Dowling C.S.A., Major Richard William (Dick)
1700 blk North Macgregor Drive
Houston , 77030
Dick Dowling buried at St. Vincent de Paul Cemetery next to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on Navigation; HCHC list as Lt. Richard (Dick) Dowling changed; small marker on pole below large marker "Dick Dowling monument, Houston's first public art-work, dedicated March 17, 1905 on Market Square. Moved to Hermann Park, 1958. Rededicated March 16,1997, after conservation"; Plaque on marker reverse "This Marker Erected By" with 10 names; THC Atlas error "rumors" spelled reumors
Directions: South of the Hermann Park Golf Course, at North Macgregor & Hermann Loop Drive, at site of Dowling statue
Key Time Period: 1846 - 1865 Statehood - Civil War
Marker Text: (January 14, 1837 - September 23, 1867) Born in 1837 near Tuam, County Galway, Ireland, Richard Dowling emigrated to New Orleans in 1846 during the Irish potato famine. In 1857, Dick married Elizabeth Anne Odlum in Houston. By 1860 he had owned 3 bars, installed Houston's first gas lighting in his home and business, and was a charter member of Houston Hook and Ladder company No. 1.
During the Civil War, Dick was first lieutenant, Company F, Cook's Regiment, First Texas Heavy Artillery. He was in command at Fort Griffin in 1863. On September 8 he held fast with only 6 cannon and 47 men inside the fort despite rumors of a Federal invasion and orders to retreat. Twenty-seven ships carrying Maj. Gen. William B. Franklin and 5,000 Union troops sailed into Sabine Pass; Dowling and "the Irish Davis Guards" shot so accurately that Franklin's forces surrendered in 45 minutes. The Confederate Congress called the Battle of Sabine Pass "one of the most brilliant ... achievements ... of this war."
Discharged as a major in 1865, Dick reopened his most famous bar, "The Bank of Bacchus." In 1866 he formed the first oil company in Houston. By 1867, he owned more than 22 square blocks of downtown Houston and vast lands across Texas. Dick Dowling died of yellow fever at age 30 and is buried in Houston's St. Vincent's Cemetery. (1998)
Marker Type: Marker with Post
Historical Org: Texas Historical Commission (THC)
Key Map Information: 533 E
GPS Coordinates: 29 42.604, 95 23.485
Precinct No: 1
Marker No: 11938