TWO: BURNS(ES) AND HEDGES(ES)
"SFA" stands for the Smith Family Archives, assembled and transcribed over many years by Leanna Lois Claudia Smith, daughter of Alonzo; her great-nieces Mellie Morris Smith (daughter of Herbert Gustavus) and Gertrude Fairchild Smith (daughter of Maurice Leigh); and great-great-niece Mildred Aileen Nash (neé Mellie Agnes Smith: daughter of Francis See).
"ALLS" stands for Ada Louise Ludeke Smith: Ada Ick in childhood, Ick at college, Icky to her husband, Mom to her daughters, Louise to her in-laws, Momine or Grandma or Goppy to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Smitty as a senior citizen. Her informal memoirs were written 1983-96.
"DCB" stands for correspondence with David Coulon Burns, webmaster of the RootsWeb megasite ~burns/dcb—who cautions that the designations Sr., Jr., and III used below and in later chapters were not likely to have been used by any of the fathers/sons sharing a first name (except for King George). In most cases the present author has tried to indicate this with [square brackets].
Internet sources are indicated by tildes (e.g. ~internet). A complete list can be found on the Sources page. Due to the transient nature of Internet entries, only a few hyperlinks will be provided to outside webpages; such as ~a (www.ancestry.com), ~f (www.familysearch.org), ~g (www.findagrave.com), and ~w (www.worldvitalrecords.com). The United States Federal Census records for 1850 through 1930 cited below are available at ~a (except for 1890's, which was badly damaged in a 1921 fire and later quietly destroyed).
B-6 Jacob, Margaret, and the Dixons
● Dry Goods
The Time-Honored Version
According to the SFA, Mila Burns Smith's father Jacob G. Burns (born 1822 in Virginia) was the eldest son of William M. Burns and Jane [surname?]. He came with his family to Ohio between 1831 and 1834; settled in Medway in 1846; and there on September 16, 1847 married Margaret J. Dixon, who had been born in Pennsylvania in 1824; she was still living in 1907.
The Comprehensive Version
Jacob Garrel Burns, the third child and eldest son of William Burns [III] and Jane Marshall, was born Jan. 3, 1823 in Shepherdstown, Jefferson County VA. With his parents and siblings he emigrated to Montgomery County OH in 1832; by 1840 they had settled in Bethel Township, Clark County OH. There on Sep. 16, 1847 Jacob was married by "R.D. Fister, M.G." to Margaret J[ane?] Dixon. She was born Oct. 4, 1824 in Carlisle, Cumberland County PA. (See below for more concerning the Dixons). By the 1850 census, Jacob and Margaret had been joined by their first two children and a couple of farmhands:
Burns, Jacob (age 28) occupation farmer
Margaret (age 26)
Jas W (age 1 year)
Phineas G (age 1 month)
Dickinson, Jas (age 20)—interpreted by the SFA as Margaret's brother James Dixon
Barr, Benj F (age 10)
By 1859 Jacob and Margaret were living in Medway, and Jacob was a charter trustee of the Medway Methodist Church built that year. In the 1860 Clark County census we find:
Burns, Jacob G (age 37) occupation farmer, $18,800 in real estate and $476 in personal estate
Margaret (age 35)
James (age 11)
Phineas (age 10)
Laura (age 4)
Maria [sic] (age 1)
In 1864 Jacob served as a private in Company E of the 153rd Regiment of the Ohio National Guard Infantry. According to ~153rd, this unit of 909 men was organized at Camp Dennison under Colonel Israel Stough; mustered in on May 12, 1864; and departed that day for Harpers Ferry. Attached to the Railroad Guard's Reserve Division, the 153rd provided picket duty along the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad until June 29th. During the first week of July the 153rd saw action, repeatedly: at Hammack's Mills, North Mountain, South Branch Bridge, Patterson's Creek Bridge, and Sir John's Run. "Virtually all of these summer soldiers would come under enemy fire during their term of enlistment," states ~100days, referring to all the volunteer regiments of "Hundred Days Men" raised in 1864. By the time the 153rd mustered out at Camp Chase in early September, one officer and two enlisted men had been killed and another 26 enlisted men had succumbed to disease.
Jacob Burns survived, though we have no record of how he felt returning to his native turf (Harpers Ferry is less than ten miles southeast of Shepherdstown) as an occupying soldier. Though only nine years old when his family left for Ohio, Jacob must have known close kin were fighting for the Confederacy: Marshall cousins like Mason, James Melvin, and Phineas Paxton (not to mention Belle Boyd). "Between June 1861 and September 1864, the [B & O] line was destroyed by Confederate troops and repaired by Union soldiers nine different times," says ~easternpanhandle. Control of local towns kept changing hands, and each time "the retreating forces typically destroyed the town's main buildings and infrastructure," adds ~history/jefferson. And only two years before, the bloodiest one-day battle in American history was fought at Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg MD, just across the Potomac from Shepherdstown.
Did Jacob see any familiar faces while guarding the railway? Were they hostile, in spite of Jefferson County's joining Unionist West Virginia the previous year? What would have been his reaction?
He went back home to Bethel Township and into the dry goods business. The 1870 census lists his household near the Enon post office:
Burns, Jacob (age 47) occupation dry goods merchant, $3000 in real estate, $1500 in personal estate
Margrett [sic] (age 45) occupation keeps house
Phineas (age 20) occupation clerk in store
Laura (age 13) attends school
Hilda [sic] (age 11) attends school
Clara (age 9) attends school
Lenna (age 7) attends school
Elliott (age 3) at home
Three houses away lived eldest son James—white male aged 22, occupation "[illegible abbreviation] Medway" (DCB interprets the entry as "postmaster"), $1000 in real estate and $300 personal estate—with his 22-year-old wife Laura and four-month-old baby Bertha.
Jacob's business might have been one of New Carlisle's "two fine stocks of dry goods" mentioned by 1881's History of Clark County in Chapter B-4, although the Burnses had moved to Dayton by 1880. That year's census located them at 811 N. 5th St., just east of what is today called the Oregon Historic District:
Burns, Jacob (age 57) occupation "retired"
Margaret (age 55) occupation keeping house
Catharine [sic] (age 18) occupation [blank]
Lenna (age 16) occupation [blank]
Elliott (age 13) occupation school
Mercer, Laura (age 23) occupation [blank]
Mercer, R. Perry (age 38) son-in-law, occupation school teacher
Lichter, David (age 27) boarder, occupation "Dr. M.D. Surg."
