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Commodore Palmer Dix
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Birth: Jan. 17, 1861
Cedar Rapids
Linn County
Iowa, USA
Death: Dec. 30, 1929
Chico
Butte County
California, USA

COMMODORE PALMER DIX - Among the well-known lumbermen of the Northwest the name of C.P. Dix holds an assured place and he is to be found busily engaged in the manufacturing of lumber at his mill near Cohasset, Butte County, Cal., where he is also interested in horticulture and is the owner of a ranch of one hundred fifty acres, of which forty are in apples in full bearing. Mr. Dix has been a resident of the Pacific Coast country ever since a lad of six years, and was born near Cedar Rapids, Ia., January 17, 1861, a son of Reverend Jehu and Charity Frances (Andrews) Dix, both born in Ohio, the latter of old Virginian ancestry.

In 1855 the Reverend Dix went into Iowa and farmed, also ran a sawmill for the manufacture of lumber, which he retailed. He volunteered for duty in the Civil War but was rejected; however, three of his brothers saw active service during that struggle. In 1867 he came to the Pacific Coast, leaving New York on the Arizona for Aspinall via Havana, and after crossing the Isthmus he took passage on the Golden City for San Francisco, then on the Montana for Portland, Ore. The journey consumed six weeks. Rev. Dix was accompanied by his wife and six children, and upon their arrival in Oregon they located a homestead of one hundred sixty acres of timber land nine miles north of Hillsboro, Washington County. This tract he and his boys cleared of timber, improved and farmed. They later built a steam sawmill and began the manufacture of lumber; soon another quarter section of timber land was added by purchase and a thriving business was carried on. Rev. Dix then sold his farm and mill and moved into Hillsboro where he built the first woolen mill in that section and operated it for four years, when he retired from active work and spent the last twenty years of his life at Hillsboro and Portland, although he died at the home of his son, C.P. Dix, at Arleta, Ore. He was an ordained minister of the Advent Christian Church and was one of the organizers of the Willamette Valley Conference and was elected president of the first conference. He preached for over forty years and during that time organized many congregations and built many churches. He and his good wife had seven children, five of whom are living. Reverend Dix died in 1908, aged eighty-four; his wife died at the age of fifty-eight. The name was originally spelled Dicks (an old New England family name), but it was shortened to its present spelling about one hundred fifty years ago at a gathering of members of the family.

C.P. Dix was reared in Iowa until he had passed his sixth birthday, then was taken by his parents to Oregon, and until he was sixteen his time was spent on the homestead, at which time his parents moved into Hillsboro. He attended the public schools of his locality and afterwards worked at ranching and the lumber business. In 1888 he built the first sawmill at Canby, Clackamas County, Ore., and since that date he has built and operated, and sold and built for others, twenty-six different sawmills in Oregon and Washington. During this time he made his home principally in Portland. Mr. Dix organized the Oak Point Piling Company at Oak Point, Wash., built a mill and five miles of logging road into the mountains. His first contract, in 1906 was for six million feet of logs; this he made into a cigar-shaped raft 700x50x45 feet and towed it down the Columbia River to the ocean and thence to San Francisco, where it was delivered in good shape. He also took the contract to furnish the piles for the Morrison Street bridge in Portland, and also for other big structures. When Mr. Dix sold out he bought a twenty-acre tract near Portland and began farming, but it was not to his liking and very soon he returned to the milling business and organized the Marshal-Dix Company, which was in operation for a time and then discontinued, but the company still owns some twenty-three million feet of timber. During the years that Mr. Dix has been in the lumber and milling business he has made the acquaintance of the principal lumbermen of the Northwest, among whom he has a high standing.

