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Name: DOWNING, Herbert Caldwell

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Nee: son of Lee Harper Downing, bro of Kenneth Lee Downing

Birth Date: 14 Aug 1905 Kijabe

Death Date: 15 Dec 1986 Sandwich, Illinois

Nationality: American

First Date: 1905, returned in 1933

Profession: Worked with the Africa Inland Mission at Kangundo for some 18 years. Taught at Rift Valley Academy, and became its Principal

Area: Kangundu, Kijabe

Married: In New Concord, Ohio 19 June 1931 Mildred Susanna Houk b. 13 Dec 1907 Smock, Pennsylvania, d. 18 June 1998 Oklahoma City (div. 17 Dec 1974 Polk, Florida)

Children: Gayle Margaret (Grass) (15 May 1932 Forest Hills, Allegheny, Penn.-2013); Ruth (Miano); Glenn H.; Edwin L.; J. Martin

Book Reference: Gillett, Dow

General Information:

Dow - One of the first Americans born in East Africa …… As a child growing up at Kijabe, Downing spent considerable time with the children of the African Christian leaderas his father worked with. As a result of these relationships he picked up the Kikuyu language almost as early as he did English. Downing's command of the language and culture of the Kikuyu spoke eloquently of his respect for the equal humanity of the Kenyan people that his Christian faith espoused. But more than that Downing's mastery of Kikuyu and Swahili connected him intimately to the culture and people of the area - opening doors and facilitating goodwill in ways unimaginable to those outside the circle of trust created by the bond of language.

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