Saturday, February 18, 2017

Tuthill Raymond McDowell (1895-1956)

Portrait from the three-volume "Southeastern New York", published 1946.

   For many years a distinguished resident of Wawarsing and Ellenville in New York, Tuthill Raymond McDowell was former U.S. Postmaster at Ellenville as well as a township supervisor of Wawarsing. A real estate broker and banker in addition to his involvement in local politics, McDowell also was an alternate delegate to the 1952 Democratic National Convention from New York.
   The son of John and Margaret Stapleton McDowell, Tuthill Raymond McDowell was born in Woodridge, Sullivan County, New York on December 4, 1895. He would be a student in the schools of the aforementioned county and as during his time in high school was viewed as a standout athlete. McDowell would later become a coach at the Ellenville High School and is remarked as having guided that school's baseball and basketball teams to "several championships" during his time there. A veteran of the First World War, McDowell entered the U.S. Army and would serve with a cavalry unit, his total dates of service being unknown at this time.
   Tuthill McDowell married in Kerhonkson, New York in 1919 to Hilda Myers (1894-1991). The couple were wed for nearly forty years and are believed to have been childless. Following his military service, McDowell entered into business with his father, joining him in the firm of John McDowell and Son. Their business centered on the breeding, raising a sale of horses, and in addition to that firm McDowell also worked as a real estate broker and was a director of the First National Bank and Trust Company of Ellenville.
   Active in the civic life of his community, Tuthill McDowell was for many years a prominent booster in the fight against polio, leading a number of collection drives in Wawarsing to raise money to combat the disease, and for a number of years served as the vice chairman of the Ulster County Chapter, National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.
Tuthill R. McDowell at a 1951 March of Dimes Rally, from the Kingston Daily Freeman.

    As a prominent  Democrat in Ulster County, Tuthill McDowell was often called to serve in various positions of the public trust. A former Democratic town chairman of Wawarsing, McDowell served that town as its supervisor from 1934-1939 and in 1940 began a ten-year tenure as U.S. Postmaster at Ellenville, being named to that post by President Roosevelt. In 1952 he served as an alternate delegate from New York to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago that nominated Adlai Stevenson for the presidency.
   In addition to his political and business doings, Tuthill McDowell was a prominent club man in Ulster County, holding memberships in a number of fraternal groups. Among these were the Shawangunk Country Club, the Wawarsing Lodge No. 582 of Free and Accepted Masons, the Wawarsing Sportsmen's Association, the Noon Day Club and the Cooke-Taylor Post 111 of the American Legion. 
   Tuthill R. McDowell died at age 61 on December 27, 1956, at the Veterans Memorial Hospital at Ellenville, He was survived by his wife Hilda, who died in January 1991 at age 96. Both were interred in the McDowell family plot at the Fantinekill Cemetery in Ellenville.

Obituary from the Kingston Daily Freeman, December 28, 1956.

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