Biography of John Calvin Dixon

John Calvin Dixon, proprietor of the C. O. D. Grocery, San Bernardino, was born in 1840, in Reynoldsburg, Franklin County, Ohio, and there spent the first eighteen years of his life. In 1858 he moved with his father’s family to Jasper County, Iowa, and there his father, who was a brick-mason by trade, and had also been a farmer, engaged in the grocery business, with John as assistant in the store. Upon the breaking out of the war of the Rebellion he promptly responded to his country’s call for volunteers and enlisted as a member of the Fifth Iowa Infantry and served three years and one month, chiefly under Generals Grant and Sherman. At the battle of Iuka he was severely wounded, being shot through both thighs by a rifle ball. He was discharged just before the fall of Atlanta. Returning home, he remained in Iowa about ten years, part of the time engaged in merchandising and the rest in farming.

Tiring of the vigorous winters of the Hawkeye State, Mr. Dixon concluded to seek a milder climate, and in 1874 came to California and located in San Bernardino County; and his admiration for this grand country and salubrious climate increases with each successive year of his residence here. He bought and settled on a ranch a mile and a half northeast of the center of the city, and devoted his attention to agriculture, especially to growing alfalfa. His place comprised forty-six acres, for which he paid $100 per acre. In 1887 he subdivided it and sold it at prices ranging from $400 to $1,000 per acre. After spending a season in the East, Mr. Dixon, in 1888, opened his present grocery store on D Street, between Third and Fourth streets. He carries a fine stock of choice staple and fancy groceries, which he sells to cash customers at a small profit, and does a prosperous business. Mr. Dixon owns two large tracts of choice citrus and vineyard land in the popular and growing sections denominated East Riverside, which is worth $100 an acre. He expects to subdivide and improve it in parcels for his children.

Mr. Dixon married Miss Helm in Iowa, though she was a native of Indiana. They have a family of one son and three daughters, all born in Iowa except the youngest daughter.

In politics, Mr. Dixon is an active and out-spoken Republican, who is always ready to give the reasons for the faith that is in him when occasion requires, but never parades his opinions when uncalled for. He is a gentleman of decided convictions, and extraordinary force of character, a stanch friend and an uncompromising foe.


The Lewis Publishing Company. An Illustrated History of Southern California embracing the counties of San Diego San Bernardino Los Angeles and Orange and the peninsula of lower California. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois. 1890.

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