|Birth: ||Apr. 12, 1825|
|Death: ||Dec. 13, 1910|
LUTHER DICKERSON - THE ATCHISON GLOBE - OCTOBER 13 1910
LUTHER DICKERSON DEAD
Luther Dickerson, aged 86 years, Atchison's first white settler, died at his home, No 1918 Kearney Street, at noon, of paralysis, following an illness which had lasted almost five years.
Luther Dickerson was not only the first white settler in Atchison County but during his years of activity was the most influential citizen, and was a soldier in the Mexican and Civil Wars. It would be impossible to write the early history of Atchison and Atchison County and leave him out.. He came of a noted family, which took to pioneer life and to war naturally. Luther Dickerson was born in Washington County, Ohio April 12 1825.
There were twelve children and he was the youngest, and of the twelve, eleven were boys. The father died when Luther was a boy, and when still young he came west as far as Iowa with his mother, and the only girl in the family.
The girl, who was a sister to eleven brothers, married a man named Welsh, and she found the experience she had had with eleven boys fitted her for all kinds of hardships and rough knocks, for early in 1844, she went overland with her husband to Oregon, and history of that state gives her as the first white woman ever in the town of Astoria. The grandfather of Luther Dickerson commanded the bridge at Yorktown at the time of the surrender of Cornwallis. He was one of the first settlers of Ohio, going there with General Putman, of Revolutionary fame, and to both men the governmant gave immense tracts of land.
Luther Dickerson came west to Saline County, Missouri, in 1844, where, barring the time when he was engaged in the Mexican War, there he remained until 1854. He was a carpenter by trade and carpentering was much different in those days than now. A contract to build a house in those days included the contractors room and board and keep, while the house was building. Mr. Dickerson was in the Mexican War two years. He got $18 a month and a wound in the leg, for which he received a pension of $8 a month up to the time he made application for a pension for wounds received during the Civil War. Luther Dickerson came over to the Kansas side in June 1854, crossing at Doniphan. Atchison was not heard of then, and when he took 160 acres with the land warrent given to him for his service in the Mexican War , he selected a pece of land five miles south of Doniphan. It happened that this land was on the extreme north edge of where Atchison was afterward located, so that he builded better than he knew. He went back to Saline County for his wife and two children and they came over in the fall. He made the journey from Saline County, a distance of 200 miles, with a yoke of oxen and a wagon that he had made himself. In making the second trip here he crossed the Missoiri River twice: once at Lexington and again at Doniphan. He moved his family into a log house without a floor and had to cut a hole in the sides for an opening. making a door out of the wagon bed. The winters were intensely cold those days, but the walls of this house were plastered with mud and they did not suffer. They lived in this house without a floor for over a year.
Mr. Dickerson, having the only team in the country, found lots of work to do. He used to go to St. Joe and haul provisions home for his neighbors, and recalls that on those good old days when prosperity was a spector unheard of, he paid only 2 and a half cents a pound for bacon and 2 or 3 cents for a dozen eggs, and once bought a whole hog off Aleck Dunning, for which he paid only 3 cents a pound dressed and delivered at his door. It was 50 cold that winter that he couldn't cut up the hog, and they ate it piece buy piece, as it was chopped off with an axe.
Mr. Dickerson became interested in politics at an early date. It used to be said that Luther Dickerson ran the Republican Party and P.T. Abell ran the Democratic, and as Mr. Dickerson was a strong abolitionist.
Mr Abell was as strong pro-slavery sympathizer, the campaign those two men conducted before the war and for sometime were fights which made present-day campaigns appear like the election of offficers in a lodge or in a sewing society.
Mr. Dickerson took an active part in the organization of Atchison County, and was superintendent of public buildings when the first courthouse was built, and was a member of the territorial legislature in 1858.
When the war broke out he raised a company in the 8th Kansas, but failing to be named its captain, he didn't go with the men, he later raised a company of colored troops, The first it was said, in the United states. He was lieutenant and saw a lot of fighting, but was in none of the battles.. He received a bullet in his arm, which is there to this day, which pained him everyday since he received it, and a wound in his side.
Ruffians called at his house and compelled his wife to cook up every bit of flour in the house for them. When Luther got home that night he was compelled to walk to Doniphan for a bag of flour bearing it home late at night on his back
Mr. Dickerson planted the first apple orchard in Atchison County, and for years was famous for peaches he raised. In the early days there were eleven barren peach years in succession and everybody but he plowed up their peach orchards. He attended to his just the same as if it was bearing, and the twelfth year there was a heavy yield, and he sold his peaches for $4 a bushel. He got $1 for the first apples he raised.
Mr. Dickerson was the father of twelve children, seven of whom survive with the widow, who was his second wife. The children are Aurelius and John Dickerson, of Atchison: Luther Jr. of Omaha: Mrs. Jack Blake of Kansas city: Mrs. Murry Simon of Damonia, Oklahoma: and Aurelia Wiggins, of Prohaska, Oklahoma. Curtis, Age 11 years, is the only child of the present Mrs. Dickerson. Funeral arrangements will not be made until the Arrival of his daughters
Luther was one of eleven children of which nine were boys. He was the next to the youngest. One sister (Maria) died in Ohio at 14. The family consisting then of his mother Sally Dailey Dickerson, sister Nancy and eight brothers settled in Iowa in 1836. His grandfather Thomas served with the 8th Pennsylvania in the Revolution and fought at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777 as part of a special detatchment of sharpshooters commanded by Colonel Daniel Morgan of Virginia. To the best of the knowledge of all family members he outlived both sisters and all eight brothers. His last son Curtis by his second wife was born when Luther was 74 years young. Luther first attended school in Tippecanoe County, Indiana but stated that he was mostly self taught.
Sally Dailey Dickerson (1785 - 1839)
Allie Margaret Fizer Dickerson (1825 - 1896)
Sarah A Dickerson (1863 - 1923)*
Robert A. Dickerson (1850 - 1899)*
Joseph Beattie Dickerson (1857 - 1909)*
Aurelia D Dickerson Wiggins (1860 - 1950)*
Sallie B Dickerson Blake (1870 - 1947)*
Jesse Dickerson (1814 - 1871)*
Nancy Dickerson Welch (1818 - 1896)*
Vachel Dickerson (1822 - 1848)*
Luther Dickerson (1825 - 1910)
Mount Vernon Cemetery
Created by: gingels
Record added: Oct 07, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 77771931