Among the pioneers of Macoupin county whose memory is worthy to be revered because of their service in subjugating the wilderness and clearing the way for present civilization was Daniel Dick, who for more than forty years resided in the county and was well known in Carlinville, where he made his home for much of that time. A native of Ash county, North Carolina, he was born September 25, 1800, and was of Swiss and English lineage. His parents. John and Ann Mary (Donner) Dick, were also natives of the same state. The family was represented in the Revolutionary war by the grandfather of our subject. The father, who was a minister of the Baptist church, removed from North Carolina to Virginia and thence to Kentucky, later becoming a pioneer of Sangamon county, Illinois, where he entered land before the city of Springfield was founded. He died about 1838 at an advanced age and his grave was made at Thayer in Sangamon county. His widow survived him and was far advanced in years at the time of her demise, January 16, 1844. They had six children, Daniel, John, James, George, Mary and Elizabeth.
The grandfather of Daniel Dick was John Dick, Sr., of English descent. He married a Miss Hendricks, a relative of the Hon. Thomas A. Hendricks, of Indiana, vice president of the United States during the first administration of Grover Cleveland. The grandmother of Daniel Dick on the maternal side came to America from Switzerland and settled in Virginia. The capitol at Washington now stands on the spot that was occupied by the Huff orchard owned by the family.
Daniel Dick was three years of age when he left his native state with his parents, arriving in Simpson county, Kentucky, about 1809. About 1827 he made a trip to Illinois and later returned to Kentucky and was married in that state. A month later he and his bride started for Illinois, becoming residents of Sangamon county in 1830. He entered land about eighteen miles south of the present site of Springfield and the town of Thayer is now located on the old homestead. With characteristic energy he began to till the soil, breaking the sod and planting the crops and thus converting his undeveloped claim into a well improved and productive farm. In 1847 he removed to Macoupin county and bought, entered and located on land three and a half miles west of Girard, continuing to reside there until 1853. He then removed to Carlinville, where he engaged in mercantile business for a short time, and then retired from business, living upon the income of his investments. It was he who set aside the plat of ground that is now known as the Dick cemetery, to be used as a burial place for the dead, giving it to the district in which it is located.
On April 29, 1830, Mr. Dick was married to Miss Susan Gates, who was born in Kentucky, September 24, 1812, a daughter of George and Susan Gates. To this union four daughters were born: Mary A. J., who married Jacob L. Plain; Permelia, who is now the wife of Charles A. Walker, of Carlinville; Susan, also of Carlinville; and Lucretia, who became the wife of Joseph B. Liston, of Carlinville.
Mr. Dick held various local offices while residing on his farm and was an advocate of honest government administered in the interest of the people. He was a great reader, a student of books and nature and, as he possessed an analytical mind and a retentive memory, he became unusually well informed on all general subjects. He was a man of sterling character and of marked enterprise and was influential in forwarding many movements for the promotion of the interests of the community, at all times evincing a spirit of fellowship, generosity and kindness. He died January 4, 1878, at the age of seventy-seven years and eleven months, and his departure was the occasion of general regret wherever he was known. His wife died August 7, 1853, at the age of forty years and eleven months. She was a member of the Baptist church and possessed many admirable characteristics. A refined and cultured woman, a great lover of the beautiful in nature and art, her influence always being exerted in behalf of the comfort and happiness of those with whom she was associated. The family has long been actively identified with the upbuilding and development of this section of the state, taking special interest in educational affairs.