DAVENPORT PAST AND PRESENT
CAPT. LeROY DODGE.
Capt. Dodge was born in December, 1811, in Herkimer county, New York. His father was a farmer, and his sons received such educational opportunities as are usually given to farmer's children - hard work in the Summer, and the advantages of a District School in the Winter. Mr. Dodge made his debut in active life, outside of the farm, as a school teacher - which pursuit he followed some three winters. Of his success in this department, we cannot speak positively - but as he possesses a peculiarity of doing everything well, it can be inferred with a tolerable degree of certainty, that his endeavors to "teach the young idea to shoot" we-e rewarded with due and proper results.
In 1833, he started West - spent one year in Ohio, then footed it to lake Michigan, crossing in a small schooner to Detroit, and in due time reached Chicago. He finished his pedestrian tour by footing it to Joliet, and from thence to Dubuque, at which place he obtained a situation as Clerk, with G. W. Atchison.
He remained in this situation one and a half years, and then commenced life upon the Father of Waters-the Mississippi. He started as Clerk, and fought his way by dint of perseverance and industry from the Clerk's desk to the Wheel House, and from thence to the "Captain's Office"-evincing throughout these transformations the indisputabel fact that labor is the price of success. In the Fall of the same year-1836-that he commenced on the River, he located in Rockingham, and has carried on farming in connection with steamboating ever since. In 1852, he represented Scott county in the State Legislature, as a Democrat-a character, by the way, which he has ever uncompromisingly sustained.
He was married in 1846, but subsequently lost his wife. He married again, and the smae unfortunate case has again resulted-he is once more a widower.
Capt. Dodge is still engaged in steamboating, although he does not, as formerly, naviagte the whole upper river-his trips being confined to running a packet between Keokuk and Davenport. His Boat-the "Ben Campbell"-is a well known and favorite institution among those who have had occasion for river transportation along that portion of the Mississippi.
Like many of our pioneers, Capt. Dodge has accumulated an ample competence, but unlike that of many others, it is in nowise the result of accident. No Genius of the Lamp erected it in a single night-no sudden and unexpected fluctuations of fortune's tide carried him where he now is. Every stone in the superstructure of his fortune was hewn and piled by his own arm-and commenced under circumstances that would have discouraged any one with less perseverance than he possesses. The most marked trait in his character is determination-it is seen in all his actions, and its firm unflinching character is traced in every feature and expression of his face, as though wrought in iron.