The Dodge Family Association

Ohio Pioneers
by Blanche Dodge Day
Albert(8), Albert(9), George(7), Jesse(6), George(5), George(4), Jonathan(3), John(2), William(1))
(Dodge Journal, November 1987)

This past summer my husband and I chose to go to an elderhostel at Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio. There is a connection between Marietta, Ohio and Hamilton, MA, our home town, that goes back to 1787. Men from our area at that time called the Hamlet (a part of Ipswich) began a trek to the recently open Northwest Territory, December 3, 1787 for establishment of new homes. The Northwest Ordinance signed into law July 13, 1787 made this all possible. The pioneers arrived at the Confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers, April 7, 1788 and founded the town of Marietta. 

The Northwest Ordinance signed on July 13, 1787, opened the area west of the Appalachian Mountains to exploration and settlement. The Ordinance was important for the rules of government that were laid down. The three most important provisions were: 1) No slavery in any states carved out of the new lands, 2) Land would be set aside for education and support of religion, 3) Public education was to be encouraged. The ordinance provided for the transfer of property to all heirs (not just the oldest son), established right of future states to be admitted to the Union on equality with the other 13, provide for trial by jury, writs of habeas corpus, invisibility of contracts and freedoms 

The westward expanse was begun with signing of the Northwest Ordinance. One of our ancestors, Oliver Dodge, was one of these early pioneers from the Hamlet who made the trek to Ohio. Oliver chose an area on the east side of the Muskingum River, 10 miles north of Marietta, to make a farm. It was said that he lived in a hollow tree while he cleared his land. In 1791 the Indian War drove all the settlers into Campus Martius, the fort in Marietta. Generals Putnam, Tupper, St. Clairm Winthrop, Sargeant and others lived there for three to four years. They were unable to cultivate their farms and were at times close to starvation. Oliver sold his farm to his brother, Nathaniel, who arrived in Marietta from New England in 1804. Oliver then moved to the west side of Muskingum River, cleared land and built a house. He and his wife were eventually buried at this farm. He married late, not until 1809 to Nancy Devoll. Oliver died at his brother, Nathaniel's house in Marietta when he came for medical treatment on August 26, 1816. Their only son, Richard Hubbard Dodge, because of failing health about 1856, sold the farm and moved to McConnellsville. Richard died in 1866, leaving no children. Their daughter, Mary M., married Dr. Perley B. Johnson, a member of Congress of the 13th District of Ohio 1843-45. They had a son, Perley Brown Johnson who was killed at Fort Wagner on July 18,1863. *p. 121 Dodge Genealogy. 

Nathaniel and his wife Rebecca Walton were both buried in the Mound Cemetery, Marietta, Ohio. 

Nathaniel was oldest of eleven children. His line was Nathaniel H., Jacob, William, Richard, Richard. The Mound Cemetery is noted for the fact that the largest number of American Revolutionary soldiers are buried there. 

Being in Marietta we visited the Mound Cemetery and found the graves of Pvt. Nathaniel Dodge, 1763- 1838 and his consort, Rebecca Walton, 1761-1823.  I checked back through the Dodge Genealogy, found Nathaniel H. and his list of children.  There in the genealogy was the story of Pvt. Nathaniel Dodge's brother, Oliver, being on the 1787 trek to Ohio. The westward movement of the Dodges had begun. 

Nathaniel H.: b. 21 Jan 1738 in Wenham, d. April 1830 in Hampton Falls, N.H., m. 10 April 1764 Sally H. Dodge (cousin) Wenham 

Nathaniel Dodge (son) 1763-1838 Rebecca Walton Dodge 1761-1823 Oliver Dodge ?-1816 

Dodge genealogy #397-p. 120 & p. 528