Cusine, Chas. (age 22) boarder, occupation "W. Brass Works"
Dayton city directories (available at ~a) allow us to track the Burns household through the next dozen censusless years. In 1883 they moved half a mile east to 1724 E. 5th, on the corner of South Terry Street; and a year later, a short ways north to 132 S. Terry. There the Burnses lived from 1884 till 1890, with Jacob evidently coming out of retirement to sell "teas and coffees." Daughter Clara M. (aka "Catherine") lived with her parents during this period, though with her own directory entry (sporting "saleslady" in 1887-89); as did Lenna (aka "Lena M.," dressmaker) through 1886, and son Elliott (clerk and stenographer) from 1883 to 1887. Also listed separately, but back under the parental roof, was daughter Mila Kathryn (allegedly aka "Maria" aka "Hilda") Callison, whose story is told in Chapter S-4. She accompanied Jacob and Margaret to 45 E. Springfield in 1890. The Burnses according (to the directories) shifted next door to #47 in 1891-92, but returned to #45 in 1893. In 1896 Jacob and Margaret moved to 24 S. Van Lear, where they remained for the last two years of Jacob's life (he still listed as "salesman" or "agent"); and in 1897 a separate entry at the same address appeared for their grandson "Callison, Orie C." (also of whom more in Chapter S-4).
Jacob Garrel Burns died in Dayton on May 22, 1898, aged 75; his funeral was held two days later at St. Paul Methodist Episcopal Church (as per the May 25th Dayton Evening News) and he was buried at New Carlisle Cemetery [A-036-05]. Margaret, unmentioned in the 1898 Dayton directory, was listed in 1899's as "Burns Margaret J. widow of Jacob G. res 60 S Huffman Av." In the 1900 census she lived alone, back in Bethel Township; by 1910 she was residing with daughter Lenna Gustin's family, again in Dayton. (That year's census noted she'd had ten children, of whom six were living.) Margaret died in Dayton aged 89 on May 25, 1914 and was buried two days later at New Carlisle [A-036-06]. Visible behind her and Jacob's markers are those of Margaret's mother Elizabeth Hutchison Dixon [A-037-7] and brother Francis W. Dixon [A-037-6]. Nearby are four of Margaret's children who died young: "Infant Burns" [A-036-04]; "Infant Boy Burns" [A-036-08]; Elizabeth J. Burns [A-036-09]; and David O. Burns [A-036-10]—along with the mysterious "Elbert S. Burns" [A-036-07] whose identity will be considered in Chapter B-7..
● The Fourth Generation
The Time-Honored Version
Most of what the SFA knew about the children of Jacob G. Burns and Margaret J. Dixon was gleaned from Mila Burns Callison Smith's funeral arrangements. The eight children were:
* James W. Burns (born c.1849 in Medway OH; living in Fort Wayne
IN in 1907)
* Phineas G. Burns (born c.1850 in Medway OH; living in Chicago in 1907)
* Elliott S. Burns (born after 1850; living in Cincinnati in 1907)
* Clara Burns (born after 1850; married S.F. "Sam" Hart and had a son, Lawrence Hart; living in Dayton in 1907)
* Lenna Burns (born after 1850; married F.R. "Frank" Gustin; living in Dayton in 1907)
* Laura Burns (born after 1850; married Perry Mercer; living in Dayton in 1907)
* Elizabeth Burns (born after 1850; died in infancy)
* Mila Kathryn Burns (born May 21, 1859 in or near Medway OH; of whom see more in Chapter S-4)
The full story of the Fourth Generation was not learned till the present author discovered ~burns/dcb in 2007:
The Comprehensive Version
The eleven children of Jacob Garrel Burns and Margaret J[ane?] Dixon were:
* James William "Willie" Burns:
born Sep. 25, 1848 in Clark County OH; married Lena J. Eberhart
(Nov. 29, 1848—May 25, 1928: daughter of Daniel and Mary Eberhart
[etc.] of Bethel Township) on Jan. 5, 1868 and had two children†; worked as a postmaster in
Medway OH, as a grocer in Springfield OH (1880) and
then for the
YMCA in Fort Wayne IN (where he moved no later than 1900); his address from
c.1910 on was 133 E. Suttenfield (shared with son Walter's family); died in Fort
Wayne on Aug. 18, 1938 and was buried with wife Lena at Springfield OH's Ferncliff
* Phineas G[arrel?] Burns: born July 9, 1850 in Bethel Township; married Jane "Jennie" Cory (Nov. 20, 1853—Jul. 15, 1934: a New Carlisle native) on Oct. 15, 1873 and had four children‡; worked as a store clerk, a bookkeeper for D.E. McSherry & Co., a traveling salesman for S.J. Pattersons (a fence manufacturer) and Thresher & Co. (an insurance broker); lived in Dayton at least through the 1880s; moved to Chicago by 1900, and was living at 552 Oakmont Ave by 1910; died there Aug. 8, 1918 and was buried at New Carlisle Cemetery [C-174-9], as was wife Jane [C-174-8]
* [Infant] Burns: buried with parents at New Carlisle Cemetery [A-036-04]; evidently excluded from the 1910 census count of Margaret's children
* [Infant Boy] Burns: born and died Jan. 8, 1852 in Bethel Township; buried with parents at New Carlisle Cemetery [A-036-08]
* Elizabeth Jane Burns: born c.1852 in Bethel Township; died Jan. 17, 1855 and was buried with parents at New Carlisle Cemetery [A-036-09]
* David D[ixon?] Burns: born Nov. 21, 1854 in Ohio; died May 22, 1860 and was buried with parents at New Carlisle Cemetery [A-036-10]
* Laura R. Burns: born Dec. 1856 in "Midway" OH; married schoolteacher/principal Robert Perry Mercer (Feb. 26, 1841—Mar. 28, 1918) on Nov. 27, 1879 and had seven children§; lived in Dayton OH (at 26 S. Horton in 1900, then 126 Garfield in 1910, then after husband's death with son Monte's family at 48 Simms); died aged 65 of a cerebral hemorrhage on Nov. 16, 1923 and was buried at Dayton's Shiloh Cemetery
* Mila Kathryn Burns (allegedly aka "Hilda Maria Burns"): not born "June 6, 1859"± but May 21, 1859 in Medway OH; about whom see more in Chapter S-4
* Clara M. Burns: born July 15, 1861 in Medway OH; left school after eighth grade; married railroad clerk and freight agent Samuel F. Hart (Dec. 3/30, 1860—May 29, 1934) on May/Nov. 20, 1889 and had two children††; worked as a saleslady; lived in Dayton through 1930, then Fort Thomas KY (where Samuel died) in 1934, then at the Dayton Woman's Club in 1935 and 1940; died aged c.83 in 1944 and was buried with Samuel at Dayton Memorial Park Cemetery (as per ~g)
* Lenna Burns: born June 5, 1863 in Medway; married yardmaster/woodworker/machinist/stockkeeper Frank LeRoy Gustin aka Frank R. Gustin (Mar. 22, 1859—May 14, 1941) on June 1, 1887 and had two children‡‡; worked as a seamstress; lived in Xenia in 1900, then in Dayton by 1910; died there aged 76 on Dec. 1, 1939 and was buried three days later (as "Lena") at Dayton's Woodland Cemetery (as was husband Frank)
* Elliott Spahr Burns: born Oct. 6, 1866 in Medway; about whom see more in Chapter B-7)
● The Dixons of Cumberland County
While the Burnses were somewhat distant figures (and the Marshalls and Baneses unknown) in the SFA, the family of Jacob's wife Margaret Dixon were near and dear to Mila Burns's children. ~burns/dcb gives us the background of this family:
Andrew Dixon (c.1769-before 1860), a machinist and gatekeeper, married Mary Ramsey (c.1780/84-before 1850) on Apr. 2, 1795 in Cumberland County PA. They had six children, including James Ramsey Dixon (c.1800-before 1850), a "farmer or blacksmith." Circa 1823 he married Elizabeth Hutchison (born 1801: daughter of James Hutchison and Martha [surname?] of Ireland—a rare appearance of Irish folk in these chronicles).
