Perhaps one of Council Bluffs' most famous residents, General Grenville M. Dodge has been called the greatest railroad builder of all time. A Civil War officer, Dodge's involvement in political, financial and military affairs made him an associate of many of the most influential Americans of his time and counsel to presidents, including Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant. The Grenville M. Dodge House was his home. It is now open to the public as a museum.
In 1869, Dodge built his handsome Victorian home at 605 Third Street
at the cost of $35,000, which was a lavish sum at that time. The house was
designed by William Boyington, a Chicago architect. General Dodge was deeply involved in the planning and building of his
home, making several modifications, such as central heating and hot and
cold running water. Despite the home's elegant appointments, it is important to remember that it was built on what was essentially the frontier. During his lifetime, he engaged in the mercantile business, organized a
bank, surveyed the Missouri River Valley to the West for the
Transcontinental Railroad, served a term in the U.S. Congress, and
served with distinction in the Civil War, attaining the rank of Major
General. Although, Grenville Dodge achieved fame, fortune and historic importance by being a renowned railroad builder, it is said that he was the youngest General in the US Army until WWII.