Cleveland Hoadley Dodge

Cleveland Hoadley Dodge (January 26, 1860 – June 24, 1926) was an American businessman, investor, and philanthropist.[1] He was active in New York City politics[2] and was president of Phelps Dodge mining and served as "adviser and financier" to Woodrow Wilson. He was known for his charity work in World War I.

Cleveland Hoadley Dodge
Born(1860-01-26)January 26, 1860
DiedJune 24, 1926(1926-06-24) (aged 66)
Alma materPrinceton University
OccupationBusinessman, investor, philanthropist
Known forCharity work in World War I, advisor to Woodrow Wilson
Board member ofNational City
ChildrenCleveland E. Dodge, Bayard Dodge, Elizabeth Dodge Huntington
Parent(s)William Earl Dodge Jr. (1832-August 9, 1903), Sarah Hoadley
RelativesBrother, W. Earl Dodge III (d. 1884); sisters, Grace Hoadley Dodge and Mary Melissa Hoadley Dodge
Henry Morgenthau Sr. and Samuel Train Dutton and Cleveland Hoadley Dodge in 1916


He was born on January 26, 1860, the son of Sarah Hoadley and William E. Dodge Jr., who was a principal partner in the firm of Phelps Dodge & Co.[1] Their family homes were at 262 Madison Avenue, and Greyston, in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. When the Dodge children were young, their playmates included members of the Roosevelt family, one of whom was Theodore Roosevelt.

Cleveland Dodge and his brother, William Earl Dodge III, attended Williston Seminary at Easthampton, Massachusetts, and in 1875 entered Princeton University, graduating the same year as Woodrow Wilson (1879). After graduation, William joined the family firm of Phelps Dodge while Cleveland entered the lumber business under the direction of his uncle, Arthur Murray Dodge.

Cleveland married Grace Wainwright Parish in 1883; Grace was a friend of Theodore Roosevelt's sister and Cleveland had known her since childhood. Their first child, Elizabeth, was born in August 1884; tragically Cleveland’s brother, William, died a month later. Cleveland was now the eldest son in the family and was required to take William’s place at Phelps Dodge. The company had started as a mercantile business in 1834 but diversified into copper mining, smelting and manufacturing. The old mercantile side of the business was closed in 1906 and in 1908 Phelps Dodge became a holding company for its mining activities. The officers of the new corporation were James Douglas, Cleveland Hoadley Dodge, Arthur Curtiss James, George Notman and James McLean.[3] Cleveland was a vice-president from 1909 to 1924 and chairman of the board from 1924 until 1926.

One of Cleveland’s two sons, Cleveland Earl Dodge, followed him into the business. His other son, Bayard Dodge, became president of the American University of Beirut (formerly, Syrian Protestant College) in 1923. The Dodge family had long been supporters of the college, and of its founder, Rev. Daniel Bliss.[4] In 1914 Bayard married Mary Bliss, the granddaughter of the founder.

Cleveland was also connected with the Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey, where he was the Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1909 to 1926.[5]

In 1915, the American ambassador in Turkey, Henry Morgenthau Sr., called for urgent humanitarian aid for the Armenian people who were being threatened with annihilation. Cleveland Dodge was asked to help and he met with a group of affluent people who pledged funding. Out of that came the formation of the American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief (ACASR). Government facilities were placed at their disposal and the following year a national fund raising campaign was organised by President Wilson.

Cleveland was a loyal friend to Woodrow Wilson throughout his life. Cleveland with other influential friends managed to get Wilson elected as the President of Princeton in 1902. Cleveland became a trustee of the University in 1904 and supported Wilson’s radical reforms. However, by 1907 Wilson was meeting serious resistance to his changes and within a few years he accepted the Democratic nomination for the governorship of New Jersey. Wilson next ran for president of the United States in 1912 and was elected. Cleveland was one of the largest financial backers for Wilson's presidential campaign and enlisted contributions from many of his former classmates and sympathetic Princeton trustees. He continued to provide financial support for Wilson throughout his years in office and appears to have asked for only one favor. That was in 1917, when war with Germany seemed inevitable, he asked Wilson to do all in his power to keep the United States from declaring war on Turkey and Bulgaria.

Cleveland’s philanthropic interests were widespread and included the YMCA, Princeton, American Red Cross, New York Museum of Natural History, the Public Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Zoo, Botanical Garden and Near East colleges. During the Spanish–American War he was in charge of the American Red Cross distribution center in New York. He established the Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation in 1917 with an initial funding of five million dollars, wanting to give money away that came to him during the war years.[6] As well as those large sums, he gave many smaller gifts to individuals with immediate needs.