Cumberland County is in south central Pennsylvania, west of the Susquehanna and Harrisburg; to the south is Gettysburg. The Dixons raised several generations of blacksmiths and machinists, and lived various places—South Middleton Township, Hopewell Township, the town of Carlisle—before moving to Ohio in the early 1840s.
Elizabeth Hutchison Dixon outlived James Ramsey Dixon by many years, not dying till 1893 in Springfield OH; she was buried at New Carlisle Cemetery [A-037-7]. Only glimpses of her can be found in 19th Century censuses. In 1860 we find this household in Wayne Township, Montgomery County OH:
Eliza Dickson (age 60) widow, born in Pennsylvania
David Dickson (age 28) farmer, born in Pennsylvania, $1000 in personal estate
Jackson Dickson (age 22) ditto occupation, born in Pennsylvania
Francis (age 15) female, born in Ohio
Mary (age 15) female, ditto birthplace
(In place of surnames, Francis and Mary are bracketed with an indecipherable notation.)
In 1870, living in Bath Township, Greene County OH:
Dixon, David R. (age 40) farmer, $600 in personal estate, birthplace Ohio
Lydia (age 30) birthplace Ohio
Frank (age 22) farm laborer, birthplace Pennsylvania
Elizabeth (age 70) at home, birthplace Pennsylvania; both parents of foreign birth
Elizabeth has not been located in the 1880 census; she was not living with sons David or Andrew in Wayne Township, Montgomery County OH; nor with son James in Mad River Township, Clark County OH; nor with sons Benjamin or Samuel in Urbana; nor with daughter Margaret and the Burnses in Dayton. Her widowed daughters Mary Ann and Maria(h) Jane are similarly unlocatable in 1880, so perhaps Elizabeth was with one (or both) of them.
The Time-Honored Version
Of Margaret Dixon Burns's parents, siblings, and sibling-in-laws, the SFA knew only three:
* James Dixon: born c.1830 in
Pennsylvania; in 1850 was living with sister Margaret and Jacob Burns
in Medway OH [though the actual census shows a "Dickinson Jas"]
* Benjamin F. Dixon: brother of Margaret and James, who married—
* Frances Swisher: "Mila Burns was very fond of her Aunt Frances Dixon and planned to name her [third] baby after her, whether boy or girl. Hence Granddad's name"—Francis See Smith—"producing one more person who disliked their name—Ha!" (As per ALLS, who never cared for the name "Ada": see Chapter L-4)
~g provides a June 11, 1891 obituary for Aunt Frances:
Frances Lenora Swisher Dixon, wife of Benjamin F Dixon, was born in Champaign County the 7th October, 1846, and died the 4th June, 1891, at her home on South Main Street Thursday, leaves a husband and four children; she was the daughter of Joseph Diltz. Her sister Minerva Titus of Judsonia, Arkansas, was here for the funeral.
The Comprehensive Version (augmented by other sources)
The nine children of James Ramsey Dixon and Elizabeth Hutchison were:
* Mary Ann Dixon: born Mar.
1823 in Carlisle PA; married blacksmith Henry Heckman (c.1822-1874) and had
eight children†††; by 1858 was living in Donnelsville, Bethel Township, Clark County OH;
in the 1900 census (listed as "Hickman") was living with son
David in Springfield OH
* Margaret J[ane?] Dixon: born Oct. 4, 1824 (of whom see more above)
* Andrew Jackson Dixon: born Aug. 1825/26 in Pennsylvania; married Sarah Stoneberger (1827-1898) in Montgomery County OH in 1857 and had four children‡‡‡; worked as a blacksmith and farmer; lived in Wayne Township, Montgomery County OH 1870-1900; appeared as "Dickson" in the 1880 census; died on Apr. 5, 1903 and was buried at Medway Cemetery
* James Hutchison Dixon: born Dec. 10, 1827 in Pennsylvania; married Caroline Keifer (1829-1902) in Clark County OH in 1858 and had four children§§§; worked as a blacksmith; lived in Mad River Township, Clark County OH 1863-1880, and with son Andrew in Hamilton OH in 1910; died aged 90 on Nov. 6, 1918 in the Montgomery County Infirmary; was buried at Springfield's Ferncliff Cemetery
* David Ramsey Dixon: born c.1830/31 in Pennsylvania; married Lydia Steinbarger (born c.1840/41; any connection to the Stonebergers?) in 1867; worked as a blacksmith and farmer; lived in Bath Township, Greene County OH in 1863-70, and, as "Dickson," two households away from brother Andrew in Montgomery County in 1880; died Feb. 12, 1895 (marital status "single") in Wayne Township, Montgomery County OH; was buried at New Carlisle Cemetery [A-037-5]
* Maria Jane Dixon aka Mariah J. Dixon: born June 20, 1832 in Pennsylvania; married saddler Abraham L. Miller (1828-1866) in Clark County OH in 1854 and had four children††††; lived in Bethel Township, Miami County OH in 1870; after 1880 married Michael Leidigh (1816-1897); lived in Clark, Montgomery, and Miami Counties; died in the latter aged 84 on Dec. 12, 1916; was buried at New Carlisle Cemetery [A-083]
* Samuel Jackson Dixon: born Mar. 29/31, 1837 in Pennsylvania; lived in Urbana OH (at first with brother Benjamin's family) from no later than 1863; worked as a laborer , harness maker , fireman , coal dealer , and "merchant (retired)" ; died aged 74 on Aug. 10, 1911 in Urbana and was buried at Oak Dale Cemetery
* Benjamin Franklin Dixon: born Apr. 8, 1840 in Carlisle PA; to Champaign County OH by Sep. 1862, when he joined the Champaign Rangers; was married to Frances Lenora/Lorena "Fannie" Swisher (born Oct. 7, 1846 in Ohio) by W.B. Jackson MG on Apr. 27, 1864; served as a corporal in Company A of the 134th Ohio Infantry, May-Aug 1864 (also as enumerator of the 1890 Veterans Schedules Record for the 1st Ward of Urbana OH); had four children (of whom more below); worked as a saddler , grocer , insurance agent [1900-06], real estate agent  and insurance agent again ; Fannie died aged 44 on June 4/18, 1891 and Benjamin aged 77 on Feb. 23, 1918; both were buried at Urbana's Oak Dale Cemetery (Section 59, Lot 4)
* Francis William "Frank" Dixon: born c.1845/48 in Ohio; lived with his mother at brother David's in Bath Township, Greene County OH in 1870; died in 1875 and was buried at New Carlisle Cemetery [A-037-6]—with a marker saying "1864-1895"
DCB credits Samuel Jackson Dixon's will—which named all his brothers and sisters, including those already deceased, along with some nephews and nieces—for untangling the confused Dixon family tree. Samuel "also provided the gravestones for his mother and brothers at New Carlisle cemetery, which apparently had not been erected at their burial. I think that may explain why the marker for brother Frank is wrong—it was erected 35 years after his death and somebody either misremembered (or misinterpreted someone's handwriting) his death as 1895 (instead of 1875) or it was miscarved. They got his birthyear wrong too."
