Xenophon Gideon McDowell

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

1838- 1881



DIED at his home in Clarksburg, Moniteau county, Mo., Rev. Xenophon Gideon McDowell, son of Rev. John W. McDowell, August 11, 1881, age 43 years, 2 months, and 1 day. The subject of this notice was born in Schuyler county, Ill., June 10, 1838, and removed to this country with his parents in '44. He professed faith in Christ at Cook's camp-ground in the fall of 1852, and joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Joined New Lebanon Presbytery April 5, 1858, was licensed in the fall of 1860, and was ordained in the spring of 1866. He was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. George Dec. 25, 1861. Brother McDowell was a kind husband, and a loving father. As a citizen and neighbor he was faithful and true. As a Christian he was indeed a "shining light." The writer has lived in his family for near two years, and witnessed his daily devoted piety. The devotions of the family altar were never neglected, but evening and morning the family were called together for devotional exercises, and often the good Lord would give us such a rich blessing that our poor hearts were made to rejoice in Saviour's love, and we all felt it was truly good to be there. Surely this home, like the home in Bethany, was a place where Jesus loved to visit. Brother McDowell had been greatly afflicted with bronchial affection for a number of years, so that he was not able to preach much, yet his heart yearned for the salvation of souls, and he labored in other ways as best he could to advance the Redeemer's kingdom. During the last winter his health improved so much that at one time he thought he would soon be able to take regular work. During the spring and summer he had often preached for the writer at Clarksburg and other places; on the fourth Sunday in July he preached at Elston, and went to California and again preached at night one of his ablest efforts, which was highly appreciated by all who heard it. This was his last public work for the Master. He was unwell when he reached home, and on the following Sunday night was taken with a violent chill and high fever of malarial form which lasted until his death, which occurred on Thursday August 11, at 12 o'clock. His death was one of glorious triumph, as he saw the King of Terrors approaching, and felt his icy hand lay hold upon him, he said to his companion, "Wife, what is this that has hold upon me, is it death?" She replied, "I think it is." "Then good-by; I am going home;" reaching out his hand and kissing her. His children were then brought in, and he told them all good-by. After mentioning some little business matter, he began a very critical examination of himself, asking himself the question, "Am I deceived, have I deceived anyone? Am I at peace with all? Is the way clear? Yes, bless Jesus, all is well, I am going home to live with Jesus and my little Pet (his little daughter that had died just a year ago). I will soon be with them. He then turned to Prof. J. V. Curlin and said, "Professor, take care of my family." His devoted wife stood holding his hand and repeated the 23d psalm and many other precious promises, then sang, "The home of the Soul," "Over There," and the "Sweet by and by," in her clear sweet voice, never giving way to her grief until the last act of love was performed, and she saw that he was gone, she then sank upon her knees and gave way to that grief that only a bereaved wife and loving mother can feel. Such men as brother McDowell are always missed when they die, but O what a vacancy when a watchman falls! Who will take up the mantle of the fallen man? He leaves an aged mother, a wife, and six children, with many warm friends to mourn his loss.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, September 1, 1881, page 2]

McDowell Family Information

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Updated May 18, 2006