Elias B. Dodson, Co. F, 7th Pennsylvania Reserves

History of Luzerne County, Pa., by H.C. Bradsby, 1893; Dodson Genealogy, 1600-1907 by Thompson Prettyman Ege.

Elias B. DODSON, farmer, P.O. Prichard, was born in Hunlock Township, February 2, 1833, a son of George and Hannah (Seeley) Dodson, the former born in 1805 in Huntington Township, where he was reared and educated, the latter born in Salem Township in 1806. George was a son of Elias Dodson, who was also a native of Huntington Township, and Elias was a son of a Dodson, who removed from Kentucky in a very early day, locating to Huntington. Elias Dodson was an extensive farmer, owning for several years, 100 acres of land, which he sold in order to purchase his more desirable property, on which he built a gristmill and sawmill, which he operated to great extent and with marked success. Not only was he a thorough man of business, butt an able preacher in those days. His exhorting was practical and while his life and heart expressed his words and thoughts, his hands were not slack in good works on the principle that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” He caused to be built in Huntington one of the first Baptist Churches in the township. He lived a life of usefulness, reared a family of seven children, and died at the age of eighty years. His son, George began life as a farmer in Columbia County (having removed from Huntington Township) and here he made his home until his death, which took place in 1888, when he was aged eighty-three years. He was a good man and believed in a universal salvation as the free gift of his having God. He was a stanch Whig and a strong man in his party, from his majority till his death never missing an election. His farm contained 175 acres, and was a model in perfection and beauty. He reared a family of ten children al whom grew to maturity and eight of whom are now living. Elias B., being the third in the family. Our subject was educated at the common schools of Columbia County, and in his younger days followed the lumber business, like other young men working out by the day and month. This he followed successfully, from a financial point, until he reached his twenty-eighth year, at which time his country was threatened with the dark clouds of Rebellion, causing every lover of the Union to defend the integrity of his country and save the flag. He mustered into the United States service as a member of Company F, Seventh Pennsylvania Reserves, in which he displayed acts of daring heroism, during his term of service participating in all the principal battles of the Army of the Potomac. After his term expired, he returned to enjoy a citizen’s life. During his army experience, and in some of his wanderings outside the camp, he was captured by a fair daughter of the South, who allowed him to go on parole on promise of returning to her quarters to report periodically and like all good soldiers, he obeyed his commander in the letter and spirit. As soon as Mr. Dodson was discharged from the United States service, he surrendered himself to his fair custodian, Miss Mary A. Brooks, daughter of George and Elizabeth Brooks, of Virginia, and was married to her, July 5, 1864. The happy couple then removed to the more peaceful North, remaining until the close of the war, when they removed to Virginia, where they resided five years. Mr. Dodson being engaged as a lumber manufacturer of lumber. In 1881 he bought a tract of 180 acres of timberland in which he built a sawmill, and became extensively engaged in the business. After the timber is exhausted, he will turn his attention to farming, with a view to stock raising. Our subject is a courteous, genial companion enjoying life and making the best of everything. He is a member of the G.A.R. and has held several Township offices. The family born to Mr. and Mrs. Elias B. Dodson consists of three daughters: Hattie, Nettie and Alice, cultured and refined ladies.


Elias B. Dodson (b. Feb 2, 1833; m. July 5, 1864; d. July 8, 1903), the subject of this sketch, after his school days, in which even then he manifested the energy and spirit which predicted the man of ability and success in business, life and influence, at once embarked in lumbering in his native forests of Columbia and Luzerne counties. This was a very profitable business in that region, even in that day of plentiful supply.

When the call for volunteers came in 1861, to defend their country from dissolution, he promptly obeyed, and at the age of 28, enlisted for the war, Co. F, 7th Penna Reserves. He participated in all the principal battles of the Army of the Potomac. During the occasional respite of arduous duties and rest in camp life, he formed a friend in the midst of foes, and a pleasant hour now and then, in a Southern home and congenial company. When the war was over and he had received his honorable discharge, he returned to Virginia to claim this fair lady of the South as his bride. He again returned to Virigina and took up the business of his young manhood there for five years. Then returned to his Pennsylvania home, bought a large tract of valuable timber land, erected saw mills and continued in his profitable business with success for the rest of his busy years.

He was a congenial companion, a member of the G.A.R., influential in the affairs of state, and served well in the local offices of his county.

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Currently a resident of Burke, Virginia - I'm originally from the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have been a student of the Pennsylvania Reserves since 1997 and thoroughly enjoy telling their story. By trade I'm a former IT Professional but presently working as a Letter Carrier for the United States Postal Service.