Pages 748-749, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




WILLIS PAINTER DICKERSON, a well known business man of Toronto, occupying the position of cashier in the Toronto bank, has been a resident of Woodson County since 1876. His father was John M. Dickerson, who served as quartermaster of the State Soldiers' Home at Dodge City, Kansas. He was born in Coshocton County, Ohio, in 1839, and was reared in that county and in Franklin County of his native state. He was a miller's son, his father being Thomas Dickerson who, throughout his life, devoted his energies to the milling business. John M. Dickerson was the second child in his family. At the time of the Civil war the father of our subject responded to the country's call for aid, enlisting in the One Hundred and Thirty-third Ohio Volunteer infantry, in which he held the rank of lieutenant. Before the expiration of his term he was honorably discharged on account of disability, but toward the close of the war he re-enlisted in the One Hundred and Ninty-First Ohio Volunteer infantry and manifested his loyalty to the government by faithful service in the south. Several lines of business have claimed his attention. He has followed farming, milling and merchandizing. In 1870 he came to Kansas and located two miles west of Carlyle where he resided until 1876 when he came with his family to Woodson County. For two years he conducted a grocery in Toronto and on the expiration of that period he accepted the position of quartermaster in


the State Soldiers' Home at Dodge City, Kansas. Mr. Dickerson was married in Franklin County, Ohio, in 1859, to Miss Sarah E. Painter, a daughter of Willis Painter, and grand-daughter of Samuel Painter Sr., who was one of the pioneer settlers of the Buckeye state, removing from Virginia to Ohio. The children of John M. and Sarah E. Dickerson are as follows: Willis of this review; Hiram T., who is living in Toronto; Thomas J., also of Toronto; Leah J., the wife of E. C. Snyder, of Centerville, Kansas, and Mamie, the wife of E. W. Harris also of Centerville.

In taking up the history of Willis Painter Dickerson we present to our readers the life record of one who is widely and favorably known in Woodson County, where he has spent the greater part of his life. He was born November 7, 1861, and in 1876, when fourteen years of age, he accompanied his parents on their removal to Kansas, the family locating in Toronto township, where he remained until 1880. He pursued his education in the schools of Ohio, then in Allen and Woodson Counties this state, also spending a few months in the Kansas University. It was his intention to pursue the entire course, but circumstances prevented his carrying out the plan. He then turned his attention to business and his first independent venture was teaching. He followed that profession for six years in Woodson County and was known as a most capable educator, having the ability to impart readily to others his knowledge of the studies pursued in the public schools. For two years he was proprietor of the Toronto Register, which has since been merged into the Toronto Republican. He established the former paper and made of it a creditable journal, winning a liberal and well deserved patronage. His fellow townsmen recognizing his worth and ability, and his fidelity to the duties of citizenship, elected him to the office of the clerk of the district court of Woodson County in the year 1888, and he served for two terms. In 1892 he ambarked[sic] in the banking business and is now cashier of the Toronto Bank, the success of which is due in no small degree to his enterprising efforts, his keen discernment and his sound judgment. He also owns the Toronto Rolling Mills and is interested in the Toronto Gas & Mining Company, of which he is treasurer and director.

On the 25th. of September, 1886. Mr. Dickerson was united in marriage in Toronto, Kansas, to Miss Kate L. Lockard, a daughter of Martin B. Lockard, of Fort Scott, Kansas. They now have three children: Freda, Nellie B. and Howard W. Socially Mr. Dickerson is a master Mason and is held in high esteem by his brethren of the fraternity. In politics he is a Republican, but the honors and emoluments of public office have had no attraction for him, his support being given to the party because he believes in its principles and not because he hopes for official reward. His advancement in the business world is due to his own efforts, for a determined purpose, energy and keen discernment have enabled him to work his way steadily upward.

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