EX-ASSESSOR FIRES BULLET THROUGH HEAD
Little Hope for His Recovery From Wound Inflicted in Garage Basement
ILLNESS BELIEVED CAUSE
Long Prominent Politically and in Financial Circles of City
Dr. Washington Dodge shot himself in the forehead at 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon in the basement-garage of an apartment house at 840 Powell Street in which he made his home. He was removed to the St. Francis Hospital, and probably will die, in the opinion of Dr. John Gallwey and Dr. Theodore Rothers, who are attending him.
The bullet from Dr. Dodge's pistol fractured his skull and drove fragments of bone deep into the tissues of the brain, an X-ray examination showed. The skull was fractured a second time when Dr. Dodge fell to the cement floor of the garage.
A short time after the shooting Dodge revived, staggered into the automatic elevator that operates from the basement to the lobby of the apartment house, and pressed the button. The wounded many had neglected to close the door and the elevator did not move.
A porter on the first floor heard the buzzer.
"Close the door," he shouted down the shaft.
Dr. Dodge obeyed. A moment later the elevator reached the lobby, and, struggling to open the door, the wounded man fell forward on the floor.
"He said he wanted to go somewhere," the porter told Dr. Gallwey. "We couldn't make out very well what he was saying."
Dr. Dodge was removed to his apartment and the physicians were called. He was unable to speak coherently, although at intervals he was aroused from a condition of semi-consciousness.
Mrs. Dodge returned to her home a few minutes after her husband shot himself. She was prostrated.
Dr. Dodge had planned to accompany Mrs. Dodge to Santa Barbara this morning. She had left the apartment an hour before to make a number of purchases. Dr. Dodge's young son and his stepdaughter were in the house at the time of the shooting.
Friends of Dr. Dodge have been unable to determine how long he lay unconscious in the basement garage before the shooting was discovered. None heard the report of the pistol. He was very weak from loss of blood when he staggered from the elevator.
On the floor of the garage Dr. Gallwey and Dr. Rothers found a fragment of the bullet.
Dr. Dodge's condition made an operation inadvisable last night.
"Dr. Dodge has been ill more than a year," Dr. Gallwey said. "A month ago the illness became much more severe, and with it developed a bad mental state."
Washington Dodge has been a conspicuous figure in San Francisco for many years. Beginning life as a physician, he quickly reached a leading place in that profession and had a large practice. A liking for politics led him into the public service and he was elected a Supervisor in 1898. At the end of his term he was elected Assessor of San Francisco and was re-elected three times. After serving as Assessor fourteen years he resigned in 1912 to accept the vice-presidency of the Anglo and London Paris National Bank.
In the spring of 1912 he took passage for Europe on the ill-fated Titanic and was one of the survivors of that famous ocean tragedy when the vessel struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic, April 14.
In December, 1917, Dr. Dodge undertook to straighten out the tangled affairs of the Poulsen Wireless Corporation, which was operated by the Federal Telegraph Company. In this he was fairly successful, but the work required so much time that he resigned from the bank and gave it all his attention. His attorney, Gavin McNab, said last evening that a law suit connected with this affair so preyed upon his mind, because he thought it reflected on his honor, that it was undoubtedly the cause of the attempt on his life.
Dr. Dodge was born in Sonora, Tuolumne county, in 1859. He has been married twice and has a son by each wife. The elder is in business and the younger is twelve years old. He owns a fine ranch of 360 acres in Colusa county, where he intended to make his home.