Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Mary Susan Dodge Whipple, 1852-1925

By Patience Henderson, undergraduate student, Arkansas Tech University, Russellville, AR


(Image Courtesy of Tony Curtis on Find A Grave)

In 1852, Mary Susan Dodge was born to Roderick Lathrop Dodge and Elizabeth Bradshaw Dodge in Little Rock, Arkansas. Her father graduated from Dartmouth College and became a surgeon in the United States Army. Ten years before her birth, Dodge's parents came to live in Little Rock from Vermont, where her father continued his work as a surgeon. Mary had nine siblings, two from her father's previous marriage to Emmeline Bradshaw and seven from his marriage to Elizabeth Bradshaw. Of these children, Mary was Roderick's fourth child. Roderick Dodge later became mayor of Little Rock.

In 1870, Mary Dodge married William Whipple. William worked as a lawyer, and like Mary's father, became mayor of Little Rock in 1887, serving two terms. Mary is listed in the United States Federal Census as a homemaker and continued to live in Little Rock until her death. Mary and William attended the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Church in Little Rock. In 1872, she gave birth to their only child, a son, Durand, who also went on to become a lawyer.

At 61 years old, Mary was one of many women who spoke at the first Suffrage Day celebration in Little Rock on Monday, May 2, 1914. The celebration was held at the Old Statehouse and included other activists from Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Mary Whipple passed away in June of 1925 at 72 years old. She is buried at Oakland and Fraternal Historic Cemetery Park in Little Rock, Arkansas.


Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Pulaski, Jefferson, Lonoke, Faulkner, Grant, Saline, Perry, Garland and Hot Spring Counties, Arkansas: Comprising a Condensed History of the State... Biographies of Distinguished Citizens...[etc.] Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1889. Pp. 385, 440, 519.

Daily Arkansas Gazette. May 3, 1914. Accessed May 4, 2019.

Find A Grave. “Mary Susan Dodge Whipple.” Posted on August 4, 2014.

Harper, Ida Husted. The History of Woman Suffrage. Vol. VI (1900-1920). New York: J.J. Little and Ives Company, 1922. [LINK]

Little Rock Culture Vulture. “Little Rock Look Back: Mayor William Whipple.” Posted on August 4, 2015.

U.S. Bureau of the Census. Pulaski County, Arkansas. 1880 Population schedule. Digital images. Ancestry Heritage Quest. February 14, 2019.

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