H. R. DICKSON. It seems impossible to think that where are now magnificent fields of corn and thrifty farms, less than half a century ago was a wilderness inhabited by wild animals and savages. Still stranger is it to think that we have in our midst one of those old settlers who spent his best energies in subduing the wilderness and bringing it to the state of perfection apparent to all. H. R. Dickson was born in Ashe County, N. C., July 31, 1824, and was the eldest of twelve children born to the marriage of William and Frances (Cross) Dickson, both natives of the Old North State. William Dickson was the son of Douglas Dickson and the grandson of Thomas Dickson, who was a native of Scotland and who came to this country at an early day. The latter settled in North Carolina, and there followed farming, as also did his sons, in Ashe County. There his death occurred. Douglas Dickson died in that county also. The father of our subject grew to manhood in North Carolina, and about 1856 came to Missouri locating on a farm in Reynolds County. He was a prominent man in the county, a leader in the Baptist Church, and an excellent citizen. Previous to coming to Missouri he was a resident of Scott County, Tennessee, for some time, and while there held the office of justice of the peace. His wife died in this county in 1869. Twelve children were given them: H. R. (subject), Nancy E., Temperance A., Thomas M., Mary A., William D., John W., Sarah J., Malinda C., Rebecca E., John C. and Amanda J. Temperance, Mary and John W. are deceased, but the remainder are living and are well-respected citizens, following in the footsteps of their father whose honesty, uprightness and integrity were well known.
Our subject passed his early life in Tennessee, and, owing to circumstances, received but a limited education. When twenty years of age he married Miss Nancy A. Smith, daughter of Daniel Smith, who was a native of Kentucky, but who died in this county a number of years ago. His wife died in Kentucky, and he came to this county in 1856, dying here in 1875. To Mr. and Mrs. Dickson were born eight children, three of whom are living: Gilbert, Ewell and Julia A. The boys are wealthy farmers of the State of Washington and Julia A. is the wife of Frank Dinkins, a farmer of this county. Mrs. Dickson passed away in 1862, and Mr. Dickson took for his second wife Temperance Fitzgerald, a native of North Carolina. Seven children were born to this union, viz.: Tennessee L., who is the wife of William Wimpie, a farmer of this county; Thomas S., a man of a family, lives on the home place; Temperance L. married Dr. Frank Ellis, and is living in the Nation; Eugene N., at home; and the remainder died young. Our subject came from Tennessee to this State in 1853, and located where he now lives, in Dickson Valley, named after him, he being the first man to settle there. He was the first man to enter land in Reynolds County under the graduation law. For four years he was assessor of the county, and for twelve years he was justice of the peace. He has now a farm of 800 acres, and is one of the wealthiest men in the county. In politics he has ever been a strong Republican and a man interested in the growth and upbuilding of the county. He is a member of the Barnesville Masonic Lodge. During the war he enlisted in the Twenty-ninth Missouri Infantry and served from July 12, 1862, until June 10, 1863. He was a good soldier. Mr. Dickson is chairman of the County Central Committee.