● The Dixons of South Main Street
Mila Burns Smith's Uncle Benjamin and Aunt Frances Dixon had four children, whom ALLS remembered as follows:
* Flora Belle "Flo" Dixon (1865-1955): "Flo [was] small and quiet, but interesting to talk with—both Flo and Nette were business women—but I've forgotten [in] what"
* Jeanette G. "Nette" Dixon (1869-1942): "Nette had a delicious sense of humor—fun to be with—beautiful contralto voice—member of a quartette who sang at funerals, weddings etc. Rather large—developed diabetes in later life—leg amputated from the disease"
* William "Will" Dixon (1878-1939): of whom see more below
* Benjamin "Ben" Dixon (1880-1956): "Ben was short and fat and rather boring—don't remember what his work was either. Married to Caroline [surname?], a real 'pill'—but had plenty of money—guess they deserved each other—ha!"
Flo and Nette lived upstairs and Ben and Caroline downstairs in the Dixon duplex at 422 South Main Street, Urbana OH. This was "just two or three houses from the Hedges" (of whom see more in Chapter B-5) "and all were very friendly with each other."
The Comprehensive Version (augmented by other sources)
The four children of Benjamin F. Dixon and Frances "Fannie" Swisher, all born in Champaign County OH, were:
* Flora Belle Dixon: born Aug. 20,
1865; kept house for her father till his 1918 death, then was a factory worker 
and bookkeeper for a transfer company ; died aged 89 on Jan. 17, 1955 and
was buried at Oak Dale Cemetery
* Jeanette G. Dixon: born Jan. 20, 1869; worked as a bookkeeper , insurance office clerk , and insurance agent [1918-30]; died aged 73 on Mar. 26, 1942 in Urbana OH and was buried at Oak Dale
* William Montague Dixon: born Jan. 6, 1878 (of whom see more in the next segment)
* Benn Parker Dixon: born June 13, 1880; worked as a clerk ; a restaurant caterer in St. Louis MO ; back in Urbana by 1917, living at 635 S. Main; married Caroline G. [surname?: born c.1885/86; died when?] in 1918; worked for his brother's Mohrlite Co. [1917-20], then as a bookkeeper , a "proprietor, fire insurance" ; and—as "Bennie Parker Dixon"—a "self-[employed] Clerk of Urbana Twp. and Insurance Agency" [1942 draft registration]; moved from 635 S. Main back to 422 S. Main between 1940 and 1942; died 1956 and was buried at Oak Dale
● Will Dixon: Indirect Lighting
William Montague Dixon was born Jan. 6, 1878. In 1900, aged 22, he was working as a timekeeper in Cleveland OH but embarked a year later on an illustrious career in electrical engineering. The Aug. 1, 1908 issue of Electrical World recapped his decade so far:
MR. WILL M. DIXON, who was chief of the Department of Electricity of the Jamestown Ter-centennial Exposition [in Norfolk VA, 1907], and Mr. Howard F. Smith have formed a co-partnership under the firm name of Dixon & Smith, engineers, and will conduct a global engineering business, with offices in the Wright Building, St. Louis, Mo. Mr. Dixon was connected with the electrical department of the Pan-American Exposition [in Buffalo NY, 1901], and was electrical engineer of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, at St. Louis [i.e. the St. Louis World's Fair, 1904]. Mr. Smith was formerly with the New York Light & Power Company, New York, and was mechanical engineer of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition... With their expeience both gentlemen are well equipped to conduct the new business.
The Aug. 12, 1908 Engineering and Contracting also reported this new partnership, calling Will "Mr. William Dixon, M. Am. Ins. E.E."—that is, Member of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers. Only a couple of previous career-in-progress glimpses have been found: "The Plan of Illumination" section of The Universal Exposition of 1904 (by Francis, David R., St. Louis: Louisiana Purchase Exposition Co., 1904; viewable at Google Books) mentioned "Will M. Dixon, electrical engineer on the staff of the director of works"; and an article on the Jamestown Exposition ion the Sep. 21, 1907 Electrical World stated that "Mr. W.M. Dixon, assistant director-general and electrical chief of installation, has achieved considerable success in spite of the obstacles in his way."
With the Dixon & Smith partnership in place, Will went home to Urbana and on Sep. 25, 1908 married Goldie Elizabeth Taylor (born Jan. 25, 1883 in Mad River Township, Champaign County OH). Generally called Elizabeth, she was the third child and only daughter of Urbana hardware merchant Charles Oliver Taylor (1854-1906) and Emma Elizabeth Downs (1855-1932). Will and Elizabeth's daughter Catherine Caraway Dixon (named after Elizabeth's paternal grandmother) was born Oct. 1909 in St. Louis; in 1910 the family lived at 5826 Maple Avenue, not far north of Forest Park. "Dixon-Smith Engineering Co., Consulting and Illuminating Engineers" occupied Suite 818-820 of the Wright Building. (Will's younger brother Benn also lived in St. Louis that year, lodging at 2827 Locust and working as a restaurant caterer.)
Dixon-Smith projects would be noted in numerous trade journals over the next few years: Water & Sewage Works; Municipal Journal of Public Works; Electrical Engineering; Electrical Review and Western Electrician; American Machinist; and Electrical Age (all of whose bound volumes can be accessed via Google Books). Among Dixon-Smith's enterprises was creation of the East St. Louis Drainage System.
