On Tuesday night friends and I visited Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, Michigan to view the Christmas finery during their annual Christmas Walk fundraiser. Twenty years or so ago I was a volunteer docent at this beautiful mansion, which is now owned by Oakland University, and used as a conference center, for weddings, etc. The proceeds are used to maintain the property. The university was founded by Matilda Dodge Wilson, who gave 1,500 acres of land and $2,000,000. The land included this mansion, stables, and another more modern home. As well as the university, the land also now has a beautiful golf club, the Oakland University Katke Cousins. Info about Meadow Brook, if you are interested: http://www.meadowbrookhall.org/
I was looking up some information about the Dodge/Wilson families, and ran across the following letter. By the way, both brothers contracted either the flu/pneumonia at the New York auto show in 1920. John Dodge died in January of 1920, and Horace died in December of 1920. It seems to me that this letter could have been written yesterday!
LETTER FROM THE WALLET OF HORACE E. DODGE SR. – CIRCA 1920
“For the following reasons I am unable to send you the check asked for:
I have been held up, held down, sand-bagged, walked on, sat on, flattened out and squeezed. First, by the United States Government, for Federal War Tax, the Excess Profit Tax, the Liberty Loan Bonds, Thrift Stamps, Capital Stock Tax, Merchants License and Auto Tax, and by every Society and Organization that the inventive mind of man can invent, to extract what I may or may not possess.
From the Society of John the Baptist, the G.A.R., the Women’s Relief, the Navy League, the Red Cross, the Black Cross, the Purple Cross, the Double Cross, the Children’s Home, the Dorcas Society, the Y.M.C.A., the Boy Scouts, the Jewish Relief, the Belgian Relief, and every hospital in town.
The Government has so governed my business that I don’t know who owns it. I am inspected, suspected, and examined and re-examined, informed, required and commanded so I don’t know who I am, where I am, or why I am here. All I know is I am supposed to be an inexhaustible supply of money for every known need, desire or hope of the human race; and, because I will not sell all I have and go out and beg, borrow or steal money to give away, I have been cussed, discussed, boycotted, talked to, talked about, lied to, lied about, hold up, hung up, robbed and nearly ruined; and, the only reason I am clinging to life is to see what in the H-ll is coming next.”