Caddo, Oklahoma...
Saturday, November 25, 2017
The antique town on a buffalo trail.

William Francis Dodd

 

WILLIAM FRANCIS DODD
(1866-1924)

Born May 20, 1866, in Murray County, Georgia. Son of Joseph W. Dodd, who was born in 1847 in Habersham County, Georgia, and Louisa Dodd, nee White. The Dodds were of Scotch-Irish descent and the Whites of English ancestry. To this union eight children were born, to-wit: Wm. F., Mary, Mattie, Nannie, J. H., Anna, Lucy and Emma.

Joseph W. Dodd as a boy enlisted and served in the Confederate Army. After the war he, with his father Joseph W. Dodd removed to Habersham County, Georgia, where his father died. In 1864 Joseph W. Dodd married Louisa White. About 1891 he removed to Fannin County, Texas.

William F. Dodd was educated in the country schools and a Seminary of Murray County, Georgia. In 1887 he located in Texas, spending two years on a ranch in the Rio Grande valley. Then he spent five years in the vicinity of Savoy, Fannin County, Texas, where he learned the trade of a jeweler. In 1894 he removed to Caddo, Indian Territory and for a number of years engaged in the jewelry business. In 1902 he combined the jewelry business with the drug business, which he continued until his death.

He was twice elected and served as Mayor of the City of Caddo and was a progressive, public spirited, town builder, and enforcer of the law. He served for a number of years as a member and president of the local school board and also as president of the local commercial club. In 1908 he was appointed by the Governor as a member of the State Board of Pharmacy, on which he served until 1916, and of which he was president for a number of years. He was also one of the organizers of the Jefferson Highway Association and a member of its board. He was an active member of the Democratic Party.

In March 1892 he was married to Miss Irene Davis of Savoy, Texas, whose people came from Missouri in an early day, settling in North Texas. He died on February 16th, 1924, and was buried in the Caddo Cemetery. He is survived by his wife and one son, Clarence L. Dodd, of Clinton, Oklahoma. He was affiliated with the Caddo Lodge No. 3, A. F. & A. M., India Temple, and also with the local Odd Fellows Lodge and the Baptist Church. His community lost an active and useful citizen.


 From the Chronicles of Oklahoma

 

Caddo Herald, February, 1924

Town is Shocked by Death of W. F. Dodd

            Caddo and community was numbed by the news Saturday evening that W. F. Dodd was dead, stricken with apoplexy.

            Up until 5:30 in the afternoon he was attending to business in his store as usual, had a hearty good word for all who came in, and was apparently in as good health as at any time in his life.

            His son, Clarence, had gone to supper, and he was behind the prescription case when he called to Fleming Clower to call a doctor. Dr. Grassham soon arrived and found Mr. Dodd backward across the sink. The stricken man was taken to his office in the rear of the store, and at 6:12 was dead. Just 42 minutes from blooming health to silent death. He was unconscious form the time of being stricken. Friends quickly gathered around, but their prayers and hopes were unavailing. Mrs. Dodd came to the store before the final demise.

            Tender hands of numerous friends took the body to his home on West Buffalo street, where it was prepared for burial. Through the night and Sunday hundreds of friends visited the family, offered condolences and dropped a tear of sadness, for indeed a friend to every man was gone Beyond.

            The funeral was held Monday afternoon at the Baptist church conducted by Rev. Hardin and Rev. Rylant, pastor and former pastor of the Baptist church. Though a gloomy day, with skies overcast, the building was not nearly large enough to contain the throng of sorrowing friends who came to pay their last respects.

            As a fitting tribute to the man, and the life he had lived in our town, every store and office was closed from one until four o’clock during the funeral. School was dismissed at noon.

            As a further tribute the Odd Fellows took part in the funeral services, Mr. Dodd having formerly been a member of that fraternal order.

            The body was taken in charge by the Caddo Masonic Lodge and at the grave the funeral rites of the lodge were administered. 

            Mr. Dodd was fifty-eight years of age. In the full bloom of a vigorous and useful manhood he was stricken and taken away. He came to Caddo in 1897 twenty-seven years ago. His years of residence here were filled with good deeds.

            He was a leader in nearly every public enterprise for the town. His voice, his time, his talents, his money were always to be found on the side of right. Probably there was no man in Caddo who was more public spirited who was as nearly always ready to do something for the public good as he. He would neglect his own business to forward some interest of the town.

He was a member of the Baptist church of Caddo; was one of its original organizers, and was ever faithful to its teaching. He was superintendent of that Sunday School when he died; had been for eight years, and under his guidance this school had grown to be a great power for the uplift of the community. The little children loved him. None ever came in his presence without a word of cheer and jollity. He was a friend of the poor. No needy were ever turned empty handed from him; he divided his living with those who were in need.

            The familiar form and voice of this great and good man will be sadly missed for many yeasr in the community that knew him so long. Many and many times we shall wonder “to whom shall we go to get this or that done”. His church will miss him. His life was consecrated to making his community better. Often and often had he occupied pulpits with sage lay advice for the people. He had more call of this kind than he possibly could fill.

            Such a life as this has not been lived in vain. His spirit carries on. His example is one to point to with pride. His supreme unselfishness as exemplified in a life full of good deeds is one that everyone could follow with profit. There are no regrets in such a life. To him many talents were given and he used them for the benefit of his race. In his own sphere he was the peer of any man.

            To his son, his wife, his father, he leaves a rich heritage. A name unsullied, a life unblemished, and a memory unsoiled. To them also he leaves the assurance that in the Hereafter there shall be a reunion “where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest”.

            The floral offerings were perhaps the greatest and most beautiful ever seen in Caddo. Dozens and dozens came form friends he had made in other places. And the funeral as attended by many people from distant points.

            His epitaph is written in the history of Caddo. The marks of his life are in every public enterprise. And his crowning glory is his influence upon the little fellows with whom he come in daily contact in his Sunday School.