David C. Dodge, Vice President and General Manager of the Rio Grande Western Railway, born in Shirley, Mass., November 17, 1837, is of an old New England family which came from England in 1638 and settled at Salem, Mass.; he being of the eighth American generation, and the eighth of his name in order of descent.
Colonel Dodge, as he is generally known in Denver, began his railroad career early in life. At the age of sixteen he entered the engineering department of the Fox River Valley road at Elgin, Ills., and continued with that road and with the Wisconsin Central until March, 1856, when he engaged with the Chicago, Iowa & Nebraska railroad, for which he was General Freight and Passenger Agent, and Paymaster, from 1857 to 1862. In 1861 he served in the Commissary Department of the Federal army at Chattanooga, Tenn., and in the Quartermaster’s Department at Memphis. Terminating that service in October of that year, he returned to Iowa and became General Agent of the Chicago & Northwestern road at its then western terminus.
Colonel Dodge came to Denver in May, 1865, and for nearly two years was engaged in mercantile pursuits. In 1867 he became the General Agent of the Chicago & Northwestern road for Colorado and New Mexico, a position he retained until 1870 when, upon completion of the Kansas Pacific road to Denver in August of that year, he accepted a like position in the service of that road and in which he continued until the spring of 1872. On May 1, 1872, he was appointed General Freight and Passenger agent of the Denver & Rio Grande road, and so served until December, 1878. In March, 1879, he was appointed General manager of the Denver & Rio Grande in which position he continued until April, 1884, when he became Vice-President and General manager of the Rio Grand Western road, a position he has ably and continuously filled since that time.
Colonel Dodge is prominent among the many great managers of railroads developed by the American system of railways. In addition to his services as outlined in the foregoing, he was, from 1885 to 1888, in charge of the Mexican National Railway in Mexico. While his railway interests and duties have much of the time required his presence elsewhere, his home has always been in Denver since his coming to Colorado in 1865, and he has been closely identified with the development and advancement of the city.