~dixon/wm states that Will was "inventor of an indirect lighting system called Mohrlite... He did lighting for the San Francisco Exposition." The Panama-Pacific International Exposition opened in San Francisco on Feb. 20, 1915; "its ostensible purpose was to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal, but it was widely seen in the city as an opportunity to showcase its recovery from the 1906 earthquake" (as per Wikipedia). In the [1915-]1916 San Francisco directory, W.M. Dixon lived at 641 Mission and managed the Mohrlite Company. The Aug. 28, 1915 issue of Electrical World noted that Mohrlite had "issued a bulletin illustrating and describing its semi-indirect lighting fixtures. The Company has also published a folder dealing with the use of its fixtures at the Panama-Pacific Exposition." The same journal's Nov. 13, 1915 issue announced:
The Mohrlite Company has recently moved its plant from San Francisco, Cal. to Urbana, Ohio, where it has just opened a new factory. The company is making ornamental indirect lighting and semi-indirect lighting fixtures. W.M. Dixon is president of the concern, L.V. Korbel vice-president, and B.M. Smarr secretary.
This factory was "located at the present site of the Library on Market Street in Urbana" (as per ~dixon/wm). On pages 1020-21 of The History of Champaign County, Ohio (Indianapolis: B.F. Bowen & Co., 1917: also viewable at Google Books):
The [Mohrlite] factory in Urbana, which manufactures all kinds of artistic lighting fixtures, was equipped and the actual manufacture of fixtures started on March 21, 1916. The first factory was located in the Dimond building on South Main street, with a floor space of three thousand square feet. The present factory building was built by the company and completed in 1916, and has a floor space of nearly nine thousand square feet. That the merits of the Mohrlite fixtures are recognized is shown by the fact that they were given the gold-medal award and honorable mention, the highest award given any lighting fixtures at the San Francisco International Exposition... The authorized capital stock of the company has just been increased from fifty thousand dollars to one hundred thousand dollars, and with orders being received from all parts of the world and installation being made in many of the public buildings in the United States, prospects for the future are very flattering. The present officers are: W.M. Dixon, president; J.H. Brown, vice-president; B.P. Dixon [Will's brother Benn], secretary and treasurer.
Illustration at left taken from a full-page ad in the Oct. 1, 1916 The Electrical News:
"For Effective Commercial Lighting With Type C Lamps: The Gold Medal awarded Mohrlite indirect and semi-indirect lighting fixtures at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition is acknowledgment by a high tribunal of the acme of effectiveness in lighting."
The Dixons lived with Elizabeth's widowed mother Emma in the Taylor home at 569 South Main through the 1920 census (in which they appear as the "Dixsons"); but the Apr. 24, 1920 issue of Electrical World reported that:
the Mohrlite Company of America... is planning to establish a $300,000 plant in Nashville for the manufacture of the Mohrlite reflector. W.M. Dixon, who has charge of the plant of the Mohrlite Company of Urbana, Ohio, will be in charge of the Nashville plant. Eventually the plant at Urbana will be removed to Nashville.
And that move evidently did Will Dixon no good. Nashville's 1921 directory is not available online, but he does not appear in 1922's; nor in an address book kept by his cousin Mila's son F.S. Smith beginning in 1923 (though Flo, Nette, and Benn Dixon are all included). Startlingly, a clue to what transpired can be found in Elizabeth Dixon's entry at ~g:
October 4, 1923. Elizabeth Dixon vs. William M. Dixon for divorce on gross neglect. Divorce Granted; child Catherine Dixon to mother.
In the 1930 census, Elizabeth and Catherine are living in Zanesville, Muskingum County OH, about 100 miles east of Urbana. Elizabeth—with marital status "widow"—manages a tea room; Catherine is a stenographer for an insurance company. Emma Taylor is shown as living with them, but also still appears at 569 S. Main in Urbana. She died Apr. 11, 1932 and Goldie Elizabeth followed in 1944; both are buried at Oak Dale.
By 1930, Will Dixon had moved back with his sisters at 422½ S. Main, his occupation "building contractor." In the SFA, ALLS would remark:
I was fortunate to meet Will in the middle '30s and really liked him. Tall—good-looking—good sense of humor and intelligent! When young he had married into one of Urbana's leading families—had huge wedding and lived "high on the hog." He was an electrical engineer with supposedly a brilliant future. Was in charge of all the electrical engineering at the Pan American Exposition for instance. Have no idea what happened, but eventually the marriage failed and Will "took to the bottle" to drown his sorrows. Guess he went from bad to worse—not appearing in Urbana too often. So I was always happy to have known him briefly, on one of his rare visits home. Was found dead in a gutter in Brooklyn NY—just a BUM! Sad ending—huh?
William Montague Dixon died aged 60 on Apr. 5, 1939, and was buried at Oak Dale Cemetery. His marker there does not (but ought to) display the last words attributed to Goethe: "More light!"
● Stones from the Brook
In 1911 a booklet titled Stones from the Brook by J. E. Coulter (New York: Young Men's Christian Association, 1907) was presented to 15-year-old F.S. Smith. Inside its cover was written:
Proverbs III 5 and 6: Take heed and observe in your every day life what is written.
To Francis See Smith from your Uncle Will, Dayton, O. Oct. 29, A.D. 1911
On Oct. 29, 1968, F.S. Smith gave this booklet to the present author in one of his intermittent efforts at playing godfather as well as grandfather. (Not quite erased from the booklet's title page is "Mellie Agnes Smith," scrawled in childhood by F.S.'s firstborn: later a prime assembler of the SFA.)
As early as 1983 I identified "Uncle Will" as Mila's brother James W. Burns; this would be confirmed by ~burns/dcb's calling him "Willie" and noting he was employed by the Fort Wayne YMCA. His booklet's introduction remarks:
There are many Goliaths for the Davids to meet and overcome, let us choose some stones from the brook, and putting them into our Sling (of Faith) hurl them at the enemy of our souls and overcome him... On the following pages are given Temptations that are common to men, and a choice selection of stones for use in the Sling of Faith. Commit them to memory that in the time of temptation you may be prepared.
Even after more than forty years, the present author is still startled to find the booklet's index contains (after "Thanksgiving," "Tithing," and "Tonic") an entry for "Topless"—presumably one of the capital-T Temptations for which we should prepare ourselves.
