Sidney Palmer Dodge

From "The County of Williams: A History of Williams County, Ohio, from the Earliest Days, with Special Chapters on Various Subjects, Including Each of the Different Townships; also a Biographical Department" by William Henry Shinn. Northwest Historical Association, Madison, WI, 1905. - pg. 344-346

SIDNEY PALMER DODGE, the popular proprietor of the Dodge House, the leading hotel of West Unity, comes of stanch old puritan stock, the original ancestors having been two brothers, Robert and William Dodge, who settled in historic old Salem, Mass., in 1629 (sic, Sidney derives from Tristram. There is no solid link between he and Robert and William). Sidney p. Dodge was born in LaFayette Township, Medina County, O., on the 17th of November, 1851, and is the son of Joel Palmer Dodge, who was born in Cortland County, N.Y., on the 8th of November, 1820, being a son of Joel Dodge, who was born in Colchester, Mass. (sic, CT),
in 1784, while the same town was the birthplace of his wife, whose maiden name was Hannah Cutler and whose year of nativity was 1787 (sic, Hannah was born in Stoughton, Norfolk County, MA). At the age of thirteen, Joel Dodge accompanied his parents on their removal to Bennington, Vt., where he was reared to manhood and where his marriage was solemnized. He removed thence to Cortland County, N.Y., where he remained until 1839, when he came with his family to Ohio and located in Wayne (sic, Medina)
County, and in 1853 he came to Williams County, locating at Williams Center, where he died in September, 1863, his wife having passed away in 1858. He was engaged in farming after coming to Ohio and was a man of integrity and honor. He was the son of Benjamin and Tabitha Dodge, both of whom passed the closing years of their lives in Cortland County, N.Y.

Hannah (Cutler) Dodge was the daughter of Zachariah and Prudence (Drake) Cutler, who passed their entire lives in New England. Joel Palmer Dodge was educated in the common schools of Cortland County, N.Y., and accompanied his parents on their removal to Ohio. In Seville, Medina County, this state, October 17, 1843, he married Miss Mary Ann Vincent, who was born in Cortland County, N.Y., October 13, 1820, being a daughter of John J. and Mary (Daniels) Vincent, both of whom were born in New England, the former on the 9th of February, 1792 and the latter on the 10th of October, 1796, and both passed the closing days of their lives in Lagrange, Lorain County, O., having come to this state in pioneer days. They became the parents of eight children, of whom five are yet living.

Joel p. Dodge came to Williams County in 1853, locating in Williams Center, in April of that year. Here he followed his trade, that of
blacksmith, for many years. In 1884 he removed to Nemaha County, Neb., and on the 5th of June, 1888, he located in West Unity, in the old Ohio county where he so long had made his home, and here he still lives, being now retired from active labors. His devoted wife passed away April 13, 1905, having been a member of the Baptist church, with which he also was formerly identified, now holding membership in the Christian church. He is a Democrat in politics and is affiliated with Superior Lodge No. 179, Free and Accepted masons, and Northwest Chapter No. 45, Royal Arch Masons.

Joel p. and Mary A. (Vincent) Dodge became the parents of five children: Emma Jane, Mary Elizabeth, Sidney Palmer, Ida (desceased in infancy), and Clara Eliza. Sidney p. Dodge was about two years of age at the time of his parents' removal to Williams County, and he was reared and educated in Williams Center, where he fully availed himself of the advantages of the public schools, while he learned the blacksmith trade under the effective direction of his father, becomming a skilled artisan. He followed his trade until 1878, when he engaged in the sawmilling business at Williams Center, following this line of enterprise until 1888, on June 5th of which year he came to West Unity and engaged in the hotel business.

On the 2nd of the following August his building and contents of the same were practically entirely destroyed by fire, and he then erected his present substantial and attractive hotel building, known as the Dodge House, which he has since conducted most successfully, this being the best and most popular hotel in the town catering to a representative patronage, while the genial host and his wife have a legion of friends among the travelling public as well as locally.

In politics, Mr. Dodge maintains an independant attitude, and he is public-spirited and progressive, ever ready to lend his aid in every worthy movement for the general good of the community. He served one year as a member of the village council of West Unity. He is affiliated with the Superior Lodge, No. 179, of the Free and Accepted Masons at West Unity; Northwest Chapter, No. 45, Royal Arch Masons, at Bryan; Defiance Commandery, No. 30, Knights Templar, at Defiance; Zenobia Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, in Toledo; and Unity Lodge, No. 158, Order of the Eastern Star in West Unity, of which last organization his wife and daughter are also members. In May, 1899, Mr. Dodge became a member and musician in the First Division, Second Battalion of the Ohio Naval Reserve, and still retains his membership in the same.

December 4, 1873, Mr. Dodge was united in marriage to Miss Joanna A. Cratsenberg, who was born near Pope's Mills, St. Lawrence County, N.Y., January 2, 1855, being a daughter of Abram and Hannah (Breckenridge) Cratsenberg, who came from her native county to Williams County, O. about 1867. Here the mother died in October, 1878, and the father in September of the following year. They had four children of whom only two are living- Frank, who resides in Columbus, O., and Mrs. Dodge. Mr Cratsenberg was a saddler by trade, and followed this vocation many years, later being engaged in farming. In 1863 he enlisted in Company A, Fourteenth New York Heavy Artillery, with which he served until the close of the Civil War.

Mr. and Mrs. Dodge became the parents of four children: Roy is now a conductor on the Hocking Valley Railroad; Maud remains at the parental home; the third child died in infancy; and Sidney died at the age of two and one-half years.