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Fort Dodge Chapter NSDAR

Fort Dodge, Iowa


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Welcome to Fort Dodge Chapter NSDAR

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The Fort Dodge Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR or DAR) is an active chapter, rich in history, organized in November 1903, and chartered in January 1904.

Fort Dodge is situated on the site of old Fort Dodge, a frontier out­post established by the United States government for the protection of the border settlement against the Indians. It was ordered established May 31, 1850, on the Des Moines River near the junction of the Lizard Forks, and was to be garrisoned by a company from Fort Snelling. It was abandoned as a military post in 1853. The town of Fort Dodge was laid out in 1854.



Fort Dodge Military Post

Location: The marker for the original site of the military post is in the heart of the city of Fort Dodge in front of what used to be the Wahkonsa School, which has been converted to the Webster County Social Services building. This is located at the northwest corner of 1st Avenue North and North 4th Street.
History: The Fort Dodge Military Post started out as Fort Clarke in 1850, but in 1851, it was renamed to honor Henry Dodge, Governor of the Territory of Wisconsin, and also their Senator, who had fought in the Black Hawk War and the War of 1812. Since the original Fort, and all its barracks and other buildings, occupied what is now the city section of the present town of Fort Dodge, the fort was destroyed after it was abandoned in 1853. In 1928, the Fort Dodge Chapter NSDAR placed a large boulder with an inscribed bronze tablet proclaiming the site to be that of the military post. cabinA replica of the Fort Dodge Military Post was built east of the junction of U.S. Highways 20 and 169, on the north side of the business route into Fort Dodge. It’s now called The Fort  Museum and has many historical exhibits including one of the restored buildings from the old military post—the Old Arnold House.

Old Arnold House
Location: The house is in Webster County, at the junction of U.S. Highways 20 and 169. Take Business Route U.S. Highway 169 East. The Historical Fort & Museum where Old Arnold House is located is on the north side.
History: When the old Fort Dodge Military Post was abandoned in 1853, it had to be torn down immediately as the town of Fort Dodge was rapidly growing on the same site. Only one building was saved and that was the Old Arnold House, which was used for quartermaster housing. It now stands in The Fort Museum as a true representation of the fort of the 1800s. The Fort Dodge Chapter NSDAR placed a marker at the site.

A Chapter Project
This cabin (pictured right) was an original structure of the military fort established in 1850. It was first owned by Christopher Arnold, who added rooms to expand the cabin. In 1912, the Fort Dodge School Board discovered the cabin in the center of a house being removed for the Wahkonsa School. The School Board offered it to any organization that would preserve it. The Fort Dodge Chapter NSDAR members acquired the cabin and had it moved to Oleson Park and restored. The cabin remained in the park until 1962, when approval was given by the members to move it once again to the newly constructed Fort Museum. This cabin typifies an adjutant’s office of the 1850 era.

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Last Updated: 30 March 2017
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