Biography of Patrick A. Dickerson
Patrick A. Dickerson is now serving his second term as sheriff of Rice County, with headquarters in the county seat at Lyons. Mr. Dickerson had had a varied and active experience in life, but for many years was in railroad work and was called from a position in that service to his present office.
Mr. Dickerson was born at La Plata, Missouri, August 10, 1877. The Dickerson family came originally from Ireland to the United States. His father, P. H. T. Dickerson, was born in Baron County, Kentucky, in 1833. He made a successful career largely by hard work and sturdy determination. When he was ten years of age his parents died, and, set adrift in the world, he soon afterwards walked the entire distance to La Plata in Northeastern Missouri and had many hard knocks while establishing himself. He worked at many things and for many people until he reached his majority and then took up a homestead in Missouri of 160 acres. Later he sold that and bought another farm and gradually accumulated a most satisfactory prosperity. At the time of his death in La Plata, which occurred in 1899, he owned 210 acres of good farming land. He was a democrat and a member of the Christian Church. During the Civil war he served with a Home Guard Regiment in Missouri. The maiden name of his wife was Catherine Saltmarsh. She was born in Indiana in 1838 and died at La Plata, Missouri, in 1902. They had a family of ten children, and made liberal provisions for those that reached maturity. A brief record of the children is as follows: Virginia and Charles, both of whom died in childhood; a daughter that died in infancy; Joseph T., who died at Eldorado Springs, Missouri; William H., who is agent and operator for the Santa Fe Railway at Windom, Kansas; James G., a street car motorman at Colorado Springs, Colorado; Bedford K., who lives on and owned the old homestead farm back in Missouri; Dora I., wife of Frank S. Forney, a feed and coal dealer at Lyons, Kansas; Patrick A.; and George B., who died on the old farm at La Plata, Missouri, at the age of twenty-four.
Patrick A. Dickerson grew up on his father’s farm in Adair County, Missouri, and lived there until he was twenty years of age. His education came from the district schools and the La Plata public schools. On leaving home he went out to Montana, spent a year on a ranch, and in 1898 came to Kansas, locating at Windom, where he worked with his brother William and while there became connected with the railroad service. In 1901 he was transferred to Lyons and put in seven years as baggage man and bill clerk with the Missouri Pacific Railway. The next five years he was telegraph operator for the Missouri Pacific Railway.
In the meantime his popularity as a citizen made him well and favorably known all over Rice County, and in 1914 he was chosen to the office of sheriff, an election which broke the normal republican ascendency in the county. Usually Rice County returns its republican candidates for office by a majority of 600, but he was elected on the democratic ticket with 1,000 votes to spare, and in 1916, when he was re-elected, his majority was 1884. Sheriff Dickerson is interested in a farm in Rice County and is affiliated with Loyal Lodge No. 192, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Lyons, and Windom Camp No. 4563, Modern Woodmen of America.
In 1903 at Lyons he married Laura L. Chapin, daughter of D. and Nettie (Fisher) Chapin. Her parents live at Lyons, her father being an employe of the Electric Light Company. Mr. and Mrs. Dickerson have three children: Cleo H., born January 14, 1904; Dwight A., born January 10, 1909; and Cuba I., born August 16, 1911.