Louis E. Dodds. Among the well-known native sons of Labette County who have passed their entire careers in this section and who have worked their way to positions of standing in various walks of life, Louis E. Dodds is a representative of the railway element. For more than a quarter of a century, Mr. Dodds has been identified with the Santa Fe Railroad system, and since 1903 has held the position of freight and passenger agent for this line at Cherryvale, where he has become very popular with the patrons of the road.
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Mr. Dodds was born in Labette County, Kansas, June 9, 1872, the only child of Abe Z. and Sarah (Barnes) Dodds. His grandfather was Zebra Dodds who, born in Scotland, emigrated to the United States as the first of the family to come to this country, and settled in the vicinity of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he passed the remaining years of his life in various occupations. Abe Z. Dodds was born in 1838, in Pennsylvania, where he was reared and educated, and in his youth learned the trade of millwright. At the age of twenty years he left the parental roof and went to Spencer, Indiana, where he followed his trade until the outbreak of the Civil war, when he enlisted in a regiment of Indiana volunteer infantry and served gallantly as a soldier of the Union until peace was declared between the North and the Sonth. With an excellent military record, the young soldier returned to his Indiana home and resumed his activities in his trade, but in 1871 answered the call of the West and came to Labette County as a pioneer. He found a ready need for his services in the erection of mills, and built all the first flour mills that were erected in this section, including structures at Coffeyville, Parsons, Cherryvale and Independence. Mr. Dodds did not live long, however, to enjoy his prosperity, as he passed away in 1874, at Nevada, Missouri, when his career had just begun, the hardships of army life having probably undermined his health and bastened his demise. He was a republican, but beyond exercising his right of franchise took little interest in political affairs. His religious membership was in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Dodds married Miss Sarah Barnes, who was born in 1845, in Indiana, and who survived her husband for many years, dying at Oherryvale, in 1908. Louis E. was their only child.
Louis E. Dodds received his early education in the public schools of Montgomery County and pursued his high school studies at Cherryvale, where he took nearly a four-year course. Leaving school in 1889, he accepted a position as clerk in a Cherryvale hotel, but in 1890 went to work for the Sants Fe Railroad, with which he has been connected ever since. His first position was that of yard clerk, and he was steadily promoted, as his ability and fldelity became recognized until 1903, when he was made station agent at Cherryvale, an office which he retains. Each year his duties have become more and more important and arduous, but Mr. Dodds has developed with his position and continues to handle its affairs in a manner eminently satisfying alike both to the road and to the traveling public. Both the passenger and freight departments are under his supervision and he has mastered thoroughly all the details pertaining to each, and his uniform courtesy and geniality have served to make him many friends. Mr. Dodds is the owner of his residence at No. 503 East Main Street, in addition to which he has a well cultivated and valuable farm of 160 acres located in Labette County, which he rents. He is a republican, but has never sought public preferment. Fraternally, he is connected with Cherryvale Lodge No. 137, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Cherryvale Chapter No. 86, Royal Arch Masons; St. Bernard’s Commandery No. 10, Knights Templar, of Independence; and Jayhawker Camp No. 913, Modern Woodmen of America, Cherryvale. He belongs also to the Commercial Club.
Mr. Dodds was married in 1894 at Neodesha, Kansas, to Miss Avarilla Eaton, daughter of the late B. Eaton, who for some years was engaged in the undertaking business at Neodesha, and to this union there has been born one son: Frank, a graduate of the Montgomery County High School, who is connected with the Midland Life Insurance Company, of Kansas City.