Orvil Dodge, for many years a resident of Myrtle Point, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs.. C. C. Carter, on South 4th St., August 30, 1914. Orvil Ovando Dodge, son of Norman and Deborah Dodge, was born Jan. 5, 1839, at Gerard, Crawford county, Penn. When he was 2 years old, his parents moved to Loraine county, Ohio, where his mother died 2 years later. His father, some time after remarried. When Orvil was 5 years old his Uncle David Dodge took him to his home in Penn. where he lived about a year when he returned to his father's home in Montaway township, Portage Co., Ohio, where he was placed in a school.
When the boy was 11 years old, his grand-father, William Press, made a journey to Kirkland, Ohio where the boy was then living, and took him to Point Peter, New York State. Samuel Kent, who had married a sister of the boy's mother, lived about 14 miles from the grandfathers' home in Chautauqua county, and he took Orvil home with him and placed him in school. After a few years the father went further west and eventually settled in Williams county, Ohio. At the age of 16 Orvil went to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and engaged in the occupation of driving stage, but was stricken with fever and it was with much difficulty that he finally arrived home again.
When he arrived at the age of 18, he went and settled in Sycamore, DeKalb county, Illinois. In the course of a year he was married to Alice Walrod, and in the spring of 1860, crossed the plains to California, with horse and mule-teams. Although several trains of immigrants were massacred, the party that Mr.. Dodge was with, had no difficulty with the Indians. There were 40 well-armed men in the train. Mr.. Dodge settled on what was then known as the upper Sacramento river in California.
Subsequently he engaged in the saw milll business, but after 3 months of successful operation, the Indians burned the mill and all the lumber he had. In August, 1861, he moved to Jackson county, Oregon, and engaged in mining, but soon thereafter a cavalry troop was being organized and on the last day of December of that year, he enlisted in the First Oregon Cavalry, and served 13 months in fights against the Indians of the Snake River county. He was discharged at Fort Dallas, on account of injuries received while in service.
In 1863 he was divorced from Alice, his first wife, and given the care and custody of the 2 children: Lydia Jane, born in DeKalb county, Ill. (she being an infant when they crossed the plains) who is now Mrs. L.H. Hawley and resides in Benton County, Oregon; and Norman Ovando, born in Jackson county in March 1862, who also resides in Benton county.
In 1887 the subject of this sketch was married to Louisa A. Schroeder of Coos county. To this union were born: Henry Orvil Augustus, who lived but 6 years; Dora Belle, now Mrs. O R. Willard of Bandon; Edgar Allen of this city; Alta E. now Mrs. C. C. Carter of this city; Daisy Dell, now Mrs. Ross B. Deyoe of Riverside, Calif. Besides there, there are 27 grandchildren and a number of great grandchildren.
Soon after his discharge from the army Orvil Dodge came to Coos county and after following the photography business for a number of years, established a drug store at Empire City in 1867, later adding general merchandise. In 1869 he sold that business and moved to this vicinity where he engaged in the practice of law till 1889, when he established a newspaper at Myrtle Point, called the West Oregonian, he edited the same for 5 years when he sold the plant to parties at Coquille City.
In 1892 he was appointed United States Court Commissioner and in 1899, received the appointment of Receiver of Public Moneys at the General Land Office at Washington, D.C., serving 3 years and 7 months.
He returned to Oregon 1903, and traded some real estate for a gold mine in the Salmon Mountain district. Was elected secretary and manager of the Salmon Mountain Coarse Gold Mining Company which was organized to develop this property.
For 4 successive years Mr. Dodge was a member of the Rivers and Harbors Congress and during his term much improvement work was done in this district.
In 1896 the Pioneer's Society of Coos & Curry Counties appointed Mr. Dodge to write and publish a history of the 2 counties, which he did and the book is now in the homes of many of the old settlers. He was a contributor to the Centennial History of Oregon which was published about 3 years ago, an in earlier days wrote many articles to outside publication regarding the early history of this section of the state and the development of its resources. In 1906 Mr. Dodge founded the Coquille Valley Sentinel and edited that newspaper for about 3 years. .
Burial in Myrtle Point cemetery.
Myrtle Point Enterprise, Sept. 3, 1914
This can also be found in: Pioneers and Incidents of the Upper Coquille Valley by Alice H. Wooldridge.