie ball causing his death while his regiment was making s charge on the enemy's works. Thus fell one of the most gallant, brave and noble commanders in the Federal army. He was then but thirty-one years of age. He had the confidence and friendship of his superiors, and the love and respect of those who served under him. From the pen of R. M. Wheatley, of DuQuoin, Illinois, familiarly known as "Hardshell," came the following poem, "written in honor of James J. Dowlins of the Eighty-first Illinois Infantry, who fell on the 22nd of May, 1863, while leading his band in that memorable charge on the rebel works at Vicksburg:"

"Onward to victory," nobly he cried,
"Onward to victory," onward till he died.
In arms the rebel phalanx stood
Behind their works of earth and wood.

"Give us vict,ry or give us death,"
Brave Dowlins cried with his last breath;
And "Onward" was the last command
That Dowlins gave his gallant band.

Through whizzing shot and bursting shell,
Onward he charged until he fell;
A fatal ball had pierced his head
And made the gallant colonel dead.


May holy reverence mark the grave
Where lies Dollins, the leader brave;
May holy angels guard his tomb
And heavenly spirits waft him home.

Five children were left to mourn the loss of the gallant colonel and three of the number are now living, as follows: Mrs. Browning, Mrs. Delilah A. Swafford, and Joseph L. Dolling.

The first named spent her girlhood days in her parents' home and in 1872 she gave her hand in marriage to Joseph B. Martin, native of Illinois, who like her father had served as a soldier in the Civil war. He was a member of Company D, One Hundred and Thirty-sixth Illinois Infantry, and died in 1879, from wounds received in the army. They had two children: John W., now a resident of McCune, Kansas; and Mrs. Ida May Smith, of Chanute, Kansas. Mrs. Martin was married to Joseph Browning, a native of Illinois, and by her second marriage had five children, of whom four are now living, namely: Mrs. Maud P. DeHart; Ida G., wife of Homer McCallen; and Fred and Fay who are with their mother.

In 1880 Mrs. Browning came to Kansas, and for some time resided on a farm at McCune. Later she purchased a farm near Chanute, where she remained for twelve years, and then sold that property. Coming to Savonburg, she bought the City Hotel, greatly improved the building by erecting an addition, and gave her attention to the conduct of the hotel till about the first of the year 1901.

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