Thursday, November 6, 2008
Edwin Hodge, at present general manager of the Imperial Tobacco Company’s business in Kentucky, is probably one of the best known tobacconists in the state. He has been closely identified with the industry for practically half a century, and his influence has been steadily directed along constructive lines for this benefit and welfare of all engaged in any branch of the tobacco business.
Mr. Hodge, whose home for many years has been at Henderson, was born at Marion in Crittenden County, Kentucky, July 2, 1854. He is descended from Henry Hodge, who was one of three brothers to come from England in Colonial days and settle in North Carolina. His son, Robert Hodge, was born in North Carolina, and came to Kentucky at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Edwin Hodge, grandfather of the Henderson tobacco man, represented the third generation of the family in America. He was born in Livingston County, Kentucky, in 1805, spent his life was a farmer, and died in 1837. He married Nancy S. Hughes in 1828, and after his death she became the wife of Dr. J.S. Gillium. Her father, Joseph Hughes, was a native of North Carolina and an early settler in Livingston County, Kentucky, and was the son of a Revolutionary soldier. Joseph Hughes served at one time as a member of the Kentucky Legislature.
The only son of Edwin and Nancy Hodge was the late Dr. Joseph A. Hodge, who was born February 2, 1829, in that portion of Livingston County subsequently Crittenden County. He grew up in the home of his stepfather, Doctor Gillium, whose example and influence were the chief factors in directing him to the study of medicine. After completing his common school education he began the study of medicine under Doctor Gillium at Marion, and in 1850, at the age of twenty-one, graduated from Louisville University.
From 1850 for thirteen years he practiced in Crittenden County, and on April 28, 1863, moved to Henderson, where for many years he was one of the leading physicians and surgeons of Western Kentucky. He was honored with the office of president of the Kentucky State Medical Society in 1875. He was also a member of the oldest medical organization in the state, the McDowell Medical Society, and was a member of the Henderson County and American Medical associations, and for a number of years was on the Board of Examiners of the Third Judicial District in Kentucky. He was reared a whig in politics but after the war voted as a democrat, and was a member of the Presbyterian Church. This highly honored physician and surgeon and citizen of Henderson died August 30, 1908, when nearly eighty years of age.
On December 4, 1851, Doctor Hodge married Susan A. Linthicum, who died May 1, 1891. Her father was Doctor Rufus Linthicum. She became the mother of nine children: Rufus L., Edwin, Mary L., Eliza A., Emma, Antonia M., William A., Susan and Nellie H. Rufus and Susan died in fancy, while the others reached maturity and all but one married. Edwin Hodge was nine years of age when his parents moved to Henderson. He grew up in that city, attended private and public schools, and at the age of eighteen became a bookkeeper for a Henderson tobacco firm. In 1877 he began his independent career as a tobacconist, and exporter. He was in business under his own name until 1891, and for four years following was associated with Arthur B. Jarvis under the firm name of Hodge & Jarvis. Then from 1895 until 1902 he was again in business and in 1903 became general manager of the western business of the Imperial Tobacco Company of Great Britain and Ireland. This great corporation was organized in 1902, with a capital stock of $75,000,000. Mr. Hodge has the general management of the company’s business in Kentucky, with headquarters at Henderson. For many years he has kept in close touch with thousands of tobacco growers and dealers, and has always maintained the highest reputation for fairness and justness in all his dealings. His business interests have required a great deal of travel, and for many years he was a regular visitor to England in the interest of his business.
Mr. Hodge became one of the original directors of the Ohio Valley Bank & Trust Company of Henderson. He has been active as a member and official of the Presbyterian Church, and is one of the liberal and public spirited citizens of Henderson. In 1883 Mr. Hodge married Miss Frances Alexander Ditto, of Meade County, Kentucky, daughter of Thomas H. Ditto. They have two sons, Thomas Ditto Hodge and Edwin Hodge Jr.
Source: Connelley, William Elsey, and E.M. Coulter. History of Kentucky. Volume IV. Chicago and New York: The American Historical Society, 1922