My watch list  

Grace A. Dow

Grace A. Dow (1869 – 1953) was an American philanthropist who is best known as the wife of Herbert H. Dow, and mother of architect Alden B. Dow.


Dow was born as Grace A. Ball in 1869 to schoolteacher Arnelia Ball and George Willard Ball, a banker. In 1892, she married Herbert H. Dow in Midland, Michigan. Grace and Herbert raised seven children, and lived her entire married life in Midland.


After her husband's death, Grace Dow founded The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation in his memory. She served as a trustee of the Foundation until her death. The Foundation is dedicated to funding religion, education, culture, science, and community life in Michigan.

In April 1941, she donated ten acres (later increased to 40 acres) of property to become the site of Midland Hospital (now MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland). Relatives recalled her joy in making the gift,[1] which was adjacent to the Dow family orchards,[2] as she joked, "If nothing else, they can sit there and eat apples while they have to be in the hospital."[1]

Throughout her life Grace Dow frequently contributed to projects in the Midland community personally as well as through the activities of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. She personally donated ecumenically to local church construction projects; including the donation of an Italian marble alter for St. Bridget's Catholic Church; [3] supported missionary work at home and abroad, which included serving a number of years as president of the Presbyterian Women’s Missionary Society,[4] and provided help to those in need.

Grace Dow was an active member of several civic organizations including a women’s study club, the Monday Club for which she served two presidencies; co-founder of the Daughters of the American Revolution, for which she was the first Regent and served a 3-year term on the state board; and served fifty years on the Midland library board. [3] In the 1950s she was involved in the planning and funding through the Foundation of a new library building, which was designed by her son, architect Alden. Grace died before construction began and the library was named the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library in her memory.[5]


  1. ^ a b Langdon Yates, Dorothy (1994). A Journey of Caring. MidMichigan Regional Medical Center, 8. 
  2. ^ Nelb, Tawny Ryan (1999). The Pines: 100 Years of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Homestead, Orchards, and Gardens. Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, viii (plate No. 2). 
  3. ^ a b "Funeral Tuesday at Dow Gardens", Midland Daily News, 1953, pp. 1,11. 
  4. ^ (1967) The First One Hundred Years 1867-1967, The Memorial Presbyterian Church of Midland. 
  5. ^ "Original Midland Library Was Established 1900", Midland Daily News, May 1, 1958, pp. 11. 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Grace_A._Dow". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE