Dickson Family


9004 County Road 2800
Athens, Texas 75751




Not far from the modern day city of Waldo, Arkansas there remains what is the last vestige of a family who lived, fought and died on their homestead in Columbia County. What remains is a small family cemetery with but a few markers that lay amid a tangle of thorny bushes all but forgotten.

The family of Josiah and Mary Dickson, though now gone, lives on in their many descendants. The history presented here is a meager attempt to bring the forgotten names etched on ancient marble to life and to help those descendants to remember from whence they came.

A large portion of this narrative pertains to my direct ancestor, William Crawford Dickson though I have attempted to include as much information
concerning his siblings as I could find.

The author welcomes additions or corrections to this material.


JOSIAH DICKSON was born on November 30, 1800 in Hancock County, Georgia. He had at least one brother named DAVID, also born in Hancock County on July 18, 1802.

Although there are no early records of Josiah or David, in typical Southern fashion, they most assuredly worked on their father's plantation until they came of age.[1]

Josiah left home when, in 1821, he obtained land by the draw in the 1821 Land Lottery. He drew lot number 391, located in the 16th District and northernmost corner of Newton County (formerly Henry). David Dickson also received land in Newton County and married there about 1830.[2]
Josiah became an active member of the Newton County Militia as was expected of every able-bodied male of age.[3]  When he entered his plot of land, his first task was to clear the land for planting and to build a cabin. With this accomplished he set about to begin his family. He married MARY L. (Louisa?) WALKER of Newton County on January 19, 1824. Their first child, WILLIAM CRAWFORD DICKSON was born on April 6, 1825. A daughter, NANCY DICKSON, was born one-year later.[4]

Not only Josiah, but also every farmer of that period, maintained poor agricultural practices that quickly depleted the land's usefulness. It's ironic
that Josiah's near kinsman, another David Dickson, was a champion of agricultural reform in Georgia at a time when crop rotation and soil management were virtually unknown.  With the seemingly limitless lands opening to the west it was imminently more practical to move one's farm and family than to continue to eke out a living in exhausted soil. By 1830, Josiah looked for land in the newly opened Indian Territory in Troup County on the western boundary of the state. When he arrived on his new land, he found good farmland with a suitable source of water coming
from the nearby Chattahoochee River. During their sojourn there, sons DAVID and WASHINGTON TROUPE DICKSON were born.

The Creek Cession of 1832 cleared Indian lands in the nearby Alabama territory for white settlement. By 1835, the Dickson family moved across the Chattahoochee River from Troup County to neighboring Chambers County, Alabama.

In the following years, five more children were born: JOSIAH JEFFERSON, CHRISTOPHER C., MARY I., SUSAN E., HENRY C. and HARRIET EUGENIA DICKSON.

In addition to farming, Josiah was in business with his brother, David. In 1850, "D. Dickson & Co." sued Collins, Brother & Co. to recover goods for which they had allegedly failed to pay. It's unknown what kind of business they ran or if they were successful in their endeavor, but a failed business may have prompted the changes that followed.

About 1850, Josiah's family moved to Lafayette County, Arkansas, settling just south of Lamartine and the present day town of Waldo. His brother, David, returned with his family to Newton County, Georgia where he died in 1875.

Josiah again found good farmland. On a gently rolling hillside dotted with pine trees, he built his home.

All of Josiah's children lived at home with the exception of his oldest daughter, Nancy, who had married a Mr. Phillips while in Alabama.

At age 24, William took up the practice of dentistry and began to earn a living in Lamartine and the surrounding community. He received no formal training, but may have apprenticed with another dentist. The dental tools of the time were crude and the methods unrefined. General anesthetics were seldom available resulting in less than eager patients. The treatment for most ailments was the extraction of one or more of the offending teeth. Poultices were often applied to the affected area to reduce pain and swelling with mixed success. Unlike modern practitioners, Dr. Dickson made house calls to accommodate his patients. On his visits, he carried his instruments in saddlebags as he rode his horse over traces to neighboring towns.[5] His younger brother Washington expressed an interest in William's profession and likely served as his apprentice.

In 1852, the county of Columbia was formed from the counties of Lafayette, Ouachita and Hempstead. The Dicksons found themselves living in a new county even though they hadn't moved geographically.

As the children grew older they each ventured out on lives of their own. On December 9, 1852 JOSIAH JEFFERSON DICKSON married SARAH F. TEMMONS and made his home near his father's. That same year his sister, NANCY DICKSON PHILLIPS gave birth to a daughter, Elizah. Two years later, in 1854 at the age of 26, Nancy died unexpectedly. Elizah (called "Elsie") came to live with Josiah and Mary. It's unknown what happened to Nancy's husband, Elsie's father, but he may have preceded Nancy in death. CHRISTOPHER C. DICKSON married NANCY B. JACKSON on October 17, 1859.

