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Below is a family biography from the book,  The History of Crawford County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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Davidson Dickson was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, in 1821, and is a son of John and Sarah (Shields) Dickson, and of English and Irish descent, respectively. The father was born in Franklin County, Penn., in 1756; in 1798 removed to Washington County, and in 1800 went to Trumbull County, Ohio, where he died in 1826. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and assisted in capturing the Hessians at the battle of Trenton. In connection with farming he engaged in merchandising. His third wife was the mother of our subject. Her birth occurred in Pennsylvania about 1792, her death in 1850, and she was the mother of nine children, of whom Davidson was the sixth. He lost his father when fifteen years old, but continued to make his home with his mother until nineteen years of age. Having received a good common-school education, at the age of twenty-one he taught school two terms, and subsequently clerked in a store at Poland three years. He afterward made a trip through the Southern States, and April 25, 1844, came to Van Buren, where he established a grocery store, and engaged in business until 1846. In that year the Whigs elected him surveyor of Crawford County, and the following term he was re-elected. From 1850 until 1853 he served as deputy surveyor. In 1874 he was again elected surveyor, and has received the re-election each succeeding term. He has one of the best surveying outfits and the most copious field notes of any surveyor in Northwestern Arkansas, and fills the position with the utmost efficiency. He is the author of the map of Crawford County, which is skillfully done and finely executed. During the Mr. Dickson served in the Confederate commissary department, his station being in Van Buren. In 1864 he began to clerk for C. C. Powell in his general store, and in 1866 he became a partner, but a year later resumed clerking. In 1851 he married Elizabeth Newland, who was born in Monroe County, Tenn., in 1829. This union has been blessed with five children: George (born April 12, 1852, died August 19, 1853), Albert (born April 5, 1855, in Union County, Oreg., and a saddler by trade), Belle Dora (born April 6, 1857, died January 12, 1880), Charles (born June 3, 1863, died February 12, 1883), and Homer (born October 3, 1870, and was drowned in the Arkansas River, May 12, 1880). Mr. and Mrs. Dickson are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and the former is a Master Mason.

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This family biography is one of 222 biographies included in The History of Crawford County, Arkansas published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Crawford County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Crawford County, Arkansas family biographies here: Crawford County, Arkansas

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