Old Families of Athens
The Athensí Banner
Sunday, March 9, 1913
By Hugh J. Rowe
The Banner is privileged this morning to present a photograph of one of
Athensí most interesting families.
The photograph was taken by Clifford Hodgson during Christmas week when the
older branch of the Hodgson family was holding a reunion in this city.
The group is made up of eight Hodgson brothers and one sister, Mrs. Robert
The life history of this family is most interesting. The father of this group
was Edward Reginald Hodgson and the mother was Anne Bishop. The father was a
native of Newcastle-on-Tyne in the north of England. The family has been
residing in that section of England since the time of Edward I. Richard Hodgson
was mayor of that city in 1555 and in 1566.
Edward Reginald Hodgson came to America with his two brothers, William V.P.,
and Robert Hodgson, in 1837 [editorís note: actually it was May 1836 according
to the shipís log]. They first resided in Troy, N.Y., and a few years later
came to Athens. In 1842, just seventy-one years ago, Edward R. Hodgson and
brothers purchased a carriage factor in Athens from John Reynolds & Company
and from that good day to this the Hodgson Brothers have been actively in
business in Athens and have lent their best efforts to the upbuilding of this
city, and this section of Georgia.
In the offices of Empire State Chemical Company, of which Edward R. Hodgson
Sr. is president, is framed one of the original circulars announcing the
purchase of this carriage factory by E.R. Hodgson & Bros., and the circular
is dated Feb. 16, 1842. It was printed at the Southern Banner office, Athens,
and is done in the quaint Old-fashioned type of that era. The circular is headed
"New Carriage Factory, Athens, Ga." and announces the purchase in the
following language: "The subscribers respectfully announce to the public
that they have taken the establishment lately occupied by John Reynolds &
Co., where they intend carrying on the above business in all its various
branches. They will manufacture to order and generally keep on hand for sale
family carriages, barouches, buggies, sulkies, jersey wagons, etc. etc., which
they will warrant to be of superior quality and made in a most neat workman-like
and substantial manner."
This circular now over 71 years of age is the proud heirloom of the Hodgson
brothers, who are operating some of Athensí most important industrial
corporations of the present day.
Five years after the purchase of this factory, two of the brothers, namely
Edward R. And William V.P., established a line of United States Mail Coaches
running between Athens and Gainesville, Georgia. It was customary in that time
to take out a way-bill for a passenger who rode in the stage coach in a similar
manner to a bill of lading for a package of freight in the present method of
transportation. In the offices of the Empire State Chemical Company will be
found one of the original way-bills for a trip by stage coach from Athens to
Gainesville on May 1, 1847 showing transportation of a Mr. Lowry, who occupied
one seat from Athens to Witts, Ga., and paid therefor the sum of $1.40; while on
the same way-bill another passenger is recorded as Mr. Stark, who occupied a
seat from Athens to Jefferson and paid for his transportation the sum of $1.50.
The money was paid to and is receipted for by William V.P. Hodgson, uncle of
those shown in the accompanying picture.
Nearly everyone shown in the photograph is now a grand-parent. They represent
the third generation of Athens Hodgsons and there are two younger generations
living here who are thriving [obliterated] older crowd.
The oldest in the group photograph is Mrs. Mure, the only daughter of Edward
Reginald and Anne Bishop Hodgson. There were three other sons who died before
this picture was taken. One was the oldest son, William Hodgson, who was a
soldier in the confederate Army, being 1st Sergeant in Lumpkin Artillery, which
was assigned to Palmerís Battalion, Cobbís Brigade and Cheathamís
Division, of the Confederate Service.
Two daughters survive William Hodgson. One is Mrs. W.P. Mears, of Brooklyn,
N.Y. Her husband is art editor of Harperís Magazine. The other is Mrs. Arthur
C. Cox, of this City.
Another, whose face is missing from this group, is Robert B. Hodgson, who
enlisted as a full fledged cavalryman, at the tender age of 14 years. He saw
much active service during the war and was captured and imprisoned. The result
of his imprisonment injured his health so that he never fully recovered and he
died in a few years after the war. He is survived in Athens by his widow, Mrs.
Annie A. Hodgson and his daughter, Miss Roberta Hodgson, who is a teacher at the
State Normal School.
The third son, whose face is not shown, was Charles, who died in childhood.
The family that grew to full maturity consisted of ten sons and one daughter.
