Lee McDowell ~ February 29, 1908 - April 12, 1997
By Donna Llewellyn Lester
Lee McDowell was born in Macon on Leap Day February 29, 1908, the
son of William and Carrie McDowell. Lee was proud of being born on Leap
Day because he said it "kept it him younger than the other people he
knew". Lee spent his childhood close to his family, spending much
time in the McDowell Cafe that was located in downtown Macon.
Lee worked for the Macon Chronicle-Herald newspaper for 51 years,
retiring in 1973. He started as a paper carrier and developed into a
community news expert, specializing in covering the activities of students
in the Macon School System. Lee loved sports and kept score for the
Macon High School for 25 years. His collection of sports items were
published in a book entitled, For Remembering Macon Athletic
Events - Taken from the Lee McDowell Collection - 1899-1976.
From the time of his first visit Lee never missed a season visiting the Macon
Public Swimming Pool. In his younger years he participated in competitions
at the pool and in later years he relaxed, read books on the deck and
took pictures of the patrons.
Lee was best known for his large scrapbook collection of newspaper
clippings and photos that covered a large part of the history and
heritage of Macon County, Missouri. He donated his scrapbooks to the
Macon Public Library and they have become a great resource for
family and historical research.
Lee was a member of the Macon Methodist Church and a member of the
Lee had spent most of his adult life living in an apartment at the
Jefferson Hotel in Macon. At the time of his death on April 12th, 1997,
he was a resident at Loch Haven Nursing Home in Macon. Lee was laid to
rest in the Oakwood Cemetery in Macon.