| Samuel Smith Dodge
From the Historical Archives of Rock County, Illinois
Submitted by Diana Smith
The late Samuel S. Dodge, a veteran of the Civil War and an honored octogenarian Merchant and banker of Dixon, who died at this home in that city in the summer of 1924 and whose widow still is living there, was a resident of Dixon for more than half a century, was widely known in commercial circles through out the Rock river valley, and at his passing left a good memory.
Mr. Dodge was a native son of the old Buckeye state but had been a resident of Illinois and of the Rock river valley since the days of his early childhood, and all his recollections were based upon his connection with the affairs of this valley. He was born in Ohio, December 2, 1841, and was but two years of age when in 1844, his parents, Almeron and Sarah (Baldwin) Dodge, came with their family to the Rock river valley and settled in the village of Roscoe, Winnebago county, Illinois. Samuel S. Dodge attended the schools of that village and was living there when the Civil was broke out. He enlisted as a soldier of the Union and went to the front with Company L, Eighth Illinois Cavalry, continuing to serve with that command until during an engagement in the spring of 1862 in the Virginia campaign he received a wound of so serious a character that he was given an honorable discharge from the army and returned home.
On the completion of his military service, Mr. Dodge was employed in a jeweler's store at Rockford, county seat Winnebago county, and remained there until he had learned the details of this form of merchandising, when, in 1868 he opened a jewelry store in Dixon on his own account, which he carried on quite successfully until his retirement in 1901. In addition to his mercantile affairs, Mr. Dodge had other interests of a substantial character in and about the city, including a place on the directorate of the Dixon National Bank, of which institution he was for years the vice president. He died at his home in Dixon, June 7, 1924, and his passing occasioned expressions of general regret, for he was widely known in the community of which he, for so many years, had been one of the forceful and influential personal factors.
On July1 1, 1873, in Dixon, Mr. Dodge was united in marriage to Miss Hattie E. Davis, a daughter of Cyrus Appleton and Sarah J. (Holt) Davis of that city, who survives him and who continues to make her home in Dixon, residing at 312 East Third street. Mrs. Dodge is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and has ever taken an interested and helpful part in chu5ch work as well aw in the general social and cultural activities of her hometown.
Mr. Dodge was an honored member of the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic and was a Royal Arch, Knight Templar and Scottish Rite, thirty-second degree, Mason as well as a Noble of the ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. For many years he took an active and earnest interesting the work of the Knights Templar (York Rite) and was also a past high priest of the local chapter of the Royal Arch Masons. He was a republican and had ever given a good citizen's attention to local civic affairs but had not been a seeker after public office. As a local commentator some years ago wrote concerning this veteran merchant and banker, "there have been no spectacular phases in his life's history, but there are various elements worthy of emulation, " this being followed by the sage reflection that "to know one's duty and to do it, to deal faithfully and honorably with one's fellowmen, this is the life of an honorable man." It also was observed in this connection the Mr. Dodge's record "proves conclusively that success and an untarnished name may be won simultaneously.