Bernard Ogilvie & Jenny Salome (Perry) Dodge

Internationally Renowned Scientist and

Greenwood, Clark Co., Wisconsin's First High School Principle

 


 

Obits [Dodge, Bernard]   [Dodge, Jennie]

 

Bernard Ogilvie Dodge was hired as the first principle of the Greenwood, Wisconsin High School (pictured left) when that department was organized in 1894.  At the time he was just 22 years old.  English, German and Agriculture were offered.  Eva Miller and Mabel Varney became the first graduates.  Just before classes opened in 1898, Bernard married "Lena" Alvina Klippel in Juneau, Wisconsin (Vol. 2, pg. 298).  She was born March 3, 1876 and had joined the teaching staff at the school, becoming the first primary teacher.  They lived with Ezra and Josephine Donaldson in city of Greenwood.  Their neighbors were Dr. Ben and Lillian Churchill and Fred and Louisa Woodkey.  The couple apparently divorced as the 1910 Census recorded her as a 36 year old teacher in Milwaukee's 19th War and was listed as a cousin of William H. and Margret W. Thomson.  The 1920 Census indicated she was single/divorced and still teaching in Milwaukee and living in a rooming house.  By 1930, at the age of 56 she was living with Maurice and Helen Comer and their 8 yr. old daughter, Patty, in their Milwaukee home.  Lena was listed as an "aunt" and elementary school teacher who had been divorced for 24 years.  We believe she died in Broward Co., Florida in March, 1964.

 

 

Bernard Ogilvie Dodge

by William J. Robbins

 

[Complete Biography]

 

Bernard Ogilvie Dodge was born April 18, 1872, on his father's farm near Mauston, Wisconsin, and died August 9, 1960, at the age of 88, in New York City.  He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, member of Sigma Xi, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Foreign Member of the Linnean Society of London, Honorary Member of the British Mycological Society, Vice-President of the 7th International Botanical Congress at Stockholm, President of the Mycological Society and the Torrey Botanical Club, recipient of the Golden Jubilee Award of Merit of the Botanical Society of America, author of a textbook on Diseases of Ornamental Plants, and of over 150 papers dealing with the life histories, cytology, morphology, pathology and genetics of the fungi and with insects and other animal pests of plants.

 

Dodge, more than any other individual, laid the foundation for the genetics of Neurospara on which Tatum and Beadle based their work on the biochemical genetics of Neurospara for which they received the Nobel Prize.

 

When he received the Golden Jubilee Award of Merit of the Botantical Society of America, the citation read, "Bernard Ogilvie Dodge, whose perceptive researches into the taxonomy, evolution and pathological relations of the fungi have not been surpassed but only overshadowed by his discovery and exploration of Neurospara as a principle of genetical truth."

 

Dr. Dodge's father supplemented the income from his farm by some teaching in the local schools.  Though without either a high school or college education he had a great interest in, and wide acquaintance with, the writings of Shakespeare, Byron, Chaucer, Spencer, Pope, Dryden, Tennyson and others and would recite entire scenes from Shakespeare to his attentive family.  At the same time, he enjoyed reading Peck's Bad Boy or Josiah Allen at Saratoga and on one occasion called his sons from the field to hear him read dramatically an account of the Sullivan-Kilrain prize fight.

 

Dr. Dodge's mother bore her husband five sons and two daughters and lived the life of a pioneer's wife.  She had no more schooling than that provided by a district school, but she saw beauty in the common labor of the day, inspired her children with a love for music and at sixty-nine undertook the translation of a 61 page Spanish story into English.

 

His mother and father were happy in their family life and tough limited in formal education were inspired by a love of literature, music and learning.  This must have had a great influence in molding the attittudes and determining the motivation of Dr. Dodge.

