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Capr. Patrick Henry Dowling
THE writer of biography, dealing with the personal history of men engaged in the various affairs of everyday life, occasionally finds a subject whose record commands exceptional interest and admiration and especially is this true when he has achieved more than ordinary success or made his influence felt as a leader of thought and a benefactor of his kind. The late Captain Patrick Henry Dowling was eminently of that class who earn the indisputable right to rank in the van of the army of progressive men, and by reason of a long and strenuous career as a business man and public-spirited citizen, he occupied a position of wide influence and made a name which will long live in the hearts and affections of the people, a name which, having been well known throughout Ohio for a number of decades, is eminently deserving of perpetuation on the pages of history of his native and greatly beloved State, which was ever the arena of his endeavors and whose interests he always had at heart. He was not only a valiant fighter for progressive ideals in all the relations of life in times of peace, but the Captain rendered more material warfare, in which he proved the sterling mettle of which he was made; for when treason was rife and the safety of the government threatened, he, like thousands of other loyal sons of the North, unhesitatingly joined the forces of the National Union, and in many campaigns of importance and on not a few sanguineous fields of conflict, nobly and faithfully bore his part in upholding the honor of his country's flag until rebellion lay groveling with gaping wounds dealt by his and other strong and sturdy hands. All through life he proved himself a man among men, virile, progressive in all that the term implies, a born leader and a man of such splendid attributes of head and heart as to be universally esteemed.
Captain bowling was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, in 1837. At the age of three years he removed with his parents to Fulton County, then a part of Lucas County, and until seventeen years of age worked on the farm, clearing the fields and doing other work that fell to the lot of the pioneer settlers. During the winter months young Dowling attended the district school, filling out his preliminary education later in the schools of Maumee, Waterville and Adrian, Michigan, and, always an assiduous student, he became well equipped for the serious work of life.
Mr. Dowling's military career is one of which his descendants may well be proud. In 1862 he enlisted as a volunteer in the One Hundred and Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry at Toledo. He was soon commissioned a lieutenant, and in July, 1863, was promoted to a captaincy in the regiment. Early in 1864 he was detailed as assistant inspector general of the Second Brigade, Second Division, of the Twenty-third Army Corps, and served until the end of the war on the staff of commanding officers of that noted body of the Army of the Cumberland.
Captain Dowling was frequently commended for bravery on the field of battle in general orders. The most signal honor accorded him was the recognition of his services in the great battle of Franklin, Tennessee, November 30, 1864. Following is an ex-tract from the official report of our subject's brigade commander:
"After another charge the troops on the immediate left of my line gave way, and the enemy rushed in, flanking the One Hundred and Eleventh Ohio, which was at the left of the brigade. At this juncture, Captain P. H. Dowling, acting assistant inspector general on my staff, rode forward, placed some troops in position and endeavored to rally those which had been driven back from the works, and his heroic bravery and unsurpassed gallantry, suc-ceeded in driving the enemy back from the works and saved the command from a defeat which otherwise would have been inevita-ble. It was an important movement which Captain Dowling fully appreciated, and under a most terrific fire from the enemy he nobly and gallantly cheered forward the officers and men to victory, receiving a severe wound. Too much cannot be said in praise of Captain Dowling for his important and gallant service."
At the close of the war Captain Dowling returned to Toledo, Ohio, and there taught in the public schools in a most praiseworthy manner for a period of four years. He resigned to accept the office of sheriff of Lucas County, to which office he was elected in October, 1869, and, having made such a splendid record in dis-charging his duties as a public servant, he was re-elected to this office in 1871 and served a second term with equal satisfaction to his constituents and all concerned. He was appointed postmaster at Toledo in 1873, in which capacity he served until 1877, giving the utmost satisfaction to the people and the department at Wash-ington. Retiring from this office, Captain Dowling engaged in the grain commission business until the fall of 1879 when he was ap-pointed internal revenue agent by Green 0. Baum, commissioner of internal revenue at that time, and assigned to duty in New York City. Later he was assigned to the division comprising the States of Mississippi and Alabama, and then was placed in charge of the internal revenue district in the State of Kentucky. He gave his usual high grade service in this line of endeavor.
Under President Arthur, Captain Dowling served his second term as postmaster at Toledo, resigning from the internal revenue service to assume the postmastership in 1882. After completing his second term as postmaster, the Captain assumed management of the Toledo Transfer Company, and at the time of his death was president and general manager of the company, having built the same up to a large and rapidly growing concern.
Captain Dowling was a past department commander of the Grand Army of the Republic of Ohio. He was an active member of Toledo Post No. 107, Grand Army of the Republic. Under President William McKinley, then Governor of Ohio, he was ap-pointed a trustee of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphans' Home at Xenia and served in this capacity until about six months prior to his death. He was a member of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Association of Toledo, and served as member of the board of trustees of the city work house. He was a prominent member of the Masonic Lodge, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the Loyal Legion.
So far as Captain Dowling was concerned politically he permitted his actions to follow his convictions and from the early nineties he had been known as a staunch Democrat of the Grover Cleveland school. He was the Democratic candidate for mayor of Toledo in 1899. Charles E. Russell was the Republican candidate. Both Captain Dowling and Mr. Russell were defeated by the late Mayor Jones.
The death of Captain Dowling occurred on January 5, 1912, at his home, 703 Elm Street, Toledo, at the age of seventy-four years, death coming at the end of a long siege of ill health, thus closing the brilliant and useful career of one of the best known and most highly respected citizens of northern Ohio, a man of rare public spirit, business acumen and scholarly attainments and the possessor of a personality that was admired and respected by all who knew him.
Captain Dowling was married three times. His first wife Was Ida Smith, and to this union one child was born, Harry Dowling, who died in 1901, leaving one child, Ida M. Dowling. The Captain's second wife was Mrs. Myra (Door) Clem. In 1904, our subject married Olive (Woodward) Leighton, widow of the late Dr. Joseph Leighton, a prominent physician who died in Toledo in 1893, a complete sketch of whose life appears on other pages of this work.
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