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The Western Star, December 17, 1926.

Mr. and Mrs. Dodson
Have Lived in Comanche-co. for Nearly 42 Years

Mr. and Mrs. E.T. Dodson
At left: Mr. & Mrs. E.T. Dodson

Comanche-co. still has within its borders a number of people who came to the county 42 or more years ago when the county began to be settled and who have stayed with the county through all the years of adversity as well as prosperity. They have not been quitters. Partial crop failures and consequent hard times, which occurred quite often, especially during the latter 80s and early 90s, did not frighten them out of the county. They stayed on, and in most every case they have been rewarded for doing so. Among that class of pioneers are Mr. and Mrs. E. T. Dodson of this city. They came to Comanche County in the early spring of 1885, and have continued to make their home here.

Mr. Dodson was born in Woodburn, Ill., on October 9, 1844. Mrs. Dodson is a native of Kentucky, having been born in Campbellville, that state, on July 25, 1844. They were married on February 10, 1870. After their marriage they continued to live in Illinois until February, 1885, when Mr. Dodson came westward, coming to this county and settling on a claim four miles east of the old town site of Avilla. In the following May, Mrs. Dodson came, joining her husband in the development of their new claim.

A few years later, Mr. and Mrs. Dodson moved from their claim into the new town of Avilla, principally for the purpose of allowing Mr. Dodson to work at his trade - that of master wood worker. After the town of Avilla declined in population Mr. Dodson and his family moved to a farm which they had purchased and which is located seven miles southeast of this city. They continued to live there until a little over 20 years ago, when they moved to this city, and here they have continued to make their home. Their home in the north part of town, is one of the best residence properties in the city.

By industry and perseverance they have succeed in securing for their declining years many of the comforts of a modern home.

Mr. Dodson is entitled to the distinction of having worked at his trade longer than is usually the rule. At the age of 15, or 67 years ago, he began to learn the trade, and he is still working at it, although his condition of health makes it impossible for him to be at his shop regularly. As a wagon maker and all around wood worker he has few equals. It has been a life study with him. He and his son, Frank, who has been associated with him in the work for a number of years, have turned out more wood work than any other two men in this part of the state. Not only have they done work on hundreds of wagons and buggies, but they have made hundreds of wheat barges, towers for windmills and various other kinds of wood work usually required about the farm or ranch. Although past 82 years of age, Mr. Dodson continues to get about quite easily. He says he wants to "keep in the harness" as long as possible.

Mr. and Mrs. Dodson, also their son, Frank, and wife, are among our very best citizens. A daughter, Grace, now Mrs. Harry B. Cloud, lives in Tulsa, Okla.

The Western Star, April 2, 1920.


It was on February 10, 1870, in the town of Woodburn, Ill., that Mr. and Mrs. E. T. Dodson, two of Coldwater's best known and most highly respected citizens were united in marriage. That was a little over 50 years ago. To celebrate the 50th, or "golden" anniversary of their wedding nearly 50 of their friends and neighbors gave them a complete surprise on the evening of March 19 by gathering at the beautiful Dodson home in the north part of town for an evening of social enjoyment and to show, to some extent, their esteem for Mr. and Mrs. Dodson. The surprise was planned by Miss Grace and Frank, and they certainly succeeded well in carrying out every part of the evening's program. In every particular it was a most happy surprise for Mr. and Mrs. Dodson and a pleasant occasion for all present. A fine two course luncheon was served. Mr. and Mrs. Dodson were presented with some beautiful gifts as tokens of the esteem in which they are held. As the guests departed they wished Mr. and Mrs. Dodson many added years of their happy married life.


Photo from the Diamond Jubilee Historical Souvenir Program. Coldwater, KS: Western Star, 1959.


E. T. Dodson, his wife and two children, Frank and Grace, arrived in Coldwater, Kansas, during the winter and spring of 1885, Mr. Dodson in February, and the family in May.

He pre-empted a quarter-section of land near Avilla and built a home, where they lived until the town faded away. They then moved the house to land he had bought five miles south and two miles east of Coldwater, but lived in Coldwater and operated the farm and ranch from there.


-- from Diamond Jubilee, page 53.

Also see:

James W. Dappert: Reminiscences of Early Days in Comanche-co.
The Western Star, January 15, 1926.

List of Pioneer Settlers Buried in Crown Hill Cemetery     Published in The Western Star, 16 June 1933.

Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!

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