 

Bernard Dodge spent the first twenty years of his life working on his father's farm.  He recalled that at the age of ten a bumper crop of sorghum required operation of the mill day and night during the rush period of syrup making.  At such time his father, two older brothers and he worked 18 hours at a stretch.  His job was to stand on the circling horse-power platform and drive the horses, walking sideways to avoid dizziness.  Dodge's stretch began at midnight--you can imagine the reluctance with which a boy of 10 came from his warm bed to drive the horses of the sorghum mill.  That winter, he had his first regular job--walking over a mile to the schoolhouse each morning with temperatures far below zero at times--to sweep out the schoolhouse and build the fire, at five cents each school day.

 

Perhaps because his help was needed on the farm, Bernard Dodge did not complete his high school education until he was 20 years of age.  He taught school and then entered the University of Wisconsin as a special student in 1896, but before the college year was completed his funds were exhausted and he found it necessary to return to teaching.  By the time he was 28 he could afford to resume his formal education and spent a year meeting the requirements for graduation from the Milwaukee Normal School.  To recoup his finances he once more returned to teaching, serving as high school principal at Algoma, Wisconsin.

 

In 1906 he married Jennie S. Perry, and in 1908 at the age of 36 returned to the University of Wisconsin where he completed the requirements for the Ph.B. degree in 1909.

 

In high school, Dodge had a three month's course in botany in which each student was required to collect and identify 75 plants, using the keys of Gray's School and Field Botany.  Dodge far exceeded the number required.  As a special student in 1896 at the University of Wisconsin, he became interested in the lower plants, especially the liverworts, largely because of the instruction given by Charles R. Barnes.  Then, while principal of the Algoma Hight School, on the way back from collecting for his class Spirogyra and Hydrodictyon in a local swamp, he met an elderly Bohemian tailor with his dog, his pipe and basket, leading his cow in for the evening milking.  Dodge learned that the curious objects in the basket were "Pilze" and that they were "Gut fur essen."  For the first time he found out what a mushroom looked like.  His interest aroused by this chance meeting, he collected fungi in the vicinity of Algoma, sent specimens to the University of Wisconsin for identification, bought Atkinson's book on mushrooms, and Mrs. Dodge presented him for Christmas, MacIllwain's "One Thousand Edible Mushrooms."  This chance meeting with the old Bohemian tailor was in Dodge's opinion, the lucky accident which led to his long and happy years investigating this fascinating group of plants.

 

At the University of Wisconsin, he came under the influence of R. A. Harper, at that time one of the great figures in American botany, who was soon to transfer to Columbia University.  At Harper's suggestion, Dodge decided to undertake graduate work and accepted a minor position as Assist and Research Fellow in Botany at Columbia.  At the age of 40, Dr. Dodge received the degree Doctor of Philosophy.

 

The accidental meeting with the Bohemian tailor and his basket of mushrooms aroused Dr. Dodge's interest in the fungi and discovery, by accident, that heat induced the germination of the ascospores of Neurospora, made genetical study of that fungus possible.

 

By 1928 the New York Botanical Garden had decided that it required a plant pathologist to maintain the health of its living collections and Dr. Dodge was appointed.  He remained in this position until he retired in 1947 to become Pathologist Emeritus and Consultant in Mycology.  After retirement, he continued to work in his laboratory until a few months before his final illness, making his way several times each week by subway, nearly an hour's journey, from his apartment in the vicinity of Columbia University to the New York Botanical Garden.

 

Dr. Dodge's concern with fungi as causes of disease extended from plants to animals, including man.  From 1928 to 1939 he served as Consultant in Mycology for the Presbyterian Hospital, New York City, and from 1929 to 1950 he was lecturer in Dermatology for the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.

 

For about 20 years he was responsible for the practical control of plant diseases and insect pests at The New York Botanical Garden--the rose garden was his special care and delight--and along with this burden pursued research in plant pathology, cytology and genetics.  In addition to all his other interests, Dr. Dodge was a Plant Pathologist.  During the nine years he served with the U. S. Department of Agriculture he was author and co-author of publications which included diseases of raspberries, blackberries and dewberries.  He always felt that his studies in systemic infection of rusts were among his best researches and he never lost his interest in the the rusts.  With his appointment at the New York Botanical Garden, his attention turned to the diseases of ornamental plants, especially those of Iris, Japanese cherries, roses, geraniums, cedars, marigolds, opuntias, Pachysandra, delphiniums and many others.

