Local Historian (and Peru Rotarian) Dr. John Piano presented some very interesting insights about the life and local ties with Major General Grenville Dodge.
Grenville M. Dodge started from nothing in a family sunk in poverty. He went on to become a famous Illinois Valley resident, Marrying Ruth Anne Brown of Peru and living here for 4-5 years. They eventually settled permanently in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He was decorated and distinguished union war General. He would become Chief Engineer of the Union Pacific Railroad; he would survey over 100,000 miles of railroad and build more rail mileage than any other American, ultimately serve as President of seven railroads and nine railroad construction companies and would serve as advisor to Presidents Lincoln, Grant, Johnson, Hayes, McKinley, Taft and Theodore Roosevelt. He refused the post of Secretary of War under President Grant, but he served as Grand Marshal at the dedication of Grant's Tomb in 1897. He also served as Chief Marshal at the inauguration of President McKinley in 1897. He came into regular contact with some of the most powerful men of his time, men who shaped the destiny of the 19th Century: railroad builders and financiers Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Scott, Gould, Ames, Harriman and Jim Hill. He wrote the book, "How We Built the Union Pacific" and corresponded with outstanding personages in industry and the military throughout his lifetime.
See him present a more elaborate presentation on Dodge at the Hegeler-Carus Mansion on Sunday, February, 13th at 4:00.