"In memory of Rev. Jesse Dodson; born November 22, 1752; died November 22, 1843. A minister of the gospel sixty years." (Tombstone record, Eastanallee Church.)
The deceased was born in Halifax County, Va. His first settlement in Tennessee was in Claiborne County. From there he went to Middle Tennessee. In 1819 he came to the Hiwassee Purchase, making a settlement in McMinn County, a few months before the county was "erected." On the Eastanallee is a house still standing, I believe, built ninety-eight years ago by Jesse Dodson.
Soon after his settlement in the Hiwassee district he began pioneer work. He and seven others constituted themselves into the Eastanallee Church. He and Silas Witt organized New Hopewell. He and James Courtney founded the Hiwassee Church. Salem Church was organized by him and Richard Wilson, while he and John Short were co-founders of the Friendship Church. He was preacher to and pastor of these and other churches for many years.
He was of Welsh extraction and had the Welsh fire. He was not trained to methodical sermonizing or systematic exposition of Scripture, but was earnest and fervent in exhortation, and was successful in revivals.
His wife was Ruth Dodson, of the same family lineage of Dodson pastors. Together, Jesse and Ruth raised 12 children whom all followed in their faith.
He lived to preach and exhort sinners to repentance about sixty-one years, and on his 91st birthday died in the triumph of a living faith.
Minister for 60 years
Ruth Dodson Dodson
1754–1828 (m. 1774)