|Birth: ||Nov. 5, 1852|
|Death: ||Jun. 7, 1930|
Mary Ann "Mollie" Spencer was the daughter of Thomas Jefferson Spencer and Sinia Ann Maxwell. Her parents were of Scotch Irish descent. When she was about five, her father died. During the Civil War, her community occasionally encountered hostilities, but not the extent of many Southern states. But with her father gone, even with her grandparents nearby, it could not have been a carefree childhood. From 8 to 13, her country was at war.
At 15, her mother died, when she probably went to live with her older sister, Sarah, who by then had married Thomas Hall.
At 16, she married 24-year-old William Alexander Dawson, a local man, the only son of Caleb Dawson and his wife, Caroline Moody Dawson. Nine months after their marriage, she gave birth to the first of her six children. Tom Dawson was born 26 November 1869.
Her husband went to work for the railroad, and the family was on the move. Her second child, daughter Lonora Bell Dawson, was born on 26 November 1871 in Kansas City, Kansas. Four years later, Clinton Buto Dawson was born on 20 April 1875 in Weld County, Colorado. Three months before his birth, Mary Ann and William lost their oldest son, Tom in February 1875. The location of his grave is unknown.
At 27, she gave birth to her next daughter, Hattie Elizabeth Dawson, born 17 May 1879. The family was still in Colorado, and she was running a boarding house.
Several years later, the family is back in Kentucky. She and William have two more sons, Duffie D. Dawson, born 26 Mar 1890, and George Hilra Dawson, born 17 May 1894. During this time in Kentucky, she was said to have worked as a midwife.
Her three sons had moved to Tulare County, California, to become farmers by the time she was 63. Her daughter Hattie also moved to the area. She followed them, and was living with her son, Duffie, in Dinuba.
In 1929, Duffie, and his wife, Mattie, sold a lot in Sultana, California, to her for $10. Five years later, a year before her death, she gave her children (Nora B. Turner, Clinton B. Dawson, Hattie E. Barrow, Duffie D. Dawson and George H. Dawson) that same lot "in consideration of the love and affection which she has for" them. The day she was buried, that deed was recorded. At some point, her husband joined her in California, and in 1930 they were residing in the same home. Although they were separated in the later part of their lives, they are buried next to each other.
© Pat Conwell, 2012
William Alexander Dawson (1848 - 1937)*
Lonora Bell Dawson Turner (1871 - 1959)*
Clinton Buto Dawson (1875 - 1951)*
Hattie Elizabeth Dawson Barrows (1879 - 1930)*
Duffie D. Dawson (1890 - 1948)*
Smith Mountain Cemetery
Created by: Pat Conwell
Record added: Oct 27, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 43609323