Dorothy’s Story


The early history of Dorothy Bow is recorded on the website of the Orphan Train Riders of Minnesota website:

(birth name unknown) Bow (foster/adoptive name) Smith (married surname) deceased 12-25-2014. 1915 NYFH rider to Minneapolis, born 1913, at the age of 22 months to Alderman D.C. Bow, a well off widower and his daughter Viola who was tired of being an only child. Arrangements had been made in advance. They named the 22 month girl, who would go on to live a long life filled with love and joy and laughter and travel.

Dorothy Bow was raised not far from Minnehaha Falls in a loving home.  Years later after marrying Verne Smith, Dorothy tried to contact the New Orphanage she came from. She never discovered the identity of her birth parents or learned her birth name. The family speculated that her parents perhaps died in transit from Ireland or shortly after they arrived in New York.  Dorothy made four return trips to Ireland hoping to connect to her roots.

Dorothy’s obituary gives further insights into her full and active life.dorothy-bow-1dorothy-bow-3