Mrs Ruth Dodge (née Vidaver)

Ruth Dodge

Ruth Dodge was born as Ruth Vidaver on 27 March, 1874, in New York City, New York. She was the Daughter of Falk Vidaver (1844 - 1909), and Anna Taubenhaus (1846 - 1914), who married in 1867 in Poland. They had seven children, Nathaniel (b. 1864), Dora (b. 1872), Ruth (b. 1874), Max (b. 1875), Miriam (b. 1878), Rose (b. 1880), and Minnie (b. 1883). parents immigrated to the U.S in 1871 from their homeland of Poland. Falk Vidaver and his older Brother Henry Vidaver were prominent rabbi's in the Jewish community. His work led the family to move to places such as Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, and California. Falk Vidaver served as head rabbi from 1882 to 1893 at the Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco.

The family is recorded in the 1900 and 1910 U.S Census in New York. Around 1898, Ruth married a Mr. Brown who was reportedly a Businessman. The couple had one daughter, Vida (1899 - 1990). Sometime in the early 1900s Ruth was widowed and spent time in London before moving back to the United States. She remarried in the home of her parents in New York City on 12 April 1906 to Washington Dodge, a physician and bank president. The couple went on to have one son, Washington Jr. (1907 - 1974). 

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 lifeboat 13.

The Dodges returned to San Francisco where Washington Dodge was the city assessor. But in 1919, Washington Dodge was found shot in the elevator of their apartment building, he died nine days later on 30 June 1919. Ruth went back to New York to live on Park Avenue with her son, Washington Jr.

Ruth travelled frequently throughout the world in her later years with both of her children. She died on 25 July, 1950 in Manhattan, New York, New York 

Her daughter Vida went on to Marry a total of three times, her last and most long lasting marriage taking place on April 10th 1931 to Arthur C. Payne. Vida died on October 16th 1990. Her son, Washington, first Married Helen Hubbard and had two sons, and then to Helen Brown and had one son, before he died in 1974.



Ruth and Washington Dodge
Ruth Dodge and Washington Jr.

Articles and Stories

San Francisco Bulletin (1912) 
Washington Times (1912) 
San Francisco Chronicle (1912) 
San Francisco Chronicle (1912) 
San Francisco Call (1906) 
San Francisco Call (1906) 


Brian Ahern, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA
Sam Kostichka
Homer Thiel, USA


Vida (later Mrs Arthur Payne) died in New York City in 1990 at the age of 90.

References and Sources

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279]). Department of Health Borough of Manhattan Certificate Of Death
New York Herald, April 19, 1912

Link and cite this biography

(2017) Ruth Dodge Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #95, updated 24th August 2017 15:14:01 PM)

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