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Below is a family biography included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1898.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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THOMAS H. DOWD, a prominent young attorney of Cortland village, was born there January 23, 1870. He is a son of Bernard Dowd and grandson of John Dowd, both of whom were born at Strokestown, Ireland.

Bernard Dowd came to this country in 1847 an d located in Cortland village. He was accompanied by his father, four brothers, and two sisters. His father lived with them until his death in 1876. From Cortland he moved to the town of Cuyler, and engaged in farming for a number of years, then returned to Cortland where he established a grocery store and shoe business, which he conducted until 1865. Disposing of his mercantile business, he became proprietor of the Farmers Hotel in Cortland, which he continued to run until his death, in October, 1894. His wife died in May, 1871. They reared eight children. They are as follows: Ellen (Ready); Mary C.; John F.; Catherine; Thomas H.; Augustus; Anna; and Charles.

Thomas H. Dowd received his early education in the Cortland State Normal School, and was graduated with honors from the classical course of that institution in 1890. He then entered the Cornell Law School and, upon the completion of his course there in 1892, finished his studies in the office of Smith & Dickinson, of Cortland, and was admitted to the bar in 1893. His success as an attorney has been remarkable. Early in his legal career, regard was shown him, for in 1895 he was elected justice of the peace to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Dorr C. Smith. He is now serving his second term as justice of the peace, and his rulings as a justice are seldom questioned or reversed in the higher courts.

Mr. Dowd is a staunch Republican and was prominent in the McKinley campaign, being one of the first to take up the fight in Cortland County. Few men of his age possess such an accurate knowledge of law and are so thoroughly acquainted with human nature. He was secretary of the Republican League Club of Cortland in 1896-7, and the interest manifested by him greatly enhanced its success. In the fall of ‘97 he was nominated on the Republican ticket as candidate for the office of district attorney of Cortland County.

Mr. Dowd is prominent in Cortland society; being the possessor of a fine voice his services are much in demand in the social and musical entertainments of the village. He has a pleasing address and is generous and liberal in his sentiments. His genial disposition and reputation for honesty have made him popular with all classes and demand the respect of his fellow-citizens. He is a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians; and is a Knight of the Grand Knights of Columbus.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in Book of Biographies: Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens, Cortland County, New York published in 1898. 

View additional Cortland County, New York family biographies here: Cortland County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Cortland County, New York here: Cortland County, New York Map

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