JOHN M. DOWLING.
Among the few remaining veterans of the Civil war and early settlers of Allarnakee county is John M. Dowling, residing
on section 10, French Creek township. A native of Somersetshire, England, he was born February 4, 1836, and when
a young man emigrated with his brother to America, coming in 1859 to Allamakee county, where he purchased a tract
of eighty acres of wild land. However, when the demand for troops became insistent he patriotically offered his
services to his country and on October 10, 1861, enlisted at Lansing, Iowa, in Company B, Twelfth Iowa Volunteer
Infantry. He discharged his duties faithfully and distinguished himself for bravery and courage, and during his
enlistment was promoted to the rank of corporal. The rendezvous of the company was at Dubuque, Iowa, and from there
they proceeded to St. Louis, where the winter was spent. The following are some of the engagements in which Mr.
Dowling participated: Fort Henry, Fort Donelson and the battle of Shiloh, after which he was taken prisoner and
underwent the hardships of incarceration from April 6th until October, when he was discharged and again joined
his company. He then took part in the sanguine battles of Nashville, Spanish Fort and Tupelo (Miss.), at which
latter place he received a gunshot wound in the thigh, as a result of which he spent two or three months in a hospital
at Memphis, Tennessee. During the battle of Tupelo the man on his right was killed and his comrade on the left
had his teeth shot out, while he himself was left on the battlefield to die or to be taken prisoner, when one of
his comrades insisted on taking him with him and carried him from the field. This man was Adam Decker, who still
resides in Allamakee county. Frank Hancock, a brother of the well known editor, was also in his company and Dr.
Earle of Waukon was his first captain. After serving for three years Mr. Dowling was veteranized and continued
in service until January, 1866, when he was mustered out with honorable discharge at Memphis, Tennessee.
Returning to Allamakee county, he disposed of the eighty acres of land, to which he had acquired title before the
war, and purchased from a brother an adjoining eighty acres, to the breaking and cultivation of which he gave his
entire time. Following progressive methods, his labors soon resulted in financial returns and gradually all of
his land was brought to a high state of cultivation. He erected suitable and substantial buildings, giving his
active labor to the work of the fields until age compelled him to turn over the more arduous duties to a younger
generation. All his buildings were destroyed by fire at one time, but undaunted by this misfortune he again set
to work to rebuild his barn and outhouses and residence, and his farm today must be numbered among the most productive
of its size in the county.
Mr. Dowling was twice married, his first union being with Miss Charity Hartley, a native of England, who passed
away soon after her marriage. He then married Mrs. Russell Lane, who died May 10, 1913. She was in her maidenhood
Miss Esther Pollard and a native of Worcester, Massachusetts. Her parents were John and Sarah (Buckley) Pollard,
who in 1866 became residents of Allamakee county. Both have passed away. By her former marriage Mrs. Dowling had
two sons: Russell Lane, who married Barbara Hahn, by whom he has four children, Verne, Florence, Jessie and Russell;
and Charles Lane, who married Kate Smith, by whom he has three children, Ethel, Lillian and Esther. Both Russell
and Charles Lane live on the Dowling homestead and the latter looks after the active management of the farm.
Mr. Dowling is highly respected and esteemed in his locality, not only for what he has achieved along material
lines but for the splendid serrice which he rendered his country at the most critical period of its existence.
The principles which caused him to take up the Union cause at the time of the Civil war he has always upheld politically
and has ever voted the republican ticket. Many years ago he served several terms as township assessor, but otherwise
has not actively participated in political life. He is a member of the Grand Army Post of Waukon. His religious
faith is that of the Presbyterian church, of which denomination he has been a lifelong adherent and in the work
of which he takes a helpful interest. Viewed from every point, the life record of John M. Dowling shows that he
has fulfilled his duties in every respect to the best of his ability; that he has contributed to agricultural growth;
that he has given evidence of his patriotic spirit, and that he has accomplished something which has a part in
the advancement the American race has made.
Past and Present of Allamakee County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievemant
By: Ellery M. Hancock
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Allamakee County, IA
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