100 years of Dodge
By Chris Erickson
This weekend will be the start of centennial season in the area, with the city of Dodge celebrating its 100th birthday. The event also marks an officially sanctioned event for the state’s 125th birthday party, since the celebration found sponsorship earlier this year from the North Dakota Historical Society.
The city was first named Dodge after a suggestion was made by the man promoting the town-site in honor of the man that bought it. George W. Dodge, a banker from Minnesota, purchased the town-site and established Dodge State Bank in 1915.
Although the name was officially adopted, the residents of the area would have rather it be named Loring, after a post office three miles distant.
In 1914 the Northern Pacific rail line reached the city. After the rail line and bank were built, then the Louis Kamins store and a building that housed the Dodge Dispatch, which operated from 1916 to 1921. What followed included grocery stores, a general store, a hotel, meat markets, garage, real estate office, implement shops, lumberyards, hardware stores, banks, cream station, telephone exchange, livery and a pool hall. Additionally, a grain elevator and underground mine also started operations.
By the early 20s a school had been built which boasted 137 pupils by 1925. The 30s, as for many places, were shaped by the Great Depression. Residents relied heavily on the train for both cargo and travel. An auditorium was built that offered a place for social gatherings.