James N. Dodson

JAMES N. DODSON, city treasurer of Weir City, and one of its prominent citizens and substantial business men, was born in Johnson County, Missouri, in 1855, and is a son of William and Sarah (Farris) Dodson.

William Dodson was born in 1813 on the site of the city of St. Louis, Missouri, when it was but a little collection of log houses, inhabited chiefly by French traders. He learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed in connection with farming all his active life. His first removal was to Howard County, Missouri, thence to Johnson County and later, in 1859, to Henry County, where he located in the vicinity of Calhoun. His death took place at Lewis Station, Henry County, September 20, 1879, at the age of 66 years. In political views, he was in accord with the Republican party. William Dodson was twice married, the two children of his first union being,—Mary, who is a resident of Joplin, Missouri; and Henry, who resides at Bartlesville, Indian Territory. Henry Dodson enlisted in the Civil War in 1861, entering the 7th Regiment, Missouri Vol. Cav., as a private, and rose successively to the rank of 2nd lieutenant, 1st lieutenant and captain. He has been a prominent figure in political life, and served two years as sheriff of Henry County, Missouri, and two years as sheriff of Butler County, Kansas. The second marriage of William Dodson was to Sarah Farris, who was born in Missouri in 1828, and died September 5, 1893. Their surviving children are as follows: John T., of Joplin, Missouri; Martin F., of Seattle, Washington; James N.; Nealia, of Lowry City, Missouri; Charles J., of Pittsburg, Kansas; Jennie, of Weir City, Kansas; and Robert, of Lowry City, Missouri.

James N. Dodson was four years old when his parents moved to Henry County, Missouri, and settled on a farm, and he assisted in its cultivation until he was 22 years of age. Then he began to work in the coal mines of Henry County, where he continued for 10 years. In 1880 he married and six years later moved with his family to Butler County, Kansas, and embarked in mercantile pursuits at Leon. Two years later he moved his family and stock of goods to Bennetts, Arkansas. Mr. Dodson carried on his store in connection with the butchering business, from November, 1887, to May, 1888, when he moved to Huntington, Arkansas. There he remained from May to August 1, 1888, and then settled at Weir City. Mr. Dodson worked in the coal mines at Weir City, that being the leading industry, until 1890, when he accepted a position in the general store of the Kansas & Texas Coal Company, at Weir City, beginning as a grocery clerk and through effeciency rising to the position of grocery manager. He continued there until 1900, when he bought a half interest in the general store of the J. R. Crowe Coal & Mining Company at Columbus.

After this purchase, the stock was moved from Columbus to Stippville, Cherokee County, and the firm style became J. N. Dodson & Company, which was continued for two years. Then Mr. Dodson sold his interest in the business at Stippville to the J. R. Crowe Coal Company, and entered into a mercantile venture at Weir City. In 1902 he purchased the store of B. S. Abbott. This store is one of the leading business establishments in the city, its management and operation reflecting great credit upon Mr. Dodson.

In 1880 Mr. Dodson was married, at Montrose, Missouri, to Mary Mahon, who was born in 1857 at Peoria, Illinois. They have a family of eight children, viz: John W., born at Lewis Station, Henry County, Mssouri, who married Eva Pollock, of Scammon, Kansas, and has one child,—John James, born at Weir City, Kansas; Winnie and Mary, born at Lewis Station; Raymond, born in Butler County, Kansas; and Ella, William, Joseph and Irene, born at Weir City. The family attend the Catholic Church.

Mr. Dodson has been closely identified with the business interests and political affairs of Weir City for a number of years, and has frequently been honored by the Republican party, of which he is a stanch member, by election to responsible offices. He has been a very useful member of the School Board and the City Council, and at present is the city's capable treasurer. His fraternal associations are with the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Dodson is a man who commands universal respect, and is a worthy representative of the city.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, instructor from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 2/28/97.


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Tom & Carolyn Ward
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