William Earl Dodge, Jr.

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William Earl Dodge, Jr.

Birthdate: (71)
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Death: August 9, 1903 (71)
Bar Harbor, Hancock, Maine, USA (Heart failure)
Immediate Family:

Son of William Earl Dodge, Sr. and Melissa Dodge
Husband of Sarah Tappen Dodge (Hoadley)
Father of William Earl Dodge, III; Grace Hoadley Dodge; Cleveland Hoadley Dodge; Mary Melissa Dodge; Alice Clinton Hoadley Osborn and 1 other
Brother of Susan Pratt Cory; Rev. David S. Dodge; Brig. General Charles Cleveland Dodge (USA); Norman White Dodge and Anson Dodge

Managed by: Private User
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About William Earl Dodge, Jr.


William Earl Dodge, Jr. (February 15, 1832 – August 9, 1903) was an American businessperson and philanthropist. For many years, he was one of two controlling partners in the Phelps Dodge Corporation, one of the largest copper mining corporations in the United States.

Early life

William Earl Dodge, Jr. was born in New York City on February 15, 1832, the eldest son of William E. Dodge, Sr.. Dodge Sr. was a co-founder with his father-in-law, Anson Greene Phelps of the import firm of Phelps Dodge.

He married Sarah Hoadley, daughter of David Hoadley, president of the Panama Railroad Company, in 1854. The couple had at least three children, Cleveland Hoadley Dodge, Grace Hoadley Dodge and Mary Hoadley Dodge. Cleveland followed his father into the family business and founded the Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation in 1917. Grace later co-founded Teacher's College and was the first woman to sit on the New York City Board of Education.

He was very active during the Civil War, becoming a member of the Union League Club and an advisor to the Women's Central Association of Relief. His service on a commission of the State of New York to supervise the conditions of New York State troops in the field led the New York Legislature to pass a resolution honoring him for his work.

In 1863, Dodge built Greyston, a gambrel-roofed Gothic Revival mansion of granite designed by James Renwick, Jr., in Riverdale, Bronx, New York City. With Lyndhurst, Tarrytown, and Ingleside, Dobbs Ferry, it is one of only three mid-nineteenth century survivors along the intensely-redeveloped lower Hudson. His Dodge heirs donated it in 1961 as a conference center for Teachers College, Columbia University, who used it until the 1970s, then sold it to Zen Buddhist Community, who sold it again.

Work career

He began working for the Phelps Dodge Corporation, and in 1864 was named a Partner in the firm.

Dodge and his cousin, Daniel Willis James, transformed the Phelps Dodge company from a placid and profitable import business into one of the world's largest and wealthiest mining corporations. The Phelps Dodge company had decided to enter the mining industry, and hired professor of chemistry James Douglas to make an inspection of mining claims in the Southwestern United States. Douglas suggested that the two men invest in the Detroit Copper Mining Company of Arizona, which owned a copper mining claim in Warren, Arizona. In 1881, Phelps Dodge not only took a controlling interest in the Detroit Copper Mining Company but also purchased a minority interest in the adjoining Copper Queen Mine in Bisbee, Arizona. After the Copper Queen and Detroit Copper both struck the Atlanta lode in 1884, Phelps Dodge bought out the remaining interest in the Copper Queen. The company merged its various mining interests into the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company in 1885, and installed Douglas as president and part-owner.] With production in the Bisbee expanding, Dodge and his business partners formed the Arizona and South Eastern Railroad (later more widely known as the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad) in 1888. In time, Dodge sat on the board of directors of a number of mining, railroad, real estate, water, and other companies, and Phelps Dodge was on its way to becoming one of the largest mining companies in the world.

Dodge had other interests outside of Phelps Dodge, too. He was a leader of the Ansonia Clock Company, American Brass Company, Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company, Lackawanna Steel Company, Morningside Realty Company, United Globe Mines, and the New York Life Insurance Company. He was vice president of the New York Chamber of Commerce at the time of his death.

Philanthropic work

A Presbyterian, Dodge was president of the American branch of the Evangelical Alliance and the National Temperance Society (as his father was before him), and vice-president of the American Sunday School Union. He was active in the New York City chapter of the Young Men's Christian Association, and led the efforts to build the chapter's first and second buildings.

He was chairman of the National Arbitration Committee, and helped raised funds for and guide the Metropolitan Museum of Art (he was chairman of the Executive Committee), the American Museum of Natural History (he was vice-president for a time), and the New York Botanical Garden

He was a member of the Linnean Society, American Historical Association, New York Academy of Sciences, American Fine Arts Society, New York Geographical Society, New-York Historical Society, the New England Society of New York, the Century Association, and the National Academy of Design.


William E. Dodge, Jr. died of heart failure on August 9, 1903, at his home in Bar Harbor, Maine.

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William Earl Dodge, Jr.'s Timeline

February 15, 1832
New York City, New York, USA
May 21, 1856
Age 24
New York, USA
October 17, 1858
Age 26
New York, USA
January 26, 1860
Age 27
New York, USA
Age 28
Age 31
Age 32
August 9, 1903
Age 71
Bar Harbor, Hancock, Maine, USA