The Brady Standard
about May, 1955
Mrs. Ora L. Dowling is the first teacher in the Brady school system to
be retired under the teacher retirement plan which went into effect in
the Texas public school system in 1937.
Mrs. Dowling has had 36 years of teaching experiences, 25 of them in the Brady schools. She has never taught any other grade but the first.
Mrs. Dowling ws fully aware of the importance of good first impression on the first grade child. for many of the children who filled her classroom for 36 years, she was the first contact away from home. That this contact was a happy one a multitude of ex-students will gladly bear witness.
An honor graduate of the Granger High School, Mrs. Dowling attended Baylor University, southwestern University at Georgetown, University of Chicago, and holds a B.A. degree from Howard Payne.
Ora Ethel Long (Mrs. Dowling) spent her first four teaching years in Hill County schools-the county in which she was born. The next six years she taught at Merkel in Taylor County and the following year she taught in Greenville. In Greenville she met and married Ralph Dowling.
Two of her three children were born in Greenville. The middle child, Ralph, was born in Commerce. Mrs. Dowling did not teach regularly when her children were small although she did substitute teaching these years.
The Dowlings moved to Brady n the summer of 1930 and Mrs. Dowling began her long tenure in the Brady schools that fall. she taught first in the old Central building and then at Central Ward in junior high when that building was completed. When the elementary grades were abolished at junior high, she moved into the new building at South Ward and continued teaching Brady's first graders.
In all of her 36 years of teaching, Mrs. Dowling was never absent because of her own illness. She never took a sick leave. Her only absences were to attend the funerals of her mother and father, and the funeral of her husband in 1945.
Of special interest to old time residents of Brady is the fact that Mrs. Dowling's father, R. H., Long, was superintendent of Brady schools about 42 years ago for a period of several years.
Now that she has retired from what she terms 36 "happy, happy years," Mrs. Dowling plans to move to San Antonio where she has a son, Ralph O. Dowling, and a daughter, Mrs. Harry M. Hughes. She will move into a new home in Eastwood Village and while she won't be living with them, she feels she and her children can all have a good time together. She hopes to sell her home here.
Mrs. Dowling has another son, Milburn J. Dowling, who with his wife and daughter, Marilyn Kay, lives in Eufaula, Oklahoma, where he owns and operates a picture show. Her other grandchildren are Nancy Elizabeth, daughter of Ralph O. Dowling and Diana Jane Hughes, daughter of Harry M. Hughes.
The faculty at South Ward school surprised Mrs. Dowling with a retirement party Monday morning in the South Ward auditorium. C. A. Reynolds, superintendent of schools, Ernest Martin, co-ordinator, and A. H. Floyd, her principal at Central Ward for many years, joined in the farewell.
The table was covered with a lace cloth and decorated with a cornucopia filled with greenery and red roses.
Mrs. Dowling was presented with a pair of sterling silver compotes as a farewell gift.