David Child Dodge
David's mother, Susanna Ann (Wooley) Dodge,
also a native New Englander, was a descendant of Joshua
Bentley, one of the two American patriots who rowed Paul
Revere across the Charles river on the memorable night
when he made his famous ride in 1775 and "spread the
alarm through every Middlesex Village and farm" that
the country folk might be up to arms.
Col. Dodge started a lifetime career in railroading 1853, as a survey crew chairman working on construction of the Chicago & North Western Railway in Illinois, just a few months after his 15th birthday. After serving under General George Thomas, the "Rock of Chickamaugua" during the War between The States, Col. Dodge returned to C.&N.W. service and came to Denver in October 1867, as that road's General Agent for Colorado and New Mexico.
He went to work for General William J. Palmer, January 1, 1872 as Traffic Manager for the infant Denver and Rio Grande, and eight years later was promoted to General Manager. He became one of Palmer's closest friends and trusted confidants. He, along with General Palmer, developed and built the Denver Rio Grande Railroad. These two men constructed the Ri Grande system, extended it to Ogden, Utah, and made it an important factor in the development of Colorado and the west, as well as in Trans-continental traffic. The Rio Grande Western furnishes another striking example of the constructive genius, and efficient management of Colonel Dodge, for many years its vice president and general manager. The Colonel was very prominent in early railroading history in Colorado. He supported and helped to finance his friend, David H. Moffat, in his dream of the Moffat Tunnel.
Subsequent to his retirement in 1901, when the Rio Grande was acquired by the heirs of Jay Gould, Col. Dodge constructed the Shirley Hotel, which later became known as the Shirley-Savoy Hotel after the death of Col. Dodge. In 1907, responding to pleas from David H. Moffat, Col. Dodge re-entered the railroad field, assuming the responsibility for extending the Moffat Road from Yarmony to Steamboat Springs. Moffat died in 1911 and in the following year, Col. Dodge, at 75 years of age was appointed Receiver of the little railroad which ultimately merged with the D. & R. G.W.
This outstanding Colorado Citizen died July 19, 1918.
The small, rare, privately-printed, leather-bound book, published in 1923 by his devoted wife, Nannie O. Smith Dodge, described many interesting details of David Dodge's life, while a larger volume is made up of tributes from former associates and friends.
More than to any other person, credit for the physical development of the Denver & Rio Grande and the areas it serves in Colorado and Utah can be attributed to David C. Dodge. As disclosed by the tribute inscribed on the back of the Tiffany Chime Pocket Watch presented to him by General Palmer, he became one of Palmer's closest friends and trusted confidants. The watch and book are the property of David Child Dodge II of Denver.
Photo and information on David Child Dodge was provided by David Child Dodge II, a Dodge Family Association Member, and a resident of Aurora, Colorado