William Castle Dodge
Descendant of Tristram Dodge through the David Britain Dodge line
View photograph of William and his sister, Louisa Jane
William was b. 9 DEC 1827 in Solon, Cortland County, New York and d. 4 JAN 1914 in Washington, D.C. He was buried 6 JAN 1914 Glenwood Cemetry, Washington, D.C. During his lifetime he was an Employment Patent Lawyer and served as an Employment Doorkeeper House of Representatives
Charges were made that Commissioner Holloway retained Southern sympathizers in the Patent Office and refused to investigate charges against them made by ardent Unionists. William C. Dodge was a patent examiner who went to see Mr. Holloway to demand that he dismiss draftsman Lewis Bosworth for disloyalty. Mr. Holloway thought the charges were unfounded and refused to dismiss Bosworth.
Dodge then publicly and loudly denounced Bosworth as a traitor in the lobby of the Patent Office. By nightfall, the news of this charge was all over town, and acquaintances of Mr. Holloway [Pg 162] were coming to him to ask if he were refusing to fire a traitor. Holloway called Dodge in to his office and asked if Dodge had personally seen Bosworth do anything that was disloyal. Dodge said that he only knew what people had told him. Holloway replied that he was not interested in hearsay. Dodge replied that by those standards neither of them knew that Jefferson Davis was disloyal, because neither had observed Jeffers on Davis do anything disloyal. Holloway answered that unless better evidence could be provided than either of them could provide, Jefferson Davis could not be called upon to answer for anything. He then told Dodge that by making unsupported charges, he was making Holloway look bad, and that if Dodge continued Holloway would fire Dodge. Apparently, Dodge resigned just short of being fired, or perhaps he was actually fired. It was for reasons such as these that Mr. Holloway was investigated by a committee of the House of Representatives in February 1865 for refusing to fire known traitors.
William Castle Dodge wrote a book published in 1900, titled "The orgin, nature, and effects of patents" published in Washington, D.C. He was cited in Scientific American v35, no. 13, p 195, 23 September 1876. RegardingThe United States Patent Association conference meeting on Sept. 7, 1876.
His Obit follows.
Washington Post, January 5 and 6, 1914.
Inventor Dodge is Dead Man who improved old-time guns, victim of Pneumonia. He was also gold miner, doorkeeper in House of Representatives, and Patent Attorney.
William Castle Dodge, well-known inventor, patent lawyer, and civic worker, who had been ill for the past two weeks at his home, 116 B street northeast, of Pneumonia, died at 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon. While Mr. Dodge had not been actively engaged in business for several years, his general health was good and his death came as a great suprise to his friends.
Born at Solon, Courtland county N.Y. December 9, 1827, Mr. Dodge led a most eventful life. He was educated in the common schools of Solon, and later was graduated from Ithaca Academy. In 1846 he went to Wisconsin, where he took up the study of law. When the rush for gold was made to California in 1849. Mr. Dodge was among the first to cross the prairies in quest of the precious metal. The following year he returned to Wisconsin, and in 1851 was admitted to the bar. In 1854 he went to Minnesota where he settled near Winona and took up farming as a vocation. He introducted the first iron water wheel for mill use in that state. Four years later he went to St. Peter, Minn., where he conducted the St. Peter Free Press, then one of the largest publications in Minnesota. In 1860 Mr. Dodge came to Washington, where he bacame doorkeeper of the House of Representatives. The following year he bacame examiner in the patent office, where he served until the close of the civil war. It was the war which led him to consider the then imperfect firearms, and it was largely due to him that many improvements were made to the guns then in use. He was honored by several European governments for his work along these lines, and the Congress also compensated him for his services.
At the close of the war he also became a patent attorney and his business is still being run by his sons and grandsons. He was among those who founded the present Society of Associated Charities, and was for many years a member of the board of trustees.
Mr. Dodge was first married in 1851 to Miss Jane Van Patten, of Schenectady, N.Y., who died in 1860. The following year he married Miss Elizabeth A. Schrivener, of Washington, who survives. He is also survived by three sons, Philip T., of New York; William W. and Horace A. Dodge, both of this city, and four daughters, Miss Jennie Dodge, Mrs. Thomas J. Johnston, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Mrs. Clair Hillyer, of Chicago, and Mrs. J.W. Murphy of this city.