Caddo Herald, February, 1924
Town is Shocked by Death of W. F. Dodd
Caddo and community was numbed by the news Saturday evening that W. F. Dodd was dead, stricken with apoplexy.
Up until 5:30 in the afternoon he was attending to business in his store as usual, had a hearty good word for all who came in, and was apparently in as good health as at any time in his life.
His son, Clarence, had gone to supper, and he was behind the prescription case when he called to Fleming Clower to call a doctor. Dr. Grassham soon arrived and found Mr. Dodd backward across the sink. The stricken man was taken to his office in the rear of the store, and at 6:12 was dead. Just 42 minutes from blooming health to silent death. He was unconscious form the time of being stricken. Friends quickly gathered around, but their prayers and hopes were unavailing. Mrs. Dodd came to the store before the final demise.
Tender hands of numerous friends took the body to his home on West Buffalo street, where it was prepared for burial. Through the night and Sunday hundreds of friends visited the family, offered condolences and dropped a tear of sadness, for indeed a friend to every man was gone Beyond.
The funeral was held Monday afternoon at the Baptist church conducted by Rev. Hardin and Rev. Rylant, pastor and former pastor of the Baptist church. Though a gloomy day, with skies overcast, the building was not nearly large enough to contain the throng of sorrowing friends who came to pay their last respects.
As a fitting tribute to the man, and the life he had lived in our town, every store and office was closed from one until four o’clock during the funeral. School was dismissed at noon.
As a further tribute the Odd Fellows took part in the funeral services, Mr. Dodd having formerly been a member of that fraternal order.
The body was taken in charge by the Caddo Masonic Lodge and at the grave the funeral rites of the lodge were administered.
Mr. Dodd was fifty-eight years of age. In the full bloom of a vigorous and useful manhood he was stricken and taken away. He came to Caddo in 1897 twenty-seven years ago. His years of residence here were filled with good deeds.
He was a leader in nearly every public enterprise for the town. His voice, his time, his talents, his money were always to be found on the side of right. Probably there was no man in Caddo who was more public spirited who was as nearly always ready to do something for the public good as he. He would neglect his own business to forward some interest of the town.
He was a member of the Baptist church of Caddo; was one of its original organizers, and was ever faithful to its teaching. He was superintendent of that Sunday School when he died; had been for eight years, and under his guidance this school had grown to be a great power for the uplift of the community. The little children loved him. None ever came in his presence without a word of cheer and jollity. He was a friend of the poor. No needy were ever turned empty handed from him; he divided his living with those who were in need.
The familiar form and voice of this great and good man will be sadly missed for many yeasr in the community that knew him so long. Many and many times we shall wonder “to whom shall we go to get this or that done”. His church will miss him. His life was consecrated to making his community better. Often and often had he occupied pulpits with sage lay advice for the people. He had more call of this kind than he possibly could fill.
Such a life as this has not been lived in vain. His spirit carries on. His example is one to point to with pride. His supreme unselfishness as exemplified in a life full of good deeds is one that everyone could follow with profit. There are no regrets in such a life. To him many talents were given and he used them for the benefit of his race. In his own sphere he was the peer of any man.
To his son, his wife, his father, he leaves a rich heritage. A name unsullied, a life unblemished, and a memory unsoiled. To them also he leaves the assurance that in the Hereafter there shall be a reunion “where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest”.
The floral offerings were perhaps the greatest and most beautiful ever seen in Caddo. Dozens and dozens came form friends he had made in other places. And the funeral as attended by many people from distant points.
His epitaph is written in the history of Caddo. The marks of his life are in every public enterprise. And his crowning glory is his influence upon the little fellows with whom he come in daily contact in his Sunday School.
At the Baptist church next Sunday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock a Memorial Service will be held commemorating the life and service of W. F. Dodd.
Speakers will be there to tell of the activities of the deceased in the several lines of his life work:
Baptist church and Sunday School
Jefferson Highway Association
Woodmen of the World
Oklahoma Board of Pharmacy
Bryan County Pharmaceutical Association
All those assigned to places on the program have not been heard from, so a full program cannot now be published.
Everyone is cordially invited to be present so that a deserved tribute can be made to the memory of Mr. Dodd, whose activities covered every phase of town life.
A great town builder has fallen. A town patriot has answered the call of all the earth.
W. F. Dodd is dead.
If you, a week ago, had asked anyone familiar with the history of Caddo: Who is your most useful citizen? The reply universally would have been, “W. F. Dodd”.
Full of good public deeds, ripened in experience, still pulling in the harness, he suddenly has been taken from us. But his spirit will live. Such spirits are not born to die. It is of such spirits that America is made. He has told us by his unselfish work to “carry on”.
W.F. Dodd was never known to neglect a civic duty. In the early days he was town mayor. He did the job well. He always stood for a clean town and he accomplished it. Later he was made president of the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy. He did a good job of that. There was no hint of wrong doing or of graft while he served. He was president from the beginning of the town of its commercial organization. If a difficult piece of work was to be preformed, we let “Dodd do it”. And he did. He was president of the Jefferson Highway Association. It was largely through his efforts that the Jefferson Highway was located through Caddo, and through Oklahoma. It is a memorial to his enterprise and his ability.
Through it all he was simply a friend to man. His largess was bestowed everywhere. His energies were not confined to one church, one people or one lodge. He was for his adopted state, and wrought wonders of achievement.
Caddo will miss this great town friend. as the days pass without his presence we shall miss him more and more. We shall not overlook the wondrous things he had done, nor the wondrous life he has lived among us. We shall remember, and remembering, resolve that we shall take courage from his example and continue to the way that he had pointed- to the end that the people as a whole shall be blessed, and the community made better and better as the days go by.
(later issue) Memorial Services-
A very large crowd assembled Sunday afternoon at the Baptist church to take part in and listen to the Memorial Services in honor of W. F. Dodd, one of the members of that church, who died eight days previously.
The fact of so large a crowd to do honor to the deceased was in itself a tribute of large proportions. The program follows:
Introductory by Rev. Hardin, who sated the purpose of the meeting and delivered an eloquent eulogy.
Song, No. 30, by congregation.
Prayer by Rev. Moore, pastor of the Presbyterian church.
Baptist church was represented by F. F. Maddox, who told of the connection of Mr. Dodd with the church and his wonderful influence.
Laymen, by C.C. Hatchett. of Durant, who told of deceased’s activities throughout the county and state with the Laymen’s Movement.
A tribute form the W.O.W. by S.L. Shofner.
A Masonic tribute by J.A. Amyett.
Quartet: Mrs. Bass, Mrs. Coffey, Mr. McCreary, Mr. Worthen.
A beautiful wreath of flowers was presented by the State Board of Pharmacy.
Song, No. 125, congregation.
The Commercial Club was represented by G.A Crossett, who told of Mr. Dodd’s work for the upbuilding and uplift of the town, and of his beneficent influence all the way.
Male quartet: Messrs. Gross, McCreary, Moore, Worthen.
Telegrams of condolence were read from the Jefferson Highway Association of which Mr. Dodd had been president.
A letter of condolence was also read from the Scottish Rite.
The B.Y.P.U. was represented by Miss Ewing, who read a beautiful poem “Faith”.