Georgia native Franklin Dodgen (1854-1903) and his wife Mary Alice Ford (1858-1927) moved to Norcross in the late 1800s and lived in a home on Thrasher Street, near today’s Holcomb Bridge Road. He served as town marshal, the city’s chief law enforcement officer; his obituary in the Lawrenceville News Herald stated simply that “He was known as an officer without fear.”
The Dodgens had twelve children, ten of whom lived to adulthood, many of those staying in the Norcross area.
Among them were daughter Emma Dodgen, who married Ben W. Scott (1884-1969) in 1908. Their courtship began after at a chance meeting at a square dance. When “Mama Scott” was asked later in her life what had attracted her to her husband, she praised his “pretty little feet” as an important factor!
Ben Scott worked as a tenant farmer for much of his life, and the family lived on more than 15 farms in the Norcross area over their life together, following the available work. Southwestern Gwinnett County was highly agricultural in those days, with cotton as the main cash crop.
Son Jack Dodgen, who never married, served in the Allied Expeditionary Force that the USA sent to France during World War I, and worked as a taxi driver in Atlanta afterwards, among other jobs. He had a prominent dent in his head for much of his life, supposedly received when struck with a brick during a fight with another man over a woman.