In 1909, Mr. Dix came to Butte County, Cal., and purchased a ranch of one hundred fifty acres in Cohasset, forty acres of which is a full bearing apple orchard of the various winter varieties. On the Buelah Vista Ranch, as it is called, he has built buildings adequate for his needs, among which is a packing-house where the apples are prepared for the markets. At the apple show at Watsonville, in 1911, Mr. Dix had an exhibit of sixteen varieties and carried away thirteen gold medals, thus winning for Butte County the best record of any county in the state. His exhibit was pronounced a "very exceptional display." In 1911 he began the saw-milling business again by building a portable mill on his ranch. He operated this till the timber was all gone, when he bought eighty acres adjoining and continued until that was all cut up. He then moved to Paradise and set up the mill and ran it a year, when he sold it to the Paradise Lumber Company and returned to Cohasset and bought the old Vilas mill, moved it to the present site, at Camp Promontory, four miles north, where he bought two hundred forty acres of timber and built up a new plant and started operations in September, 1916. In October of that year Roy Hilton became his business partner, the business being conducted under the name of the C.P. Dix Lumber Company. The mill is operated by a seventy-five horse power steam engine and boiler and has a capacity of twenty thousand feet. Mr. Dix believes in being up-to-date in every department and uses five five-ton motor trucks to haul the logs to the mill and to transport the lumber to Chico where it is sold to the Diamond Match Company. Twenty-five men are employed in the various departments and the mill is the largest in this part of the county. Mr. Dix has worked in every department of the lumber business, cruising, chopping in the woods, whacking bulls, as engineer, sawyer, grader, and even driving motor trucks when necessity demanded. Mr. Dix named his mill location Camp Promontory for the reasons that just half a mile south of their site is Promontory Point, a landmark known to the earliest settlers, it being a point of rocks towering four hundred feet, almost at the headwaters of Pine Creek. From this point is obtained a wide view of the country; parts of eleven counties can be seen from the promontory. Visitors all agree that it is the grandest observation point they have ever found.

At Hillsboro, Ore., occurred the marriage of C.P. Dix and Dora Messinger, born in Yamhill County and a daughter of Jacob A. and Anna (Brown) Messinger, pioneer farmers of that county and natives of Indiana and Iowa respectively, who crossed the plains in 1861, with ox teams to Oregon. They settled in Washington County, where they eventually died, the father in 1906 and the mother in 1901. Mrs. Dix is the youngest of seven children and was reared and educated in Oregon. Seven children have come to brighten the home of Mr. and Mrs. Dix: Ralph A., of Chico; Myrtle, Mrs. Henry Butler, of Monterey; Mabel, Mrs. C.H. Eckles, of Chico; Bethel, wife of Roy Hilton, a partner in the C.P. Dix Lumber Company; Florence, Mrs. T.L. Skelly, of Chico; and Cecil V., and Doris Virginia, at home. Mr. Dix is an Ancient Odd Fellow. Mr. and Mrs. Dix belong to the Christian Church of Chico and for many years have taken a prominent part in church work; Mr. Dix as a deacon and ruling elder and a teacher in the Sunday School. Mrs. Dix is a Prohibitionist and a member of the Cohasset Auxiliary of Chico Chapter of the Red Cross. Mr. Dix is a stanch Republican and a protectionist. Source: "History of Butte County, Cal.," by George C. Mansfield, Pages 1036-1040, Historic Record Co, Los Angeles, CA, 1918. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Jehu Dix (1825 - 1908)
  Charity F Dix (1831 - 1888)
 
 Spouse:
  Dora Anna Messinger Dix (1866 - 1921)*
 
 Children:
  Florence Catherine Dix Skelly (1896 - 1975)*
  Doris Virginia Dix Atkins (1904 - 1986)*
 
 Sibling:
  Alfonso Theudas Dix (1854 - 1933)*
  Commodore Palmer Dix (1861 - 1929)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
His wife
 
Note: ss/plot Commodore Palmer Dix, Dora Anna Dix and baby boy Stanley A. Aikins
 
Burial:
Chico Cemetery
Chico
Butte County
California, USA
Plot: Sec 23,B Lot 29 sp 1
 
Maintained by: Adriana
Originally Created by: J
Record added: Sep 17, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 58812812
Commodore Palmer Dix
Added by: Janet (Hoobler) Bertagna
 
Commodore Palmer Dix
Added by: J
 
Commodore Palmer Dix
Added by: J
 
 
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