William left his father's home and moved to Okolona, Mississippi to live with relatives there.[6] His dental practice thrived in Okolona while his brother, Washington T. Dickson, took over the established Lamartine practice. Washington advertised his services in the Magnolia, Arkansas newspaper:   "Living in Lamartine Community, Dr. W.T. Dickson offers his professional service in dentistry, stating these terms--"cash" or a note with 10% from date".

Washington married NANNY DEVAUGHN about 1860.[7] They had one child, a daughter, ADELLA WASHINGTON TROUP DICKSON in 1861. Also about 1860, a young man named GEORGE DOBSON came to live with Josiah's family. He was from Georgia, so it is conceivable that the family knew him for some time. He married young Mary Dickson the very next year on August 13,1861.

Josiah Dickson, like his father and his father's father before him, owned slaves. An older woman was bought to help Mary around the house and to serve as "Mammy" to the younger children. Two young men were used as farm hands.



Though it started in the North, abolitionist rumblings worked their way south and then west. Josiah was not a wealthy plantation owner, but he and the Southern economy, for the most part, depended on slavery. This issue became a catalyst that divided the nation into two factions.

On November 14, 1861, at the outset of the Civil War, Josiah's oldest son, William, enlisted in the Confederate Army at Columbus, Mississippi a few miles south of Okolona. He was 36 years old when he mustered in as an orderly sergeant under Captain Charles G. Feild in Company A of the Charles Baskerville Battalion of the Mississippi Cavalry in Pope Walker's Brigade. Soon after his enlistment he was given leave to set his affairs in order. He wrote to his mother on the 22nd of November, expressing his great desire to enter the war. On the back of the letter he wrote his will.

* * *


Okolona, Miss.
Nov.22, 1861

Dear Mother,

I am now home on furlough trying to wind up my business, but the time is so short that I have that I shall have it in saltus in an unwound condition. I
could not get a long furlough. On the other side of this sheet you will find what my will & wish is provided I am so unfortunate as not to get back.

Mother do not think that I am going out with tears in my eyes, for I have not shed any nor do not expect to shed any -- for I am really anxious to go and only regret that circumstances have been such that I could not go sooner. And do not think that by that document that I am afraid of not getting back, for I am certain that I will stand as good a chance as any, but I wish only to prepare for any event that may turn up. I am going out with the full determination of facing any consequences that may come before me. I know that there are many that do not get back and only wish to prepare for the worst.

I belong to Captain Feilds Company in Baskerville Battalion, and expect to be in the Pope Walker brigade. I am orderly sergeant of my company, and a hard berth it is. But I accepted knowing it to be so and now I will not flush.

I will write again when I have more time and give you the full particulars as to our position in the army. And when we go we expect now to go south but are not certain.

I read yours and Susan's letter a few days sooner. Continue to write and direct [the letters] to Okolona and they will be sent to me.

My health is very fine. Cousin Martha helps to make my clothes. I am in a cavalry company. I am well armored and my outfit, including horse, arms and clothing is worth at least 400 dollars.

My love to yourself and the rest.

Your affectionate son,

W.C. Dickson [his signature]

[written in the margin] I have my clothing trunks and buggy with Mr. Richards and my papers all with Dr. J.H. Green.

*Saltus (n. poetic/literary) A sudden transition; a breach of continuity.



Okolona, Miss. Nov.22nd 1861.

On tomorrow I start to join my company to prepare for the united field and in the event that I do not get back alive the following is my will and wish.

viz. That my brother W.T. Dickson shall be my legal representative in winding up business, and in case he cannot do it, that my parents Josiah Dickson and Mary L. Dickson appoint some one to act as administrator or agent, and that Dr. T.A. Green assist, and that neither be required to take out letter of administration or give security and my effects be disposed of as follows:

viz. My dental instruments to go to my brother, W. T. Dickson for his services provided. [?]and such other compensation as my parents may think right and all my effects after paying my debts (which are very few) to go to my parents Josiah Dickson and Mary L. Dickson during their natural lives and then to be equally distributed among my legal representatives. I do not owe in all excluding three hundred dollars.

The above is in substance my will and wish.

W.C. Dickson {L.S.}

* * *

Josiah's other sons also answered the call. Henry, age 17, and David Dickson, age 30 joined "Dismuke's 1st Arkansas Heavy Artillery Company at Lamartine.

Washington Dickson enlisted at Lamartine on May 14, 1862 entering Confederate service at the age of 23 with the rank of 1st Lieutenant in Captain Arnold's Company of Grinstead's Regiment, Arkansas Infantry.

In the first months of war William's Mississippi battalion engaged in several minor skirmishes. On April 6th of 1862, Confederate and Union troops converged on Shiloh Church at Pittsburgh Landing, Tennessee. This was the company's first major engagement and one of the bloodiest battles of the war. Today we know it as the "Battle of Shiloh".

* * *

Reports of Lieut. Col. R. H. Brewer, Battalion of Mississippi and Alabama Cavalry.[7]

Major: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my battalion of Mississippi and Alabama cavalry in the battle near Shiloh Church:  I moved from Purdy in the direction of Pittsburgh on Saturday morning, bringing up the rear of Brig. Gen. Bushrod Johnson's brigade.

