Dodge, on Farm Road 405 a mile north of U.S. Highway 190 and ten miles east of Huntsville in eastern Walker County, was founded in 1872 on land granted to the Houston and Great Northern Railroad by William H. Parmer (Palmer); settlers had begun farming the land as early as 1825. Martin Parmer, William's father, signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. Other area pioneers included W. H. Baker, John Roark, Ed Farris, Haden Watts, and Ishom Green Webb. In 1853 several additional families moved to the area from Cincinnati to escape a yellow fever epidemic. Among the new arrivals were James Gillaspie and Rev. William D. Shockley, who established a Methodist church known as Shockley's Chapel.
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