Friday, August 29, 2008
Sam Dodson was my great-great grandfather. He was born in White County, Tennessee, June 2, 1831. He was married twice, the second time to Emily Bolin. Together they produced my grandmother, Belle.
Sam is the son of Jesse Dodson of White County. The Dodson clan goes back to the Jamestown Settlement, or so legend has it. Actually, it does go back deep into the foundation of Virginia, but much has not been documented.
Another such legend is that Sam was 3/4 Cherokee. From 1895 until 1903, Sam ran a boarding house in what was Oklahoma (Indian) Territory. My grandmother, Belle, spoke often about her days living next to "the reservation," and it was there that she met her first husband, Lonnie Grimes. However, at this point, our Cherokee heritage has not been documented. It isn't hard to imagine it, though, when one looks at his deep set dark eyes and enormously high cheekbones.
To date, we have not found any documentation as to where Sam was during the Civil War, although, he would have been of age to have served. Sam had a son, Frank, from a previous marriage, and Belle and Frank were close until his death in the 1970s. Emily Bolin Dodson raised her children in the Baptist tradition. It is not known whether Sam Dodson had any tradition of religion. Sam Dodson died on June 22, 1908 and is buried in the Bon Air Cemetery, White County, Tennessee.