Mrs. Robert Dowie Mure, the oldest sister, with these
brothers to watch over and care for her has always been the queen of this
interesting family. "Zeke", as she has always been affectionately
called by them has enjoyed much influence and authority over them as did her
sainted mother. She has one living son, Mr. Robert Dowie Mure, of the General
Electric Company, Schenectady, N.Y. Mrs. Mure is one of Athensí most beloved
women and has always had a leading part in all good work fostered by the ladies
of this city. She is a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy and other
benevolent associations of like character. At present she makes her home with
Mr. Joseph M. Hodgson.
E.R. HODGSON, SR.
The oldest, of the eight brothers, shown seated in this picture is Edward
Reginald, Sr. He is now in the 66th year of his age and is president of Empire
State Chemical Company, a member of the firm of Hodgson Cotton Company,
King-Hodgson Company and of Georgia Phosphate Company. He has always been one of
Athensí most progressive citizens and has ever taken a leading a leading part
in everything that looked towards the best interests of this city and state.
About thirty years ago he was appointed by Honorable Henry D. McDaniel, the
Governor of Georgia, as one of five original commissioners, charged with the
duty of organizing and establishing the Georgia School of Technology, now
located in Atlanta. The other four commissioners of that commission were N.E.
Harris, of Macon, Chairman; S.M. Inman, of Atlanta, Treasurer; O.S. Porter, of
Potterdale, and Columbus Heard. These five men journeyed to Boston and studied
the plans of the Boston School of Technology and spent several days at the
Stephens Institute of Technology and then patterned the present school of
Technology in Atlanta after these excellent institutions. The result has been
that you men of Georgia have had technological training since that [obliterated]
good as could be obtained in any other state of the American Union.
Recently, Edward Reginald, Sr., on account of failing eye-sight resigned his
membership on the Board of Trustees of the Technological School after a service
of nearly 30 years. His son, Edward Hodgson, Jr., vice president of the Empire
State Chemical Company, has been elected as his successor on that board.
Edward R. Hodgson, Sr., was another boy soldier in the Confederate Army. He
became a member of Lumpkinís Artillery at the age of 16 years. The three
Hodgson brothers who served throughout the Civil War were William, age 18,
Edward R., age 16, and Robert B., age 14. The others shown in the group were all
children during that bitter period from 1860 to 1865.
Edward Hodgson is the father of five sons and four daughters. Edward R.
Hodgson, Jr., Harry Hodgson, Mrs. Frank A, Lipscomb, Dr. F.G. Hodgson, Mrs.
H.H.Gordon, Jr., Water B. Hodgson, Morton S. Hodgson, Mrs. Robert W. Woodruff,
of Atlanta, Miss Dorothy Hodgson.
His second son, Harry Hodgson, is a trustee of the University of Georgia and
a member of the Prudential Committee of that Board. He is also the Georgia
member of the Conference for Education in the South and like his father takes an
active interest in all educational matters.
Mr. Edward Reginald Hodgson married Miss Mary Virginia Strahan, of Baltimore,
Md., whose younger sister became the wife of Robert B. Hodgson....(more)
Asbury Hull Hodgson is the second oldest brother shown in this photograph. He
has always been one of the most active men in the business and civic life of
Athens. For several terms he served the city of Athens as mayor. In every
forward movement of our city life, he has always taken a leading part. He is
president of the Southern Manufacturing Company, a director and large
stockholder in the Athens Railway and Electric Company, and a member of the firm
of King-Hodgson Company. His first wife was Miss Julia Neal, of Bairdstown, Ga.
His children by his first marriage are Charles N. Hodgson head of the firm of
C.N. Hodgson & Company, Mrs. David H. McNeill, Frank B. Hodgson and Henry G.
Hodgson, of King-Hodgson Company. His present wife was Miss Sarah Payne, of
Whitehall, Ga., and there are two children, Miss Lil Hodgson and Asbury H.
The next oldest in the group comes Thomas A. Hodgson, of Washington, D.C.,
who is connected to the Civil Service of the United States government. He is in
the office of the auditor of the State and other departments, and has served in
positions of trust and responsibility in the Treasury Department for more than
thirty years. He married Miss Lilly Johnston, of Washington, D.C. Their children
are Emory R. Hodgson, Agronomist, Virginia Experiment Station, at Stauton, Va.,
Reginald M. Hodgson, and Thomas M. Hodgson.
CAPTAIN ALBON C. HODGSON, U.S.N.
