Family Tree Tuesday – William E. Dodge, Sr.
William E. Dodge, Sr. was a founding member of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and represented New York’s 8th congressional district in the United States Congress for a portion of the 39th United States Congress in 1866-1867. He was a noted abolitionist and Native American rights activist, and served as the president of the National Temperance Society from 1865-1883.
He was born on September 4, 1805 in Hartford, Connecticut to David Low Dodge and Sarah Cleveland. David Dodge helped establish the New York Peace Society, he managed the first cotton factory built in Connecticut. Dodge, Sr. married Melissa Phelps who was the daughter of Anson Greene Phelps and Olivia Eggleston. Dodge and his father-in-law Anson founded the mining firm Phelps, Dodge and Company, one of America’s largest mining companies.
He built the Macon and Brunswick Railroad along with his associates, connecting Macon to what was then a remote area of the state. He was also a founding member of the Board of Trustees for the Syrian Protestant College which was later renamed the American University of Beirut.
His eldest son William Earl Dodge, Jr. was one of two controlling partners in the Phelps, Dodge and Company for many years. Dodge, Jr. married Sarah Hoadley, daughter of David Hoadley who was president of the Panama Railroad Company. Dodge, Jr. and his cousin, Daniel Willis James, transformed the Phelps, Dodge and Company from a placid and profitable import business into one of the world’s largest and wealthiest mining corporations.
Dodge, Jr.’s daughter Grace Hoadley Dodge donated about $1.5 million and many years of service to philanthropic work. She was the main source of funds for the New York College for the Training of Teachers, which became Teachers College, and subsequently a school of Columbia University.
Elizabeth Clementine Stedman, sister of William E. Dodge, Sr., was first married to Edmund B. Stedman and later to U.S. diplomat and politician, William Burnet Kinney. Elizabeth was an American writer, she published Felicita, a Metrical Romance (1855), Poems (1867), and Bianco Capello, A Tragedy, written during her time abroad in Europe. Her son by her first marriage, Edmund Clarence Stedman was an American poet, critic, essayist, banker and scientist. He was one of the first seven chosen for membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1904.
Did you know that Dodge County, Georgia is named after William E. Dodge, Sr.?
Check out William E. Dodge, Sr.’s family tree and see how you maybe related!