ORGenWeb Pioneer Biographies-Artemus Dodge

Oregon Pioneer Biographies


"Historical Atlas Map of Marion and Linn Counties, Oregon." Compiled, Drawn and published from Personal Examinations and Actual Surveys, by Edgar Williams and Co., San Francisco, California, 1878, reprinted by the Marion County Historical Society, 1975-76.

Artemus Dodge

Artemus Dodge was born in Waldo County, Maine, on the 14th of February, 1826; his ancestors were English and Irish, who came to American prior to the Revolutionary War; he lived in Waldo County until he was of age. Like most boys of his time, he had to work hard, and had no opportunity of going to school, nevertheless he graduated in the rough school of experience, which served to fit him for future struggles in life. When he was seventeen years old, he went to sea, bound for the port of Savannah, but was shipwrecked between Savannah and New Bedford. After this disaster he returned to the parental roof, and remained there until he was twenty-one years of age, when he commenced life for himself. His first work was lumbering during the Winter and farming during the Summer.

In 1848, he bought a piece of land, which he kept until 1850; he then sold it, and started for California by way of the Isthmus of Panama. In California he commenced mining on the Yuba River, but after a while he went to San Francisco, from whence he sailed for Portland in 1850. When at Portland he followed his old occupation of lumbering, furnishing the mills at Portland with logs for one year, when he went prospecting for a farm. He then went to Salem, and remained there a year. From Salem he went to Rogue River Valley, and purchased a ferry and took up a claim; this was in 1852. Here he remained about two years, and during this time he had almost constant trouble with the Indians, losing about $2,000 through them. He then sold out and returned to his old home in Maine. After a short time, he took a tour through the northwestern states, and finally settled in Iowa, where he bought a property. He remained in Iowa until 1857, when he sold out and went to Missouri, where he staid about eighteen months, engaged in farming and dealing in stock. He then fitted out ox teams for a journey to Oregon. The trip took five months to accomplish it, and proved a most trying and arduous one. He arrived in Walla Walla, in September, 1859. At Walla Walla, he pre-empted a claim, on which he remained four years. He then went to Linn County and purchased the farm which he now owns, and which is situated about three miles south of Lebanon, on the Lebanon and Brownsville wagon road. The farm is an excellent one for stock and grain, and contains about 860 acres. At one time he owned about 1,100 acres. In 1855, he married Miss Fanny Cilley, in Rock County, Wisconsin. She was the daughter of William Cilley.

Mr. Dodge is the father of fourteen children, eight of whom are living, two of whom are grown, and the remained living at home.

Mr. D. is a thorough farmer and a successful stock raiser, and has a large herd of horses, together with a band of sheep east of the mountains.

At the present time, Mr. Dodge is included among the solid men of Linn County, and his success has been attained by hard work and rigid economy.

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