John P Dickey
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About John P Dickey
JOHN P. DICKEY has been the architect of his own fortunes and has builded wisely and well. His life affords an illustration of the viccisitudes of business under modern conditions; it emphasizes the importance of doing the right thing at the right time and it teaches a lesson of patience under difficulties and perseverance against obstacles,—a lesson that might be profitably followed by many.
Mr. Dickey was born in Scott County, Indiana, on the 26th of February, 1824, and is a representative of one of the old families of the South. His father, Rev. John Dickey, was a native of North Carolina, and removed to Kentucky when ten years of age, being there reared to manhood. He was licensed to preach in the Presbytery of that State, and in an early day removed to Indiana, being the first Presbyterian minister ever installed in that commonwealth. He had charge of one church for thirty years and was one of the organizers and founders of the Presbyterian Academy in Hanover, Indiana. As an educator he possessed exceptional ability and throughout his life he devoted his time and talents to imparting knowledge to others or to preaching the gospel, carrying the glad tidings of great joy into many a household upon the frontier.
Rev. Dickey preached the first anti-slavery sermon and the first temperance sermon in the synod of Indiana. He was without college education or theological training, like Uncle Tom, of a meek and quiet disposition, yet he was first and foremost in all the reforms of the day.
Mr. Beecher was a member of the same synod with Mr. Dickey. Harriet Beecher Stowe says the life of Rev. Mr. Dickey gave her the inspiration for Uncle Tom's Cabin. He was the first installed pastor in the State, and probably the third minister in the State of Indiana.
When Birney run on the ticket for anti-slavery Mr. Dickey was the only one who cast a vote for him in Clark County, Indiana.
He married Miss Margaret Osborn Steele, a native of Kentucky, and they instilled into the minds of their eleven children lessons of industry, honesty and morality. The father died in 1849 at the age of fifty-nine years, and the mother passed away in 1847, when fifty years of age. Four of the children are yet living, namely: James, a resident of Iola; Mrs. Mary Haines, of New Albany, Indiana; William, now living in Oregon, and John P. of this review.
The last named was reared upon his father's farm during the early development of the State of his nativity. His educational privileges were those afforded by the common schools. He learned the carpenter's and wagonmaker's trades as a preparation for life's practical duties, and as a companion and helpmate on life's journey he chose Miss Martha E. Matthews, a native of Kentucky, the wedding being celebrated in New Washington, Indiana. After the death of his first wife he was again married in 1865, his second union being with Miss Amanda D. Dickerson, a native of New York, and a daughter of John Dickerson. Her father was born in the Green Mountain State and when he had arrived at the years of maturity he wedded Miss Mary Bacon, a native of Connecticut. In 1864
they came to Kansas, locating in Geneva, where Mr. Dickerson died in 1856, at the age of seventy-five years, while his wife passed away in 1885, when eighty-five years of age. In their family were six children, three of whom survive, namely: Mrs. Maria L. Williamson, who resides with Mrs. Dickey; Lewis I. Dickerson and Mrs. Dickey.
In the year 1857 Mr. Dickey arrived in Kansas, which was then a territory having not yet assumed the dignity of Statehood. He secured a claim on Martin Creek and there resided until his country's call for aid prompted his enlistment as a member of Company D, Ninth Kansas Cavalry. He served for three years along the border of Missouri and Arkansas, escorting trains as they passed to and fro. His command was mostly engaged in guard duty, but occasionally met a band of bushwhackers, which would be followed by a skirmish. At the close of the war the subject of this review returned to his adopted State, locating in Geneva where he was identified with its building interests. He had the honor of building the first school house and the first church ever erected in Allen County, the location being in district No. 1 of Geneva.
In 1867 Mr. Dickey removed to his farm and has since carried on agricultural pursuits with marked success. He owns one hundred and sixty acres of rich and arable land and has developed a valuable property. In front of his commodious residence is a wide lawn on which stand beautiful shade trees protecting the home from the hot rays of the summer sun. His extensive barns and outbuildings furnish shelter for grain and stock. When he arrived in Kansas he had only twelve dollars in money, and that served as a nucleus for his present comfortable competence. His success was assured from the beginning because he possesses those qualities which contribute to prosperity. He has always been a staunch advocate of Republican principles, voting with the party since he cast his first ballot for General John C. Fremont. In all life's relations he has been found true to duty, whether it has been in the fields of industrial or agricultural business, in military circles or in the walks of private life. There has been manifest in his career a persistency of purpose that when guided by sound judgment never fails of reward.
Pages 335-336, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p.,  leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.