DICKENS, (REV.) J. H. , (deceased), clergyman, Jacksonville, Ill., was born in Clarksville, Tenn., in 1810, at the age of nineteen married, and the next year-1830-came to Illinois. He was trained under the code of General Jackson; had only a common school education, and with few opportunities made his way in the world. He served in the Black Hawk War, in 1831, and about that time, having professed religion, in 1833, was appointed to the pastorate of the Jacksonville Methodist Episcopal Church. The town was then small, and during Mr. Dicken's pastorate, passed through the scourge of the cholera. He was always a firm abstainer, a strong temperance advocate, and though offered intoxicating drinks, and familiar with them from his infancy, always firmly opposed their use and, by word and deed, upheld the cause of temperance and reform. Raised in a slave State, he imbibed pro-slavery views, but on coming to Illinois, not long after changed his opinions, and by 1838 was a strong Abolitionist, of the old style. In 1844, he was made Agent for the McKendree College, at Lebanon, which institution he cleared of a heavy debt, and placed on a good financial basis. Thinking much of the needs for the education of women, and feeling a lack of such advantages, he presented a plan to the conference of his church, the result of which was the establishment of the present Female College, in Jacksonville, so well known, and of so great influence. He labored all his life for the good of Church and State, and lived to see the fruit of his toil. His death occurred in Jacksonville, August 8, 1882.
Mr. and Mrs. Dickens had five children, all of whom lived to years of maturity. Of these three were sons, who served in the Union Army during the Civil War.