Saturday night, by order of Major-General Polk, I sent two of my companies in the direction of Adamsville, to watch the movements of Wallace's division. 

Sunday morning, with my three companies (one having been taken by the major-general for escort), I took my position, as ordered, on the left flank of Major General Polk's corps. We were there engaged skirmishing with the skirmishers of the enemy, while Colonel Russell, commanding brigade, was advancing, capturing 25 or 30 and killing and wounding others.

In the afternoon, at Major-General Hardee's suggestion, we attempted to pass around to the left, to get in rear of the enemy. In doing so we encountered a detached regiment, which we charged and fired into with shotguns, killing the officer commanding and others, getting 1 killed and 3 wounded. We then received orders from Major-General Hardee to remain where we were for the present. We bivouacked that night on Owl Creek.

On the morning of the 7th I was ordered by General Beauregard to go with my command to the assistance of Colonel Ferguson. I reported to Colonel Ferguson, but was not needed. For the rest of the day my battalion was employed, by order of General Beauregard, keeping back stragglers. When the army fell back, by order of Major-General Polk, we covered his retreat, getting into camp at Mickey's at 10 o'clock that night.

The next morning I reported to General Breckinridge for duty. Remained three days collecting arms and assisting in removing artillery, etc., as ordered.

I herewith send a list of killed and wounded, as follows: Killed, 5; wounded,12; missing 2. Many of my horses were disabled or killed. Both of my horses were shot under me.  Major Baskerville, to whom I am much indebted for coolness, &c., had one of his horses shot.

Very respectfully.

Lieut. Col. Comdg. Battalion Mississippi and Alabama Cavalry.

* * *

Company "A" received heavy fire during the fight and William was among those wounded. He lay in a field hospital for months where his wounds, though slight, took many months to heal.[8]  The company's casualties during the battle were so great, not enough men were left to continue as a company. The surviving troops combined with other companies to form Brewer's Mississippi Cavalry Battalion. [9]

The 1st Arkansas Infantry also saw heavy action. Henry and David's company was so decimated, that theirs, along with nine others, was consolidated into the 1st Tennessee Heavy Artillery on May 10, 1862.

Washington Dickson returned to Lamartine on June 20th and enlisted his brother Christopher as a private into his company. On July 2, 1862, their brother,   Josiah Jefferson Dickson also enlisted as a private in the same company. He left behind his wife, Sarah, and two children.

On the 13th of August 1862, doctors determined that William was fit for duty. On his release he was promoted to First Lieutenant and as part of Brewer's Battalion, fought bravely as he participated in many engagements.

* * *


Skirmish, Rienzi, Miss. 8/26/1862

Skirmish, Kossuth, Miss.8/27/1862

Operations against the Reconnaissance from Burnsville to Iuka, Miss. 9/16/1862

Engagement, Iuka, Miss. 9/19/1862

Battle, Corinth, Miss. 10/3-4/1862

Retreat to the Hatchie River, Miss. 10/5-12/1862

Operations on the Mississippi Central R.R. from Bolivar, Tenn. to Coffeeville, Miss. (Grant's Central Mississippi Campaign)
10/31/1862 - 1/3/1863

Skirmishes about Oxford, Miss.1/1-3/1862

Action, Oakland, Miss. Dec 1862

Action and Surrender, Holly Springs, Miss. 12/20/1862

* * *

Late in December of 1862, Brewer's Mississippi Cavalry Battalion was ordered to disband. This action was taken because the unit contained companies recruited in more than one State. Its companies were later transferred to units from the two States represented.

In 1862, two men of David Dickson's company were seriously wounded. The following story was told by one of his comrades:  "In 1862, while fighting Farragut's fleet, two of our men, while seriously wounded, begged piteously for water, and one of them said to Dave Dickson,   "Won't you give me a drink?" To do his was to risk being killed, as the air was full of shot and shell. Dave said, "If I live long enough, I will." He took a canteen and deliberately walked seventy-five yards directly toward the enemy to an old cistern, drew water and returned in the same deliberate way and gave his dying friend a drink..."[10]

In April of 1863 during one of the many Union assaults on Little Rock, JOSIAH JEFFERSON DICKSON was killed. Henry and David's Heavy Artillery Company was involved in the long siege of the city of Vicksburg. It was noted that Henry manned a gun known as "Whistling Dick". [11] In a gun battery commanded by Captain Paul Dismukes, also of Columbia County, DAVID DICKSON was credited for manning the gun that sank a Federal Gunboat going north on the Mississippi.[12]

By September of 1863, William received command of Company C, 8th Confederate Regiment. WASHINGTON TROUPE DICKSON was promoted to Captain and given command of Company A in the 33rd Arkansas Infantry under Colonel H.L. Grinstead. At home, his sister, Susan Dickson married ROBERT J. MORELAND on September 10, 1863.

