Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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WHEELER, J.H. Vol. II. Pp. 424-27. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1910


James W. Dawson has for years conducted a general blacksmith shop at Clear Lake, Iowa, and there are few men if any in the town who are better known or more highly respected than he.

Mr. Dawson dates his identity with Cerro Gordo county from 1870, when, a youth of fifteen years, he came here with his parents from Wisconsin. He was born in Racine county, Wisconsin, October 27, 1855, son of Robert and Susanna (Everson) Dawson, natives of England. In 1853, just two weeks after their marriage, his father and mother left their old home on the British Isle and came to America. They spent two years in New York, then came west to Wisconsin, and fifteen years later came over into the neighboring state of Iowa and settled on a farm in Grant township, Cerro Gordo county. Robert Dawson was engaged in agricultural pursuits all his life. He improved a fine farm in Grant township where he lived to the ripe age of eighty-one years. He died here November 8, 1907. His wife died in 1888, at the age of fifty-six years. Both were worthy members of the Methodist Episcopal church. They were the parents of fifteen children, of which the living are: James W., the subject of this sketch; Joseph H., a farmer in Grant township; Loren E., engaged in farming near Clear Lake; Fred, also engaged in farming in Grant township; Lillie, wife of J. H. Miller, living near Clear Lake,; Amelia, wife of J. H. Chadbourne, living near Vandalia, Illinois; Charles, employed in a store at Los Angeles, California; Lewis B., a California farmer; Chester, of Lisbon, North Dakota, engaged in farming; and Carter of Heckla, South Dakota, employed as a mechanic.

After receiving a good common school education James W. Dawson showed his preference for a mechanical rather than an agricultural life by going to Rockford, Floyd county, and entering upon an apprenticeship to the blacksmith's trade. He spent three years there and then came to Clear Lake and opened a shop. That was in 1879. He soon had a firstclass, well equipped shop, which he has conducted for thirty years, with the exception of about three years when, on account of an accident, he was disabled for work at his trade and gave his attention to other matters. At one time he owned a half interest in the Clear Lake Mirror and was its business manager. Later he was interested in a hardware store at Garner, Iowa, which he conducted and which he sold in order to resume work in his shop. Of recent years he has employed an assistant most of the time.

In 1881 Mr. Dawson married, in Butler county, Iowa, Miss Ermina Heritage. She was born in New Jersey and was reared in Illinois, to which latter state she moved with her parents when a small child and from whence, in the early 70s, she came to Iowa. Her mother, a resident of Greene, Iowa, and a well preserved woman, celebrated her eighty-fifth birthday on the 1st of February, 1910. Her father died when a little past forty. In the Heritage family were seven children, of whom two died in infancy and five are still living. Mr. and Mrs. Dawson have an adopted daughter, Daisy Dawson, now the wife of Harold L. Lake, of Clear Lake.

Politically, Mr. Dawson has always been a Republican. He served as a member of the City Council and at this writing is one of the school board. He is a Mason and an Odd Fellow and fills the office of secretary in both lodges, his incumbency of this in the Mason lodge dating back five years and in the I. O. O. F. lodge, fifteen years. He and his wife attend worship at the Congregational church.

NOTE: James' father, Robert Dawson, was born on December 19, 1827 in England, and died on November 8, 1906, Clear Lake. James W. Dawson died on January 19, 1930 at Clear Lake. Emma (Heritage) Dawson was born in 1852, and died in 1936. They were interred at Clear Lake Cemetery, Clear Lake IA.

Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, February of 2014



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