Hanna Dowling, Pioneer Business Woman, Is Dead

by Laurel | March 18th, 2013

October 2, 1933

Miss Hanna Dowlingnal

Miss Hanna Dowling

Spent Large Part of Saturday at Her Store, But Succumbed Yesterday — Leaves Many Nieces and Nephews.

Holyoke, October 1 — Miss Hanna Dowling, 71, proprietor of the store that bears her name on high Street and one of Holyoke’s pioneer business women, died today at her home, 37 Lexington Avenue, of heart trouble with which she had been suffering for some days. She was able to spend a large part of Saturday  at her store but had another attack last night and after a few hours of consciousness this morning lapsed into unconsciousness until the end.

Miss Dowling was of a friendly disposition and possessed of no little sense of humor. Business rivalries failed to affect her sunny outlook on life and she was both cheery and competent in her business life, of exceptional judgement and maintained throughout high ideals of business dealing and conduct. Kind words rather than criticism and fault finding marked her contacts with those she met. The number who will mourn her passing will be many and that mourning will be both long and deep.

Native of Ireland

Miss Dowling was born September 20, 1862, in Banna Adfert, Ireland, daughter of Timothy and Catherine (McCarthy) Dowling. She came to Holyoke at the age of 16 and entered the employ of Ferguson & Logan. This firm’s location later was taken by A. Steiger & Co. and she was promoted to head of the silk department and buyer for that department. She was for some years the only woman buyer in the wholesale silk market in New York city.

In 1904 with a niece, Miss Katherine Bunyan, she established a silk, dress goods and millinery store in the Windsor building under the firm name of Dowling & Bunyan, being the first woman to open a silk and dress goods store in Holyoke. The concern bought the building at 339 High Street in 1906. In 1924 Miss Dowling bought the interest of her partner and the business was then incorporated as Hanna Dowling, Inc.

Dowling & Bunyan

Dowling & Bunyan

Upon the death of her sister,  Mrs. David McCormick, she made her home with the McCormick family. In 1910 after touring Europe, she met her brother, the late John Dowling of Lincoln Street, and together the visited their birthplace.

Keenly interested always in her business she wished to keep in advance of the styles and for this reason she visited Paris again in 1927. She enjoyed traveling and was pleased to have had an opportunity of visiting the Chicago World’s Fair this year and comparing it with the fair of 1893 which she had visited with a group of local friends.

Leaves Nieces, Nephews

Miss Dowling, the last member of her own family, is survived by the following nieces and nephews: Miss Eileen McCormick, with whom she made her home at 37 Lexington Avenue, John J.D. McCormick, of Dartmouth Street, Mrs. Paul J. McKenna of Longmeadow, Edward J. Dowling of Pittsburgh, PA, Atty John P. Dowling of Pleasant Street, Mrs. James F. Casey of Boston, Miss Katherine, Robert A and William F. Dowling, all of Lincoln Street, Jeremiah Lawler of South Hadley Falls, Mrs. Harrington, Patrick Lawler of Ireland, and Misses Katherine and Anna Bunyan of Elm Street. She also leaves 24 grandnieces and nephews, and two great-grandnieces. She was a member of the Rosary Society of the Holy Cross Church, the Quota Club, the Business and Professional Women’s Club, the Holyoke Women’s Club, the St. Agnes Guild and the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce.

The funeral will be held at the home Wednesday morning at 8:15, followed by a solemn high mass of requiem at Holy Cross Church at 9. Burial will be in St. Jerome’s Cemetery.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

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