Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Dodson Family of Humboldt Tennessee

The Dodson family are kin to the Moran's through at least two surnames, Blakemore and Scott.  Albert Russell Dodson was the son of Watkins Hopkins Dodson and Jerusha Ann Blakemore.   W.H. and Jerusha were married in Gibson County TN in 1847. He was a prosperous merchant owning many business interests including a foundry, mill and plow factory.  

Albert R. Dodson was a graduate of Southwestern Baptist University in Jackson TN.  He also attended Eastman's Business College in Poughkeepsie, New York where he completed a course of study in business. He returned to Humboldt and began a successful career in the banking industry.  I was struck immediately by the similarity of his life to that of Jim and Harrell Moran.  First they were the sons of industrious, financially well off families.  Second, all three were well educated and third, they all went into the banking business. 


Albert married Martha Bell Scott who was known as Mattie on January 2, 1889 in Weakley County Tennessee.  Mattie was the daughter of William Carroll Scott and Mary Susan Clement of Dresden. Albert and Mattie lived in a large Victorian home in Humboldt that is so similar to Moran Place it leads me to believe that both families used the same George Barber floor plan with minor variations.  Just one more similarity between the Dodson and Moran families.






Mary Lemire Dodson
Mattie presented her husband with a baby girl on October 24th that same year.  She was named Mary Lemire Dodson.  The Moran boys older sister was named Fannie Lemire Moran.  Fannie was two years younger than her cousin Mattie.  It seems possible that Mary Lemire was partially named after Fannie.   I don't know if Mattie and Albert had any other children but if they did it appears that Mary was the only one to survive past infancy.

Mary Lemire Dodson

















Mary Lemira Dodson Callahan
and daughter Catherine.
On October 30, 1917, Mary Lemire Dodson married Malcolm Whitfield Callahan in Gibson County, Tennessee. Malcolm was the son of Perry Commodore Callahan and Catherine Paris Howard. Malcolm served as a Captain in the US Navy during World War I.    On October 24, 1919 their first child was born and they named her Catherine.  When Malcolm was sent overseas in 1926 the three of them boarded the S.S. President Cleveland and set sail for Shanghai China.  

On Mary's passport application she was described as 35 years old, 5 feet 3 inches tall, forehead medium, eyes hazel, with a straight nose.  Her mouth was small and she had a round chin. She had light brown hair, was fair complected with an oval face. She is pictured with their daughter Catherine in the passport application. She is listed as Mary Lee rather than Mary Lemira.

They are back in the US by 1930 and they actually appear twice in the 1930 Census.  On an enumeration dated April 14 1930 Malcolm, Mary and Catharine are living in Norfolk Virginia and Malcolm's occupation is "Lieutenant".  On another enumeration with the same date, April 14 1930, Mary, Catherine and Martha, who was born in 1927, are living in Humboldt Tennessee with Edd Lewis and his wife.  However by 1940 Malcolm, Mary, Catherine and Martha are living in Washington DC and their "inferred" residence for 1935 was listed as Rural, San Diego CA.  

Malcolm Whitfield Callahan died in 1958.  Mary Lemira Dodson Callahan passed on in 1974.  Their daughter Catherine "Cay" Dodson Callahan had a career in the Navy like her father.  Her headstone indicates she was a Lieutenant Commander serving in World War II and Korea.  She died in 1998 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery with her parents.

This information comes from the press release issued at the time of her death:
"Catherine Dodson "Cay" Callahan, 78, a retired Navy lieutenant commander and World War II veteran whose duties included service as a legislative liaison officer to the U.S. Congress, died of pneumonia November 7, 1998 at Suburban Hospital, Washington.

Commander Callahan, who lived in Washington, was born to a Navy family in Nashville, TN.  She grew up on naval installations in Chongqing, China; Manila; and various U.S. cities.

She began her naval career as a member of a graduating class of WAVE Midshipmen from Smith College in 1943.  As a young communications officer, she served on the staff of Fleet Adm. Ernest J. King throughout World War II.

After her military retirement in 1961, she became special assistant to the executive director of the U.S. Catholic Conference and later executive director of the National Society of the Daughters of American Colonists.

She was a member of the Chi Omega fraternity, the National Society of Colonial Dames of America, the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Army and Navy Club.  She also was  a past president of the National Society of the Daughters of the Barons of Runnymede.

She leaves no immediate survivors." 

Malcolm and Mattie's daughter Martha Ann Callahan married Wade H. Atkinson of Fairfax Virginia. Martha died December 8, 1997 in Gaithersburg, VA.  She was a graduate of George Washington University.  She was a research and administrative assistant to Sen Andrew. Shoeppel of Kansas during the 1950's.  In addition Martha belonged to many organizations including the DAR, Colonial Dames of America, the Army and Navy Club to name a few.  

Though the family connection has long since been forgotten the pictures of Mary Lemire Dodson that we found in Moran Place have helped bring us closer to those past connections.

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