Godwin Volney Dorsey, the only son of James Maxwell and Martha (McComos) Dorsey, was born in Oxford, Butler county Ohio, November 17, 1812. He was a graduate of Oxford College, now known as the Miami University, and in 1836 was graduated in the Ohio Medical College. He was a prominent physician of Miami county and was an able politician. For many years he was president of the Miami County Medical Society, also a member of the State Medical Society. He was the author of a number of professional papers, which appeared in the medical journals, and established for him the reputation of being a learned and able physician.
In the political field he was a leader in the Democratic party until the formation of the Republican party, when he united with that organization and was one of its trusty leaders up to the date of his death. As a Democrat he was a member of the constitutional convention of 1850-51 and was very active in its deliberations. He was twice nominated for congress by his party, and twice defeated. He was a delegate to the national Democratic convention in 1856, and supported James Buchanan as the Democratic candidate for president. In 1857 he was the Democratic candidate for state auditor. In 1860 he supported Stephen A. Douglas for president. When Fort Sumter was fired upon he stood by the old flag, and was a bold uncompromising Union man and united with the Republican party. In 1861 he was elected state treasurer and was re-elected in 1863. In 1864 he was a delegate to the national Republican convention which re-nominated Abraham Lincoln, and in the same year was chairman of the Republican state executive committee. He was an elector on the Grant and Colfax ticket of 1868. For twenty years he was a member of the board of trustees of the Miami University, was president of the Citizens' National Bank, of Piqua, and was a successful business man.
In July, 1836, he was married to Miss -- McCorkle, daughter of Hon. John McCorkle, who bore him eight children and died in 1855. In 1856 he married Mrs. L. P. Morrow, of Indianapolis, Indiana. After a busy life and an honorable career Dr. Dorsey died in Piqua on the 15th day of May, 1885.
He was a man of scholarly attainments, well versed in the classics, and was also a man of thought and was a leader of men. He was a good speaker on the political platform, not so eloquent as logical, but was a man of firm convictions and had the courage to advocate whatever he believed to be right, whether it was popular or unpopular. He will long be remembered in Miami county.
Another of Piqua's prominent citizens was Godwin Volney Dorsey, M.D., who was born in 1812. He became treasurer of state, being elected during the exciting Brough-Vallandigham campaign of 1863, though his first elevation to that office took place in 1861. Dr. Dorsey was originally a Jeffersonian Democrat, but in 1849 he represented Miami, Darke, and Shelby Counties in the legislature as a Whig. From that time on, covering a period of many years, he filled various offices of trust. He was a man of comprehensive erudition and a profound scholar. He translated the best part of Horace, some Greek tragedies and a number of Latin medieval hymns. In therapeutics and surgery Dr. Dorsey stood at the head of his profession and his death was a loss to the city which he had honored by his learning and presence.