Everett S. Dodds, Architect [1889-1958]
Everett S. Dodds [†] was one of eight children born to Dr. Robert M. and Sophie Dodds in Northfield, Minnesota. He received no formal architectural training, instead learning the trade through a series of work experiences. According to his biography in Nebraska: The Land and the People, Dodds began studying architecture in 1906 at age 17 and graduated from high school in 1908. He followed this with work as a draftsman at Shippel and Garlach Architects in Mankato, Minnesota, and short stints with architect James C. Stitt in Norfolk, Nebraska and Adams and Kelly Millwork in Omaha, Nebraska."
Beginning in 1911, Dodds entered into a short partnership with Fred Peterson in the firm Peterson and Dodds Architects, before striking out on his own in 1913. In Omaha, his early career was dominated by his work in residential architecture, specifically in creating affordable house plans for home builders and individuals. He touted himself as a "Specialist in Up-to-Date Residences and Bungalows of the Better Class." Trade Journals from 1915 and 1919 confirm the affordability of his work, listing a large number of houses in the planning and bidding stages of construction. Most ranged in price from $3,000-$5,000, with the occasional higher-end home. Although most of his work centered in Omaha, plans were designed for locations as far away as Odebolt, Iowa and Kearney, Nebraska. Dodds kept his registration as a Professional Architect active through 1958, the year he passed away.
Dodds's proliferation in residential architecture is similar to that of Frederick A. Henninger Sr., whose career in Omaha was slightly earlier. The similarity ends there however. Known as "House-A-Day Henninger" for the large number of residential designs he produced, Henninger worked in Omaha from 1896 to 1937. Unlike Dodds, whose work focused on small, affordable homes, most of Henninger Sr.'s single-family residential work was large, custom homes in period revival styles for prominent Omaha families." Also in contrast to Dodds, who completed only a limited number of apartments later in his career, Henninger designed a significant number of multi-family residential buildings throughout his career and these buildings can be seen all across Omaha.
During his early career, Dodds was published on a regular basis. From 1913 to 1915, he was a regular contributor of house plans to the home builder's sections in the Sunday editions of both the Omaha World-Herald and the Omaha Bee newspapers. In 1914, his book, Build a Dodds Home, was published. One of Dodds designs was also included in the plan book, Bungalows, Camps and Mountain Houses: 80 Classic American Designs, and his plan for a house at Omaha, Nebraska was published in the November issue of Architecture and Building.
As residential work became scarce in the late 1920s, Dodds expanded his work into multi-family housing and schools. During the Great Depression, from 1935-1937 Dodds worked for the Department of the Interior's P.W.A. Housing Division. He returned to private practice in 1939 and continued to work right up to his death on March 26, 1958.
† Jennifer Honebrink, AIA, LEED AP, Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture, P.C., Minne Lusa Residential Historic District, Douglas County, NE, nomination document, 2013, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.