FRANCIS DICKSON, a prominent grain-dealer of Whiteland, was born in Owensboro, Daviess County, Ky., August 8, 1850, and was the son of Francis and Maria S. (Bliss) Dickson, the former of whom was born in Belfast, Ireland, and grew to early manhood in his native country, but immigrated to America about the age of twenty-four. Reaching this country he spent some time in Philadelphia. He afterward came west and was married in the State of Illinois, to Ellen Clark, who died about 1840. About 1842 he married Maria S. Bliss, the mother of our subject. She was born in Rehobeth, Mass., April 17, 1819, and was the daughter of Leonard and Lydia (Talbot) Bliss, natives of Massachusetts. Leonard Bliss was the son of James Bliss, a Revolutionary soldier. The father and mother of our subject were married in Louisville, Ky. The father died at Owenshoro, Ky., December 26, 1851. His widow was married to Niles Hardy, in Salem, Washington County, this state in about 1855. He was a physician by profession, and later a jeweler. He died in about 1857, since which time the mother of our subject has been a widow. The first marriage of Francis Dickson, Sr., resulted in the birth of three children: Edwin, William and Joseph, of whom only Edwin is living. Joseph died while in the service of the Union Army. His second marriage also resulted in the birth of three children: Charles H., Ellen M., and Francis, all of whom are living, and the last of whom is the subject of this sketch. By her second husband, Niles Hardy, his mother had one child: Edward M., who now resides at Edinburg. When our subject was three years old, his widowed mother removed to Salem, Ind., where he remained until the age of fifteen years. He had a common school education. He then went to New Albany, Ind., where he spent five years working at the miller's trade. In 1869, he came to this county, and spent about ten months in a mill at Franklin. He then purchased an interest in a flouring mill at Whiteland, in which place he has resided ever since. He became the sole owner of the milling property in 1875, and in connection with the operation of this property, he bought and shipped grain, until about 1884, when he converted his mill into an elevator, and has since given his whole attention to the grain business and raising of live-stock. Mr. Dickson was married October 1, 1872, to Etha Jane Brewer. She was born on the old Brewer homestead, in Pleasant Township, October 6, 1853, and was the daughter of John D. and Fannie (Webb) Brewer, whose history appears elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Dickson are the parents of three children: John B., born August 22, 1875; Una, February 2, 1880, and Mino, December 5, 1881, all of whom are now living. Our subject and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church.
Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker
Banta, D.D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888.