Lola Downs

Name: Lola Downs (Young)
Birth Date: July 2, 1864
Birth Place: Lawrence County South Carolina
Death Date: June 1, 1940
Death Location: Evanston Illinois
Burial Place: Sunset Memorial Lawns


Lola Downs was an activist and organizer. She was President of the Julia Gaston Club, an organization of African American women in Evanston.


Lola Y. Downs was a woman dedicated to community service. She was a founding member of Ebenezer AME Church and sang in its Senior Choir. Downs saw the importance of organizing women and served as President of the Julia Gaston Club as well as an officer of the Illinois Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs.

Father: Yancey Young
Mother: Nancy Griffith
Children: Six: Estelle Downs Jones, James T. Downs, Jack Downs, Frederick B. Downs, Bertwood Downs, Ruth Downs Kiser.

Sources: The Chicago Defender, 1/29/1916 (p. 8), 5/3/1919 (p. 14), 5/31/1941 (p. 9); Elizabeth L. Davis, The Story of the Illinois Federation of Colored Women's Clubs, 1922 (p123-124, 218); Illinois, Cook County Enumeratoin District List, Sheet No. 1A, June 1900; Evanston History Center Archives, City Directories, 1892-1905.

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