from The Republican (Danville, Indiana)--issue of Thursday, October 24, 1912—page 1, column 3:
JAMES A. DOWNARD
Splendid Candidate for Commissioner From Second District
Said a prominent citizen the other day: “If ever the county needed a man like James A. Downard as commissioner, it is now with the work of building a new court house, as the great duty that confronts the board.”
The words briefly convey the thought in the minds of citizens generally. Two years ago they believed he measured up ideally to the requirements of the office. Now they know it for he has demonstrated it in a business way, as a man of affairs, careful in detail, far seeing, practical and industrious, he brings to the office that ripe experience so valuable in public work.
He was born in Marion township, in 1855. He lived on the farm until 1877 when he came to Danville to read law and in 1878 he was admitted to the bar. In 1879 he became interested in the abstract business and he has become an authority on titles and real estate law.
Since 1880, he has been the financial correspondent of the Union Central Life insurance company and has handed multiplied tens of thousands of dollars for that institution, covering Hendricks and adjoining counties. For twenty years he was active in the contracting and building business and many structures in Danville were put up under his contracts. He has been a staunch friend and officer of the local building and loan association by means of which dozens of homes are owned in Danville by people who otherwise might not have had the opportunity to possess their own homes.
Prior to becoming commissioner, the only public office he had held was that of trustee for Danville, having served on the board for fourteen years—a period when Danville made its marked progress in public improvements. He was a pioneer for water works, brick streets and cement walks and people who enjoy these things today cheerfully acknowledge their indebtedness to Mr. Downard.
All these phases of activity have contributed to form that ripe judgment and to give that experience necessary to continue his successful work as commissioner. His election this year will carry him over the period of building the new court house when his services will be invaluable. He has that knowledge that will be to the advantage of the taxpayer when questions arise. And because of the qualifications so known and recognized by the people, his re-election is assured.