Dodge Road, six miles southwest of Boerne, off the Upper Balcones Road, was named after Fred Dodge, who had one of the most colorful and exciting careers of any Kendall County resident. Mr. Dodge was born August 29, 1854, and spent all the adult years of his life as a detective undercover agent for Wells Fargo. He was famous throughout the western United States as a master detective who always solved the mysteries behind numerous holdups of both stagecoach and train robberies.
Being a personal acquaintance of Wyatt Earp, he was a thorn in the careers of the outlaws of that era including the famous Curley Bill and Dalton Brother Gangs, etc. He was a meticulous man who kept a daily diary of his travels, a total of 27 diaries which were used as the basis for the book on the "Life and Times of Wyatt Earp". Another book about the unvarnished recollections of Fred Dodge titles "Undercover for Wells Fargo" recalls his exciting life and loyal service and adventure on the American frontier. Tombstone, Arizona was the focal area of these many interesting years, although he traveled over 37,000 miles one year on the railroads and stagecoaches in his work with Wells Fargo.
While vacationing in Leon Springs and the Boerne area with his wife, Patsy and daughter, Ada, Mr. Dodge fell in love with the beautiful and tranquil hill country. In 1906 he purchased several tracts which he renamed the 2000 acre Dodge Ranch. It has many gently rolling hills and valleys covered with giant live oaks, elm and 100 year old cedar trees. The Dodge Ranch is at the southern confluence point of three counties, Kendall, Bandera and Bexar, and is also the divide between two watersheds, the Guadalupe and Medina system - with the permanent springs as the headwater of the Balcones Creek. The Ranch also has an abundance of native whitetail deer, along with wild turkey, quail, axis and fallow deer, mouflon sheep and wild Russian boar.
After retiring in 1917, Fred Dodge spent the remainder of his years enjoying the peace and serenity of his beloved Boerne Ranch. His daughter, Ada, married Mr. Zalmanzig and had a son named Fred Dodge Zalmanzig.
After his first wife died, Mr. Dodge married again in 1917 and had a son named Fred James Dodge, Jr. in 1918. Fred Jr. grew to manhood on the Dodge Ranch and moved to San Antonio where he married his wife, Elouise. Upon the death of Fred Dodge, Sr. in 1938 at the age of 84 years, his widow, Jessie, sold the ranch in 1941. It was operated as a profitable cattle ranch for many years.
Still intact as it was in 1906, except for the remodeled 100 year old main ranch house, the ranch is now known as the Conrad Tri-County Ranch and is owned by Joe and Bettie Conrad, son Jody, and daughters, Mrs. Candy Johnson and Mrs. Cindy Butler. -- this submitted by Joe Conrad, date unknown.
Fred J. Dodge, Jr., a lifetime resident of Boerne, died of a gun shot wound from a .38 pistol on Wednesday morning, August 30 about 11 a.m. He was found sitting in his pickup which was parked in the alley behind the Boerne Star [newspaper office]. - this obituary August 31, 1978.
Source: Boerne Public Library files.- July 24, 2001
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