Eliza Daniels Dodge Portrait
Philanthropist Eliza Daniels Dodge (1822-1907) expressed her humanitarian concerns through public and private giving to many causes throughout her lifetime. Her diverse interests are reflected in the thirty organizations and institutions named as her beneficiaries, among them the Worcester County Mechanics Association, the YMCA, Memorial Hospital, the Worcester Society of Antiquity (now the Worcester Historical Museum) and Mothers’ Child Study Circle.
Dodge attended school in Brookline, New Hampshire, where she was one of thirteen children in an old New England family. In 1843 she married Thomas H. Dodge. Living in Washington, D.C. during the Civil War, they used their home as a depot for hospital supplies, and Eliza also cared for the wounded. Her husband’s profession and business interests brought them to Worcester in 1864.
At the time of her death, her portrait was hanging next to her husband’s in several institutions that had been beneficiaries of the Dodge largess. Among them were the Thule Music Association on Main Street; the library at Clark University; and Dodge Hall in the Odd Fellows building. After she died, her husband commissioned this posthumous portrait and presented it, along with the one of himself, to the Worcester Historical Museum.