Union County Genealogical Society

Dodge Township

In 1853, Jonas and Lewis Bragg settled on section 12.  The first settlements, as in other parts of the country, were along the streams.  The rich, fertile land along both sides of the Grand River furnished ideal locations for families seeking new homes on the western frontier.  This fact was recognized by William, Henry and Daniel Groesbeck who selected choice farms on the border of what became Dodge and New Hope Townships.
Other settlers were soon moving in and recognizing the value of the prairie lands selected farms further back from the river.  Among them were Stancil and Solomon Moffit in 1854, followed in a short time by Henry Ritter on section 27, Marion Cary on section 26, Joseph Thompson on sections 9 and 10, Beson Barker, Gideon Chaplin, J. H. Marley, J. D, Turner and others.
The early settlers realized that with the combination of natural shelter, good water and unlimited pasture, the conditions were ideal for the raising of cattle and horses and made preparations to go quite extensively into the stock business.  There was several pure bred herds of beef and dairy cattle, some pure bred hog breeders and one farm raised percheron horses.
Dodge Township first received its name in an order from County Judge James B. Dawson on 15 March 1856 in a warrant directing Lewis Bragg of the township that an election be held in said township at the house of Henry Groesbeck on the first Monday in April 1856.  It is not known for sure from where the name Dodge for the new township came but it was popularly supposed to have been named in honor of Grenville Dodge.  Following his graduation with a degree in civil engineering in 1851, Dodge moved to Iowa where he settled in the Missouri River city of Kanesville (Council Bluffs) and for the next decade he surveyed for railroads including the Union Pacific.   He distinguished himself during the Civil War as a Colonel of the 4th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment.  In 1863, Dodge was summoned by President Abraham Lincoln who was interested in Dodge's railroad expertise, and asked him to divine a location along the Missouri River where the Union Pacific Railroad's transcontinental railroad should have its initial point. In May 1866, he resigned from the military and, with the endorsement of Generals Grant and Sherman, became the Union Pacific's chief engineer and thus a leading figure in the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.   Information from 1908 Union County History by George A Ide
Dodge Township had no towns, post offices or railroads.  The township has three cemeteries, Bragg, Cedar Grove and Dodge Center.