Biography of Matthew Dowd

It is pleasant to contemplate that in these western sections where the pioneers labored so hard to gain a foothold that now there is rising up a worthy class who are pushing their achievements in such a manner that they are a crown to the foundations laid by their sturdy ancestors. Notable among this number of young men is the subject of this sketch who was born on the place where he now lives, on March 22, 1872, being the son of Michael and Elizabeth Dowd. The father was a native of Ireland, being born in 1824. He was a pioneer of California, where he wrought at his trade, that of machinist and blacksmith. The mother was also born in Ireland in 1840, and died in 1898. These worthy people came to California in 1860 and the father wrought at the forge, in the mines and in San Francisco for four years and then determined to try Idaho. He went into the Pierce City mines and there operated some mines that he gained title to and also labored at his trade, doing well in both lines. Five years of this labor and then he came to Nez Perces County and bought the land where our subject now lives, seven miles southeast from Lewiston. This was in 1870, and in 1873 he was called away by death. The mother was left with four small children and nobly did she take up the burdens, hiring help and overseeing the farm. Our subject received his education in Spokane and at Fort Colville, being well trained.

At the age of nineteen he quit school, went into the stock business and farming with his brother Charles, and they have had good success in these lines, being men of care and industry, always dominated with wisdom.

On November 4, 1897, Mr. Dowd married Miss Mary, daughter of Patrick and Bridget Gaffney, natives of Ireland. The father was a mining man, born in 1837 and died in 1895. The mother still lives in Pierce City. Mrs. Dowd has four brothers, Frank, John, William and Robert, all in Pierce City. Mrs. Dowd was born in Pierce City on July 29. 1874. Mr. Dowd has the following brothers and sisters: Harry, Mary Erb, and Charles. Mr. Dowd is a member of the Catholic Church, as also is his wife and they are devout supporters of their faith. He is a staunch Democrat and is always attending to political matters in their season. Mr. Dowd owns, with his brother Charles, five hundred and sixty acres of fine land and there are five artesian wells on the place. He raises cattle and horses and has large bands of them. The farm produces wheat, barley and alfalfa. He has a fine home and the estate is improved in a becoming manner.

Mr. Dowd is an advocate of good schools and is a member of the Pioneers’ Association.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903

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