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Capt William Bigelow Dodd

Capt William Bigelow Dodd

Birth
Bloomfield, Essex County, New Jersey, USA
Death 23 Aug 1862 (aged 51)
New Ulm, Brown County, Minnesota, USA
Burial Saint Peter, Nicollet County, Minnesota, USA
Plot grounds behind the church
Memorial ID 20968 · View Source
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Military Officer: (Captain), Founded the City of Saint Peter, Minnesota in 1853, Built the 'Dodd Road' a military road as commissioned for the United States Government from Fort Atkinson, Iowa to Fort Snelling, near St. Paul, Minnesota. Captain William B. Dodd, is a well known figure in Minnesota's history. He was described as a great path finder and heroic. He became intrigued about what he heard about the newly formed Minnesota Territory. He was present at the 1851 signing of the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux between the U. S. Government and the Dakota Indians, just north of the present city of St. Peter.
In the Spring of 1853, Captain Dodd made a claim of 160 acres, founding a townsite he named Rock Bend, the town's name was changed in 1855 to St. Peter. In 1854, Captain Dodd went back east and returned to St. Peter with his new wife Harriet Newell. In 1854, the first church service was conducted at the Dodd home. Captain Dodd donated land for the construction of the first Episcopal church, named after Mrs. Dodd's home church in New York City, Church of the Holy Communion.
Captain Dodd was known as a military man, he fought in the battle of Spirit Lake, Iowa in 1850. In 1854, The War Department commissioned Captain Dodd to oversee the construction of a new military road from Fort Atkinson, Iowa to Fort Snelling, in Mendota, near St. Paul, Minnesota. The Road is known as the Dodd Road. He was promised payment by Congress, but never was.
In 1862, the Dakota Indians, had not been paid either, which was promised in the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux. The Dakota Conflict started in Cottonwood County, and ended with the hanging of 38 Dakota men in Mankato, Minnesota. New Ulm was attacked and Captain Dodd headed a group of St. Peter men to help defend that city. Captain Dodd and others were behind the lines, he saw what he thought were reinforcements, and went to meet them, instead he received his death wound. He received three balls near his heart, his horse had also been killed. Captain Dodd was helped to a nearby shelter, where he died in moments. He was briefly buried in New Ulm. In November, 1862, his body was re-buried in St. Peter with high military honors, on the grounds of the Church of the Holy Communion. He was later joined by his wife and two children. The present stone church was built in 1869 and dedicated in 1870. The Dodd graves are the only ones located near St. Peter's main business district.
Captain Dodd was married previously and had two children by his first wife. His son, John Van Ingen Dodd, served as a legislator from St. Paul.

Bio by: David McGuire


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 25 Mar 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 20968
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Capt William Bigelow Dodd (21 Apr 1811–23 Aug 1862), Find A Grave Memorial no. 20968, citing Church of the Holy Communion Churchyard, Saint Peter, Nicollet County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .