HISTORIES OF DES MOINES COUNTY, IA
Thanks to Cay Merryman
Dodgeville has for its founder John Lorton, who originally came from Illinois in the spring of 1836, and bought some two or three hundred acres of land about three miles south of the present village. The following spring, Mr. Lorton laid out town lots and adopted for the prospective town the name of Dodgeville, in honor of Gen. Dodge. When the lots were advertised for sale, some practical jokers struck out the letters d and e on the bills, making the word Dodgeville read Dogville, which angered the old gentleman greatly. The first store in Franklin Township was started by John Lorton, in Dodgeville, soon after the town was laid out.
The first church edifice in Franklin Township was built by the Baptists in 1847, of stone, under the direction of James L. Gilmore, who was the first preacher in it. Surrounding this church is a beautiful cemetery, where are deposited the remains of the first Pastor and his wife. Rev. Gilmore, died in Kentucky in 1865. In 1870, E. Ping was ordained Pastor, and has held the position ever since. Meetings are held in this church every second Saturday and Sunday in each month. The congregation was organized two or three years previous to the building of the church. The present membership is thirty-six.
In 1840, John Thompson taught the first school in Franklin Township in a rented log building, near the site of the present district schoolhouse. After this a stone schoolhouse was built, and David Thompson taught the first school in it. In 1871, this structure was demolished, and on the same ground the present brick schoolhouse was built. The present teacher is Mr. OBrien. The earliest settlers in Franklin Township were Mr. Naudy, an Irishman, who claimed 1,300 acres of land, on which he had built a log cabin. Claiming more than he could hold after the survey, part of it was jumped by Elias and Levi Larkin. Naudy finally sold the balance of his claim to G. Barnes and Dr. Hutcheson and left the country. After Naudy, came straggling along from 1836 to 1839, John Farrell, E. Dugan, John Burkhart, John McDonald, John Markley, Tillman Smith, Jonathan Zion, the Gilmores, Christian Cliner, W. C. Berry and Bolin Ping. The last-mentioned pioneer came from Pulaski County, Ky., in the fall of 1839, and settled on 320 acres, purchased of Levi Larkin, now a resident of Burlington. Mr. Pings cabin was a mile and a half southeast of the present Dodgeville.
The first post office in Franklin Township was established in 1836, at Burkharts Point in a double log house with John Burkhart as Postmaster.
Dodgeville has one general store, one blacksmith-shop, one wagon-maker, one hotel and one physician.