In February of 1864 WASHINGTON DICKSON received a special furlough from General Tappan. A smallpox epidemic had broken out at home and he returned briefly to move his family to safety. This was their last reunion.

In April of 1864 the Union Army held the City of Camden, Arkansas. As the Confederate troops, including the 33rd Arkansas Infantry, converged on them, the Union Army quickly left the city to rebuff the advance. The two armies met at Jenkins Ferry on the Saline River southeast of Little Rock. The Union made swift progress toward the approaching Confederate troops gaining the advantage of higher ground. The Confederates, forced to fight in water, saw heavy losses.

WASHINGTON T. DICKSON was killed as his company bravely held their position. His death was described by Lt. Col. T.D. Thomson in his report, "Captain Dickson, of Company A, seeing the color-bearer shot down, gallantly raised the colors and kept them up until he was cut down by three balls". Washington was buried in the field. His name was inscribed on a marker with that of his brother, Josiah Jefferson Dickson, who also died during the war and of others in his family in the form of a cenotaph and placed in the family cemetery.

On June 30, 1864 William Dickson was listed as "Absent, sent to hospital June 26,64." It's unclear whether this was from another wound or from sickness. This was also the last record of his involvement with the war. That same summer, Susan Moreland (née DICKSON) died at the birth of her only child, SUSAN MARY FRANCES MORELAND.

It was said that Henry Dickson was in Alexandria, Louisiana when he heard of Lee's Surrender to Grant. Having no other means of transportation, he traveled on foot from Alexandria to Lamartine, Arkansas arriving there on his 21st birthday.


At the close of the war, William returned to Mississippi settling in Oktibbeha County. While there, he met Miss MARTHA JANE WEAVER, the daughter of SAMUEL and CISLEY JOHNSON WEAVER. Though she was many years his junior, the couple married on Christmas day of 1867 in her father's home with her father officiating.[14]

A little over a year later on February 6, 1869 a daughter was born, MARY CISLEY DICKSON. The family remained in Oktibbeha County for several years.

The Reconstruction Period was difficult for most Southerners, for the devastating effects of the war had all but ruined the Southern economy.
Stories of prosperity in the west soon reached Mississippi leading the Dickson family to Texas in 1870. For a short time they lived in the community of Honest Ridge in Limestone County. It was there that a son, William Henry Dickson, was born. When his wife’s, father died, her brother, SAMUEL PIERCE WEAVER, and their mother soon followed the Dicksons to Texas, settling in Freestone County. In the summer of 1871 William Dickson wrote to his brother, Henry Dickson, giving him instructions on how to get from Columbia County, Arkansas to Honest Ridge.

* * *

Waybill from Columbia Co., Ark. to Honest Ridge; Limestone, Co., Tex.

Miles  Shreveport La. thru to 80

Henderson in Rusk Co. 75

Thru to Rusk in Cherokee Co. 30

Thru to Palestine in Anderson Co. 35

Thru to Bonners Ferry on Trinity River 12

Thru to Fairfield in Freestone Co. 22

Thru to Cottongin in Freestone Co. 12

Thru to Mr. Henry's Limestone Co. 12
(directly west of Cottongin.)

Thru to Comanche cropping on the Navasota River. 5

Thru to Mrs. Wards 2

Mr. Weaver lives 7 miles from Bonners Ferry on James Prairie. If you stop at Mr. Weaver's (I wish that you would), then come Directly to Cottongin.

Dock [sic] the whole trip will cost you about 20 or 25 dollars special & one months' time, & I don't think you would regret the trip even if you decide to stay in Columbia.

You would see the country for yourself, see both its good & bad qualities, & I want you to come this summer for perhaps it will suit me better to ride round with you this year than next. You can make some arrangement to get enough fodder saved, & if it dries on the stalk you will gain its worth in corn.

The prosperity of the Railroads will cause the land to rise a good deal in the next 12 months in the country I want you to look at. Write me as soon as you get this if you are coming & what time you will start.

Let me hear from you oftener anyhow. I have not decided yet where I will settle.

Have seen but little of the country. Have stayed pretty close to home on matters.


* * *

Back home in Arkansas, HARRIET DICKSON married POSEY REEVES on December 1, 1870.

Josiah Dickson died in the fall of 1871 and was buried in the Dickson family plot on the homestead. He left the following will.[13]

The Last Will & Testament of Josiah Dickson

In the name of God, Amen.

I Josiah Dickson of the County of Columbia and State of Arkansas being in ill bodily health and of sound and disposing mind and memory calling to mind the frailty and uncertainty of human life and being desirous of settling my worldly affairs and dividing here the Estate which it has pleased God to bless me shall be disposed of after my decease while I have strength and capacity to do so I make and publish this my last will and testament hereby revoking and making null and void all other last wills and testaments by me heretofore made and first I commend my immortal being to him who gave it and my body to the earth to be buried with little expense or estimation by my executor herein after named. And as to my worldly estate and all the property not personal or mixed of which I shall due seized and possessed or to where I shall be entitled at the time of my decease I devise bequeath and disperse in the manner following:

To wit: My will is that all my just debts and funeral charges shall by my executor hereinafter named be paid out of my as soon after my decease as shall by him be found convenient.