± For Mila Burns, ~burns/dcb displayed the name "Hilda Maria 'Mila' Burns" and a birthdate of June 6, 1859. DCB reports: "I have noticed that in the 1900 census, Mila gave her birth as May 1859, and I think I carried it so until just recently. I visited the gravesites of H.G. and Mila Smith last December or January [2006-07] and I think it was at that time that I made the change, although whether it was from the date on the stone or a calculated birth from YMD and date of death, I haven't recoded in my notes... I would certainly take that [May 21st birthdate] from the funeral record (along with the census notation) as pretty definitive—even though both might have come from H.G. and be subject to the same error."
The two children of James William "Willie" Burns and Lena J. Everheart were:
* Bertha Burns: born Feb. 1870 in Enon, Bethel Township, Clark County OH; died aged 16 on June 12, 1886 in Clark County and was buried at Springfield OH's Ferncliff Cemetery
* Walter G. Burns: born Sep. 19, 1871 in Bethel Township, Clark County OH; married Vina M. Stoner (born 1875) in Clark County in 1897 and had one child; worked as a patent attorney; from c.1910 shared a Fort Wayne home with his parents; died Sep. 23, 1951 in Fort Wayne; was buried at Springfield OH's Ferncliff Cemetery
The four children of Phineas G[arrel?] Burns and Jane "Jennie" Cory were:
* Edna R. Burns: born Dec. 18, 1874 in Springfield OH; married Herbert W. Bonnell (born c.1874: a salesman and sales manager) in Cook County IL in 1900 and had one child; was living with her parents in Chicago in 1910, Milwaukee c.1915-1927, Elkhart IN in 1930, and Kewanee IL from at least 1935; died aged 72 on May 23, 1947 in Kewanee IL; buried at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Harvard, McHenry County IL; Herbert moved to Sarasota FL and died there in June 1956, aged about 82
* Mary Geneva "Minnie" Burns: born Sep. 1876 in Ohio; in 1904 married Everett Lyle Axtell (born May 10, 1877: a cashier and eventual bank president—though in 1930, not the best year to be one) in Chicago on Jan. 6, 1904; lived in Harvard IL; Everett died aged 78 on June 17, 1955; Mary died after 1950
* Edward C. Burns: born June 20, 1880 (no first name in ~f's database of Ohio County Births; died aged 28 in 1908; was buried with parents and brother in New Carlisle Cemetery [C-174-6]
* Joseph Brainerd Burns: born Jan. 3, 1883; died aged 8 in 1891; was buried (as "J. Brainerd Burns") with parents and brother in New Carlisle Cemetery [C-174-7]
The seven children of Laura R. Burns and Robert Perry Mercer were:
* [Infant Boy] Mercer: born (and most likely died) July 20, 1881
* William Clarke Mercer: born Aug. 30, 1882 in Dayton; married Ida Bell Ellis (born c.1884) in 1906 and had one child; lived in Dayton and Harrison OH; worked as a printer, composing foreman, and production supervisor in a cash register factory; died 1964
* Laura Minerva "Minnie" Mercer: born Mar. 2, 1884 in Ohio; married William Arthur Pierce (1882-1953: a commercial trucker, steel company manager, and foundry secretary-treasurer) in 1907 and had two children; lived in Wellston OH and Dayton; died 1959 and was buried at Dayton's Shiloh Cemetery
* Robert Elliot Mercer: born Dec. 8, 1885 in Dayton; attended cousin Mila Burns Smith's 1907 funeral; married Cora M. Moore (1888-1983) in 1912 and had three children; worked as a printer and paint store manager; lived in Dayton; died there aged 53 of liver carcinoma on Nov. 18, 1939; buried at Memorial Park
* Adella Maude Mercer aka Maud A. Mercer: born Dec. 17, 1888 in Mad River Township, Montgomery County OH; attended cousin Mila Burns Smith's 1907 funeral; that same year married foundry manager Jesse A. "Jess" Chesman (born 1887, died after 1930); had two children; died aged 28 of an exophthalmic goiter on June 9, 1917 in Montgomery County OH and was buried at Dayton's Shiloh Cemetery; c.1919, Jess married Frances E. [surname?] (born c.1898-1901)
* Alfred P. Mercer: born Apr. 12, 1891 in Ohio; married Martha M. [surname?] (1890-1960) c.1924 and had one child; worked as an attorney; lived in Dayton; died there aged 52 of cardiac repture on Mar. 7, 1943; was buried at Dayton's Shiloh Cemetery
* Anna M. Mercer aka Margaret Ann Mercer: born Sep. 21, 1894 in Ohio; married stenographer/clerk/typist/artist Monte Clifford Nead (1891-1970) c.1916; lived in Dayton and Centerville, Montgomery County OH; died 1976; was buried at Kettering OH's David['s?] Cemetery
The two children of Clara M. Burns and Samuel F. Hart were:
* Laurence Collet Hart: born May 8, 1891 in Dayton OH; attended cousin Mila Burns Smith's funeral in 1907; married Bernice Eva Van Allen (1890-1948) in 1913 and had two children; lived in Chicago 1917-22 and Bronxville NY 1930-48; worked as a cotton salesman, asbestos sales manager, and eventually Vice President for Public Relations of the Johns-Manville Corporation; died Dec. 16, 1980 in Boulder CO and was buried there at Green Mountain Cemetery
* Gladys Pauline Hart: born Oct. 8, 1896 in Ohio; married chemist and dairy technologist Neal Dow (born 1894) at New York's Little Church Around the Corner in 1917; had one child; lived in Dayton (1920) and Fort Thomas KY (1930); died aged 96 in Sep. 1993
The two children of Lenna Burns and Frank L. Gustin were:
* Arthur H. Gustin: born Nov. 8, 1888 in Dayton; worked as a clerk; died aged 19 on Mar. 3, 1908; was buried at Dayton's Woodland Cemetery
* Walter Burns Gustin: born Dec. 30, 1890 in Dayton; married Hazel B. Berryhill (1893-1984); lived in Dayton; worked as a toolmaker, foreman, and tool inspector; died aged 79 on Mar. 6, 1970 in Newport Beach CA
* Florence Pearl Burns: born May 21, 1888 in Dayton; attended cousin Mila Burns Smith's 1907 funeral; worked as a bookkeeper and stenographer; married postal clerk/supervisor Alva Mather Smith (1885-1967) in 1930 and had one child; worked as a stenographer; was a Jehovah's Witness; died aged 86 in Montgomery County OH on Dec. 5, 1974; was buried at Dayton's Woodland Cemetery
* Elbert Spahr Burns: born Oct. 29, 1889 in Springfield; attended cousin Mila Burns Smith's 1907 funeral; married Ellen Lucille McBride (1891-1983) in 1915 and had three children; worked as head cashier and vice president of Detroit's National Bank; was living in Pontiac MI in 1930; died in Detroit aged 61 on May 20, 1951; was buried at Birmingham MI
* William Jacob "Bill" Burns: born Feb. 12, 1892 in Dayton; served as a mess sergeant in 1918; that year married Mary Marguerite "Margie" Kissinger (1897-1971); had three children; lived in Dayton; worked as secretary and employment manager for National Cash Register, and as an insurance agent; died in Dayton aged 51 on May 21, 1943; was buried at Woodland Cemetery
