Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography – Visitors, Scholars

VICTOR K. DODGE Visitor, Cliff Dwelling Excavator 1923

TAGS: Victor K. Dodge Visitor, Victor K. Dodge, Victor Kenny Dodge, prehistoric peoples, Indian Cliff Dwelling, William D. Funkhouser, Arthur M. Miller, anthropologists, archaeologists, excavation, University of Kentucky, ornithologists

On May 26, 1923, Victor K. Dodge joined two scientists from the University of Kentucky in the excavation of the Indian Cliff Dwelling located at the entrance to Pine Mountain Settlement School.

When a PMSS student uncovered ancient bones at the Cliff Dwelling, Co-Director Katherine Pettit called upon Dr. William D. Funkhouser, a zoology professor at the University of Kentucky who had an interest in Kentucky’s prehistoric native peoples to perform a controlled excavation. In turn, Dr. Funkhouser recruited two others who shared his interest in Kentucky archaeology, Dr. Arthur M. Miller, a geologist at the University, and Victor K. Dodge, a businessman.

A highlight of Victor Dodge’s part in the excavation was described in a newspaper article of May 6, 1923, that covered the Cliff Dwelling excavation:

Indian Cliff at the entrance to School. [kingman_035c.jpg]

Most Ancient Skeleton 
The last skeleton unearthed, one by Victor Dodge, is probably the most ancient of all, being buried deeply in soil so hard that it had certainly not been disturbed for a great many years. The bones of this skeleton were so decomposed and fragile that they crumbled to dust at the touch and in spite of efforts to preserve them, nothing could be saved put a single tooth.

 INDIAN CLIFF Ancient Relics Discovered by Mountain Girl“: Lexington Herald, May 6, 1923.

VICTOR K. DODGE Visitor: Accomplishments

Victor K. Dodge (1873 – 1956). Courtesy of the Lexington (KY) History Museum.

Although Victor Dodge was a distinguished amateur archaeologist and bird enthusiast, serving as president of the Kentucky Ornithology Society in the 1940s, he was also a businessman. His business and civic enterprises were numerous. The following is a summary of his activities from the Lexington History Museum’s LexHistory website:

  • Part owner of the Lexington Lumber Company;
  • 1902, 1903 – Member of the Board of Aldermen for the City of Lexington;
  • 1908 – Founder of the Lexington Motor Car Company and active in the company’s affairs;
  • 1909, 1910 – Participated in the Glidden Tour, driving a Lexington Model A;
  • 1909 – Founder of the Phoenix Motor Car Company, Lexington, Kentucky, that sold motor cars and operated a garage;
  • 1924 – Candidate for the city commissioner;
  • Captain in the Kentucky Guard and an expert pistol shot (having won a number of competitions);
  • Became the Vice President of Lafayette Hotel, Lexington, Kentucky;
  • Organizer of the Keeneland (horse-racing track) Association and a member of its Board of Directors.

VICTOR K. DODGE Visitor: Family History

Victor K. Dodge was born in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1873 to David M. Dodge, a farmer, and Rebecca Kenney Dodge. According to the 1880 U.S. Census, he was the youngest of six children and the family was living in Paris, Kentucky.

The 1900 U.S. Census indicates that he married Nora W. Dodge in c. 1899.

Victor Kenny Dodge died on February 29, 1956, in Lexington at the age of 83 and was buried in Louisville.

For more about the Indian Cliff Dwelling and its excavation, go to 
INDIAN CLIFF Ancient Relics Discovered by Mountain Girl (Newspaper Story)
NOTES of the Pine Mountain Settlement SchoolNovember 1926

Return to BIOGRAPHY – A-Z

TitleVictor K. Dodge
Alt. TitleVictor Dodge ; Victor Kenny Dodge ; Major Victor K. Dodge ;
CreatorPine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY
Alt. CreatorHelen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt
Subject KeywordVictor K. Dodge ; Major Victor K. Dodge ; Victor Kenny Dodge ;
prehistoric peoples ; Indian Cliff Dwelling ; William D. Funkhouser ;
Arthur M. Miller ; anthropologists ; archaeologists ; excavation,
University of Kentucky, ornithologists ;
Subject LCSHDodge, Victor K., — 1873 – 1956.
Pine Mountain (Ky.) Settlement School — History.
Harlan County (Ky.) — History.
Education — Kentucky — Harlan County.
Rural schools — Kentucky — History.
Indians of North America — Kentucky — Antiquities.
Schools — Appalachian Region, Southern.
Date2019-08-04 aae
PublisherPine Mountain Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY
TypeCollections ; text ; image ;
FormatOriginal and copies of documents and correspondence in
file folders in filing cabinet.
SourceSeries 09: Biography – Visitors, Scholars
RelationIs related to: Pine Mountain Settlement School
Collections, Series 09: Biography – Visitors, Scholars
1873 – 1956
Pine Mountain, KY ; Harlan County, KY ; Lexington, KY ;
Paris, KY ; Louisville, KY ;
RightsAny display, publication or public use must credit
the Pine Mountain Settlement School.
Copyright retained by the creators of certain items
in the collection or their descendants, as stipulated
by United States copyright law.
DescriptionCore documents, correspondence, writings and
administrative papers created by or addressed to
Victor K. Dodge clippings, photographs, publications,
illustrations by or about Victor K. Dodge.
Citation“[Identification of Item],” [Collection Name] [Series
Number, if applicable]. Pine Mountain Settlement
School Institutional Papers. Pine Mountain
Settlement School, Pine Mountain, KY.
Processed ByHelen Hayes Wykle ; Ann Angel Eberhardt ;
Last Updated

“Dodge, Victor K.” Lexington History Museum,
Lexington, KY. Lex History website,
(accessed 2019-08-06). Internet resource.

INDIAN CLIFF Ancient Relics Discovered by
Mountain Girl“: Lexington Herald, May 6, 1923.,
an article featured on PMSS Collections website.
Internet resource.

“United States Census, 1880,” database FamilySearch
( :
05 August 2019), Victor Dodge in entry for
David Dodge, 1880; citing enumeration district ED 16,
sheet 25C, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington
D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d),
roll 0403; FHL microfilm 1,254,403. Internet resource.

“United States Census, 1900,” database FamilySearch
( :
accessed 05 August 2019), Victor K Dodge
in household of Jessy C Baker, Magisterial District 3,
Precinct 19 Lexington city Ward 3, Fayette, Kentucky,
United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 19,
sheet 1A, family 9, NARA microfilm publication
T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and
Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,519.
Internet resource.