Dowd Family Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Barrows, Joseph
Dowd family, (Horace Dowd, 1802-1870)
Dowd family papers
Date [inclusive]
0.33 Cubic feet

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

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Biographical Note

Horace Dowd was born in New England (probably Massachusetts) and moved with his father, Israel Dowd, to Wayne County, New York in the early 19th century. Horace married Mary Barrows of Mansfield, Connecticut in 1832. In 1844, he and his family moved to Michigan, settling in Van Buren County. The Dowds were the first settlers in Hartford Township and Horace Dowd speculated in land, reselling it later to settlers in what is now the town of Hartford.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of approximately 100 letters, most of which concern three generations of the Dowd family: Horace Dowd, his son, Jefferson Dowd, and Jefferson Dowd's sons and daughter

Most of the letters were written by the Dowds, their relatives, and friends and are concerned with family affairs and agricultural life. Of special interest, however, are the letters written by Joseph Barrows to his sister, Mary Barrows Dowd. Joseph Barrows, originally of Mansfield, Connecticut, was among the first pioneers to settle in Vermillion, in the Dakota Territory (c.1830). These letters tell of crop and cattle raising in that area.

Another group consists of the Civil War letters of Jefferson Dowd, who served in Company D, 66th Illinois Infantry and participated in Sherman's march to the sea. A final group of letters relate to the experiences of Willard Dowd and his wife Muriel who did missionary work in Assam, India, during the early part of the 20th century.

Also included is a small teachers notebook listing class attendance and expenses, and containing a few poems.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections March 1968

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Revision Description

  March 2001

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Custodial History

Gift of Arthur Dowd, Sr., date unknown.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • United States. Army. Illinois Infantry Regiment, 66th (1861-1865). Company D.


  • Letters (correspondence)

Geographic Name(s)

  • Assam (India)
  • Mexico
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Regimental histories
  • Vermillion (S.D.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Dowd, Arthur, Sr.
  • Dowd, Horace, 1802-1870
  • Dowd, Jefferson S., 1835-1915
  • Dowd, Mary Barrows, 1803-1881
  • Dowd, Muriel Massey
  • Dowd, Willard


  • Sherman’s March to the Sea
  • Temperance -- Mexico

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Collection Inventory



Box Folder


1 1


1 2

 1842 - August 1846 

1 3

 September 1846-1861 

1 4


1 5


1 6


1 7


1 8


1 9

Before Civil War Undated 

1 10

Civil War and After Undated 

1 11