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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Niles in Berrien County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

John and Horace Dodge / The Dodge Brothers

 
 
The Dodge Brothers side of the marker image. Click for full size.
By M. Bowyer, July 10, 2007
1. The Dodge Brothers side of the marker
Inscription. John and Horace Dodge. Auto barons John (1864–1920) and Horace (1868–1920) Dodge were born and raised in Niles. During the 1830s, their grandfather, Ezekiel, had migrated from Massachusetts to Niles, where he ran a steam engine shop. John and Horace’s father, Daniel, operated the business during their youth. The Dodges lived in a small house that stood on this site. John once recalled they “were the most destitute kids in town, often going without shoes in cold weather.” The boys spent their free time in the machine shop, developing an interest in mechanics at a young age. In Niles they built their first vehicle—a high wheel bicycle. Upon John’s high school graduation in 1882, the family left Niles. However, in 1919, the brothers formed a building and loan association here that built homes of Michigan Central Railroad workers.

The Dodge Brothers. John and Horace Dodge moved to Detroit with their family in 1886. Already experienced machinists, they worked for several shops in Detroit and Windsor Canada, until 1901 when they began producing automobile parts. Their first major order came from Ransom Olds of the Olds Motors Company, who ordered three thousand transmissions. In 1903, the Dodge Brothers contracted with Henry Ford for 650 chassis and acquired fifty shares of Ford stock,
John and Horace Dodge side of the marker image. Click for full size.
By M. Bowyer, July 10, 2007
2. John and Horace Dodge side of the marker
worth ten thousand dollars. They sold it back to Ford in 1919 for $25 million. In 1913 they established the Dodge Brothers Motors Car Company. Based on the Dodges reputations, twenty-two thousand people applied for dealerships before the first car rolled off the assembly line of the Hamtramck plant on November 14, 1914. Both brothers died of influenza in 1920; their widows sold the company for $146 million.
 
Erected 1996 by Michigan Historical Division, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number S0655.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
 
Location. 41° 50.648′ N, 86° 15.029′ W. Marker is in Niles, Michigan, in Berrien County. Marker is on North Fifth Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1724 N. 5th St, Niles MI 49120, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Michigan Central Railroad Depot / Michigan Central Railroad Company (approx. half a mile away); Michigan Central Railroad Niles Depot (approx. half a mile away); Niles - A Transportation Center (approx. 0.8 miles away); Ferry Street School
The lot where the Dodge home once stood, is now empty except for the marker. image. Click for full size.
By M. Bowyer, July 10, 2007
3. The lot where the Dodge home once stood, is now empty except for the marker.
(approx. 0.9 miles away); Second Baptist Church (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Chapin House / Henry Austin Chapin (approx. one mile away); U.S.S. Maine Memorial (approx. one mile away); Four Flags Hotel (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Niles.
 
Categories. 20th CenturyNotable PersonsRoads & Vehicles
 
The lot where the Dodge home once stood, is now empty except for the marker. image. Click for full size.
By M. Bowyer, July 10, 2007
4. The lot where the Dodge home once stood, is now empty except for the marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 15, 2007, by M. Bowyer of Indianapolis, Indiana. This page has been viewed 4,023 times since then and 74 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 15, 2007, by M. Bowyer of Indianapolis, Indiana. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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