Biography of Eames Dickey
Eames Dickey was born of Irish parents in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, September 3, 1788, came to the northwestern territory with his father’s family in 1798 and settled first in Washington county. When a young man Mr. Dickey was employed as a post rider to carry the mail on horseback, between Marietta and Chillicothe, a distance of about one hundred miles. Between 18o6 and 1814 he was variously engaged in the mail service, sometimes as a sub contractor, but always doing the riding of one hand himself. At that time the mail service in this section was one of great hardship and frequently of danger, as the numerous streams along the route, all destitute of bridges, were often swollen and had to be crossed at the peril of life. From 1812 to 1814, during the war with Great Britain, the great East and West mail was sent over this route, the bag being sometimes nearly filled with government dispatches alone. The riders (three in number), each made one round trip a week from Marietta to Chillicothe and return, regardless of weather and of all obstacles. Mr. Dickey once swam the creek near Amesville in the night, running great risk and getting the mail thoroughly wet. On reaching John Brown’s in Ames, one of his regular stopping places, he spent a short time drying the mail bag before the fire and then went on in the darkness.
During the war the contract required the mail to be carried at the rate of five miles an hour, and the government enforced the condition rigorously. . Mr. Dickey became noted for his energy and fidelity in fulfilling his mail contracts, and in this, as in all other respects, established a reputation for strict integrity and rare business capacity. At one of his stations on the route he had a rest of about two hours once a week, and this was usually spent by him in hunting. He often killed one and sometimes two deer, or perhaps several wild turkeys, if they were soonest found, and brought them in for the family with whom he boarded, and received credit for the game on his board account; in this way he paid nearly his whole board and horse keeping at this station.
In 1815 Mr. Dickey married Betsy, daughter of Samuel Brown, and bought a small farm near Mr. Brown’s, eight miles west of Marietta, where he lived till he removed to Bern. He came to Bern in 1821 and settled on Sharp’s fork where he opened a large farm, and where he lived about thirty-four years and reared a family of three sons and two daughters. His house in Bern became a favorite and noted stopping place for travelers and there are many who still remember his hospitality and good cheer. Mr. Dickey never sought office or notoriety; he however served as county commissioner and township trustee at different times. In 1852 or ‘3, after his wife’s death, he disposed of his farm in Bern among his sons, and a few years later went to live with his son Mr. A. S. Dickey, in McConnellsville, where he died June 12, 1862.