I give devise and bequeath to my grand daughter, ELSIE R. PHILIPS in the place of her deceased mother, NANCY N. PHILIPS the following parts or parcels of land lying in the County of Columbia and the State of Arkansas: To wit: The South half of the southwest quarter and the north half of the southwest quarter of section twenty-eight in Township sixteen(16) South Range twenty-one West(21) and its appurtenances and all profits income and advantages that may result from to have and to hold the same to her [page 30] ELSIE R. PHILIPS her heirs and assigns to her and their use behalf forever.

I give and devise and bequeath to my son HENRY C. DICKSON the following parts and parcels of land lying in the County and State aforesaid.

To wit: The West half of the northeast quarter of the Southeast quarter and the northwest quarter of the Southeast quarter and the south half of the North east quarter of section twenty one(21) in Township sixteen(16) South range twenty-one(21) West and to appoint names and all profits income and advantages that may result there from to have and to hold the same to him the said HENRY C. DICKSON his heirs and assigns to his and their use and behalf forever.

I give devise and bequeath to the legal and legitimate bodily heirs of my son David W. Dickson the following grants or parcels of land lying in the County and State aforesaid to wit: The Southeast Quarter, the North half of the Southwest quarter and the North half of the South half of the Southwest quarter of Section Twenty Five(25) and the South half of the Northeast quarter and the Southwest quarter of the North East quarter of Section Thirty-six (36) all in Township Sixteen (16) South Range Twenty-one (21) West and its appurtenances and all profits income and advantage that may result there from to have and to hold the same to them the said heirs of the said David W. Dickson to his heirs and assigns to their own use and behalf forever.

I give and bequeath to my daughter Harriet E. Reaves the following tracts and parcels of land lying in the county and State aforesaid to wit: The East half of the North East quarter and the East half of the South East quarter of Section Twenty (20) and the West half of the South West quarter of Section Twenty-one (21) all in Township Sixteen (16) South Range Twenty-One (21) West and all of my stock of horses, mules, cattle, sheep, hogs and poultry. My Wagon, plows, gearing and farming tools and implements of every kind, character and description all household furniture and bedding(Josiah Dickson)and books and all and singular every other kind and species of personal property at, in, around about the last above granted and [?] tenement and premises whatsoever and all the profits income and advantage that may result there from to have and to hold the same to her the said Harriet E. Reaves her heirs and assigns to her and their use and behalf forever [& keeping the said lands or Real Estate last above
bequeathed which at the natural death of my said daughter Harriet E. Reaves Shall become in all things and in every [illegible] the absolute property of and Real Estate of the bodily heirs of my said daughter Harriet E. Reaves and shall in that event be held by him, her or them her [illegible] their heirs and assigns to their own use and behalf forever. All the rest and [illegible] real estate and all the money of which I shall [seized?] and possessed is to which I shall be entitled at the time of my decease I give devise and bequeath to be equally divided to and among all of my bodily heirs share and share alike X -And I do hereby nominate and appoint my said son Henry C. Dickson to be the Executor of this my last Will and Testament.

In testimony whereof I the said Josiah Dickson have to this my last will and testament [inscribed?] on two sheets of paper and to this sheet have subscribed my name and to this the last sheet thereof I have subscribed my name and affixed my seal this the Eleventh day of July in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy-one- [His Signature]Josiah Dickson.....[text unclear]...sealed published and declared.......
...said Josiah Dickson as and for his last Will and Testament in promise of this and other request and in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses hereto.


[signatures]W.G. Wood

R.K. Formby

State of Arkansas}

County of Columbia} On this 25th day of November A.D. 1871 personally appeared in open court R.K. Formby and N. G. Wood Subscribing Witnesses to the within and foregoing Last Will and Testament of Josiah Dickson Decd and after being duly sworn depose and say that they saw the said Josiah Dickson sign the same in their presence and in that of the said declared that it was his last will and testament and called upon them to subscribe the same as witnesses thereto and that they subscribed their names as such witnesses in his presence and the in the presence of each other and that he was of sound and disposing mind and memory at the time of signing the same and that he was over twenty-one years of age at the time of executing the same.

Sworn to & Subscribed} W. G. Wood

before me this 25th day of} R. K. Formby

November A.D. 1871}

[signature of County Clerk illegible]

Filed November 25 A.D. 1871 [signature illegible]

* * *

The December 16, 1871 edition of the Waxahachie Democrat placed Dr. W.C. Dickson among the professional listings. As one of two dentist, neither of which boasted formalized training, Dr. Dickson gave as references Drs. Oliver and Rives of Waxahachie, Texas, General James E. Harrison of Waco and Judge J.L. Burney of Springfield, Texas. His office was located at Mr. W.D. Dillon's two and one-half miles from town. In 1872 the same periodical gave a downtown address with an office above Park-Rogers and Company.[15]

The Friday, October 9, 1874 edition of the Ellis County News held an ad complete with illustration on the front page, under the heading, "Dentist".

