June 15, 2014 in City, Region

A little reminder: Father’s Day owes origin to Spokane’s Sonora Dodd

Colin Mulvany photo

A monument to Sonora Smart Dodd and one to her father William Jackson Smart has been placed at Greenwood Memorial Terrace. (SR photo: 2010)
(Full-size photo)

Spokane residents by and large know this bit of history: in 1910, Sonora Dodd, an artist, poet, philanthropist and benefactor, petitioned, the Spokane Ministerial Alliance at a 1910 meeting at the Spokane YMCA to have fathers honored each June.

And so began the observance of Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June, made a permanent national celebration by a proclamation by President Richard Nixon in 1972. Dodd was devoted to her father, who became both mother and father to her and her siblings when their mother died.

At a time when families push on, working through the challenges of economic stress, social disruptions and cultural clashes, this is the day to salute dedicated fathers who have made families and children their chief focus.

Across the country, there are just over 70 million men who are fathers. Just under 25 million of them are part of married-couple families with children younger than 18, according to data from U.S. Census Bureau online at www.census.gov.

A monument honoring Dodd is on display at her Spokane home, at 603 S. Arthur St., owned since 1972 by retired teacher Jerry Numbers and former City Council member Bev Numbers.

The basalt for that monument was taken from the Smart farm in the Wilbur-Creston area.

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