 

I never pass a young plane tree on the streets of New York and note the metal guard which protects the lower two feet or so without thinking of Dr. Dodge.  The Park Department of the City of New York asked Dr. Dodge to determine the cause of the death of the lower part of the trunk of young street-planted trees.  He found it was caused by the visits of dogs.

 

Dr. Dodge's interests were wide-ranging.  In his later years he was fascinated by phyllotaxy, the Fibonacci series and other designs in nature.  He would bring pine cones, snail shells, plant stems and other objects to the laboratory and pore over them in his spare time, calling the attention of others to their wonders.  But Dr. Dodge was essentially a teacher, and nothing pleased him more than to enthuse some beginner or collegue for the subject in which he took so great an interest, and few could resist him.  It is impossible to list all those who felt his influence.  They include Carl Lindegren, I. H. Herskowitz, Myron Backus, S. F. Pady, Jesse Singleton, Esther Zimmer Lederberg, Marjorie Swift, Alice Aronescu, F. Li Tai, Thomas Laskaris, George Bistis and many others.  One of his great satisfactions was to receive in 1958 a letter signed by eight members of the Algoma High School class of 1908 sending him greetings and expressing their gratitude for his patience, guidance and personal interest in them when he was their teacher and acknowledging the effect on them of his ideas and ideals and of his intense desire to impart his knowledge.

 

Dr. Dodge was a big man physically as well as mentally.  Blond, blue-eyed, fine-looking, he was over six feet in height and weighed 190 pounds in his prime.  He was proud of his strength and recalled that in his youth he carried 120 lbs. of wheat on his shoulder at threshing time.  He was modest to an extreme, a bit shy, not aggressive, friendly, cheerful, good-natured, never bitter--though some of his experiences might have so inclined a lesser man.  I never heard him make a mean remark about anyone.  He played no instrument but loved good music.  His quick, at time almost jerky, motions made one a little reluctant to be a passenger in his automobile (in 40 years of driving he never had an accident) and one was always a bit surprised that he could pick a single spore from an ascus with no more equipment than a sharpened sewing needle fixed in a simple wood handle.

 

His mental processes were quick also, often to the confusion of others whose habit of thought was more pedestrian.  At one time, he enjoyed a good cigar and smoked a pipe but gave up smoking completely in the early '30's as one individual's protest against what he considered to be an unjustified increase in the price of tobacco.  He was inclined to be a conservative in politics.  Formal religion does not appear to have been important in the lives of his parents--none of their seven children was baptized; he himself was affiliated with the Episcopal Church.

 

Dr. Dodge's career illustrates how a man favored by good health and a fine mind may overcome difficulties which would have frustrated completely one less highly motivated than he was.

 

Articles about Bernard Ogilvie Dodge

 

Seaver, F. J., 1947, Bernard Ogilvie Dodge.  Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 74: 197-198.

Rogers, D. P., 1953, Dr. Dodge's Neurospora.  Garden J. Ny. Y. Botanical GArden 3: 140-142.

Pirone, P. P., 1961, B. O. Dodge's contribution to plant pathology.  Bull. Torrye Bot. Club 88: 120-121.

Robbins, W. J. 1961, Bernard Ogilvie Dodge.  Science 133:741-742.

Ryan, F. J. and L. S. Olive 1961 The importance of B. O. Dodge's work for the genetics of fungi.  Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 88:118-120.

Tantum, E. L. 1961, Contributions of B. O. Dodge to biochemical genetics.  Bull.  Torry Bot. Club 88:115-118.

