Dr Henry Washington Dodge was born on 3 June 1859 in Sonora, Tuolumne County, California. He was the son of Dr. Mark Tyler Dodge (1832 - 1860), and Eliza Laurence Rodgers (1837 - 1925). Mark Dodge came from New York and Eliza Rodgers hailed from Jamestown, California. They had married 25 March 1855 in Jamestown, Tuolumne, California. The couple went on to have two children, Henry Washington Dodge, and Adelaide Louise (1862 - 1927). Mark Dodge died before Washington turned 7 years old, Leaving Eliza, and Adelaide to fend for themselves.
In the 1870 census, the family was living in Sonora, Tualumne, California. Washington Dodge attended the Boys High School in San Francisco, then the University of California, beginning in 1881. He obtained his medical degree in 1884. Later on, he became a member of the Medical Department’s faculty with the title of Professor of Therapeutics.
Dodge married Alice Lampson Shepard (1864 - 1959), on 11 February 1891. She had previously been married to Charles Shepard and had two children, Royal (b. 1885), and Gladys (b.1886). The couple had one son, Henry Washington Dodge (1891 - 1967). The couple later divorced in 1902. He later remarried in 1905 to Ruth Brown (née Vidaver), a widow who had a daughter, Vida (1899 - 1990). The family soon welcomed a son, Washington Dodge Jr. In 1910 the family was living in a grand home on Laguna avenue in San Francisco, California.
In 1912 Mr. and Mrs. Dodge left with Washington Jr. for France, to treat Washington Sr.'s blood disease. After treatment, the Dodge family returned on board Titanic. The family boarded at Cherbourg, Travelling as first class passengers, the family occupied cabin A-34 (ticket number 33638, £81 17s 2d). On the night of sinking, Washington helped his wife and son into lifeboat 5 before escaping in lifebloat 13.
Dr. Dodge quit the Assessor’s office and went to work for the Anglo London Paris National Bank, as a vice president. In 1917, Dodge left the bank to run the Federal Telegraph Company. He earned $18,000 a year as the company’s president. Federal Telegraph controlled the shares of Poulsen Wireless Corporation.
In 1919, Washington suffered a nervous breakdown and, on 21 June 1919, he shot himself in the elevator of his apartment building. He died 9 days later on 30 June 1919. Ruth was named the executrix of his estate and soon moved back to her hometown of New York City and died on 25 July 1950. His son Henry married Florence Bothin and had a daughter, Ferris (b. 1926), and died in 1967. His second son, Washington, first Married Helen Hubbard and had two sons, and then to Helen Brown and had one son, before he died in 1974.