Title: Dick Dowling
Artist: Frank A. Teich
Location: Hermann Park
The statue of Dick Dowling, which guards the entrance to Hermann Park on Cambridge Street, dates from 1905, and is the work of Frank A. Teich. It represents Dowling in his Confederate uniform, and is carved from white Carrara marble. It stands on a pedestal incised with the names of the Confederate soldiers who took part in the Battle of Sabine Pass.
Richard William Dowling was born in Tuam, County Galway, Ireland, in 1838. His family fled the Irish Potato Famine and resettled in New Orleans, but yellow fever took its toll, killing most of them. As a young man, Dowling made his way to Houston and acquired a reputation as a businessman. He ran a series of saloons and a Galveston-based liquor importing business.
With the outbreak of the Civil War, Dowling enlisted as a lieutenant in the Jefferson Davis Guards. The unit saw some action, its main contribution to the Confederacy being the 1863 recapture of Galveston and the routing of a Union invasion force at the Battle of Sabine Pass. He was hailed as a war hero in Houston, and the end of the war saw him resume his successful business career. Yellow fever took his life in 1867.
He was commemorated by the City Fathers through the naming of Dowling and Tuam Streets, and by the Dick Dowling statue, the first publicly financed monument in Houston. Long a fixture in Hermann Park, it was originally placed in front of the Market House, the city’s first de facto City Hall.
Frank A. Teich was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1878. A graduate of the University of Nuremburg who studied under the sculptor Johannes Schilling, Teich worked on many artistically and architecturally significant projects, including the Cook County Courthouse in Chicago and the Tarrant County Courthouse in Ft. Worth, the State Capitol in Austin, and, in Hermann Park, the stone arch that supports the Sam Houston Monument and the Pioneer Memorial obelisk. He operated a granite quarry and the Teich Monument Works in Llano County. He died January 27, 1939, and is buried in Llano.
Art In Parks is Funded by a grant from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance