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Fayette County, Iowa  

 Biography Directory


Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa

Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of

Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County

Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago

March 1891


~Page 373~


William Dickinson

William Dickinson, an enterprising and representative farmer residing on section 5, Illyria Township, is of English birth. He was born in Lincolnshire, England, April 23, 1832, and is a son of Joseph and Sarah Dickinson. His father died when William was quite young, and at the age of six years he was taken by a very distant relative, in whose home near Boston, England, he was reared. He received good opportunities for acquiring an education and now his only regret is that he did not make better use of them. When seventeen years of age, thinking his master a little strict, he left him, but a short time convinced him that the old man was right, and returning, he remained with him until his marriage.

In the month of February, 1855, our subject wedded Miss Anne Dickinson, a native of the same county, who is about four years his junior. Being destined to form one of the social class of laborers in his native land, he decided to come to the United States, and embarked upon a sailing vessel, the 'Gerrick,' which after seven weeks and three days landed him and his wife safely in New York City. Soon afterward, however, they continued their journey until reaching Cleveland, Ohio, in the vicinity of which place he worked out for $13 per month. On coming to Iowa, in the autumn of 1855, he settled in Garnavillo, Clayton County, where two years were spent, after which he located on a farm in Boardman Township, that county. The financial panic of 1857, and a defective title, caused him to lose his place, he having hardly anything left but some valuable experience which would not lead him into a similar error again. Not discouraged by his losses, he once more purchased land and step by step worked his way upward.  In 1869 he purchased one hundred and ten acres

William Dickinson
of land, a part of his present farm, and has here since made his home. At one time he owned a quarter-section, but has since disposed of sixty acres, retaining one hundred acres which are under a high state of cultivation and well improved.

In 1875 Mr. Dickinson was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who died on the 13th of December, leaving eight children, one a babe two weeks old: William J., the eldest, is now a farmer of Custer County, Neb.; Elizabeth A. is the wife of George Irish, who resides in this county; Mary A. wedded Jackson Dye, a resident of Custer County, Neb.; Frances J. is the wife of Elmer Davis, who lives in Clayton County, Iowa; Joseph E. is engaged in agricultural pursuits in Fayette County; Lillie M. is the wife of W. Conner; Cassie F. is at home; and Ellen died in infancy. On the 9th of February, 1879, Mr. Dickinson was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Martha H. Hammond, nee McLond, a native of New York. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and in the community are held in high regard by many friends and acquaintances. In politics he is a Republican, and cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln. As every true American citizen should do, he feels an interest in public affairs, but has never sought office. However, he acceptably served as Justice of the Peace for nine years. Mr. Dickinson is numbered among the successful farmers of his township, and in the truest sense of the word is a self-made man, for he began life without capital, and overcoming all difficulties and disadvantages, pressed forward until he had at length acquired the competence which ranks him among the well-to-do farmers of the community.





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