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Biography of Aurelius Dickenson

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Aurelius Dickenson, formerly a wealthy hotel-owner of Claremont, was born at Granville, Mass., February 10, 1804. He remained on his father’s farm until twenty-one years of age. His first experience in business was in Hartford, Conn., where he was engaged as a clerk for a leather firm. A few years later he started a country store, and conducted it successfully for some time. When on his wedding trip, he took a fancy to the principal hotel at Amherst, Mass., and purchased it. This investment proved a paying one until 1837, when the hotel was burned. He then sold the property, and came to Claremont, where he bought the Tremont House property of Mr. Paran Stevens. On March 29, 1876, this property was also burned.

At one time Mr. Dickenson had large interests in stage lines, which brought him in enormous profits until they were superseded by railroads. While engaged in that business he kept a hundred horses, and owned the right of route. When obliged to abandon it, he turned his attention to railroads, and was instrumental in having Sullivan Railroad built from Bellows Falls to Windsor, Vt., on the New Hampshire side. He was a Director of the Claremont National Bank for thirty years and a Director of the Sullivan Savings Bank from the time of its organization. He was a thorough business man and an able financier. He was County Commissioner in 1868, 1869, and 1870, and a Selectman for about fifteen years. He married Frances M. Galpin in May, 1830, and had two sons, one of whom died in infancy. Mrs. Dickenson was a woman of rare virtues. Charitable, motherly in her ways, and with singular charm of manner, she endeared herself to all. She was devoted to her husband; and his death, November 3, 1880, at the age of seventy-seven years, was to her a sad affliction. Her death, at the age of seventy-two, occurred just a month after the decease of her husband.

Henry Dickenson, son of Aurelius, after spending some years in a retail shoe store, was engaged with his father in the hotel business. The valuable estate inherited from his father was most judiciously handled by him, and yielded a good income. He was a member of the Episcopal church, and he was legislative Representative in 1884 and 1885. His death occurred November 13, 1888. He married Mary E., daughter of Bridgeman Hapgood, of Reading, Vt.; and his children were: Harry Grant, Aurelius, Laura, Frances, and Ruth. All died in infancy with the exception of the first-born. Harry G. is a graduate of the Stevens High School, and now has charge of the estates and interests of his father.


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