Oliver A. Dixon


As superintendent of the Allamakee county farm Oliver A. Dixon has gained the commendation of his fellow citizens, for his efforts in behalf of those who have come under his care during his incumbency in office have been of a character to awaken public appreciation and regard. He was born in Winneshiek county, May 15, 1865, and is a son of William J. Dixon, a native of County Mayo, Ireland. As a young man the father crossed the Atlantic and located in Massachuesetts, working at anything which would bring him income. He married in that state Miss Celia Curran, also a native of Ireland, and they moved west to Iowa, settling in Winneshiek county, where Mr. Dixon purchased land and opened up a farm. Three of their children were born in that section, but they later sold their property there and in 1869 moved to Allamakee county, buying two hundred and forty acres in Hanover township. They continued to make their home upon that farm for several years, the mother dying in 1877. The father later made his home with his daughter, with whom he now resides, having reached the advanced age of ninety-six.

Oliver A. Dixon was reared upon his father's farm and accompanied his parents to Allamakee county. From his early childhood he assisted with the work of the homestead and after reaching maturity took entire charge, remaining as manager until 1903. In that year he moved to California and located in San Bernardino, where for one year he was employed by a gas company, remaining a resident of that city for four years. Returning to Iowa in 1907, he made his home in Waukon and soon after ward was appointed superintendent of the county farm, assuming his duties in the same year. In that institution Allamakee county cares for both its poor and its insane and the home now has thirty-five inmates, all of whom are under Mr. Dixon's care. With the help of his wife and another married couple he operates the farm, the products of which in 1911 netted the county over twenty-two hundred dollars. The property comprises two hundred and forty-nine acres and under Mr. Dixon's management has been greatly improved, the home having been remodeled and repaired, a number of the water towers and a hose house erected, a silo built and cement walks laid wherever needed. Mr. Dixon is proving himself competent in the performance of the duties that have devolved upon him in connection with this position and the institution under his direction is being conducted in a manner which wins him the commendation of all concerned. He is carrying on its affairs in a most businesslike way, following the methods most approved in the conduct of public institutions of this character, and at all times he has an eye for the comfort and well-being of the inmates, a fact which makes him a popular official.

Mr. Dixon married in Hanover township Miss Kathryn Sullivan, a native of Layfayette township, Allamakee county. She acquired her education in the public schools of her native section, in the Lansing high school and later in a commercial college at Waukon. After her graduation she taught in the public schools of Allamakee county for several years. Since her husband has has charge of the county farm she has proven an able, energetic and efficient assistant and much credit for the good management and excellent condition of the institution is due her. Mr. and Mrs. Dixon have three children: May and Kathryn, who were born in San Bernardino, California; and Frances, a native of LaCrosse, Wisconsin. The family are members of the Catholic church of Lycurgus and Mr. Dixon is affiliated with the Catholic Order of Foresters. His political allegiance is given to the democratic party but he has never sought office and aside from his present position has never been connected with public life. In private relations he has been actuated by the principles which govern honorable and upright manhood and the same high ideals have ever been manifest in his dealings with those with whom he has been connected in an official capacity.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Cathy Joynt-Labath