Sunday, May 17, 2015

Tenants of the Owen Block - B.F. Dickson

Mr. and Mr. Barton F. Dickson moved into 121 Chestnut Street in January 1894. He was employed by the L & N. Railroad  as superintendent of  the St. Louis - Henderson division. The family's stay at the Owen Flats was marked by sadness. Just 10 months after their move, their daughter, Bessie, just six months old, died of cholera infantum. [1] Friends were invited to the funeral, but the grieving family chose to have a private burial at Oak Hill Cemetery.

On the 22nd of April 1896, John, the six year old son of Mr. and Mr. Dickson, was playing with several neighborhood children along Chestnut Street. They found a container with an unknown mixture and, being inquisitive children, decided to taste it. The events  were published in the local newspaper:[2]

                "As the result of swallowing a compound of poisons concocted for exterminating
 roaches, while at play, two children, John Dickson and Loretta Ricketts lie dead at their homes, 119 and 121 Chestnut street.

                "Frolicking in the front yard of the Ricketts' with a group of neighborhood children, they ran across a half-empty can of the poison, and as one of its parts was a syrup of some sort, they eagerly ate the death-dealing mixture."

The funeral for John Dickson was conducted at the Dickson home and burial took place at Oak Hill Cemetery. The pall bearers were headed by Mr. Walsh of the L. & N. Railroad of Howell and the different departments of the company were represented[3] , thus showing their deep regret in the death of the little boy and their respect for the bereaved parents.

B.F. Dickson was appointed captain of an engineering corps at the beginning of the Spanish-American War and enlisted a number of Evansville young men in his company.  He had charge of the preparation of the camp at Montauk Point, New York, where the soldiers from the Cuban campaign were taken for recuperation before they were mustered out. After the war, Dickson was employed with the Southern Railroad Company and later became superintendent of the street railway at Kansas City, Missouri, where he died 10 May 1904. His remains were buried at Oak Hill Cemetery.

[1] "Bessie Dickson  Death of Infant. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. B.F. Dickson," Evansville Courier, 4 October 1894, p. 8.
[2] "They Are Dead!" Evansville Courier, 23 April 1896, p. 2.
[3] "Two Little Graves," Evansville Journal, 25 April 1896, p. 4.

Published 17 May 2015, Rambling Thoughts ... Out of My Mind, Brenda Joyce Jerome, C.G.

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