The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


Spokane Woman Founds Father’s Day

There are many events that may have inspired the idea of Father's Day, and one was the start of the Mother's Day tradition in the first decade of the 20th century. Sonora Smart Dodd (1882-1978) is the officially recognized founder of Father’s Day. She was the main persuasive figure in the establishment of Father's Day. Her father, William Smart, raised six children by himself after the death of their mother during childbirth. This was very rare at that time. Most widowers either married again or placed their children in the care of others.

Dodd was inspired by the work of Anna Jarvis, who had urged for a Mother's Day celebration. She felt that her father deserved recognition for raising her and her siblings alone. Father's Day was first held in June of 1910. President Nixon officially recognized Father's Day as a holiday in 1972.

It was while she was listening to a Mother’s Day sermon with her father at the Central Methodist Church in 1909 that it concerned Dodd that there wasn’t a day to honor her Civil War veteran father who raised her and five younger brothers alone.

The Ministerial Alliance and the YMCA of Spokane, Washington recommended Dodd’s idea of Father’s Day and held a celebration in 1910. Sonora Dodd originally wanted the celebration to be held on her father’s birthday. The difficulty in planning forced the date for the first Father’s Day celebration to Sunday, June 19, 1910. The idea of Father’s Day gained momentum around the nation with the result that two National Father’s Day committees were formed, one in Virginia in 1921 and one in New York City in 1936. It wasn’t until 1966 that President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day. Then in 1972 President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father’s Day.

Sonora Smart Dodd was a well-known poet, scribe and sculptor. She had written a series of children’s books regarding the Native Americans of Spokane. She also illustrated her books called “Children of the Sun.” This is a rough translation of “Spokane.” She also studied sculpture and ceramics at the Chicago Art Institute and later taught at the school. She was a regional poet and one of her poems was read at the United Nations.

She married Spokane entrepreneur John Bruce Dodd. They had one son, John “Jack” Bruce Dodd, Jr. She became a part owner of the Ball & Dodd Funeral Home in Spokane in 1937 where she worked as the vice president for 30 years. The Spokane YMCA in 1948 placed a bronze memorial plaque that honored Dodd. The Dodd family home is on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010 on the centennial of Spokane’s first Father’s Day celebration.

Westend News

Wahkiakum County and the Outdoor Café 2020, from June 22 until August 28, will provide free lunches and more to all families with children for the entire summer. Pickup location remains at the Rosburg Hall from 10:15 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. If you have children 18 and under in your household, they have a lunch for you available for pickup or delivery three days a week. Lunch bags will be packed with two meals each day. Breakfast bags will be offered on Mondays with assorted cereals, juice, yogurt, muffins, and instant oatmeal. Each breakfast bag will be packed with five meals.

Garden bags will be offered on Wednesdays when produce is ready in the school garden. Selection will vary and may include kale, tomatoes, snap peas, squash, cucumbers, and blueberries. Gap bags will be offered on Fridays with assorted canned foods, peanut butter, boxed pasta, and pantry staple items.

All you have to do is call and place an order. All they ask is your family name, the number of children, which days you want meals and a contact phone number or e-mail. You have the option of breakfast, lunch; Gap bags/Garden bags, or all of them. For those who are unable to pick up the food, they will arrange the food to be delivered. For information contact Meadow Meeder at 360-751-7149 or e-mail at Volunteers are needed for deliveries and meal preparation.


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