Egbert B. Dodge

From the Biographical Review, Volume XXXIII, located at the Durham Center Museum.
Transcribed by Arlene Goodwin


wpe1A.gif (124647 bytes)Egbert B. Dodge, of Ashland, was born in Greenville, Greene County, N. Y., October 24, 1822, son of Andrew and Ruth (Blackmar) Dodge. He is a grandson of Moses Dodge, who moved his family from Massachusetts to Freehold, Greene County, in 1804, and followed the blacksmith’s trade in connection with other mechanical occupations for the rest of his life. Moses Dodge is said to have been a descendant of William Dodge, one of the early settlers of Salem, Mass.

Andrew Dodge, father of Egbert B., was born in Massachusetts. When a young man he engaged in farming in Freehold. From 1815 to 1847 he carried on a general store, and he also manufactured potash. His last days were spent in retirement upon his farm, and he died at the age of eighty-one years. He served as Postmaster for thirty years. In politics he was originally a Whig and later a Republican. During the somewhat violent agitation against the Masonic fraternity which took place in his day, he sided with the opponents, and was known as an anti-Mason. Andrew Dodge married Ruth Blackmar, a native of Great Barrington, Mass., daughter of Abel Blackmar, a prosperous farmer and cattle dealer. She became the mother of ten children, three of whom are living; namely, Egbert B., Augusta and Louisa. Augusta is the widow of the Rev. John N. Spoor; and Louisa married Daniel G. Searles, of Greenville. Mrs. Ruth Dodge died at the age of fifty-five years. The parents of Ruth Dodge were members of the Christian church, of which she was also a member.

Egbert B. Dodge obtained his knowledge of the primary branches of learning in the common schools of Freehold, and completed his studies at the academy in Greenville. He taught several terms of school in Greene and Dutchess Counties previous to 1847. In that year he engaged in trade at Freehold, where he continued in business some thirteen years, and in 1860 he removed to Ashland. Securing a site adjoining the hotel, he opened a general store, which for the succeeding two years was the only source of supply in this vicinity. He was therefore called upon to carry a varied stock, which was transported from New York City by river boats to Catskill. After being out of business two years he (in 1869) built a new store; and, putting in a large stock of general merchandise, the continued in trade until 1880, when he was succeeded by his son. After being relieved of the cares of business he could not remain idle, preferring instead to continue in the store; and as Assistant Postmaster he has handled the mails here for the past thirty years. He was Postmaster under President Fillmore and during a part of the Pierce administration. He has witnessed many changes and improvements in the postal service, and has a district remembrance of the days when stages were the only means of conveyance. He has voted at every Presidential election since 1844, when he supported the candidacy of Henry Clary, and is now a Republican. He served as a Supervisor in 1868, as Town Clerk in 1870, was a Justice of the Peace for fourteen years, and has settled many estates.

In 1853 Mr. Dodge was united in marriage with Eliza C. Sax, who was born in Cairo, Greene County, daughter of Jacob Sax, the descendent of and early Dutch settler and a prosperous farmer of that town. Mr. and Mrs. Dodge reared three children: namely, Francis, Edgar S., and Ella M. Dodge. Francis succeeded his father in the business, and is now the leading merchant in this section, also Postmaster at the present time. He married Mary Clark, and has two children—Frederick C. and Florence. Edgar S., who is a horse dealer, married Sarah Frances Martin. Ella M. married Edward Snow, a carpenter of Kingston, and has three children—Herbert, Harold, and Laura. Mrs. Eliza C. Dodge died August 28, 1897, aged sixty-six years.

As an intelligent, progressive, and public spirited citizen, who can be depended upon for assistance in forwarding any movement calculated to be of benefit of the community, Mr. Dodge is highly esteemed by his fellow-townsmen, among whom he has for years been a prominent and influential figure. He possesses an extensive knowledge of the town’s history for the past thirty-eight years, has been a careful reader of instructive books, and his judgment in matters of public importance is still sought for and relied upon. He was formerly a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In his religious belief he is a Presbyterian, and his son Francis is prominently identified with the Presbyterian church.


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