Towards the end of his life he and his second cousin and fellow director, Arthur Curtiss James, were instrumental in bringing about the transfer of the railroad system owned by Dodge Phelps, the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad. It went to the Southern Pacific Company for $64 million.[7]

He died on June 24, 1926 in Riverdale, New York of pneumonia.[1]


Cleveland owned a series of yachts starting with a small boat called Kittiwake and then a 46 footer called Wasp. Next came a seventy footer called Hester followed by Corona, a yacht built in 1893 as Colonia to defend the America's Cup although she failed to be selected. She was a very fast vessel and Cleveland, who was a member of the New York Yacht Club, had some success racing her.[8]

The "Christian Student"Edit

Cleveland made a gift to Princeton of a bronze sculpture of his dead brother, W. Earl Dodge, called The Christian Student, which had been commissioned by Cleveland from Daniel Chester French, and showed his brother in sports clothing with books under his arms and academic gown over his shoulder. It became the target of student pranks and these became so bad that the authorities eventually had to remove the sculpture to storage.[9]

Family treeEdit

Family Tree of Cleveland Hoadley Dodge[10]
David Low Dodge
Sarah Cleveland
Anson Green Phelps
Olivia Egleston
William Earl Dodge
Melissa Phelps
William E. Dodge Jr.
Sarah Hoadley
Anson Greene Phelps Dodge
Rebecca Grew
Rachel Rose Voorhees
Reverend David Stuart Dodge
Ellen Ada Phelps
Elizabeth Scott Boyd
Charles Cleveland Dodge
Maria Theresa
Bradhurst Schieffelin
Norman White Dodge
Grace Gillette
Emma Hartley
George Eglestone
May Cossitt
Arthur Murray Dodge
Josephine Jewell
Grace Hoadley Dodge
William Earl Dodge III
Emmeline Harriman
Cleveland Hoadley Dodge
Grace Parish
Mary Melissa Hoadley Dodge
Alice Clinton Hoadley Dodge
William Church Osborn
Morris Jesup Dodge
Elizabeth Wainwright Dodge
George Herbert Huntington
Rev. Dr. Dumont Clark
Julia Parish Dodge
James Childs Rea
Cleveland Earl Dodge
Pauline Morgan
Bayard Dodge
Mary Bliss



See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Cleveland H. Dodge, Philanthropist, Dies. End Comes at His Riverdale Home at Age of 66, Following Attack of Pneumonia. A Close Friend Of Wilson. Capitalist Headed Many Welfare Campaigns, Especially in the World War. Cleveland H. Dodge Dies In Home Here". The New York Times. June 25, 1926. Retrieved March 15, 2011. Cleveland Hoadley Dodge, capitalist and philanthropist, died last night at his home in Riverdale from complications which developed after an attack of pneumonia some time ago and which recently took a serious turn.
  2. ^ "COMMITTEE OF 250 TO RUN FUSION FIGHT - Independent Body Organized for Campaign on Theory That Mitchel Will Accept. TO ORGANIZE NEXT MONDAY Cleveland H. Dodge Likely to be Chairman - -Candidates for All Offices to be Chosen. - Article -". The New York Times. May 23, 1917. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
  3. ^ "Phelps Dodge Mines in $50,000,000 merger" (PDF). The New York Times. December 11, 1908. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  4. ^ Syrian Protestant college, Beirût, Syria, 1896. New York: W.C. Martin printing house. 1896. p. 2.
  5. ^ ALTAN-OLCAY, OZLEM. "Defining 'America' from a Distance: Local Strategies of the Global in the Middle East" (PDF). Routledge Taylor & Francis Group. p. 31. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  6. ^ "A History of the Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation". Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation. Retrieved March 16, 2011. Cleveland Hoadley Dodge established this foundation in the spring of 1917, when the United States entered World War I. It had an original funding of five million dollars.
  7. ^ Dodge, Phyllis B. (1987). Tales of the Phelps Dodge family. New York Historical Society. p. Chapters 22–24.
  8. ^ "Schooner Atlantic win Aloha Cup" (PDF). The New York Times. July 9, 1909. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  9. ^ Sanstead, Lee. "The Christian Student". Monument Light Photography. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  10. ^ Dodge, Phyllis (1987). Tales of the Phelps-Dodge Family. New York Historical Society. p. Inside front cover.