Biography of Edwin T. Dickson



Berrien County

Online Biographies


Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

James Dickson, great-grandfather of the gentleman to whom this sketch especially refers, came to America about the year 1770 from a place called Old Town, in Ireland, and settled in York Valley, Pa., but at the close of the Revolutionary war he removed to the southwestern part of that State and settled in Washington County, where he spent the remainder of his life. His children were six in nuniber, viz., John, Samuel, Andrew, William, and two daughters.

John Dickson, son of James, was born at Old Town, Ireland, about 1767, and came to America with his parents when about three years of age. Soon after reaching the years of manhood he married a lady named Robinson and settled in Westmoreland Co., Pa., where, a few rears later, his wife died, leaving two sons, Levi and James. of whom the first named and the elder was born in 1792. James Dickson, Sr., having married a second wife, emigrated in 1811 to Huron Co., Ohio, but afterwards removed to Hamilton Co.. Ind., where he died in 1830.

James Dickson. son of the John Dickson above mentioned, and father of Edwin T. Dickson, was born in Pennsylvania, Dec. 5, 1794. He grew to manhood in Huron Co., Ohio, and served in the United States army in the war of 1812-15. After the close of that struggle (in 1819) he removed to Wayne Co., Ind., and in 1820 married Lillis, eldest daughter of Judge Thomas McKenney. Of this union there were born five sons and four daughters, all of whom are living except one daughter, who was the wife of the Hon. G. C. Jones, of Cass Co., Mich. In 1828, James Dickson moved to Michigan Territory, and settled in La Grange, Cass Co., where he died Sept. 17, 1866. Mr. Dickson's business was that of a farmer, which vocation he followed during all his life, and very successfully. He was an extensive reader, and by this means he laid up a great store of practical information. Fle received the appointment of justice of the peace from Governor Cass in 1830, and was afterwards elected to several offices by his fellow townsmen; but he had no political aspirations, and preferred to remain in the quiet of his farm, leaving office and politics to the more aspiring. In religious belief he was a deist, but a Quaker in precept and example, and he stood high in the esteem and confidence of all who knew him.

Edwin T. Dickson, to whom this biographical sketch more particularly refers, was the son of James Dickson, and the eldest of a family of nine children. He was born in Centre township, Wayne Co., Ind., Aug. 2, 1S21. At the age of seven years he accompanied his father to Cass Co., Mich., where he grew to manhood. In 1845 he married Miss Lydia Garwood, and in 1849 removed to his present home. on section 10, Berrien township, a place which was at that time covered by dense woods. In 1869, Mrs. Dickson died. She had been the mother of six children, five of whom died before her death. One the eldest daughter still survives. Mrs. Dickson was a most estimable woman, and an excellent wife, whose virtues and sterling traits as a wife contributed in no small degree to her husband's success in life. In 1870, Mr. Dickson married the eldest sister of his deceased wife, Miss Mary Garwood, with whom he lived happily for two years. She died Oct. 20, 1872. On the 4th of February, 1873, Mr. Dickson married his third and present wife, Miss Susie Layman, of Berrien, a teacher by profession.

Mr. Dickson has from his boyhood been familiar with the privations and trials of pioneer life in a new country. In his boyhood he attended the first school taught in La Grange, Cass Co., and from that beginning he progressed until he became the possessor of a fair education. He has always been a great reader, is thoroughly versed in the Bible, and familiar with the Koran and the Vedas. His religious belief is in accordance with the views of the Free Communion Baptists, of which church he has been a member for fifteen years. In matters of religion and morality he knows no middle ground, and favors no half way measures, but is always zealous in the cause which he believes to be right. He is a man of strong convictions and decided character; a strict temperance man, and in favor of prohibitory measures for prevention of the sale of intoxicating liquors. Politically, he is a Republican. He has filled the office of justice of the peace, and many other township offices, always, in these elections, receiving the full vote of the party to which he belongs.

Although Mr. Dickson has now nearly completed the sixth decade of his life, he carries his age remarkably well, especially when the hardships and vicissitudes of his past life are considered. He has never been sued at law, and is decidedly opposed to litigation in any form. He has been something of a traveler, having crossed the territory of the United States from ocean to ocean. He is frank, open, and upright in all his actions, and positive and decided in his opinions. It is not unusual to find that such a man has enemies, and such may perhaps be the case with Mr. Dickson, but it is certain that he has the esteem and confidence of the community in which he lives.

History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.

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