The Ellis County Deed Records show that on April 25, 1873 W.C. Dickson bought 80 acres of land, part of the original William Baskins Survey, for which he paid eight-hundred gold dollars. The grantor of the property was the Ferris and Getzendaner Exchange Company. The J.W. Ferris and W.H.Getzendaner's association later evolved into what is today the Citizens National Bank in Waxahachie. [16]

William's mother died in Arkansas in 1875 and was buried beside her husband, Josiah in the family plot.

By 1880 the William Dickson household increased by the birth of several more children:  SAMUEL PIERCE, HATTIE MAY AND MATTIE LEE. Other members of the household included Mattie's mother, Cisley Weaver and Susan Moreland, William's 16-year-old niece from Arkansas and Mr. Alec Haley, a border.[17]

When William Crawford Dickson died on June 5, 1887, The Waxahachie Enterprise reported the following on June 10th:  Dr. W.C. Dickson, a highly esteemed citizen of this community, died at his residence north of town Sunday afternoon, after a lingering illness of about five months. He was buried with Masonic honors at 2 p.m. Monday. He leaves a wife and five or six children, who have much sympathy in their sad bereavement.

William Crawford Dickson was buried in Waxahachie City Cemetery.[18]

* * *


Waxahachie, Texas January 29, 1887

In the name of Love & fear of God Amen.

Being of sound mind, and in full possession of my mental faculties, and being desirous of promoting the best interest of my beloved wife and children, I make this my last will and testament.

That at my death or demise, my beloved wife M.J. Dickson shall be administratrix of my estate, and guardian of our children, shall collect dues and pay debts, sue and be sued, & shall transact all manner of business relating to my estate as legally and as fully as I could do myself if I were living. And that she shall not be required to give bond, either as administratrix or guardian, during her widowhood, or as hereinafter specified.

That there shall be an inventory of real and personal property, but no public sale of personal or perishable property, but the administratrix may sell such property as she may think to be surplus , or to be the best interest of herself and children, at such times as she may think best. That she manage for the support and maintenance of herself and children and the education of the children.

Witnesses: [His Signature]
R.N. Sweatt W.C. Dickson
D.G. Thompson

Although included with the Probate record of W.C. Dickson, this page had a large X drawn through it.


That my gold watch shall be the property of my wife M.J. Dickson until my oldest boy, that lives to be twenty years old, attains that age, and then it shall be his property during his natural live and at his death shall go to his next youngest brother that may be twenty years old, and in case he has a brother living and is not 20 years old then his mother shall keep it until he shall have a brother that attains that age and so on to the third boy. And in case neither of my three boys are living, then my girls shall fall heir to it in the same manner as above specified for the boys. In case of the death of my wife my oldest boy living shall take possession of it, and in no case shall it be sold, or worn by any one else except my wife or children, without the unanimous consent of all the children living, except that after the lapse of five years from my demise, my wife may find it necessary to sell it in order to obtain means for the education & support of the children in that event she may dispose of it at a fair consideration my children to have preference over all other purchasers.


In case the land notes now held by W.H. Getzendaner for the purchase money of 24 and 9/10 acres off of the Wm. Baskin and Gaunch Survey and lying on the Dallas road, may not be fully paid off at the time of my death, and the administratrix may be satisfied that she can't make surplus money to discharge the same, or Mr. Getzendaner may not be willing to wait for her to do so in that event, I wish Dr. R.P. Sweatt, J.W. Manning and James McCarling may be a board of arbitration jointly to agree with Mr. Getzendaner and at some fair price at which he shall take said land back and pay the administratrix the surplus after discharging said notes with compound interest as for private agreement between Mr. Getzendaner and myself. In case of the death of either or any of the men above specified as arbitrators, then the administratrix may appoint one in his or their stead.

In case the parties above referred to cannot agree upon terms and price of the land, then said land [is]to be sold at the courthouse in Waxahachie, Tex. on the first Tuesday in January after such failure to agree of the parties above specified, at the highest bidder within the legal hours of sale, one half cash and balance on a credit of 12 months with 12 percent per annum, from date of sale. The proceeds of such sale to be applied to the liquidation of the notes above specified until they are fully discharged.

[his signature] W.C. Dickson
R.P. Sweatt
D.G. Thompson

The will was probated on June 4, 1890.[19]


1.The History of Newton County, GA. Compiled by Newton County Historical Society, 1988. Chapter 1, pp. 3-25.8.
2.LDS Microfilm No. 10366132, Vol. 2-3,p.115. The Dickson Family of Hancock County, Georgia.

While there is no proven connection with the two following individuals, evidence strongly suggests that they begin the DICKSON lineage of concern.

