Ruth Dodge

Here is a link to a find-a-grave site with a brief but interesting biographical blurb on Ruth Dodge's brother:

It includes a photo (Ruth got the looks) and the tidbit that he drove a purple Rolls Royce (egads!).

Interestingly, he was born in Boston while Ruth, unless I'm mistaken, was born in Ohio. Perhaps their father's work (he was a rabbi) required him to go where he was posted?

He was the second husband of Nellie Ruth Bird, whose genealogy can be found here:
Okay - found out a bit more:
It seems Ruth's father was actually Rabbi Falk Vidaver, not Rabbi Nathan Vidaver, as is often stated. Her grandfather and brother were both named Nathan.

Falk Vidaver was clearly very prominent as a rabbi and writer. He must have been middle-aged when Ruth was born since he was already officiating at marriages as of 1872.

Also, all the ET newspaper blurbs on Ruth put her first husband's name as Fontaine, but I wonder if it was actually Browne. This is given as her previous married name in the 1932 San Francisco Social Register and an alumni note from an SF girls high school with a link below mentions a "Ray [sic?] Vidaver Browne".

A couple notes on Ruth's daughter Vida: she used Dodge as her maiden name (not so uncommon for a stepchild, especially a female stepchild, to do in those days), and she was working on her third husband by the time she was in her early thirties. Married names were Mackay, Thomas and Payne, respectively (actually, perhaps her mother also had three husbands?).

It seems Falk Vidaver's longest affiliations were with synagogues in Boston, San Francisco and New York. The impression I have is taht he only lived in Ohio temporarily, to help establish a synagogue there, and it was during this period that Ruth was born.

I can find out nothing about Ruth's mother, not even a name. A Blue Book and another directory listing Falk in the early 1890's make no mention of a Mrs. Vidaver.
Miss Ray VIDAVER, who married Mr. Thomas BROWN of London...has returned...for a visit...

PAYNE, Mr. & Mrs. Arthur C. (Mackay-Thomas-Vida DODGE), 430 E. 86, New York.
Name: Thomas, Mr. and Mrs. John L.
Maiden name: Mackay-Vida Dodge
Remarks: see Dilatory Domiciles
Name: Payne, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur*and Mr. Clarence
Maiden name: Loree-Elizabeth F. Leary
Remarks: absent
VIDAVER, Rev. Dr. Falk, 916 O'Farrell st.

Link mentioning various marriage performed by Falk Vidaver:
"ALEXANDER/DAVIS--In this city, March 20, by the Rev. Dr. Falk Vidaver, Isaac ALEXANDER and Lena DAVIS, both of San Francisco." Source: San Francisco Examiner, 22 March 1892, p. 7.
"ALEXANDER/TOBIAS--In this city, May 1, by Rev. Dr. H. Vidaver, J.S. ALEXANDER of Hollister, to Miss Lizzie E. TOBIAS of this city." Source: San Francisco Daily Morning Call, 11 May 1881.
"ASH/RUSSACK--At Reno, Nev., December 7, by the Rev. Dr. Falk Vidaver, Herman ASH and Miss Fannie RUSSACK." Source: San Francisco Examiner, 9 Dec 1890, p.7. Transcribed by Ron Filion.
"COHEN/GOLDSTONE--In this city, March 20, by the Rev. Dr. Falk Vidaver, David COHEN of Boise, Idaho, and Gussie GOLDSTONE of San Francisco." Source: San Francisco Examiner, 22 March 1892, p. 7.
"HISCHFELD/ASHER--In this city, December 14, by the Rev. Dr Falk Vidaver, Marcus HISCHFELD to Miss Minnie ASHER of San Francisco." Source: San Francisco Call, 16 Dec 1884, p. 8. Transcribed by Mary McInnes.
"JACOBS/BOVIE--In Sacramento, June 16, 1891, by the Rev. Dr. Falk Vidaver, Abe JACOBS and Millie BOVIE." Source: San Francisco Morning Call, 18 June 1891.
"VIDAVER/ROSENTHAL--In this city, April 11, by the Rev. Dr. VIDAVER, N.J. VIDAVER and Rosa ROSENTHAL." Source: San Francisco Daily Examiner, 19 April 1888.

