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Fayette County, Iowa
Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910
Author: G. Blessin
B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana
Vol. I, Biographical Sketches
Charlie B. Dickens
The gentleman whose name introduces this sketch is a well known farmer and respected citizen of Eden township, a native of Walworth county, Wisconsin, and one of nine children, whose parents were Thomas and Mary Jane Dickens, the former born in England, the latter in the state of New York. Thomas Dickens was brought to America at the age of one and a half years and grew to manhood in New York. He later came to Walworth county, Wisconsin, where he was united in marriage to Mary Jane Ives. Her parents moved from New York to Rockford, Illinois, and later to Walworth county, Wisconsin, of which they were early settlers and from there, in the fall of 1867, came to Fayette county, Iowa, purchasing a farm in Bethel township, on which he lived for a number of years, then, after renting land in Fayette county for a few more years, retired from active life, they changing their residence to the village of Alpha. Mr. Dickens died at that town some years ago and his widow, who survives him, makes her home at this time in Hawkeye. Thomas and Mary Jane Dickens reared a family of. nine children, all of whom were living in the year 1909, four of the number being residents of Fayette county, namely: Frank S., a farmer near Randalia; Norman, of Eden township; Fanny, wife of R. D. Smith of Hawkeye, and C. B., of this review; another daughter, Henrietta, wife of W. Davis, living a short distance across the line in Chickasaw county.
Charlie Byron Dickens was born March 8, 1856, and spent his childhood on the home farm in Walworth county, Wisconsin, being a lad of eleven years growth when the family moved to Iowa. He was reared to agricultural pursuits, received his educational training in the public schools and remained at home assisting in the cultivation of the farm and contributing to the interest and comfort of his parents until his marriage, which took place in his twenty-ninth year.
Mr. Dickens chose for his wife and companion, Mrs. Almida Abbott Tone, daughter of P. G. Abbott, an early settler of Bethel township and widely and popularly known throughout the same. For seven years following his marriage Mr. Dickens farmed on rented land in Fayette and Chickasaw counties, but in 1893 he purchased his present place in the southern part of Eden township, six miles northwest of Hawkeye, where he has since lived and prospered, bringing his farm to a high state of cultivation the meanwhile and achieving marked success as an industrious and progressive tiller of the soil.
Mr. Dickens' farm is not as large as some of his neighbors, consisting of forty-eight acres, but what it lacks in size is more than made up for in the superior manner of its cultivation. By a careful study of the natural conditions of the soils, and their adaptation to the different crops, also by judicious rotation of the latter, he has been enabled to enhance the original fertility of his land, which now yields ample returns for the time and labor expended upon it. He has made a number of good improvements and by industry, thrift and excellent management has succeeded in placing himself in the comfortable circumstances which he now enjoys.
In all that pertains to the prosperity of the community he manifests a lively interest and to the extent of his ability is ever ready to assist his fellowmen and promote the common welfare. He stands high as a neighbor and citizen and belongs to that large and eminently respectable class of yeoman who by deeds rather than words add stability to the body politic and make the world better by their presence and influence. In his political views Mr. Dickens is staunchly and uncompromisingly Republican, though not a politician in the sense the term is usually accepted; nevertheless he keeps in touch with the questions of the day and has decided opinions upon issues concerning which men and parties divide.
The family of Mr. and Mrs. Dickens
consists of three children, Emily Tone Stokes, married and living in South
Dakota, and two daughters, still at home, Achsah and Bertha, to the
rearing and educating of whom the parents are devoting much interest.
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