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Below is a family biography included in Biographical Record of Oakland County, Michigan published by Biographical Publishing Company in 1903.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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William H. Dawson, who, as president of the Pontiac Knitting Company, president of the Vehicle & Implement Spring Company, vice-president of the First Commercial Bank, and vice-president of the Spring & Wagon Works, of Pontiac, Michigan, is so largely interested in the manufacturing and financial interests of this city, is also one of the leading citizens in other lines. Mr. Dawson was born March 24, 1852, at Pontiac, and is a son of Robert and Cloey (Hicks) Dawson.

The father of our subject was born September 28, 1806, at Clackmannanshire, Scotland, and in July,1831, migrated to America, landing at New York City. After one year spent in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, he removed to Nankin, Wayne County, Michigan, following his trade of blacksmith, and later at Detroit he engaged in a brewery business. His plant was destroyed by fire, and he then removed to Pontiac, starting anew in the brewery business, and his plant was again destroyed by fire, on July 16, 1886. He then retired from business, and his death took place April 20, 1897. His brothers, John, Richard and Charles, also located in Oakland County, while James and the two sisters, Mrs. Mary Gibson and Mrs. Jean Beaman, remained at Nankin, and the last named is the only member of the family yet living.

The mother of our subject was born in Yates, Orleans County, New York, September 3, 1830, and came to Michigan with her people in 1836, settling at Nankin, where she married Robert Dawson in 1851, and died July 29, 1903. These parents had the following children: William H., of this sketch; Cloey, who still resides at the homestead at No. 106-108 Saginaw avenue, South, in a substantial brick structure erected in 1862; and Mrs. Janet H. Heitsch, of Pontiac, the other members having died when small.

Our subject was reared in Pontiac, where he attended school and also the Detroit Business University, which was formerly known as the Goldsmith Business College. Until the destruction of the brewery plant he assisted his father, and then began handling real estate, a line of activity he still continues, his own and the property of his father’s estate requiring much attention. In 1901 he succeeded his uncle, Goodman Jacobs, as vice-president of the First Commercial Bank, of which he is also a director. The Pontiac Knitting Company was organized in 1902, with Mr. Dawson as president, succeeding the Pontiac Knitting Works Company. Under the firm hand of Mr. Dawson and the management of J. D. Partello, a fine business is carried on, employment being given to 140 employees of both sexes. He is also president of the Vehicle & Spring Company of Pontiac, which is managed by M. D. Hubbard, who is secretary and treasurer, and in addition has official position and directing influence in a number of other business enterprises.

William H. Dawson was married in Monroe County, Michigan, to Jennie C. Reeves, who is a daughter of John Reeves, of Milan, Monroe County, Michigan. The two sons of this marriage are: Joe, born August 16, 1878, and Robert, born July 25, 1880. The former capably fills the position of shipping clerk in the Pontiac Knitting Company’s plant, and the latter has but recently been engaged, with Herbert Pound, in getting out an excellent city directory of Pontiac. Mr. Dawson owns one of the finest homes in the city on the corner of Jackson and Bagley streets. The family attend the Methodist Church.

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This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Record of Oakland County, Michigan published in 1903. 

View additional Oakland County, Michigan family biographies here: Oakland County, Michigan Biographies

View a map of 1911 Oakland County, Michigan here: Oakland County Michigan Map

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