MICHAEL DICKSON, Sr. was born ca. 1726 in Lunenburg County, Virginia. He married Mary Dickson the daughter of THOMAS DICKSON (ca.1690-1763) a kinsman. He possibly had three children: MICHAEL Jr., JOSIAS(JOSIAH)and HENRY. Because the name JOSIAS appeared often in this lineage, it has been proposed that Michael Dickson, Sr. had a close relative, perhaps a brother, named JOSIAS. MICHAEL
DICKSON, Sr. died ca.1796 in Person County, N.C.

MICHAEL DICKSON, Jr. was born ca. 1748 in Lunenburg, Virginia. There are records showing that he also lived in Caswell County, North Carolina before settling in Hancock County, Georgia. His first marriage to a widow, Mrs. Lucinda(CRAWFORD)Atwood, gave him five children: JOHN, BENJAMIN, WILLIAM, THOMAS and JAMES CURRY. His second marriage to MARTHA (?) gave him three more children:
CYRUS(also called JOSIAH)in 1801, DAVID in 1802 and SARAH ELIZABETH ca. 1803.

Michael Dickson died in ca. 1803 in Hancock County.

There were several kinsmen to this MICHAEL DICKSON all living in Hancock County.   One of these DAVID DICKSON was known as the "Rich Planter" and became well known for his leadership in agricultural reforms.

The reoccurrence of the names "DAVID" and "CRAWFORD" in Josiah Dickson's lineage at least suggest an association with Michael Dickson's family. There were several other Dicksons living in Hancock County at this time, and, although related, they do not fit the criteria for Josiah's Parents. The death of Michael Dickson, Jr. in 1803 allows for the birth of Josiah in 1801 and David in 1802.

In his will, Michael names among his children, CYRUS and DAVID.

While the name "Cyrus" would tend to cause one to think there was no connection, an interesting point of record demands that we reexamine the evidence. Newton County Marriage Records hold an 1824 entry for CYRUS DICKSON and MARY L. WALKER. This was one year before William CRAWFORD Dickson's birth. There is no other Newton County marriage record for DICKSON-WALKER prior to or after 1824.

The likelihood also remains that there was more than one Mary L. Walker. The Probate record for LANGFORD WALKER (Lincoln Co., GA; pp.63-64, 19 Jan 1817) List as one of his children MARY LOUISA WALKER. An earlier Hancock County Probate

Record for ELIZABETH WALKER (pp.102-104, recorded 29 Oct 1803) suggests that MARY WALKER, possibly a granddaughter, was among her heirs.

As for the discrepancy of names, the author suggest that "CYRUS" is possibly a corruption of "JOSIAH" due to early regional dialects (i.e. Jo-Cyrus) hence it was transcribed as it was heard. This point remains the sole shadow on an otherwise probable connection.

3.The History of Newton County, The Newton County Militia, Mrs. James L. Brown.

4.The Newton County reference is derived from Reynolds, H.D., Dickson Family History (LDS Microfilm Nos. 1036132, 1033859 Vols. 1,2 & 3) concerning David Dickson the brother of Josiah Dickson - In which it states that Josiah Dickson was born in Hancock Co., GA but lived in Newton Co., GA where he married Mary L. Walker. It is curious to note that Josiah's name was given as "Cyrus" in the marriage record. This may be explained by occurrences common to most genealogist. "Cyrus" may be how the clerk heard the name and recorded it or it might be Josiah's middle name.

The Dickson Family Bible (in possession of Mrs. Willet Naylor of Waxahachie, Texas, 1987) records William C. Dickson's birth date; further confirmed on his gravestone and by Census records; In a letter written to his mother on 22 November 1861, names both parents. A cemetery survey of the Dickson Cemetery in Columbia, County Arkansas and census records further confirm his parents' names; Josiah and Mary married 19 January 1824 in Newton County; Consecutive census records from 1850 through 1880 list William Dickson's birthplace as Georgia; Troup County, was formed in 1826 from the cession of Indian lands and also a year after William's birth. This would suggest that he was born prior to the
family's move there and place his beginnings at Newton County. The 1850 Census for Lafayette County, Arkansas list the names of Josiah and Mary Dickson's children including William. Nancy's date of birth was taken from the marker in the Dickson Family Cemetery near Waldo, Arkansas. It is further confirmed from census records. 1850 U.S. Census for Lafayette County, AK; 1860 U.S. Census Records for Columbia County, AK; Microfilm Record of Arkansas Cemeteries. The Dickson Family Cemetery, Waldo, Arkansas. Genealogical Section of the Little
Rock Library; Survey of Dickson Cemetery 22 March 1990 by author.

5.Stout, Dr. Walter C., The First One Hundred Years, A History of Dentistry in Texas.(Dallas, TX: Egan Press Co., 1969),p.16-17. R617.6 S889f Ref. Tex Hist

Dallas Public Library; Worldbook Encyclopedia, Vol. D, c.1989, pp.149-151.

