Marion Co TOC
Graphics by Rhio
A LITTLE FORGOTTEN TOWN IN MARION CO, AR
Submitted by Lois Sullivan Stradley (STRADLEY@compuserve.com)
If you were to head out of Pyatt, Arkansas, on a little dirt road starting at the old Community Center, and drive for about eight miles, you would come to an area that back in the early 1900's was a little mining town called Dodd City. If you had never been there, you wouldn't know there had ever been a town. All that is left of the once booming town is an old school house, cemetery and a few good memories.
The old two story school house sits back behind a wild growth of bushes. Beside these wild bushes is a small rock bridge crossing a little creek. When you get across the creek, there is a most wonderful old two story school house. It has a bell tower, which at one time rang to let the children know it was time to gather for school. I would think one could hear the old bell ring for miles in the sticks of those mountains.
The bottom floor of the school is now gone. This was where the children would sit at their desks and learn their daily lessons from the teacher. In 1935, my cousin, Emigene Sullivan (daughter of Leon Sullivan and Lillian Daniel ) lived in Brooks Hollow and went to Dodd City School. She remembers how the old inkwells that she used to dip her pen in for her daily lesson sat in the hole on the top of her desk. The rule was that the small children couldn't use the inkwells, because they would get the ink all over them. The second floor held up extremely well. To get there one would go up the small wooden staircase that creaks with each step. When you reach the large upstairs room, you will find a nice wooden floor with Dodd City written in large letters. Back when the schoolhouse was still being used, the second floor is where the men of the area held their Masonic Lodge meetings.
Around 1898, Frank Stonecipher taught at the Dodd City school. In about 1918, a teacher named Arkie Leona Owens also taught school there. Arkie Owens was born November 3, 1889, in Marion County, Arkansas, to James Spencer Owens and Sarah Caroline Duren, Arkie Owens married Morean Andrew Gesell on March 22, 1922; they had six children. She died May 22, 1964, in La Junta, Colorado.
The town was first called Doddsville in 1872, then changed to Dodd City in 1888. The town was named after Doctor Hiempsal S. Dodd, an early settler. He came to the area seeking a climate better suited to his physical condition. He built a gristmill and sawmill in Dodd City. Doctor Dodd and his wife Catherine C. Dodd are buried on a hill just above Dodd City. There were several hotels with names like Mirror Hotel, Dodd City Hotel, and Stillwell Hotel, along with, several general stores, including the Griffith & Morrous Store, and Gus Young's store. At Gus Young's Store in Dodd City, one could buy everything from cookie jars to bob wire.
By 1935, there was only one grocery store open. When it closed, people could get their groceries by putting a list in the mailbox. The mailman would pick up what you needed from the store in Pyatt and deliver it to you the next day.
You could also ride with the mailman back and forth from Dodd City to Pyatt; he would stop anywhere you like in between the two towns. The cost was usually twentyfive cents a ride but if you didn't have it sometimes, he'd let you ride for free. You could sit on a bench in the back of the little mail truck.
The first post office was established in 1872; Doctor Hiempsal S. Dodd served as the first postmaster. He is listed in the 1900 census as still holding that position. In 1910 his son David Dodd held the position of postmaster. Some of the other people who served as postmasters were: L.C. Gray, William L. Clark, and Charles E. Wagoner. The post office was closed in 1931.
The first newspaper to come to Dodd City was a Republican newspaper, however no record is available as to how long this paper was published. The next newspaper was started by W. T. Williams on September 27, 1901, and was called the Dodd City Enterprise. It only lasted 'til 1908.
Bear Hill, Beaty, Olympia, Monkey Hill, Erie Ozark and North Star were some of the many mines that produced lead in the area. A couple of men active in the mining boom were Garnet Duncan and William Pace Young.
Garnet Duncan lived in Dodd City around 1907; three of his children are buried at the Dodd City Cemetery: Donald Ian Duncan, 1904-1907; Patricia Weider Duncan, 1908-1910; and Lorraine Duncan, who died at birth, July 13, 1913.
The cemetery is located in Dodd City, and it is located in the NE 1/4 of Section 4, Township 19, Range 17. The Dodd City Cemetery is very old, and many of the graves have no markers; of all the graves, only 22 can be read. Doctor Hiempsal S. Dodd's brother, Samuel L. Dodd is buried at this cemetery.
