From A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. I, p. 119
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902

John W. Dotson

Among the worthy citizens that Kentucky has furnished to the Sunflower state is John W Dotson, who is successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits on section 25, Raymond township, Rice county.  The year of his arrival here was 1879, and he has since been one of the county’s most substantial and reliable citizens.  He was born November 21, 1836, and is a son of George Dotson, a native of Virginia and a representative of a prominent family of that state.  When a young man the latter removed to Kentucky.  In Mason county, that state, he was united in marriage to Miss Ellen White, who was born in North Carolina, and they became the parents of seven children, namely: Elizabeth; John W; Mary; Absalom, who was a loyal soldier in the Confederate service; Saphronia; George, who aided in the defense of the Union in the Civil war; and James.  The father of this family was a blacksmith by occupation and in his political views was a Democrat.  His death occurred in Fleming county, Kentucky, at the age of fifty-one years.  His wife died at the age of fifty-four years, and both were faithful members of the Baptist church.

John W Dotson, whose name introduces this review, was reared to farm life in the state of his nativity, and there received his education in the common schools.  In 1861, at the outbreak of the Civil war, he enlisted for service in the Union army, joining the Sixteenth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry.  He became a member of Company A, and was a loyal defender of the Union for three years and eleven months.  He participated in seventeen battles and many skirmishes, including the engagements at Franklin, Nashville, Town Creek, Ivy Mountain, Kingston, Resaca, Lookout Mountain, Mossy Creek, King’s Hill, Pine Mountain, Atlanta, Lost Mountain, Kenesaw Mountain, Jonesboro, Columbia, Fort Anderson, Wilmington and many others.  During his service he was sick in a hospital for eight or ten months, but was never wounded.  He was honorably discharged in July, 1865, returning to his home with an honorable military record.

In the year 1867 Mr. Dotson was united in marriage to Miss Mary Seever, a lady of intelligence and culture, who has proved to her husband a faithful companion for the journey of life.  She was born in Fleming county, Kentucky, July 13, 1849, and is a daughter of Helms and Eliza (Choate) Seever, also natives of Kentucky, but both are now deceased, the mother dying in middle life and the father at the age of sixty years.  They were the parents of eight children, six of whom still survive:  Charlotte, Elizabeth, Henry, George, Peter and Mary.  The sons were all member of the Confederate army during the Civil war.  The children who have passed away are Edward and Hannah.  There is also a half brother, James Seever.  The father of this family followed the occupation of farming and affiliated with the Democratic party.  Both he and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal church.  The union of our subject and his wife have been blessed with seven children, as follows:  Mrs. Ellen Boes, a resident of Oklahoma; Henry and George Casper, also of Oklahoma; Elizabeth; Vaughn McCanlass, of Raymond, Kansas; Bessie; and Absalom.

Mr. Dotson located on his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres in 1879, and here he is now engaged in general farming.  He has made many substantial improvements upon his place, including the erection of buildings and the planting of an orchard and grove.  His fields are under a high state of cultivation and everything about the place is neat and thrifty in appearance.  Mr. Dotson is a staunch advocate of Democratic principles.  In all relations of life he has been upright and honorable, and he gives his hearty support and co-operation to every movement and measure for the public good.