Biography of Dr. Hiempsal S. Dodd

DR. HIEMPSAL S. DODD. Totheperson who closely applies himself to any occupation which he has chosen as his calling in life, there can only come one result, that of success and a high place in the esteem of those among whom his lot has been cast. Dr. Dodd is no exception to this rule, and he has also at all times manifested much interest in the building up of the sections in which he has made his home, and has given liberally of his means to this end. He is a native of Wooster, Ohio, born in 1828, a son of David and Mary A. (Pile) Dodd, natives of Pennsylvania, who were taken by their parents to Ohio and were liberally educated in Wayne County. The father and mother died in 1874 and 1883 respectively, having long been members of the New Jerusalem Church. The father was a farmer, and although he, himself, never participated in any war, he was descended from a Revolutionary soldier, and his brother Moses was in the War of 1812 and was a participant in the battle of Lundy’s Lane, where he was killed.

Samuel Dodd, the paternal grand-father of the subject of this sketch, was born in England, but at an early day came with his parents to this country and here he eventually took part in the war for independence. He was married in Pennsylvania to Dela Shelpman, a native of Germany, but who became a resident of this country with her parents when she was a child. While Samuel Dodd was serving in the Revolution he received a severe sabre wound in the head from a Hessian at the battle of Cowpens, but eventually recovered and became a successful farmer. The maternal grandfather of Dr. Dodd, John Pile, was a Pennsylvanian, as was his wife Elizabeth, but they became very early settlers of Ohio and located at Wooster when the place consisted of one log house. Mr. Pile inherited honorable, thrifty and industrious habits from his German ancestors and reared a large family of children on his well-conducted and valuable little farm in the Buckeye State. The children born to David and Mary Dodd were as follows: Anna, who resides near Cleveland, Ohio, is the widow of Albert Wager, who left a handsome fortune; Hiempsal S.; Marion H., a teacher of considerable renown at Burbank, Ohio; Ada, widow of Henry Hassler, a successful business man of Wooster, Ohio; Harvey M., a farmer and stockman of Cass County, Missouri; Harrison, who was the mayor of Independence, Kan., was with Kilpatrick’s cavalry during the Civil War, was in a number of battles, but was not captured or wounded during his service; David P., a farmer and stockman in the vicinity of Caldwell, Idaho; Samuel C., a soldier in the Federal Army for three months, and is now residing in Marion County, Arkansas; John resides on the old homestead in Ohio; and Thomas, who died in 1889, and was the owner of a foundry and machine shop at Belleville, Ohio. His widow Sadie E. (Seabright) Dodd, now lives with her parents in Fredericksburg, Ohio.

Doctor received a common-school education in his native State, but being a diligent student outside of school hours, he became a thorough and profound scholar. In early life he took up the study of medicine, but did not finish his researches in this science until after the war was over. When starting out for himself it was as a clerk in a store at Wooster, and was a clerkmate of Hon. A. T. Seeberger of Chicago, treasurer World’s Fair. He remained there a few years, but being taken with a severe case of the “gold fever” in 1850, he went to California by water, where he followed mining and lumbering with fair success until 1855, at which time he returned to Ohio, and the same year was married to Miss Catherine C., daughter of Henry Neal, a native of Ireland, whose wife was of German extraction. Mrs. Dodd was born near Carlisle, Penn., but was principally reared in Ohio, and has borne the Doctor one son: Neal Dodd, who is one of Marion County’s most able, wealthy and enterprising citizens. He has served several terms as circuit and county clerk of Marion County, being elected to these positions against great political odds, and each time with greatly increased majorities.

Immediately after the Doctor’s marriage he moved to Columbus City, Iowa, where he followed farming and stock breeding, owning the celebrated Elmwood Farm until August 25, 1862, when he enlisted in Company C, Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, as a private, but was at once placed on detached duty to assist in the organization of a post hospital at Davenport, Iowa. He was appointed hospital steward and later, when the hospital was converted into a United States general hospital, he was given the position of hospital steward, which he held until April 25, 1866, at which time he was relieved by his own request. This work, with the able instructions of his friend John M. Adler, M. D., surgeon in charge, gave him a thorough and practical experience in medicine and surgery, and he very soon after launched into an extensive and remunerative private practice at Davenport, where he remained until 1868, when Erie, Kan., became his home, which change was made for the benefit of his health. In 1872 he sought a still more moderate climate by locating in the mountains of Marion County, Arkansas, about half way between Yellville and Lead Hill, in the heart of the pine timbered country. Here he at once built a large lumber and grist mill and has ever since done a prosperous business in this line. He has always led an active and honorable life, has made a comfortable fortune and has established a reputation above reproach. He has been one of the most active men in the northern part of Arkansas in advertising and showing to the world the untold mineral wealth of Marion and adjoining counties, and in this work he has spent lavishly both of time and means and still gives it much of his attention. When he first came to this region there were but two post offices in Marion County, but he at once established an office at his mill and named it Doddville, which was afterward changed to Dodd City, and of which he has been postmaster up to the present time. Many years ago he was made a Mason at Davenport, Iowa, and still holds membership in Davenport Lodge No. 37. He was formerly a Whig in politics, and was the first of his father’s family to identify himself with the Republican party, of which he has ever since been an uncompromising member. He is an active and earnest worker for the men and measures of this party, and by his able and straightforward manner in presenting his views, and his genial and amiable disposition, he has made no enemies in this Southern country, but, on the contrary, everybody is his friend.


A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region: comprising a condensed general history, a brief descriptive history of each county, and numerous biographical sketches of prominent citizens of such counties. Chicago: Goodspeed Brothers Publishers. 1894.

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