Summary Information

Oakland University Archives and Special Collections
Dodge-Wilson Collection
1.0 Linear feet

Preferred Citation

Dodge-Wilson Collection, Oakland University Archives

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Biographical note

Matilda Rausch was born to German immigrants in Walkerton, Ontario, Canada. As a youngster she attended public school in Detroit and then attended and graduated from the Gorsline Business College there. In 1902, she began working for the Dodge Motor Company and in 1907 she married founder John Dodge.

John Dodge died in 1920, and Matilda inherited his share of the Dodge Brothers Company, thus becoming one of the wealthiest women in the United States. In 1925 she married lumber baron Alfred G. Wilson. Upon Alfred Wilson's death on April 6, 1962, Matilda again received the bulk of her husband's estate. The Wilsons donated their estate to Michigan State University, along with 2 million dollars, to create a new college on its land. The new Michigan State University Oakland opened in 1959. Until her death in 1967 Matilda Dodge Wilson was deeply involved in the development of the new campus, and with its students, faculty and administrators.

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Scope and Contents note

The Oakland University Archives houses a collection of miscellaneous materials relating to the Dodge/ Wilson family. The collection consists mostly of newspaper clippings, pamphlets, programs and other documents that illustrate various aspects of the history of the Dodge and Wilson families.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Oakland University Archives and Special Collections

Kresge Library
2200 N Squirrel Rd
Rochester, MI, 48309

Access and use

The Dodge-Wilson collection is open for research.


Copyright restrictions may apply.


Processed by Shirley Paquette

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Selective Bibliography

World of quilts at Meadow Brook Hall : Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan, September 8-25, 1983 : a celebration of Matilda Dodge Wilson's 100th birthday anniversary. Location: Archives NK 9101 .R6 M4

Matilda Rausch Dodge Wilson ; edited by Debbie Patrick, A place in the country: Matilda Wilson's personal guidebook to Meadow Brook Hall (2 copies: Archives NA 7615 .M4 W55 1998 and NA 7615 .M4 W55 1998)

Meadow Brook Hall: a tribute to the memory of Matilda R. Wilson [videorecording] (Location: Circulation Desk, vhs V-0205)

Sherrlene A. Snyder, To lay her burden down : why and how Matilda and Alfred Wilson built Meadow Brook Hall (Location: NA7615.M4 S5)

Marion Marzolf and Marianne Ritchie, Matilda R. Wilson : mistress of Meadow Brook Hall (1983). Location: F 572 .A8 W5

Jean Maddern Pitrone, Joan Potter Elwart, The John Dodge story (1978). Location: Archives HD 9710 .U52 P5

Jean Maddern Pitrone, Tangled Web: legacy of auto pioneer John F. Dodge (1989). 2 copies: Archives HD 9710 .U52 D556 1989 and KL HD 9710 .U52 D556 1989.

Laura Riggs, "The Responsible Philanthropy of Matilda Dodge Wilson," The Oakland Journal, issue no.21 (Fall 2011) http://www2.oakland.edu/oujournal/files/21_responsible_philanthropy.pdf

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Collection Inventory

Dodge, Anna - news clippings 

Dodge Horse Show- History 


Dodge/Wilson Family - news clippings   Oversize box


Dodge, John – The John Dodge Story 

Wilson, Alfred – news clippings 

Wilson, Matilda – Biography 

Wilson, Matilda – Birthday parties 

Related Archival Materials

oversize birthday cards

Wilson, Matilda – Christmas cards 

Wilson, Matilda – Correspondence 

Wilson, Matilda – Death notices 

Wilson, Matilda – Estate matters 

Wilson, Matilda – Horse pedigree documents 

Wilson, Matilda – Interview 

Scope and Contents note

cassette tapes of the film soundtrack and transcript

Wilson, Matilda – Memorial fund (library) 

Wilson, Matilda – Memorial Service 

Wilson, Matilda - Miscellaneous 

Wilson, Matilda – News clippings 

Wilson, Matilda – Pegasus Critical Care Center 

Wilson, Matilda – Philanthropy 

Wilson, Matilda – Sunset Terrace 

Wilson, Matilda - Will 

Wilson, Matilda – Wilson Award 

Wilson, Matilda – Wilson Fund