The Dodge Family Association

Reuben Rawson Dodge
[Jacob(6), Richard Hubbard (5), Jacob(4), William(3), Richard(2), Richard (1)]

Report of the Memorable 1st Reunion of Dodge Family in America

by Robert Dodge, 1879
(At the time of this reunion, it was thought that all Dodges descended from William/Richard. Reuben Rawson Dodge descended from Richard. Dodges from the William/Richard lines, and from the Tristram line attended this reunion. We have the book that this address was taken from for sale. See our sales order page.)

REUBEN RAWSON DODGE of Wilkinsonville, was the first speaker, who made the following address, viz.: 


It has been thirty years since I began to study and collect the records of the Dodge family, with a desire of obtaining an authentic genealogical history of the names of those who had distinguished themselves within the Past 250 years, since our first ancestor landed at this City of Salem. To-day I seem to be standing on sacred ground, where my remote ancestors lived, wept, prayed, and died. 

The many fields and brooks I love to wander among, turn me back to the time since ten generations have passed away, and to-day we have returned to commemorate their history-one of the oldest New England Families. Not a few of its members have been brilliant. 

I feel proud to be able to point out a few who are now present in this Hall, viz.: to Senator Augustus C. Dodge, a son of Gen. Henry Dodge, late Senator in Congress and Governor of Wisconsin: who has also been a Senator in Congress from Iowa, and for many years had a seat side by side with his distinguished father: who was also several years Minister to Spain, and whose public life has been well-known for the past quarter of a century, as the founder of Iowa and Wisconsin. 

To Gen'l Grenville M. Dodge, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, the gallant soldier, and well-known in many fields of battle during the late rebellion, a native of Danvers, in this County of Essex. 

To Rev. Dr. Ebenezer Dodge, the President of Madison College, Hamilton, N. Y., so well and long known, a native of Essex County. 

To Major Ben. Perley Poore, the well-known Washington correspondent of some of our most popular New England journals (or newspapers); and finally to our honored presiding officer at this meeting, the Hon. Wm. E. Dodge, so long and favorably known as one connected with every benevolent object, who has made our name one of which we should have a just pride.

I repeat: To-day, we have of this generation, with us in this Hall, a few of the name who have made their mark in the world. 

What should we say of the many, who were more or less distinguished through every generation ? 

To-day, let us make it a special object to have collected, if possible, and put into permanent book form, the genealogical and biographical history of our family name. 

It has been done in the past quarter of a century with other New England families; and if we will but look to the family register of marriages and deaths, and trace out the records of towns and parishes, we shall have sufficient history to make up what will be interesting to all who bear our name. 

One thing is remarkable to those who have been familiar with the present history of our family:-they are well to do, and possess good homes, and, by industry, the many farms of Essex Co. Where our name is to be found, they all seem in comfortable circumstances. 

A writer, in his address in the January number of the New England Historical, Genealogical Magazine, at their annual meeting in Boston, January 15th, 1879, remarks: "The records of families constitute the framework of history, and are auxiliaries to science, religion, and especially civilization. The ties of kindred are the golden links in the chain which ties families, states, and nations together in one great bond of humanity." 

Everything, therefore, which pertains to the history of our family should be carefully recorded and preserved for the benefit of those who are to follow us. "He who collects and preserves his own family history, is not only a benefactor in his way, but will deserve and receive the grateful thanks of all future generations. He confers a priceless boon upon those whose names and achievements are thus rescued from oblivion, and preserves the experience and wisdom of ages for the emulation, and admonition of posterity." 

Permit me to say, I have no sympathy with those who care not from whence they come, or have no interest in the generations which are to succeed them. A granddaughter of the late Nath. Hullord Dodge, writing up a few prominent characteristics of the branch in Ohio, remarks: "As a rule, the Dodges in Ohio have handsome straight noses, and fine large eyes and large mouth, very handsome feet and hands. They are erect, and walk well; carrying their shoulders back, and their head thrown back somewhat. (There are exceptions, but these are mentioned as family characteristics.) They have never known poverty, but they have never been ostentatious in their way of living - set up no style; are not fond of show; cannot endure shams of any kind; have always enough and to spare. Some of the men have a fondness for fast horses; some of the women are literary in their tastes. At school, there are always bright Dodge boys and girls, capable scholars, but the boys hate restraint, and as soon as possible get into some business requiring activity of mind and body."