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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  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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REV. FATHER BERNARD DICKMAN, who has charge of the Church of the Sacred Heart at Sedalia, has accomplished a great deal toward building up the interests of the Catholic Church in this part of Missouri, and has one of the most influential churches in the state. He is very popular, not only with the people of his own church, but with all of his acquaintances in Sedalia.

Our subject was born in Minster, Auglaize County, Ohio, October 3, 1839, and is the son of Henry and Angela (Drees) Dickman, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father was born in Oldenburg, whence he emigrated when quite a young man to America, and located in Auglaize County in 1831. There he was for a time employed in farming, and later engaged in merchandising, continuing thus engaged until his death, which occurred in the year 1841. The mother, who was also born in Oldenburg, survived her husband twenty years, her death occurring in 1861. She never married again, and on her shoulders devolved the entire responsibility of rearing her children. The family consisted of two sons, Henry and our subject. The elder son, who was a soldier in the Civil War, was a tanner by trade, and having been very successful, is now living retired in Minster, Ohio.

Father Dickman passed his earlier years in the town of Minster and attended its public schools. Upon completing the common-school course, he entered the St. Charles Seminary, of the Congregation of the Most Precious Blood, located at Carthagena, Ohio. There he studied everything taught in the institution, completing the four courses, namely: the academic, classical, philosophical and theological. In his old home, in 1862, he was ordained by Bishop Rosecrans, and remained as Professor in the seminary where he had gained his education.

Upon the completion of the Union and Central Pacific Railroads in 1869, Father Dickman made an overland trip to California. He was there appointed rector of the Catholic Church in Eureka, Humboldt County, where he remained for five years. One year previous to his location in California, however, he made a trip to Europe, visiting England, Germany and Italy, and while in the last-named country visited Pope Pius IX. He remained on the continent about six months and returned to his priestly duties much invigorated by the tour.

In the year 1874 our subject returned to Ohio, and became Rector of St. John the Baptist’s Church at Glandorf. This was a large and wealthy congregation, and he there built a church costing $75,000. Seven years later, in 1881, he removed to Nashville, Tenn., where he was pastor of the Assumption Catholic Church until 1882. During the latter year he came to Sedalia for the purpose of founding the German congregation known as the Sacred Heart Parish, in which work he has been very successful.

The first building erected by our subject was only a temporary structure, but served for church and school until the completion of the new building, which was begun in 1891. The new church, which was dedicated in May, 1893, is located on the corner of Third Street and Moniteau Avenue. It covers a space one hundred and sixty-five feet in length and sixty-five feet in breadth. It is very finely furnished, and is by far the handsomest church in the state, outside of St. Louis. The architecture is of Gothic style, and the windows are of cathedral glass. The congregation numbers one hundred and fifty families, and the school is very ably conducted. There are three teachers in charge, all Sisters of the Most Precious Blood, and the school has an attendance of about one hundred and twenty-five.

Father Dickman owns half a block on Third Streets, Vermont and Moniteau Avenues, which was all vacant when he came here. He erected the beautiful residence which now occupies the grounds, and over $51,000 have been spent on improvements, which include the residence, school and church property. Socially our subject belongs to the Catholic Knights, and is a valued member of the Brothers of Council of C. P. P. S., and is a highly esteemed member of the community.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Pettis County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Pettis County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Pettis County, Missouri family biographies here: Pettis County, Missouri Biographies

View a map of 1904 Pettis County, Missouri here: Pettis County, Missouri Map

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