John and Horace Dodge
Auto barons John (1864 - 1920) and Horace (1868 - 1920) Dodge were born and raised in Niles. During the 1830s, their grandfather, Ezekiel, had migrated from Massachusetts to Niles, where he ran a steam engine shop. John and Horace's father, Daniel, operated the business during their youth. The Dodge's lived in a small house that stood on this site. John once recalled they "were the most destitute kids in town. often going without shoes in cold weather." The boys spent their free time in the machine shop, developing an interest in mchanics at a young age. In Niles they built their vehicle -- a high wheel bicycle. Upon John's high school graduation in 1882, the family left Niles. However, in 1919, the brothers formed a building and loan association here that built homes of Michigan Central Railroad workers.