IOWA-L ArchivesArchiver > IOWA > 2005-09 > 1127560470
Subject: Bio of Col. William Greene Dows
Date: Sat, 24 Sep 2005 07:14:30 EDT
A Narrative History
The People of Iowa
SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN
EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY,
EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M.
Curator of the
Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa
THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc.
Chicago and New York
COL. WILLIAM GREENE DOWS. Since 1855 three generations of the Dow family
have been conspicuously identified with the successive phases of the
development of Cedar Rapids as a transportation, manufacturing and wholesale center.
The pioneer of the name was Stephen Leland Dows, whose career is sketched in
detail on other pages of this publication. Stephen L. Dows, who was born in
New York City, October 9, 1832, came to Cedar Rapids in 1855, and from that
time until his death was directly concerned with nearly every important
enterprise from the foundation of the city. He was a manufacturer, a railroad
contractor and real estate operator, and his enterprise outside of Cedar Rapids
contributed to the development of the towns of Dows, Estherville, Armstrong and
Elsworth, Iowa. He was instrumental in the construction or in the bringing
to Cedar Rapids of two of its chief railroads. Stephen L. Dows married
Henrietta W, Safely.
Their son, the late Col. William Greene Dows, was born in Clayton County,
Iowa, August 12, 1864, and died at the University Hospital at Iowa City on
Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1926. During the sixty-two years of his life he
accomplished a tremendous amount of work.
He was educated in Coe College at Cedar Rapids, in the Shattuck Military
Academy at Faribault, Minnesota, and as soon as his school days were ended he
joined his father, at first as a clerk and later as a partner. He was one of
the organizers and became vice president of the Cedar Rapids Loan & Trust
Company on February 1, 1900, and was with that institution until January 1, 1908.
For several years he was a director of the Merchants National Bank. His
father had been chiefly interested in teh building of steam railroads and the
founding of manufacturing industries. Colonel Dow's time and energies were
directed to the field of electrical power development and transportations. At
the time of his death he was president of the Iowa Railway & Light Company,
president of the Cedar Rapids & Iowa City Railway, president of the Iowa
Electric Company and president of the Central States Electric Company. He was one
of the chief figures in the electrical public utilities field.
His recreation and hobby was a fine dairy farm, one of the wonderful country
estates of Iowa, the "Manati" farm in Linn County, which he had stocked with
one of the finest herds of Jersey cattle in the state.
The work and influence of Colonel Dows were translated into many forms of
benefit to his community and state. He was an alderman of Cedar Rapids in
1896-97, was a member of the State House of Representatives in 1897-99, in the
Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eight General Assemblies. He was chairman of the
Linn County Republican Committee, a member of the state central committee for a
number of years, was active in the First Presbyterian Church, on the Board of
Trustees of Coe College and Saint Luke's Hospital. He was master of Mount
Hermon Lodge No. 263, A. F. and A. M., a member of Trowel Chapter No. 49,
Royal Arch Masons, Apollo Commandery No. 26, Knights Templar, Iowa Consistory of
the Scottish Rite, El Kahir Temple of the Mystic Shrine, the Independent Order
of Odd Fellows, B. P. O. Elks and Cedar Rapids Country Club.
He had a long military record. He was made a private in Company C, First
Regiment, Iowa National Guard, January 9, 1884; first sergeant, August 4, 1884;
second lieutenant, April 6, 1885; first lieutenant, January 18, 1886;
adjutant, First Regiment, January 6, 1890; major, December 21, 1891; lieutenant
colonel, April 30, 1897; colonel, First Regiment, April 4, 1898. At the
beginning of the Spanish-American war he was commissioned colonel of the Forty-ninth
Regiment of Iowa Volunteers, April 26, 1898, and served with the regiment in
Cuba, this regiment being one of the last of the volunteer organizations to
leave the island. He was mustered out May 13, 1899. He was colonel of the
Forty-ninth Regiment, Iowa National Guard, March 26, 1900, until March 26,
1905; colonel of the Fifty-third Regiment, Iowa National Guard, March 26, 1905,
until he resigned January 8, 1909. He served as colonel and aide-re-camp to
Governor B. F. Carroll from February 1, 1909 to December 31, 1913. Colonel
Dows was a member of the Spanish-American War Veterans, the Loyal Legion, and
during the World war was a member of the State Council of Defense.
Colonel Dows married, October 9, 1890, Margaret B. Cook, daughter of Joseph
Sutherland and Valissa L. (Burnell) Cook, of Cedar Rapids. Joseph Sutherland
Cook was another constructive figure in the development of Cedar Rapids,
where he arrived in 1857. He was a retail and later a wholesale merchant, and
the firm of Cook & Augsberry built up one of the largest wholesale dry goods
and grocery houses in the state. He was one of the organizers of the First
National Bank and Merchants National Bank, was a director of the Cedar Rapids
National Bank, Cedar Rapids Water Company, Cedar Rapids Railway Company. Mr.
Cook died February 22, 1899.
Colonel and Mrs. Dows had two children, Sutherland Cook and Margaret
Henrietta. The daughter is now Mrs. Earl Muzzy, of Cedar Rapids.
Sutherland Cook Dows, who represents the third generation of this family in
Cedar Rapids, was born in that city July 3, 1891. He attended Coe College,
and graduated Bachelor of Philosophy from the mechanical engineering
department of the Shelffield Scientific School of Yale University. During the World
war he was a first lieutenant in the Seventy-fifth Coast Artillery Corps. he
is now vice president of the Iowa Railway & Light Corporation, the Cedar
Rapids & Iowa City Railway, the Iowa Electric Company, the Central States Electric
Company and is a director of the Cedar Rapids National Bank. Mr. Dows is a
trustee of Coe College and of St. Luke's Hospital.
He married Miss Frances Daisy Mills, of Brookline, Massachusetts. Their
three children, comprising the fourth generation at Cedar Rapids, are Peter,
Henrietta and Sutherland.
Debbie Clough Gerischer
Iowa History Site