Weather-Beaten Dodd House Former Stagecoach Stopover
Dodd City - Once a stagecoach stopover and seat of more than 1,000 acres of ranch land, the old house now stands lonely and weather-beaten on a hill east of Dodd City. It is near to but untouched by 20th century highway traffic and building expansion.
It is the old Dodd House, one of the first Fannin county homes proposed for a historical medallion by the recently-formed Fannin County Historical Society.
In spite of its 124 years the old building still looms majestically above Highway 82, once the main trail for immigration and cattle driving across Fannin County.
Inside the house cracks sigsag along its wallsl and ceilings. Faded wallpaper is peeling, revealing even older layers of paper beneath. The rooms are cold, most heat coming from fireplaces and stoves.
But the ancient discomforts form part of the landmark's character. They indicate the hardy nature of the house that has withstood time and weather since it was built in 1839.
Other features more durable than the wallpaper and the plaster also create an image of the building's indestructibility. Handmade walnut beds and chests are still used. Braces more than half a foot square support the inside of the walls. They were hewn from heavy logs.
On the walls are Currier and Ives engravings framed in the last century. The "random width" floor boards, the old chair seats made from horse-hide strips and the simple, massive carved wooden tables are monumets to the early American style of architecture.
One of the family treasures is bible printed in 1859. On its back pages are scribbled bith and death dates of members of the Dodd family. The Bible's covers are falling apart, but its pages are crisp and readable. It seems indestructable, like the house.
The man who erected the landmark was Maj. Edmund Hall Dodd, a Kentucky native who came to Fannin County when it stretched across much of northeast Texas. One three years before, in 1836, the first colonists of the present Fannin area sailed down the Red River and settled 15 miles north of Bonham.
Dodd's wife Elizabeth Garnett, whom he had married in 1833, set up shop in her husband's house as the first postmistress of what was later to become Dodd City. The enterprise was not the only sideline to be carried at the ranch.
Natural Stopping Place
The age of the railroads had not yet dawned, and stagecoaches were the most rapid means of passenger travel into the Western plains. Dodd House was a natural stopping place on the trail across Fannin County.
Major and Mrs. Dodd opened their doors and their hearths to the weary travelers. Unfortunately , they apparently kept no guest books, and the possible renown of their lodgers may never be learned.
Agriculture was the principal pursuit on the Dodd spread, however. The Major built his fortune with energy and determination, never entering politics as did so many other wealthy landowners, but preferring to remain just a rancher.
Farmed By Tenants
Today the two-story structure stands on 100 acres, the original acreage having been cut up by roads and the growth of Dodd City. Part of the present plot is farmed by tenants, the rest being pasturage run by the building's present owners.
Mr. and Mrs. John Kincaid moved into the house about seven years ago. A Kincaid had married Uncle Tib Dodd, owner of the house after the major died, and the line of inheritance passed eventually into Kincaid hands.
Mrs. Kincaid has help Mrs. H. A. Burow, chairman of the historical society, in gathering information for the dedication of the house, perhaps in January, as a Fannin landmark. her daughter recently suggested the house be repaired extensively in time for the dedication. The Kincaids have already given it several coast of paint. "But," Mrs. Kincaid protested, "then it wouldn't look old."
With Historical Medallion. . .
Stagecoach Inn To be Marker
Untouched by the hustle and bustle of the 20th century, one of the first permanent homes built in Fannin county stands alone in its historic glory on a hill, just east of Dodd City, and on the north side of U. S. Highway 82.
It is the old Dodd house, famed as one of the most hospitable stagecoach inns of the 19th century which will be recognised with a Texas State Historical Building Medallion Feb. 9 by the Fannin County Historical Survey Committee.
The Daniel Rowlett chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas is placing the medallion of the historic old building. Mrs. H. A. Burow, DRT president, will make the presentation.
The 124-year-otd 2-story home looms majestically above the hurrying traffic un U. S. 82 as it did above the wagons, stagecoaches and horseback riders who went down the Butterfield trail and the cars of the 20s who rushed along on the old Ocean Highway.
The home was built in 1839 by Edmund Hull Dodd a native of Kentucky, who came to Texas in that year with bis wife, the former Mrs. Elizabeth Garnett, whom he had married in 1833.
With heavy log foundations, the home was one of the first built in Fannin county, then a part of Red Rrver county and soon became known to weary travelers as one of the most
hospitable stopovers on the trail leading to the promised fortunes in the west.
The home was first known as “Quincy" and when Mrs. Dodd became the area's first
postmistress. was known as “Lick" and later the community became known as Dodd or Dodd City in honor of the man who built the first home.
Spreading in every direction from the majestic building were the 1,000 acres which Dodd produced bountiful crops of cotton, com and other farm products annually.
Unfortunately, the Dodds did not keep a register — or if they did it has been lost — and there is no means of knowing who some of their famous guests might have been.
The century-old home is still in excellcnt condition and the logs under the house still have the bark on them.
Inside this lovely old home, one can see the charm of the original building.
The wide floor boards are worn to a shine that adds much to their beauty. The solid walnut bedroom furniture owned by the Dodds is still in use by the 20th century occupants. Valuable Curie and Ives originals hang on the walls in lovely antique frames.
Throughout the home may be priceless pieces of cut glass, bisque and ironstone pieces — all treasures of the Dodd, Kincaid and Dial families
The walnut stairway in the entrance hall is a reminder of the many weary travellers who climbed those steps to a night of rest on comfortable beds and the warmth of the many fire places in the house which was shared by the Dodd hospitality.
Dodd never did get into politics as did so many of the landowners of that period but preferred to stay close to the land that had been so good to him through the years.
Living in the home today are Mr. and Mrs. John Kincaid, who have lived there for the past seven years and offer the same warm kindness to their guests as did the Dodds.
Lewis Irwin (Tib) Dodd, a son of Edmund and Elizabeth Dodd, married Jennie Kincaid, so in the liue of inheritance, the home passed to John Kincaid and his wife, Lula Mae Dial Kincaid.
Since moving into the old home seven years ago, the Kincaids have done much to preserve its heritage and added to its comfort for modem living.
Mr. and Mrs. Kincaid have two children, John U. Kincaid of New Orleans and Mrs. Mary Dodd Kincaid Anderson of Dallas.
Early-day stagecoach stop, post office, home. Built by Edmund H. Dodd, 1839. Owned by the John Kincaid family.
Location: This historic building, located between Dodd City and Windom, was tragically destroyed by fire on October 28, 1976.