The Children of Thomas and Ann Dowd

Like other Catholics, the Dowd children attended St. John's parochial school. Besides the standard subjects, Thomas and Ann also included music in their children's education. Catherine Dowd herself later became a music teacher. Thomas M. Dowd was said to have been so musical, that he could play any instrument he picked up. Henry Dowd was a talented singer, performing publicly as one of the famous Nilson Quartet during the 1892 political campaigns.

Two of the Dowd children, John and Henry, went on to college. John attended St. Benedict's college in Newark and St. Mary's in Baltimore, finally completing his studies in Theology at Seton Hall. He was ordained a priest at Seton Hall in 1877 and stayed on as Vice President and professor of Science. At the same time, Henry Dowd was a student at Seton Hall later graduating as valedictorian of his class. Thomas and Ann, having had little formal education (if any) themselves must have been extremely proud of their educated children.

Roseann Dowd, Thomas and Ann's eldest child married Frank R. Harff at St. John's church on September 10, 1873. Rose's brother, John Dowd was the best man. Frank was the son of German immigrants from Cologne, Germany Frank Harff Sr. and Barbara Grier. He was born in Orange in 1850, attended St. John's school and, at the time of his marriage to Rose, was working as a hatter in one of Orange's bustling hat factories. Frank later opened a hotel on the corner of Main Street and Scotland Street called the Farmer's Hotel. Frank also became involved in the liquor business, operating a saloon on Main Street for many years. He was very active in politics serving for a time as head of the Democratic County Committee. Frank and Rose had eight children, but only four survived to adulthood. Rose was noted for her activity in St. John's parish and for her charity work. The Harffs lived at #148 Main Street.

At the age of twenty-seven, Catherine Dowd married Thomas Garrett on November 21, 1883. Thomas Garrett was a native of County Ofally, Ireland, born in 1857 to John Garrett and Bridget Cahill. Thomas' best man was Edward Dowd, brother of the bride. The maid-of-honor was Bridget Garret, sister of the groom. Thomas Garrett was obviously close friends with Edward Dowd. The two worked together as hatters at the L.T. Fell & Co. Hat Manufacturers. Because Catherine was some years older than Thomas Garrett, they were probably not friends in school. Rather, it is more likely that she became close to Thomas through her brother Edward. Some years after their marriage, Thomas opened a saloon at #26 East Day Street. He was also active in politics, and was an alderman, chairman of the Fire Committee, and member of the common council from 1885 to 1891. The Garretts lived at #160 Day Street, near to Henry Dowd. Thomas and Catherine had no children, but "Aunt Kittie" was a beloved aunt to her many nieces and nephews.

Edward Dowd, married Elizabeth Sidebohan in September 1887. The best man was a friend named David Dolan, and maid-of-honor was Edward's sister Catherine Dowd Garrett. Eliza was born in West Orange in 1864 to Irish immigrants, Charles Sidebohan and Abigal Cooper. Edward Dowd worked as a hatter his entire adult life. His occupation recorded in the 1880 census was hatter and in the 1900 census was hat finisher. Edward and Eliza lived on White Street eventually moving back into the old Dowd family house at #38 White Street. In 1897 they moved to #271 Watchung Avenue. Edward and Eliza had three daughters and a son.

Henry Dowd married Catherine Martin of New York City in 1884. Henry had a successful college career at Seton Hall where he excelled not just in academics, but also in athletics as head of the school's Alert baseball team. After his graduation, Henry was employed three years as a bookkeeper and then later as the clerk of the Orange Water Department. According to his obituary, a political scandal forced Henry out of the department and he worked for a number of years as a private building contractor. Henry was later vindicated and returned to the Water Department as its Superintendent in 1902. Henry and atherine lived in Orange at #136 Day Street. They had four children, but only their daughter Florence survived to adulthood.

There appears to have been a very close association among the family during these years. Baptism records of the Dowd and Harff children list godparents - frequently a Dowd aunt or uncle. Rev. John Dowd officiates at many of these baptisms. Catherine Dowd Garrett was a favorite aunt appearing four times as godmother. The name Thomas Dowd appears eight times as godfather although it is not clear whether Thomas Sr. or Thomas Jr. was being referred to.


Table of Dowd and Harff baptism at St. John's chruch (with god parents listed)
Child Parents Birth date God parents
Wm Francis Harff Frank and Rose 28 Sep 1875 James Donahue
Barbara Larsoneur
Emma Harff Frank and Rose 3 Feb 1877 Thomas Dowd
Catherine Dowd
Frank R. Harff Frank and Rose 27 Aug 1879 Henry Dowd
Henrietta Harff
Barbara Harff Frank and Rose 2 Aug 1881 Munson Kent
Barbara Larseneur
Edward Dowd Thomas M and Sarah 1882 In New York?
John Dowd Thomas M and Sarah 21 Oct 1883 Thomas Garrett
Rose Harff
May R. Harff Frank and Rose 688240 Thomas Dowd
Miss Wynn
Theodore T. Harff Frank and Rose 30 Jul 1885 Wm Schaffer Haag
Helen Haag
Thomas Dowd Thomas M and Sarah 18 Jun 1886 Edward Dowd
Mary McElhinney
Mary Teresa Dowd Thomas M and Sarah 27 Aug 1887 F. J. O' Conner
Catherine McCloskey
Ann Dowd Edward J. and Eliza 13 Mar 1888 Henry Dowd
Margaret Reily
Thomas Dowd Henry and Catherine 29 Mar 1889 Edward Dowd
Mona Conway
Ameline Dowd Edward J. and Eliza 690093 Thomas Dowd
Catherine Garrett
Charles Augustus Dowd Thomas and Sarah 18 Aug 1889 Augustus Murphy
Elizabeth McElhinney
Ann Dowd Thomas and Sarah 18 Jan 1891 Henry Dowd
Mary Flemming
Florence Dowd Henry and Catherine 28 Jan 1891 Thomas Garrett
Mrs. Harff
Catherine Dowd Edward J. and Eliza 11 Jul 1891 Thomas Dowd
Catherine Dowd
Henry Martin Dowd Henry and Catherine 28 Jan 1893 Thomas Dowd
Mrs. Garrett
Edward Thomas Dowd Edward J. and Eliza 27 Feb 1901 Thomas Dowd
Catherine Good



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