JOHN S. DODGE, one of the most prominent farmers of Littleton township, Schuyler county, Illinois, was born in Bloomington, McLean County, this State, March 14, 1837. His parents, Solomon and Betsey (Springer) Dodge, were both natives of Ohio, his father being a carder and filler by trade. His mother's ancestors were originally from Cork, Ireland. In 1833, his parents came by way of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to Bloomington, Illinois, where our subject was born in his father's hotel, which was the first in that town, called the Caravansary. His father retired about twenty-five years before his death, he being ninety-one years of age and his wife seventy-two when they died at the home of their son, the subject of our sketch. His godfather, Israel Dodge, was from Scotland, and died in Marietta, Ohio, aged seventy-five years.
Our subject came to this county in 1846, and bought the farm on which he at present resides, which he has since much improved by the erection of a substantial residence and barns, and has the land well cultivated. He is one of ten children, five of whom are now living, two boys and three girls. He is the only farmer, all the others being merchants and mechanics.
Mr. Dodge remained at home until he was eighteen years of age, attending district school and helping his father. He then herded cattle for a couple of years, after which he worked around at different places until he was twenty-one years of age. He was, at the end of this time, married to Miss Emily Hoyt, on December 24, 1855, a native of Detroit, Michigan, where she was born November 2, 1836. Their happy married life was doomed to be of short duration, for three years later his wife died in Wahpeton, Minnesota, aged twenty-two years. She was an intelligent woman, with many charms of person and character, and was much regretted by all who knew her. Her people were from New York State.
Mr. Dodge, after about eight years, married Miss Rachel Moore, on January 11, 1866, who was born in Buena Vista township, this county, June 15, 1838. Her parents, Thomas and Mary Moore, were pioneers of this county, and highly respected people. They are now both dead, her mother surviving her father by several years. She was one of twelve children, nine of whom are now living.
After his marriage Mr. Dodge rented a farm in this county, which he cultivated until the time of the war; when, on February 1, 1862, he enlisted in Company I, Sixty-second Illinois Infantry, under Captain Joseph McLean, and served for three years and four months in the army, and was on detached duty for two months. He was sick in 1864 and was in the regimental hospital. In 1865, on May 2, he was honorably discharged at Smithfield. Mr. Dodge and D. Wheat are the only ones left in Springfield township, who were members of that company.
After the war Mr. Dodge bought his present farm, which at that time was unimproved and had only a log house on it. It hardly resembles the same farm now, for he has erected a substantial residence, besides commodious barns for his grain and stock, besides other modern conveniences for the facilitating of agricultural pursuits. He has bought eighty more acres of land, making his present possessions 240 acres, all of which is under a good state of cultivation. Besides his farming interests, he is largely interested in stock-raising, making a specialty of cattle, in which he is very successful.
Our subject and wife have had eight children, six of whom still survive: Avey E., born in this county, was educated at Bushnell College, and studied music at Shenandoah,, Iowa, and is now teaching music; Homer P. is at home; he was educated at Bushnell College; Fannie T. is at home, and was also educated at Bushnell College; Adda A.; Ruby J. and True; the last three are living at home with their parents.
Mr. Dodge is at present a Republican, although he went to war as a Douglas Democrat; after that international struggle he voted with the Republicans. His first vote was cast for John C. Fremont. His constituents have seen fit to honor him with public office, and he has served as Assessor, and Commissioner of Highways, in which capacity he has rendered eminent satisfaction to all. He is a member of George Brown Post, of Brooklyn, also of No. 3420, G.A.R., and affiliates with the A.F. & A.M., No. 766, of Littleton, of all which societies he is a prominent and esteemed member.
Of superior ability, high integrity and morality, he also adds the gentler virtues of sociability and amiability, thus commanding the respect and affection of all alike.