Biography of Augustus G. Dickinson

A. G. Dickinson is one of the leading business men of Humboldt, Kansas, and head of the Dickinson Hay & Grain Company, and for years had been vitally interested in the welfare and progress of this section of the state.

Mr. Dickinson is a native of Allen County, Kansas. It will be appropriate in this connection to trace the movements of the family briefly from their point of origin to this middle western state. The Dickinsons were English people. In the early colonial days three brothers set out for America. One of them went to Nova Scotia, one to New York, and one to Connecticut. The Connecticut branch of the family is the one to which Augustus G. Dickinson belongs. The latter’s grandfather was Phineas Dickinson, who was born in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1802. He grew up and married in Middletown, and became a manufacturer of edged tools. In 1841 he removed with his family to Ellenville, Ulster County, New York. Six years later, in 1841, he moved to Chicago, Illinois, then a small city, and he lived there only a short time until his death in 1849. From early youth he had been identified with the whig party, and in religion was a Methodist. Phineas Dickinson married Mary Maloney, also a native of Connecticut. She survived her husband a number of years and died in 1865 at Goose Island, on the Mississippi River. A brief record of her children is: Harriet, who died when eighteen years of age; George W., mentioned below; Warren, who died in Chicago at the age of ten years; Elisha, who died young; a daughter burned to death at the age of three years; another daughter, who died when five years old; and Egbert, who is now living at Hillsdale, Michigan, being a preacher of the Free Will Baptist Church.

George W. Dickinson, father of the Humboldt business man, is also a resident of that city and is now past the age of fourscore years. He was born at Middletown, Connecticut, December 22, 1835, and was six years of age when his parents removed to Ellenville, New York, and was twelve years old when they went to Chicago. He received part of his education in Chicago. In 1849 after his father’s death he lived in Joliet, Illinois, until 1853, working on a farm, then spent three months in Iowa, and finally settled at Marseilles in LaSalle County, Illinois. In May, 1868, George W. Dickinson became a Kansan settler. In the meantime he had won distinction for himself and lasting credit for his descendants by a valiant service as a soldier of the Civil war. In 1862 he enlisted in the Seventy-second Regiment of Illinois Infantry, and remained with the army fighting in many of the important battles of the South until the close of the war. He was discharged three years, fourteen days after his enlistment. He was twice struck by bullets, and altogether was under fire for 145 days. He took part in the siege of Vicksburg, being in the trenches as a sharpshooter for forty-seven days and nights. Among other important battles in which he was a participant were those of Black River and Champion Hill during the Vicksburg campaign, Columbus, Tennessee, Franklin and Nashville and Natchez, Mississippi.

As an old soldier George W. Dickinson secured a homestead of eighty acres from the Government in the State of Wisconsin. On coming to Kansas he homesteaded eighty acres seven miles southwest of Humboldt, and gave the best years of his life to farming and attendant activities on that farm. In 1902 he retired and had since lived in Humboldt. In politics he affiliates with the party which saved the Union during the critical times of the war, and had many times been called upon to serve in places of public trust. He had been justice of the peace, township clerk, was a school director in Logan Township of Allen County for twenty years, and for a similar period was road overseer. His church is the Presbyterian.

George W. Dickinson married Sarah A. Sanburn. She was born August 10, 1841, near Sandy Point in the State of Maine, and is still living at the age of seventy-five. Their family of children comprised the following: James F., a carpenter at Kansas City, Kansas; Viola, who died when twelve years of age; Augustus G.; F. W. Dickinson, who was a partner with Augustus and helped to establish the present business, and who died much lamented at Humboldt in 1913 at the age of forty years; Florence, wife of William Grove, who is a carpenter and lives at San Antonio, Texas; Rose married Arthur Rodgers, a stenographer and bookkeeper with the Deming Loan and Investment Company at Oswego, Kansas.

Augustus G. Dickinson had spent practically all his life in Kansas. He grew up on a farm, attended the rural schools of Allen County, and afterwards had the advantage of a course in the Wichita Business College. He lived on the home farm and for several years managed it until 1898. While on the farm he also was associated with his brother, Frank W., in the hay business, and in 1908 they removed their headquarters to Humboldt and became dealers in hay, grain and feed under the name Dickinson Brothers. In 1908 the business was incorporated as the Dickinson Brothers Hay & Grain Company. A. G. Dickinson had since been president and treasurer of the company. They have their plant and offices on Bridge Street west of the Santa Fe depot, and they own a large plant, including two grain warehouses. Mr. Dickinson besides this business owned a fine farm of 169 acres in Woodson County, and had a comfortable residence at 303 North Eleventh Street in Humboldt.

In politics he is a republican. At one time he was candidate for mayor of Humboldt. He is an elder in the Presbyterian Church and at one time was affiliated with the Court of Honor and with Humboldt Camp, Woodmen of the World.

Mr. Dickinson was married in Allen County, Kansas, in 1894, to Miss Minnie Smith, daughter of H. H. and Delia (Ewing) Smith. Her father is a retired farmer and he and his wife reside at Humboldt, Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Dickinson have two living children: Glenna E., born July 17, 1903; and Leslie F., born June 1, 1913.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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