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Fayette County, Iowa
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
C. C. Dykins
"C. C. Dykins, who is engaged in general merchandising in Alpha, carrying a full line of shelf hardware and drugs, is numbered among the early settlers of the county of 1854. When a young man of twenty-one years he came to the West to seek his fortune and located in Iowa. He was born in Steuben County, N. Y., in 1833, and his parents, Elias S. and Emily (Bennett) Dykins, were also natives of the same State. His father was a gunsmith by trade, and in connection followed the occupation of farming. With his family he removed to Cook County, Ill., in 1836, where he worked at his trade for about ten years, when he became a resident of Freeport, Ill., then a small hamlet. There, in addition to his other business, he followed farming until 1849, which witnessed his arrival in Fayette County, Iowa. He located in Auburn Township and began the development of a farm, which soon yielded him a good income for the care and cultivation he bestowed upon it and supplies all his wants until his death which occurred in the fall of 1871. His wife died in the year previous. The following are the children in their family: Caroline has been twice married and died in 1889; C. C., of this sketch, is the second in the order of birth; Amelia became the wife of H. Nimbs, who enlisted in this county for the late war and died in the service, after which his widow became the wife of Calvin Herriman, of Auburn Township; Mary Ann became the wife of Alfred Murphy who enlisted in the cavalry service during the late war and was killed by the Indians about 1866. By her first husband she had two children, Mrs. Salisbury and George. For her second husband she married George Belknap, and with him resides in Dakota. William, a triplet, married Rachel Whitbeck in this county and operated the East Auburn Mills, of Auburn, until 1884, when he removed to Dakota. Margaret is the wife of Lewis Shepherd, of Lake County, Dak.
During his boyhood C. C. Dykins accompanied his parents to Cook County, Ill., where he began life for himself by hauling lime. As before stated, in 1854 he came to Iowa, going first to Dubuque County, but after a few months removed to this county. In 1855 he engaged in farming and the two following years made blacksmithing his business. He then kept a grocery and tavern in Auburn for four years. Once more he gave his attention to farming which he followed until 1871, when he engaged in general merchandising in Alpha, continuing operations in that line for six years. In 1877 he devoted himself to milling in Auburn, whence he went to Hinsdale, Ill., and accepted a situation as traveling salesman for some gentlemen engaged in the manufacture of flour. Again returning to Auburn, he engaged in milling until the spring of 1879, when for a short time he followed farming near Alpha. Re-engaging in the mercantile pursuits for six years, from 1881 until 1887, he engaged in the creamery business on disposing of his stock, but the following year his property was destroyed by fire. In 1889 he established a creamery in Spirit Lake, Iowa, which he now operates in connection with his other business interests. Purchasing a stock of shelf hardware, drugs and other goods, he opened the store which he now carries on in January, 1890.
It was in this county, in September, 1855, that Mr. Dykins led to the marriage altar Miss Mary Strang, a native of Prince Edward Isle, and a daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Murray) Strang, who were born in Canada and became early settlers of this county, locating here in 1850. Five years later they moved to Alexandria, Minn., where the death of the mother occurred in 1883. The father is still living in that State. Their children are: David, who enlisted in Minnesota, served three years, then veteranized and now resides in Adair County, Iowa; Jesse, enlisting in Minnesota, served throughout the entire war and is now living in Douglas County, Minn.; Charley is married and resides in Montana; Mary, wife of our subject, was the first child born in Eden Township; Sarah is now Mrs. Barrock, of Minnesota; Eliza is now Mrs. McCurdy, of Montana; Matilda is now Mrs. Cowen of Fergus Falls, Minn.; and Mrs. Lucinda McAboy is residing in Alexandria, Minn. The union of Mr. and Mrs. Dykins has been blessed with three children - Albert who is married and resides in Dakota; Nora at home; and Charley W. who is now attending college in Poughkeepsie, N. Y.
Mr. Dykins votes with the Democratic party and takes an active interest in political affairs. He came to the county during its wild and unsettled state when the pioneer had to go to Elkader for flour and McGregor for goods. He has been a progressive and enterprising citizen ready to advance any plans to promote the general welfare and is esteemed by all who know him.
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