Vidaver, Falk. Rabbi and Preacher of Congregation Beth

Israel Bikur Cholim, New York City. Born 1846, in Warsaw,

Poland. Son of Nathan Vidaver. Educated at Warsaw and University

of Berlin (Ph. D.). Rabbinical diploma conferred by the

Rabbinate of Warsaw under Meisels. Held positions in Boston,

Mass.; Evansville, Ind.; San Francisco, Cal.; and Louisville, Ky.

Publications: Notes on the Ethics of the Fathers and on the

Psalms; Articles in the American Israelite, Reform Advocate,

Hamagid, Hazefirah, Hoibri, Hashachar, Hakol, and the Hebrew

press of New York. Address: 181 East 71st, New York City. 1,M1

[Falk Vidaver replaced brother Henry, who died previous year, as rabbi of SF synagogue]

[title of book written by Falk Vidaver]

Marriage performed during his Boston days:
Ellsworth, 31st ult., at the residence of Lewis Friend, Esq., by the Rev. Falk Vidaver of Boston, assisted by Rev. Dr. Tenney of Ellsworth, Mr. DAVID FRIEND and Miss MATILDA ROTHBART. The marriage was solemnized in accordance with the imposing rites of the Jewish church. 1-PR5,M1
[American Jewish Year Book of 1900-01 with description of Falk’s New York synagogue]
[excerpt from 75th birthday of SF’s Beth Israel Temple, which must have been 1935; mentions Falk Vidaver taking part in 1891 dedication ceremonies of newly erected synagogue that was then nearly demolished by ’06 earthquake; not sure Falk was actually connected with SF Beth Israel]
[excerpt on his Boston synagogue]

Early San Francisco Directory:
Falk Rev.
house 19 Pleasant
Was just looking back over other threads on the Dodges. Too bad Jan C. Nielsen no longer visits ET, since he was obviously the go-to man on this topic.

If anyone can shed any light (or wants to have fun speculating
) I'd love to know the circumstances of Dr. Dodge's divorce. The brief mentions of it I've come across seem to imply that HE divorced HER, rather than the other way around.

I'd also be curious to know the reaction of Rabbi Vidaver to his son and daughter marrying outside the faith.

The Dodges are some of the passengers who interest me the most. Dr. Dodge's varied career, their links to early San Francisco, Ruth's courageous behavior in the lifeboat, the scandals that followed...
Hi Brian-
Great info. I am lucky to have an original of Dodge's May 1912 booklet on the Titanic. I always wondered if his son was raised Jewish or Christian. The son gave an interesting interview in the 1960s or 70s saying he used to drag a toy ox with a bell along the deck and his father scolded him for waking up the people in the deck chairs. One night, the father looked out his A deck port (and I suppose could see the water past the A deck promenade?) and said, 'I guess we will beat the band.' Little Bobo said, 'What band?'
Thanks for sharing that, Mike.

I bet if Washington was raised in any religion, it was Episcopalian, which is what his father was. Both of Ruth Dodge's children married WASPs (incidentally - little Washington's first wife was a Hubbard of Middletown, CT - a family with a lot of available info on the web).

A lot of the passengers who interest me are the ones whose ethnic backgrounds don't fit the Anglo norm, such as Irish Catholics like the Minahans and interfaith marriages like the Cavendishes and the Dodges. In 1912, religion determined a lot about how you experienced the world. As I said recently on another thread - Martin Rothschild's parents (according to a bio on his niece Dorothy Parker) actually encouraged their children to marry gentiles to escape the sting of anti-semitism. But we can assume then that his father wasn't a rabbi.

And, Glenda - hmmmmmm......I've been logging on regularly since the 90's and I don't remember a Jan Nielson kafuffle. Too bad - I like a good blowup (when I'm not involved, that is).