Friedrich Wilhelm Dorow, legislator, Confederate soldier, county judge, county commissioner, justice of the peace, and farmer, son of Karl (or Carl) Dorow and Wilhelmina (Hopp) Dorow, was born in Prussia on January 3, 1845. In 1852 Dorow’s parents and their two children immigrated to the United States. By 1854 the family had settled in New Braunfels, Texas. Over the next several years, Dorow’s parents had five more children, one of whom died as an infant.
During the Civil War Dorow served in the Confederate Army. He enlisted in the spring of 1863 and served until the end of the war. His first assignment was in the Texas Infantry in Capt. D. M. Wilson’s Company A, Anderson’s Battalion, under Colonel John S. Ford’s Command. About 1964 he was transferred to Brig. Gen. James E. Slaughter’s Regiment at Brownsville and served with him for approximately a year. Dorow was honorably discharged in 1865 and returned to his family.
Five years after his service, he married Caroline “Lena” Voges on August 19, 1870, in Comal County, and they settled in Helotes, Texas. In 1872 the family moved to Pipe Creek in Bandera County. On December 23, 1890, Lena Dorow died, leaving Dorow and their eight children: William, Matilda, Henry, Albert, Emma, Carrie, Selma, and Annetta.
Dorow had an extensive career in public service. He served as a county commissioner, county judge, and justice of the peace for Bandera County. In 1884 and in 1886 he was elected to serve as the Bandera county commissioner for Precinct 2 representing Pipe Creek. He became county judge in 1901. Dorow was a Mason and belonged to the Bandera County Farmer’s Alliance for which he served as secretary in the late 1880s. In 1888 he was elected as the Bandera County director in the Cooperative Alliance of Southwest Texas. This was the regional cooperative business operation of the region’s Farmers’ Alliance, and it operated a cotton yard and warehouse in San Antonio.
His most notable position of service was as a Populist in the Twenty-third Legislature. In 1892 he defeated the Democratic nominee M. A. Lawrence and won the House seat for the Ninety-second District representing Bandera, Kendall, and Kerr counties. Dorow served on three House committees: the Agricultural Affairs Committee, the Commerce and Manufactures Committee, and the Private Land Claims Committee. He introduced four bills, but only one passed, House Bill 101, which returned civil jurisdiction to the Marion County court. Dorow worked with Democrat T. D. Rowell to get the bill through the legislature, and it passed on March 9, 1893. Additionally, in 1893 the Galveston Daily News reported that Dorow introduced two bills to the legislature. One bill proposed the creation of a new county to be called “Boulah” which would be created out of portions of Uvalde, Bandera, Edwards, and Kerr counties. The second bill proposed to regulate the procedure for creating county commissioners’ court reports. Neither bill passed.
As a public servant and farmer, Dorow was involved in agricultural business affairs. In 1893 he was elected as one of thirteen delegates to represent Texas at the Inter-State Cotton Convention in New Orleans. The delegates were selected by their congressional district, and he was the delegate from the Twelfth District.
After his service in the House, Dorow returned to Pipe Creek and resumed his life as a farmer. He invested time and energy into his farm, cultivating six to seven acres of Irish potatoes. His property sat close to a busy road, and a traveler commented on the “broad, finely cultivated fields” and stated that Dorow “puts the same work on his farm that he bestowed on his party….”
Additionally, he served in at least one more position of public service in his community. From 1917 to 1918 he was the president of the County Board School of Trustees for Pipe Creek.
In 1918 Dorow went to live with his son Albert. In his elderly years, he suffered from hemiplegia on the left side of his body. He died on October 18, 1921, and was buried alongside his wife in Pipe Creek Cemetery.
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Dallas Morning News, September 14, 1888; September 6, 1892. Galveston Daily News, September 12, 21, 1892; January 19, 21, 1893; March 12, 1893; April 28, 1896. Houston Daily Post, February 16, 1901. J. Marvin Hunter, Pioneer History of Bandera County (Bandera, Texas: Hunter's Printing, 1922). Journal of the House of Representatives Being the Regular Session of the Twenty-Third Legislature (Austin: Ben C. Jones & Company, 1893). Legislative Reference Library of Texas: F. Dorow (http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/legeLeaders/members/memberDisplay.cfm?memberID=3630&searchparams=chamber=~city=~countyID=0~RcountyID=~district=~first=~gender=~last=dorow~leaderNote=~leg=~party=~roleDesc=~Committee=), accessed December 4, 2013. San Antonio Daily Express, November 5, 1886.
Twenty-third Legislature (1893)
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Dorow, Friedrich Wilhelm,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 27, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
December 12, 2013