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Short History of William Henderson Dickson

From the book: A Compilation of personal histories of Morgan County's founding ancestors: Morgan Pioneer History Binds Us Together, published by Daughters of Utah Pioneers-Morgan County

Willaim Henderson Dickson

William Hnderson Dickson was born in Monroe County, Iowa on March 23, 1850. He was the son of Billa Dickson and Mary Ann Stoddard Dickson. His father and mother joined the church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) before he was born. They were both ardent admirers of the Prophet Joseph Smith. One time , during the Prophet's exile, his mother Mary prepared corn bread for him and he ate at their table-the best she could provide.

His father (Billa Dickson) was one of the number that saw the mantle of Joseph Smith fall on Brigham Young and testified of this to his children all his life.

His father and family immigrated to Utah in 1852, he being only two years old and rode in a table turned upside down much of the way across the plains. He was the fifth child in a family of six.

They first settled in Centerville. They moved from Centerville to Kaysville, Davis County. As a young boy he did much hunting and trapping. While hunting one day he found a skunk. He caught it, tied a rope to it, took it home and told his folks he had found a pretty black and white cat. That night he had to make his bed in the granary.

Another time one of their mules died. He, with some other boys, cut the heart out and used it for bait for his trap. He caught a fox. He and his companions took it home and placed it in a dirt cellar with a dog and cat. What a terrible fight they had. He composed a son that went something like this:

"Oh, the poor little fox came down to the mule's heart

Oh! The poor little fox got caught in a trap.

The dogs they did growl and the fox he did howl

Oh! The poor little fox got caught in a trap."

After living in Kaysville for a while they moved to Richville, Morgan County, where his father built a blacksmith shop. His father did the blacksmithing for the company he came across the plains with. His father, with the help of a Mr. Farrell, his son-in-law, built a sawmill in Hard-Scrabble Canyon where as a young man he did logging. Much of the lumber in the early day homes was from this mill. He also engaged in farming. When he was twenty-two years old, he was married to Martha Slade by John Seamon on March 22, 1872. Later they were married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City.

To this union, eleven children were born, six boys and 5 girls. Two died in infancy, a boy and a girl, Stuart and Mary Amelia.

He was the first Sunday School Superintendent in the Richville Ward, a position he held for about twenty years. When the ward was organized he was chosen counselor to Bishop Albert D. Dickson (his brother) and held this office for twenty-eight years.

He was a High Councilman in the Morgan Stake for many years. He filled a twenty-six month mission for the church to the Northern States Mission laboring in Nebraska. During this mission he had many faith promoting incidents happen.

One day while traveling from one town to another, a distance of about twenty miles, his companion had such sore feet he was unable to walk, so he took the train, leaving William to walk alone. He got on the railroad track and started to walk. He hadn't gone far when he noticed a train some distance down the track. It backed to where he was at. The conductor asked him to ride and he gladly accepted. Imagine the surprise of his companion when he walked down the street and met him.

Another incident, he and his companion adminstered to a young man that hadn't walked for six months. He returned to the house in one week. The young man came down the walk to meet him. Another testimony of the power of the Lord.

He was a fine shooter; few fellows could best him shooting. His brother, Jack, tells this story of his hunting days. He said, "We were hunting deer when we saw two deer across the canyon from us. I just handed Will old "Reliable", a gun we could trust. He took aim and when the shot rang out, both deer fell, shot through the neck."

He did mischievous things many times, as all boys do. One time he, with the help of some other fellows, put the running gears of a wagon on top of a man's barn.

He was a good sport-never winning by unfair play. He was a friend of the wayward, never judging harshly, had compassion for people's shortcomings. He was a strict observer of the Word of Wisdom, a very moderate eater, seldom ever eating a second helping of anything He was a man of great faith. He enjoyed taking long walks and had good health all his life. He loved all kinds of sports, baseball, football, basketball, seldom did he miss a game. It was after a basketball game between Coalville and Morgan, when walking home fom it, he was struck by an automobile. It broke his leg, which resulted in his death a month later.

He died April 5, 1936, at the age of eight-six years and thirteen days. The Morgan Tabernacle was filled with relatives and friends at his funeral.

He was faithful to his callings in the church and was very merciful to the faults of his fellowmen and a friend to the distressed and the orphans and widows and true to all his relatives and friends.


Linked toBilla DICKSON; WILLIAM HENDERSON DICKSON; MARTHA SLADE

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