Wilburn Neal Dodds
The Mt. Vernon Register News published the following on Wednesday,
November 10, 1937 which reads:
Wilburn Neal Dodds, one of Mt. Vernon's most highly respected old citizens,
died early this morning at the family home, 214 South Seventeenth Street.
Death followed a long period of ill health.
Mr. Dodds was born April 3, 1858, in Knob Prairie, near what is now Waltonville,
and was a son of John and Emeline Dodds, well known people in their day.
Mr. Dodds was united in marriage with Miss Emma Frances Philip October 9, 1881,
and she with two sons, Harry of this city, and John of Denver, Colo., survive.
Two grandchildren survive. Two brothers, Wm. S. and John D. Dodds, preceded Mr. Dodds
in death, as did one sister, Mrs. Thos H. Mannen, of Waltonville. One sister,
Mrs. Susan Hirons of Waltonville, survives.
Funeral services will be held in the First M.E. Church tomorrow afternoon at 2
o'clock conducted by Dr. Harry C. Brown, and burial will follow in Knob Prairie
cemetery, near Waltonville. The body was taken to the undertaking parlors of O.B.
Fly & Sons, 107 North Tenth Street and prepared for burial, where it may be
viewed by friends at any convenient time up to the funeral hour tomorrow.
Of an intensely patriotic nature, Mr. Dodds served as a sergeant in Company K,
Illinois volunteer infantry in the Spanish American War in 1898. He proved a good
soldier, living up to his rule of giving wholehearted service in all the undertakings
of life. He was a member of Eben Swift Post, No 94, United Spanish War veterans, and
in the days of his health and strength took much interest in the organization, and the
patriotic principles for which it stands.
Born on a farm, Mr. Dodds spent his early life in farm pursuits, but located in
Mt. Vernon 49 years ago. He and his brother, John David Dodds, operated an extensive
livery business at Eleventh and Broadway, a number of years, the business at that time
being one of much importance. Later he served as a city policeman at different times
being most favorably known as a conscientious and efficient officer. Mr. Dodds, aside
from his many excellent personal qualities and virtues, will be best remembered as a
magistrate. For 25 or 30 years he served in one or the other of two offices of the
same nature, police magistrate of the city of Mt. Vernon and justice of the peace
of Mt. Vernon township. Mr. Dodds, in his long service as a magistrate was recognized
as a capable judge of the law, a fair and conscientious administrator of the law as
far asit was involved in the office of magistrate. His courteous treatment, his
consideration for unfortunates, brought before him on criminal charges, and fair dealing
with all concerned in civil and all other cases, combined to make him a most popular
man and official. His popularity through a long period of public service is attested
by the fact that even in Republican landslide years, he as a Democrat, received the
largest vote of any candidate of either party, being the only Democrat elected. Although
a consistent Democrat he won the support of people of all parties by reason of his fair
and honest disposition of the matters coming before him in his official capacity.
Personally, popular, of a kindly, friendly nature, he made and retained friends throughout
his long life, the friends of his youth being his friends until the end. To his personal
friends Mr. Dodds was universally known as Neal, while to many others, he was always
"Uncle Neal." His quiet, peaceful death was a fitting climax to a life of earnest honest
endeavor, of a spirit of live and let live, of good will toward others, with tolerance
for the weaknesses and fralities of the human family and with malice toward none, a
life in which the Golden Rule was exemplified as nearly as it can be in a modern world."
Submitted by: "Family Links"
Feb 25, 2003