Businessperson, Deceased Person
1914 – 1971
Who was Frances Dodge?
She was the eldest of the three children of John Francis Dodge and his third wife Matilda Rausch Dodge. The Dodges had three other children and lived their early years in Detroit and Grosse Pointe. In 1920, after the death of John Dodge, the family move to Meadow Brook Farms in Rochester Michigan which had been a hunting and golf retreat for the Dodge brothers. She was encouraged to ride along with her brother, Daniel, and this sparked a lifelong passion for horses. Frances finished high school at Mt. Vernon Seminary in 1933 and married James Johnson on July 1, 1938. The next year, on her 25th birthday, Frances received control of her $10,000,000 trust fund from the John Dodge estate,.. She celebrated at a surprise birthday party to the tunes of the Tommy Dorsey orchestra and the vocals of Frank Sinatra.
Frances founded Dodge Stables at Meadow Brook Farm where she bred American Saddlebreds. Under the management of Wallace Bailey, and later, Earl Teater, Dodge Stables became a legend in the show horse world. She and Jimmy Johnson's breeding program produced a string of champions including Wing Commander, a five gaited horse who became a legend in the show horse world.
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