6.A letter to his mother on 22 November 1861, was written from Okolona, Miss. In this same letter he says, "...cousin Martha makes my clothes...", evidence of nearby family. An 1873 edition of the Waxahachie Enterprise newspaper lists the services of Dr. W.C. Dickson ?formerly of Okolona, Mississippi?

7.War of Rebellion, Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Govt. Printing Office, 1884), Chap. XXII, pp.461,462.

8.This is speculative, but based upon his muster record, it was many months before he returned to duty after receiving his wounds. Field hospitals were crude and unsanitary at best. The wounded were moved to hospitals that were setup wherever space could be found, usually in schools or churches. Civilian doctors and nurses worked tirelessly to care for the large number of incoming wounded and for those convalescing. It's possible that William returned to Okolona to recuperate although there is no evidence to support this.

9.Company "A" of the Baskerville's 4th Battalion, Mississippi Cavalry combined with an incomplete company in Brewer's 2nd Battalion of the Mississippi and Alabama Cavalry. A new company, Company "C", formed from the merger of the two battalions, it became part of Brewer's Battalion and of the 2nd Regiment of the Mississippi and Alabama Cavalry. Brewer's Battalion then merged with companies from Beall's 1st Battalion Alabama Cavalry. This then created the 8th Confederate(Wade's)Regiment.

10.From: Reminiscences of the Boys in Gray 1861- 1865 courtesy of Southwestern Arkansas Genealogical Society, Mrs. Kathleen Fullenwider.

11.Confederate Veteran, Vol. XXXIII, March 1925, No.3, p.105

12."Waldo", Aldridge, Dora L., compiler,(Waldo, AK: Dora L. Aldridge, 1990) page 89, quoting, History of Columbia County, Nettie Hicks Killgore, n.d.

13.The Last Will and Testament of Josiah Dickson, 25 November 1871. Columbia County, Arkansas Volume B, pp. 29,30,31,32. Arkansas History Commission, One Capitol Mall, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201.

14. Oktibbeha County, Miss. Marriages,1863-1900, Hunting for Bears Inc. p.21; LDS Microfiche No. 367, Oktibbeha Co., Miss. Source Batch No. M520202; Typescript of the Dickson Family Bible, DAR records of the Simms Library in Waxahachie, TX.

Bonds of Holy Matrimony  This certifies that William Crawford Dickson of Chamber Co., Alabama and Mattie Jane Weaver of Oktibbeha Co., Mississippi were joined together by me in the Bonds of Holy Matrimony at Sam Weaver home on the twenty fifth day of December in the year of our Lord 1867.

In [the]presence of [His signature]

man, friends and Mr. Sam Weaver(father)

neighbors. Mrs. Cisley Johnson Weaver of Virginia mother of Mattie Jane.

15. The Pension Application of Martha Jane Dickson, submitted in 1926, relates that the Dickson family lived in another county for twelve years before settlement in Ellis County. A letter written by W.C. Dickson to his brother in Columbia County, Arkansas in the summer of 1871 places the family in the Honest Ridge community of Limestone County, Texas during that period. However, in December of 1871, W.C. Dickson lists his services in the professional section of the Waxahachie Enterprise.   The elderly Mrs. Dickson may have been mistaken about the twelve-year time
frame, that was then, some 55 years earlier. In any event, there is no evidence that they lived anywhere else. Nothing remains of Honest Ridge except a very old cemetery. The letter to his brother also mentioned a certain Mrs. Ward's home as his brother's probable destination. Several members of the Ward family are buried in the Honest Ridge Cemetery.

16. The History of Ellis County, excerpt: Walter Stout-"Early Dentist" quotes an 1872 Waxahachie Enterprise article giving the credentials of one Dr. W.C. Dickson; Ellis County Land Abstract places William Dickson in Ellis County in 1873.

Searchers and Researchers of Ellis County, Quarterly of the Ellis County Genealogical Society. Vol. XI, No.4, 1988.

1880 U.S. Census for Ellis County, Texas. 29 June 1880, page 54. 460/471. Microfilm Record. Simms Library, Waxahachie, TX

17. After searching the burial records of Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, there is no known record of the death of Samuel Weaver. He isn't found in the 1870 census record for Mississippi or in Texas. Evidence shows that his wife and son arrived alone in Texas.

18. Obituary in the Waxahachie Enterprise.(Vol. 13,No.16, p.3, Friday, June 10, 1887). Microfilm record. Simms Library, Waxahachie, TX.

Survey of the Waxahachie City Cemetery in November 19987 by Randell Tarin.

City Records on file at the Waxahachie City Hall. Cemetery records of the Ellis County Genealogical Society.

19. Probate file No. 777, Ellis County Courthouse. The Ellis County Courthouse records are in a deplorable state. This record was found in the old vault in the Courthouse on the 1st floor after much searching. The original will was hand written in pencil on ruled paper. [Book G Ellis County Probate Minutes, p. 324]

The 1861 and 1871 letters written by William Crawford Dickson are in the personal collection of the author.

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