From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing
biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.
JOSEPH DIXSON, deceased, was for many years a prominent and enterprising citizen of Henderson County. He was
born in Greene County, Ind., on the 5th of August, 1841, and was a son of Stephen and Joan (Lewis) Dixson. The
parents were both natives of Tennessee, and in 1849 they removed with their family from Indiana to Henderson
County, Ill. Joseph was at that time eight years of age. His educational privileges were limited to those afforded
by the common schools, but he always made the most of his opportunities through life.
On the 3d of June, 1869, Mr. Dixson was united in marriage with Miss Mary Dean, daughter of Michael and Susan
(Cummings) Dean, the former a native of Kentucky, and the latter of Scotland. During her girlhood the mother came
from her native land to America with her parents, in 1829, and located in Maine, but after a few years became a
resident of Warren County, Illl. On the 10th of March, 1842, in Fulton County, Ill., she became the wife of Michael
Dean. Eleven children were born of their union, eight of whom are yet living, as follows: Susan, wife of W. T.
Boyd, of Roseville, I11. ; Mary, wife of our subject; Melissa, wife of J. C. Perry, who is now living in Hamilton
County, Neb.; Charles E. , who follows farming in McDonough County, Ill.; Cora, wife of Elijah Lemmon, who is
living near Good Hope, Ill.; William, a resident farmer of Seward County, Neb.; Bessie, wife of Earl Byers, who is
living near Good Hope; and Clara, wife of Lambert Ratican, a resident of Los Angeles, Cal.
Mr. Dixson had few advantages in his youth, but always made the most of his opportunities and privileges, and
was regarded as one of the best financiers of the county. At the time of his marriage he owned four hundred and
eighty-eight acres of land, but by his industry and well-directed efforts he added to this until at one time he had
thirteen hundred acres. At the time of his death he owned seven hundred and twenty acres of fine farming land,
besides considerable valuable property in Stronghurst. He was the honored founder of Stronghurst, and with the best
interest of that place was ever prominently identified, doing all in his power to aid in its upbuilding and
advancement. Mr. Dixson was local agent for the sale of the Town Lot Company, of Stronghurst. He put in eighty
acres of land in the business, while the company put in one hundred acres. He was the leader of all the enterprises
of the place.
Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Dixson: Willis E., who was born January 31, 1871, but is now deceased;
Cora, born February 17, 1873; Lula, born July 5, 1875; George, born June 7, 1880; Delbert, born December 11, 1882;
Joseph, born January 29, 1885; and Laverna, born June 19, 1890.
In his political views, Mr. Dixson was a Democrat, but never sought or desired the honors or emoluments of
public office. All who knew him respected him for his sterling worth and strict integrity, and his friends were
many throughout the community. On the 1st of January, 1893, he was run over at the crossing of the Santa Fe
Railroad. He lived only sixteen hours, and after the accident was unable to speak to his family. Death brought him
release from his sufferings, but sorrow came to the entire community, for he was a valued citizen, a kind and
faithful friend and neighbor, and a loving and tender husband and father. Mrs. Dixson and her children still reside
in Stronghurst. He left them an estate valued at $50,000, including the farm property before mentioned, most of the
vacant lots in Stronghurst, and two business houses of that place. Mrs. Dixson is a most estimable lady, and like
her husband shares in the high regard of all who know her.