JAMES DODGE, one of the leading hardware merchants of Normal, has been a resident of the Prairie State since
1878, and established his present business three years later. He carries the largest stock of hardware in Normal
and is a straightforward business man and citizen in every sense which the term implies. Mr. Dodge was born in
Chautauqua County, N. Y., June 1, 1834, his parents being William and Mary Ann (Kelley) Dodge. William Dodge was
born and reared in the Empire State, and the mother of our subject was of Irish birth and parentage. Their household
circle consisted of two children—Angeline, the wife of M. M. Zeigler, of Lancaster, Wis., and our subject.
James Dodge was fully orphaned when an infant, by the death of both parents. He was then received into the family of his grandfather, John Kelley, and remained with him until fourteen years of age, during which time, in 1850, the family removed to Grant County, Wis. Here our subject commenced to learn the trade of a brickmason and plasterer, followed this for two years, and then took up the tinner's trade with his brother-in-law, and was afterward associated in business with him until 1857. He then removed to Platteville, Wis., where he engaged in business for himself, remaining there until 1878. That year he came to Illinois, stopped first four months at Belleflower, then six months in Bloomington, whence he came to Normal and engaged with George Champion until 1881. He then established his present business which he has operated successfully since that time.
Mr. Dodge was married, Dec. 16, 1858, to Miss Elizabeth Murphy, a native of Lawrence County, Ill., and the daughter of William V. and Elizabeth Murphy. Of this union there are three children living—Mary Ann, the wife of Lee Stewart, of Bloomington; Abner M., and James E. Mrs. Elizabeth Dodge departed this life on the 26th of March, 1882, and Mr. Dodge was again married, Oct. 16, 1884, to Mrs. Elizabeth A. Witham, of Normal. In politics our subject is a stanch Democrat, religiously a member in good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and socially belongs to the I. O. O. F. A view of Mr. Dodge's business house is shown on another page of this work.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 710. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.