Born: Joseph Dodds was born on a farm near Winston between Darlington and Barnard Castle on 10th October 1819. His parents were Matthew Dodds, a farmer at Winston and his wife Margaret from near Barnard Castle.

Educated: Joseph Dodds attended a dame school in Winston, followed by the parish school in Winston and Gainford Academy. He joined the office of a Stockton solicitor in 1846.

Married: Joseph Dodds married Ann, daughter of William Smith of Stockton in 1847.

Family: Joseph and Ann had three daughters and three sons.

Home: From 1851 Joseph Dodds had his own solicitor’s practice in Stockton-on-Tees. In the 1860’s Joseph Dodds lived at 134 High Street, Stockton.

Known for: In 1852 Joseph Dodds became a councillor in Stockton and in 1857 he was the town’s mayor. In the following year he became Chief Clerk to the Tees Conservancy Commissioners. From 1868 to 1888 Joseph Dodds served as Stockton’s first M.P. He was instrumental in getting three Tees Conservancy Acts passed in Parliament and the Act for establishing the Stockton and Middlesbrough Turnpike. In 1889 his reputation was damaged when he was struck off the solicitors’ list because of fraud.

Died: Joseph Dodds died on 12th December 1891.

Further Information: “Middlesbrough and Its Jubilee” Hugh G. Reid (1881)

“Storm Clouds Instead of a Political Sunset” T.Sowler, Cleveland and Teesside Local History Society Bulletin 30  (1975)