* Harold Andrew Burns: born June 11, 1894 in Dayton (or Springfield, but lived most of his life in Dayton); graduated from Asbury College in Kentucky (a divinity school) where he taught history during his last year; worked as a Methodist minister in Staunton VA; was in failing health from September 1928; lived with mother and sister Florence in the 1930 census; died aged 36 in Dayton on Oct. 9, 1930 and was buried at Woodland Cemetery (some details taken from ~clarkobit/harold)
* Garrel Dixon "Dick" Burns: born Dec. 12, 1895 in Dayton; married Leona J. Schmidt (1899-1984) in 1920 and had four children; worked as sales/promotions manager for General Motors; was living in Pontiac MI in 1930; died aged 81 in Birmingham MI on May 2, 1977 and was buried there
Mary Ann Dixon Heckman
The eight children of Mary Ann Dixon and Henry Heckman were:
Anne Elizabeth Heckman (1846-1919: married Charles A. Bradley in 1866, had one child); James W. Heckman (c.1849/50-1880: born in Carlisle PA, living with parents/siblings in Enon, Bethel Township Clark County OH in 1870, married Rillie Lippincott in 1871, had two children, worked as a blacksmith, buried at Donnelsville [OH] Cemetery); Benjamin F. Heckman (c.1854/56-1922: born in Ohio, married Kate Britton in 1877, had three children, worked as a blacksmith and tool dresser, died in Columbus, buried at Springfield's Ferncliff Cemetery); George W. Hickman (c.1856/58-1942: born in Donnelsville OH, married Elizabeth H. "Bettie" Smeltzer in 1879, worked as a machinist, buried at Springfield's Ferncliff Cemetery); David A. Heckman (c.1858/63-1916: was living with mother [listed as "Hickman"] in Springfield in 1900, married Bettie Thomas c.1909, worked as a pump maker and machine shop bench hand, died in Springfield and was buried at Ferncliff Cemetery); Sarah L. Heckman (born c.1860/61, was a servant in the home of Benjamin Grimsbie in 1880, married farmer Benjamin F. Hawthorn in 1896); Laura J. Heckman (born c.1862/64, married fairground superintendent Willis Snyder in 1882); and Francis H. Heckman aka Franklin Heckman (born c.1864).
Andrew Jackson Dixon
The four children of Andrew Jackson Dixon and Sarah Stoneberger were:
James A. Dixon (born c.1858, lived with parents/siblings in Wayne Township Montgomery County OH in 1870, married Edith Brown, had five children, lived in Greene County OH, died before 1900); Benjamin Dixon (born 1860); Charles A. Dixon (born 1865, married Anna V. [surname?] c.1887, had four children, lived in Osborn OH, died after 1910); and John Edward Dixon (born 1869, married Phoebe J. Davidheiser c.1893, had one child, lived in Dayton, died before 1903).
James Hutchison Dixon
The four children of James Hutchison Dixon and Caroline Keifer were:
Andrew J. "Andy" Dixon (1858-1944: born in Donnelsville OH, married Anna Kelly in 1884 and had two children, then married New York-born Mary Elizabeth Richmond in 1899, worked as a blacksmith, lived in Hamilton OH [with widowed father James] in 1910, died in Dayton and was buried at Springfield's Ferncliff Cemetery; David Dixon (born c.1859, died before 1870); Lydia Margaret "Lizzie" Dixon (1864-1953: married John M. Emes in 1884 and had three children, moved to California by 1910, died in Contra Costa CA); and Charles E. Dixon (1869-1939: married Sadie [surname?] c.1903 and had one child, worked as a machinist, died in Springfield and was buried there at Ferncliff Cemetery).
Maria Jane Dixon Miller Leidigh
The four children of Maria Jane Dixon and Abraham L. Miller were:
James H. Miller (1856-after 1920, married Rose E. Cook c.1877 and had three children, lived in Dayton, worked as a lumber buyer and car shop foreman); Ambrose J. Miller (1856-1936, married Anna F. Dohner in 1883 and had four children, lived in Dayton, worked as a farm laborer, summerman, and salesman in nursery stock); John F. Miller (born c.1860); and Elizabeth Miller (1864-after 1930, married David F. Reighard c.1886 and had four children, lived in Concord Township, Miami County OH; her widowed mother Maria was part of her household in 1910).
It's not impossible that Jacob Garrel Burns was named after his uncle Jacob
Gorrell (1782-c.1824), husband of William Burns [III]'s sister Isabella—and
grandson of Ruth Hedges and Abraham Van Metre [Sr.] (click
here for more);
although "Garrel," so spelled, was given as first name to Jacob's
● The "100-Day regiments" were lightly-trained volunteers who enlisted for 100 days during the summer of 1864 to serve as rear-echelon guards and laborers, and so free up veteran soldiers for frontline combat duty. A day-by-day summary of one of these regiments, the 155th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, can be found at ~100days; it includes glimpses of Jacob Burns's 153rd Regiment.
● H.H. Hardesty's The Military History of Ohio says the 153rd Ohio Infantry mustered out on September 2, 1864; Dyer's Compendium says on September 9th. Both versions are provided by ~153rd.
● The presence of the B & O Railroad and Harpers Ferry's Armory and Arsenal made it of paramount importance to include the Eastern Panhandle in the new Unionist state of West Virginia. ~history/jefferson remarks that Jefferson County had nearly 2,000 registered voters in 1863, but the vote to join West Virginia passed 248-to-2 (with all known Confederate sympathizers kept under house arrest). Even so, "Shepherdstown's residents were ardent supporters" of the measure, and the Jefferson County seat was moved from Charles Town to Shepherdstown for a year. After the war, many refused to recognize Berkeley and Jefferson's annexation by West Virginia; not until 1870 did the Supreme Court finally settle the matter in West Virginia's favor.
● DCB says Jacob's brother Isaac James Burns "also enlisted in the Civil War, but was sent home shortly after reporting due to ill health. He applied for a pension around 1900, but it was denied."
● Jacob Burns's funeral was held May 24, 1898 at Dayton's St. Paul Methodist Episcopal Church: as per the next day's Dayton Evening News.
● "James William "Willie" Burns was apparently quite a beloved uncle (or great uncle)—according to my late aunt Dorothy Jane Burns Freeman, she said everyone looked forward to his visits when he would come back to Dayton from Fort Wayne" (as per DCB).
● The 1900 census gives Phineas Burns's wife Jennie a birthdate of "Oct. 1844" but still shows her as being four years younger than her husband (who has correct "July 1850").
