REV. EFF DAVID DODD 1884-1966 The Minister
The youngest son of John David Dodd was given the name Eff David when born on February 11, 1884 in Clayton, N.C. Educated in Johnston County and Wake County, he became a United Methodist Minister. His connection to Fuquay Springs is the final and surprising episode in the Dodd family here. Not everyone realized his connection to the
E. D. Dodd married Nora Finch the daughter of Joseph Ray and Elizabeth Greene Finch of Nash County on September 9, 1904. Methodist ministers served multiple charges and this couple was no exception. Daughter Christine Missouri was born on July 4th, 1907 at Spring Hope in Nash County. The couple served in Pitt County (Greenville) in 1910 where his father lived with them. On September 19, 1914, Eff David, Jr. was born. Rev. Dodd registered for the draft (1918) in World War I at Enfield, when he was serving as pastor there. A complete account of his service was not available for this article.
Minister E. D. Dodd is remembered fondly by many in the Fuquay-Varina Methodist Church family. His listing among the ministers here places his tenure as 1943-48. The church
had established a parsonage on the corner of Academy and Ennis Streets in 1925. Rev. E. D. Dodd and wife Nora lived there and took the option of moving into the retirement home established by the church for the remainder of their lives.
An accomplished craftsman, Rev. Dodd’s work was recalled by Max Ashworth who grew up in this church. The minister designed and built the bannister for the church during a remodeling episode. At first Rev. Dodd worked within the parsonage but later built a workshop which became the basement of the Methodist minister’s retirement home located directly behind the parsonage on Ennis Street. Eleanor Howard recalls that her mother-in-law ordered a walnut chest from Mr. Dodd which the family still retains. Mark Howard, her son, on his way home from school often stopped by and visited Rev. Dodd in the workshop. Other individuals in Fuquay have recalled pieces of furniture made by Mr. Dodd. Fred Lee Hunt, Jr. remembered Rev. Dodd as his neighbor and friend during Fred’s youth on Academy Street.
Rev Dodd was her pastor when Eleanor and J. E. Howard married. Eleanor’s intention was to join the Fuquay-Varina Baptist Church where the Howard Family were members. She
had been baptized by immersion in the Fuquay United Methodist Church at Johnson Pond and was hoping that the Baptist Church would receive her as a member without another baptism by their church. She laughingly recalls Rev. Dodd saying that he, “Hoped the Baptists would not take her.” The Baptist did! She holds today one of their longest membership records.
She also remembers that Rev. Dodd inquired regarding the circumstances surrounding the life of his father and “Miss Emma”. He appreciated this knowledge of Mary Aiken who had been their neighbor on the Mineral Spring hill.
According to the FVUMC History, the retirement home was eventually sold. The first parsonage was superseded by a new parsonage on Academy Street into which Rev. Lineberger moved in 1951. All three homes are privately owned today.
Both the Dodds are listed as living in Fuquay-Varina on their death certificates and are buried in Wake Chapel Memorial Gardens. Rev Dodd died in Union Memorial Hospital on October 13, 1966 and Nora Dodd died in the same hospital on December 9, 1967. Their son, Eff David, Jr. lived in Monroe and appears to have cared for them in their last years. David, Jr. died in Monroe in 1991 as did his son Eff David, III in 2020. Daughter Christine married Cauvin Johnson, lived in Southern Pines, and was buried there in 1996. The children were not residents of Fuquay Springs at any point but were known to visit here.
The story of the Dodd Family has been an interesting one to research. Credits goes to Shirley Hayes, Eleanor Howard, Max Ashworth, and Ann Pegram for their interviews. The Independent, Smithfield Herald, Town Minutes, FVUMC History, ancestry.com and record sources have been utilized as well as cementery records. The author also read Larson’s non-fiction work on the family of the Ambassador. Eventually, the museums may be able to acquire further pictures of the gentlemen, the family and the Dodd house.
It was unique to attempt to trace the lives of the three men. Both the tragedy and honor of the first two are noteworthy connections to our town. That the beloved pastor came to live in Fuquay Springs after both the others were deceased was remarkable. We hope our retelling of their lives will be worth archiving. ( Shirley Simmons, author)