Rickett, H. W. 1961, Bernard Ogilvie Dodge (1872-1960_.  Taxon 10:65.

Nelson, C. T. 1962, Bernard Ogilvie Dodge.  Bull.  N. Y. Acad. Med. 38:117-119.

Robbins, W. J. 1962, Bernard Ogilvie Dodge.  Biograph. Mem. Nat. Acad. Sci., U. S. 36:84-124.

 

The following consists of excerpts from an unfinished autobiography:

 

Dodge, B. O., 1960 How Come.  Garden J. N. Y. Botanical Garden 10:205-206.

Notes

At the age of 22 years, B. O. Dodge served as principle for the Greenwood High School in 1894 and later became the principle of the Algoma Schools on Lake Michigan, Kewaunee Co., Wisconsin.  Mrs. Dodge was a first primary teacher in Greenwood in 1900.

Bernard Dodge was one of the first members of the Greenwood Silver & Reed Band (1880-1906).

Mrs. B. O. Dodge and M. S. Dodge drove to Neillsville and back Saturday. Greenwood Gleaner 3-16-1900. *It appears Bernard Ogilvie Dodge was married twice as his second marriage to Jennie Perry didn't take place until June 14, 1906.  Please contact us if you can supply his first wife's name.

In a letter recently received from B. O. Dodge, he says he has been on the go for the past month, having ridden nearly 1,000 miles on his wheel and as much by rail. At present he is studying in the University at Madison.  Greenwood Gleaner, 13 Jul 1900.

Additional Note added by Diane Noyes - disambear@gmail.com

 

     Bernard Dodge's first wife was Alvina Klippel 3/3/1874 - 1/1/1943 - Mauston, Wis.

     She married Bernard Dodge 8/20/1898 in Juneau Co Wis

 

Research


Name: Eldridge Gerry Dodge
Given Name: Elbridge G.
Surname: Dodge
Sex: M
Birth: 9 Dec 1828 in Grantham, NH
Death: 1 Jul 1921 in Mauston, Juneau Co., WI
Burial: Rock Valley Cemetery, Mauston, WI

Marriage 1 Mary Ann Nourse b: 27 Apr 1840 in Vershire, Orange Co., VT
Married: 4 Jul 1861 in Mauston, WI

Children


Earl Harold Dodge b: 19 May 1862 in Mauston, WI
Laura Estelle Dodge b: 14 Dec 1864 in Mauston, WI
Harper Lavert Dodge b: 16 May 1867 in Mauston, WI
Lillis Evelyn Dodge b: 18 Nov 1869 in Mauston, WI
Bernard Ogilvie Dodge b: 18 Apr 1872 in Mauston, WI (married Jennie Salome Perry, 14 Jun 1906 in Algoma, WI)
Roy Ethelburt Dodge b: 22 Jan 1875 in Mauston, WI
Morton Stanley Dodge b: 6 Aug 1878 in Mauston, WI

 

1880 Federal Census--Lindina, Juneau, Wisconsin
 Name Relation Marital Sex Race Age Nativity Occupation  F-Nativity M-Nativity
 E. G. Dodge  Self  M  Male  W  51  NH  Farming  NH  NH
 Mary A. Dodge  Wife  M  Female  W  40  VT  House Keeping  NH  NH
 Earle H. Dodge  Son  S  Male  W  18  WI  Farming  NH  NH
 Laura E. Dodge  Dau  S  Female  W  15  WI  At School  NH  VT
 Harper L. Dodge  Son  S  Male  W  13  WI  At School  NH  VT
 Lillis E. Dodge  Dau  S  Female  W  10  WI  At School  NH  VT
 Bernard O. Dodge  Son  S  Male  W  8  WI  At School  NH  VT
 Roy E. Dodge  Son  S  Male  W  5  WI  At School  NH  VT
 Marton S. Dodge  Son  S  Male  W  1  WI    NH  VT

 

Additional Census Records [1900]  [1910]  [1920]  [1930]

 

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