● Some details about Mary Geneva Burns and Everett Lyle Axtell came from ~jerryaustins.
● ~burns/dcb is uncertain about birth/death dates for Elizabeth Jane Burns; ~newcarlisle shows 1852 and January 7, 1855.
● ~burns/dcb gives David Burns the middle initial "D."; ~newcarlisle shows "O." DCB says David's gravestone "is heavily weathered and ambiguous," but believes his middle initial was probably D for Dixon—since his mother Margaret had an uncle, brother, and nephew each named David Dixon.
● DCB reports that "Robert Perry Mercer was the son of General Robert Mercer (of the War of 1812), who owned vast tracts of land in Greene County and some surrounding counties, but who lost most of his land in speculations or swindles. Most of the land that is now Wright Patterson AFB was originally owned by General Mercer."
● On July 24, 1907 "Herbert G. Smith, Attorney at Law"—himself recently bereaved by losing wife Mila on May 6th—wrote his brother-in-law Frank Gustin a letter of condolence (copy provided by DCB) for the loss of Frank's father Phillip O. Gustin three days earlier. "Dear Brother: your card received this date. I am very sorry I did not get the news earlier as I had intended coming down. You and yours including Mother and Mrs. Trissel have my deepest sympathy in your sad bereavement. Francis came home Sunday from Earl's. Remember me to all. Sincerely yours, Herbert G. Smith." ("Mother" was Frank's, Rachel Holt Gustin; "Mrs. Trissel" was Frank's sister Millie; "Francis" was Herbert G.'s son, the present author's future grandfather; "Earl" was Francis's oldest half-brother, Earl Callison.)
● In the 1910 census, Lenna's name was entered as "Magalind" (transcribed "Magaline").
● Lenna Burns Gustin's death certificate was left incomplete, with a query "Was the tumor of spinal cord malignant or benign? Please state" and a postscript, "Malignant."
● In Dayton, our Burns family at 132 S. Terry should not be confused with another Burns household at 317 S. Perry.
● An address book used by F.S. Smith starting in 1923 had entries for the Samuel F. Harts (Broadway Apartments on North Broadway, Dayton OH) and the Frank R. Gustins (512 Albany St., Dayton OH); so F.S. must have maintained correspondence with his Burns aunts Clara and Lenna on at least a Christmas card level. Phineas and Laura had died by late 1923; there were no entries for Elliott or Uncle Will.
● James Ramsey Dixon had a brother David Dixon (c.1798-bef.1850), a blacksmith who married Christina Young and had nine children. Little is known of them except for James Ramsay Dixon, a butcher and sheriff, who married Mary J. Allgeir and had four children.
● ~newcarlisle records two entries for a David R. Dixon born in 1830: one dying in 1895, with a grave location; the other dying in 1917, with no grave location.
● "The Champaign Rangers was an impromptu Company, raised here on the first call for men to defend the Queen City [Cincinnati]. They left Urbana on the 4th inst and returned on the 9th. The danger having passed, they were honorably discharged, and returned without the loss of a man, and with only two on the sick list. Capt Vance will hold his Company in readiness for any emergency, and woe betide the enemy that may happen to come within range of their trusty rifles." (As per the Sept 18, 1862 Urbana Citizen & Gazette: cited by ~dixon/bf.)
● Fannie Dixon's widowed mother, Cynthia Ann Diltz Swisher (born Apr. 23, 1803 in Warren County OH), lived with the Urbana Dixons in 1880. She died aged 91 on Sep. 23, 1894 and was buried at Fairview Cemetery in Mutual, Champaign County OH. Her obituary called her "Mrs. William Swisher, pioneer citizen," adding that she had married William Swisher on Apr. 27, 1832. From Fannie's obituary, we may wonder whether Joseph Diltz had been Cynthia's first husband, and if William Swisher had adopted Fannie.
● In Cleveland in 1900, Will Dixon boarded with barber William Kennedy, his wife May, their two sons, and another boarder.
● The 1901 Pan-American Exposition is principally remembered today as the site of President William McKinley's assassination.
● Otto Hamlet Mohr (1878-1958) of Kentfield CA designed and patented the Mohrlite indirect and semi-direct lighting fixtures in 1913. He is listed as president of the Mohrlite Company in San Francisco's 1914 and 1915 directories. B.M. Smarr, formerly with General Electric's Illuminating Department in San Francisco, became Mohrlite's sales manager in 1914. An undated clipping said Smarr "is now in charge of the new Urbana (Ohio) branch of the Mohrlite Company of San Francisco."
● Will and Elizabeth's marriage license application was found in ~f's database of Ohio County Marriages, 1789-1994. The wedding was performed by Richard McClellan Brown, Rector of Urbana's Church of the Epiphany.
● Though the 1917 History of Champaign County describes Benn Dixon as secretary-treasurer of Mohrlite, the 1918 Urbana directory lists him as the company's bookkeeper. He and Caroline, like Will's family, appear as "Dixson" in the 1920 census—listed three households away from cousin Maurice L. Smith.
● Will Dixon is absent from a 1921 officers list of "the Mohrlite Company of America" at 901 Harrison St., Nashville TN.
● On June 26, 1930 Catherine Caraway Dixon married Emery Scott Wetzel Sr. (1907-1989), who'd graduated from West Point a year earlier. While there he was saddled with the lasting nickname Pinky ("because of his pink cheeks," according to ~wetzel/af, which notes he married "his academy sweetheart"); but that did not prevent Emery from having an illustrious career of his own with the Army Air Corps and Air Force. It took him, Catherine, and their two children to air bases all over the country and overseas; Emery was at dinner with Jimmy Doolittle on Okinawa when Japan's surrender was announced. He wound up as Chief of Staff of the United Nations Command and U.S. Forces in Korea, 1959-61, and retired as a lieutenant general: as per ~wetzel/af and ~wetzel/general. Emery's marriage to Will Dixon's daughter was discovered at ~catherinecdixon. She died aged 64 in Oct. 1973.
● F.S. Smith's 1923+ address book showed Flo and Nette Dixon at "422½ So. Main" in Urbana OH, with "Ben P." Dixon's office at 117½ (changed to 422) South Main. There was no entry for Will.
● In the 1940 census, Flo and Nette were still at 422½ S. Main; the other half of the house was occupied by Glenn and Armita Leckrone, who'd come to Urbana from Ashtabula County OH. Flo and Nette were both retired; Nette was a high school graduate, while Flo had left school after ninth grade. Brother Benn and his wife Caroline both left school after eleventh grade.
● Flo's Oak Dale marker is said to be inscribed "1855-1955," giving her an extra decade and a full century.
Proceed to Chapter B-7
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