Next comes Captain Albon C. Hodgson, of the United States Navy. Captain
Hodgson entered the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis three or four years after
the close of the Civil War and graduated at the head of his class in 1875. He
was one of the first boys from the South who entered the naval academy after the
war and at that time the war [obliterated] was still bitter. However, Albon
Hodgson was one of the tallest in his cadet corps and so well able to take care
of himself that he made a record that has seldom been equaled and he was always
held in high esteem. For four years he led his classes and on graduation day
received the much coveted honor at Annapolis of having marked on his diploma
"No. 1". Every third year of his service he went to sea and has
cruised at various times in almost all the harbors of the world. His alternate
three years of land service were invariably occupied as professor of mathematics
in the Naval Academy for he was a born teacher and hundreds of the naval
officers, now high in naval service were instructed by him. When the war broke
out with Spain in 1898 he was sent from the naval academy to act as navigating
officer of the fastest cruiser in the navy at that time, "Brooklyn"
which was the flagship of Commodore Schleyís squadron. He navigated the
"Brooklyn" in the famous battle of Santiago when the Spanish fleet,
under Admiral Cervera was entirely annihilated. It will be remembered that the
Spaniards thought their ship swifter than all the American ships that blockaded
the harbor of Santiago except the swift cruiser Brooklyn. So Admiral Cervera
order his ship to center their fire on the Brooklyn as they came out of the
harbor on that hot Sunday morning. The story of that interesting battle was told
by Captain Hodgson to the people of Athens in one of the most interesting
lectures ever given in this city at the Seney Stovall Chapel in the fall of
1898. Captain Hodgson married Miss Julie Von Schroeder and has one daughter,
Mrs. Thomas Cover, of Philadelphia.
JOSEPH M. HODGSON
Next to Albon, in point of age, is Joseph M. Hodgson, head of the firm of
King-Hodgson Company. He is also a director of the Athens Railway and Electric
Company, member of the firm of Georgia Phosphate Company, and also of the firm
of Hodgson Cotton Company. The same year Albon graduated at Annapolis, Joseph M.
graduated at the University of Georgia. He has always been a progressive and
constructive citizen. For six years he served this county as Chairman of its
Commission of Roads and Revenues and the beautiful roads of Clarke county, which
are largely the result of his work and interest. In church affairs he has always
been active and for many years has been an elder in the Presbyterian Church of
this city. He married Miss Isabella Turner, of Taccoa, Ga. His children have
obtained considerable reputation for their musical talents. His son, Hugh, being
a pianist of the first rank and is now studying in Berlin, Germany, to make this
art his profession. The other children are: Mrs. John B. Gamble, Miss Edith
Hodgson, Ralph R. Hodgson, Mrs. Merkle Jacobs, of Philadelphia, and Clifford
GEORGE T. HODGSON
Mr. George T,. Hodgson, of Atlanta, is shown on the extreme left of the
photograph. His business interest has been confined chiefly to the writing of
life insurance. He is now a dealer in stocks, bonds and other commercial
securities. His office is in the Chandler Building, Atlanta. He was married to
Miss India F. Coker, of Atlanta, and is the father of the following children:
Joe Hodgson, of Thompson Meter Co., Brooklyn, N.Y., Mrs. Harrison Heidler,
Misses Ruth and Marion Hodgson, and George Hodgson of this city.
COLONEL FRED G. HODGSON, U.S.A.
Colonel Fred G. Hodgson, U.S. Army, entered the Academy at West Point, New
York, in 1877 and graduated there in 1881, being assigned on graduation to the
6th Cavalry U.S. Army s 2nd Lieutenant. At that time there was a serious
outbreak among the Indians in the far western states and in a few months after
he received his officerís commission from Uncle Sam he was getting his first
test of real warfare in the campaign against the Apache Indians, which extended
over several months and finally resulted in the pacification of these savages.
He has served with valor and distinction for 37 years and is now one of the high
ranking officers of the army stationed at Washington as assistant to the
Quarter-master General. Colonel Hodgson has recently returned from the
Philippine Islands where he was quarter-master of the Philippines Division. He
was then made quarter-master of the Division of the East, with headquarters at
Governorís Island, New York, but was soon transferred to the general
headquarters of the Army at Washington, D.C. He married Miss Ida C. Cottrell, of
FRANCIS M. HODGSON
Francis M. Hodgson is the youngest son. For nineteen years he served in the
municipal government of Washington, D.C. having a position of trust and
responsibility. His work was with the engineering department of that city. He is
now connected with the King-Hodgson Company. He married in 1894 Miss Mary A.
Allen, of Falls Church, Va. They have the following children: William Albon,
Harold B., Prince A., Frederic C., Roy D., Russell C., and Mary A. Hodgson... (more)
Nine of the ten Hodgson brothers were students in the University of Georgia.
The ideals of University life were absorbed in their young manhood. Service to
the state and nation, as well as to the community and to their own families has
marked their career.
In conclusion, it can be truly said that Athens has never counted among its
people a nobler family than this well known group of Hodgsons and it is the
writerís fervent wish that they may continue to live long and prosper.