Dodd City Cemetery is located in a fenced woodland and is no longer in use. This cemetery was started right after the Civil war when bushwhackers hung three men. After they were gone, the women cut them down, dug shallow graves, and buried them; thus Dodd City Cemetery began.
William Pace Young was born January 19, 1878, in Eros, Marion County; his family moved around 1895 to a place on Little Sugar Orchard Creek, Dodd City Township. William Pace Young and his father George Young started a timber company and sawmill providing finished lumber from their land. In 1908, at the time of his marriage, William Pace Young, bought his father's share of their company and became sole owner of the mill. He was married to Darthula "Dottie" Owens (sister of Arkie Owens) on June 7, 1908.
As the lumber business was no longer making a profit, William Pace Young decided to build a house, barn and farm buildings on a nearby hill and go into ranching and farming. The barn was the largest barn in Marion County at the time. It was 80'x64', and was three stories high, with a concrete foundation. Mr Young died on the 27th day of July, 1937. He was laid to rest at the Patton Cemetery in Marion County Arkansas.
Another 1910 Dodd City family was the Sullivan family. Listed in the 1910 Dodd City Township census, is one Elizabeth Sullivan and her grandson Joseph E. Morrison. Elizabeth Ann Sullivan was the daughter of Doctor Gilbert Henderson Derryberry, who settled in Sugar Loaf Township around 1870 and he practiced medicine in Marion and Boone Co 'til he retired by 1900. Elizabeth was born in May of 1835, more than likely in Henderson County Tennessee, where her family had a long history beginning in the early 1800's. She married Grandville Sullivan sometime around 1855, probably also in Henderson county. With this union they had seven children, John, Louisa, Alice, Emma Jane, Newton Cannon, Mary, and Gilbert.
Newton Cannon Sullivan was born July 19, 1872, in Pyatt, Marion County. He married Augusty Alvatyne (Tyne) Horton daughter of William (Bill) Horton and Martha Cox Horton. William Horton moved to the Dodd City township around 1880, after his wife passed away. Augusty was born August 12, 1873, in Miller county Missouri. They married on November 26, 1900, in Marion County. Of this union they had six children, Leon, William Troy, Tennie, Clyde, Alice, and Elmer Jewel. Newton was a farmer and timber worker; he loved to play the fiddle and most of his children could also play some form of instrument.
His son, Clyde Sullivan, learned to play the fiddle at a young age. By the time he was 16 years old, he was already playing at local square dances. He and his cousin Clive Fisk, son of Nathanel and Emma Jane Sullivan Fisk, would ride by horseback all over the county to attend those square dances. Before he moved from Marion County to Yakima, Washington in the summer of 1953, he had became well known in Marion and Searcy County for his singing and fiddle playing. It has been said that he could play the fiddle and sing just like Jimmy Rogers,: all Clyde had to do is listen to one of Jimmy records on the Victrolla, and after that, he could play and sing that song.
Clyde Sullivan was born March 22, 1908, in Dodd City, he didn't marry 'til he was thirty years old; he then married Delphia Daniel, daughter of Pinkney Monroe Daniel and Linda Elizabeth Trammell Daniel of Searcy County. They were married at the courthouse in Yellville on December 17, 1938. Of this union they had eleven children, nine of which are still living.
Clyde Sullivan died Feb 15, 1959, in Yakima Washington. He was laid to rest at the Tahoma Cemetery. His wife Delphia Daniel Sullivan died September 14, 1984, also in Yakima, Washington. She was laid to rest next to her husband, Clyde.
Dodd City was once a booming town filled with families; but when the mines no longer produced and there was no work left, the families moved on to other places. The Markle's, Sullivan's and a hand full of other families stayed on for awhile. But soon all signs of a town were gone and those families moved also. There is still a few people that live in the area. Other then an old school house and a cemetery with a story of its own, Dodd City is no more.
Footnote: This information was compiled by Lois Sullivan Stradley and assisted by Jeannie Elliott both of Yakima, Washington. The sources are as follow: personal knowledge of Emigene Sullivan Combs, Ruby Riddings Reeves, and other family members. Also from Helen Young Bishop of DeKalb Illinois, History of Marion County by Earl Berry, Mountain Echo Newspaper, and census records from 1900 through 1920 of Dodd City.