Biography - Robert Dixon

ROBERT DIXON. The position of Witt, Ill., in a productive agricultural region confers upon it, of necessity, great importance as a market for grain of all kinds, and this advantage of location is aided by almost every facility of transportation, elevator capacity and other necessary concomitants of a grain distributing center. Prominent among the successful and firmly established grain and elevator merchants of Witt, stands the firm of Dixon & Shuping, the members of which are business men of a high order of attainments.
Mr. Dixon was born in Coles County, Ill., July 17, 1843, and is a son of William and Susan Dixon. When live years of age, he was left an orphan and as a consequence knows very little of his ancestors. It is known, however, that they were very early settlers on the prairies of Coles County, and it is believed that they were of Scotch-Irish origin. Left thus early in life without the watchful and loving care of his parents, without a home and almost without friends, he was buffeted about with no one to speak a kind word to him or to give him any idea of right or wrong. When he was only eight years of age, H. J. Ashmore, a prominent and wealthy citizen, interested himself in the welfare of the little orphan, who, even at that early age, showed unusual ability and precociousness. He went to live with his kind benefactor and here we find him when the clouds of the Civil War began to gather. When the first call for three-year men was made, he promptly tendered his services, and on the-27th of August, 1861, he enlisted in Company B, Fifty-fifth Illinois Infantry, as a private, with Col. Stuart and Capt. McCauley in command. He was mustered in at Chicago and sent to St. Louis.
From that point, he went to Paducah, and his first baptism of fire came April 7, 1862, at that most fearful and bloody battle Shiloh. From there, he went to Corinth, participated in the siege of that rebel stronghold, and afterward was sent with his regiment to Memphis, where for a time his command went into camp. The next important engagement was at Vicksburg, and later an expedition up the Arkansas River to Arkansas Post, where the army captured the place and about six thousand prisoners. After this, they were ordered to Young's Point, opposite Vicksburg, where they were engaged in cutting a canal across the peninsula. After this followed the battles of Jackson, Champion Hill, Black River and the siege of Vicksburg. For more than two months, his command was under the fire of the Confederate guns, and on the night of July 3, 1862, just before the surrender, Mr. Dixon stood guard at Gen. Sherman's headquarters. He was next sent to Memphis and later was in the Atlanta campaign, assisting in fighting the battles of Marietta, Lookout Mountain, Resaca, Dalton, and all the other engagements of that great campaign.
After the fall of Atlanta, Mr. Dixon was taken sick and sent to the hospital at Chattanooga, where lie was compelled to remain for about three months, or until his term of enlistment was out. He was discharged October 31, 1864, at Nashville, Tenn., and, broken in health, he returned to his home in Coles County, where for more than a year he was unable to do any manual labor. In the spring of 1866, he came to Montgomery County and purchased a farm in Nokomis Township. He followed agricultural pursuits very successfully until 1881, when he bought the elevator at Witt, Ill. Since then he has been a very successful grain merchant. About 1888, he was joined by William A. Shuping, and the firm became Dixon & Shuping, and this is now one of the solid grain firms in the county.
Mr. Dixon was married, in 1870, to Miss Lucinda Houck, a native of Michigan and a daughter of Daniel Houck, who was a Pennsylvania Dutchman. Mr. and Mrs. Dixon have but one child, a bright young lady of twenty summers, who completed her education at the Nokomis High School. In politics, Mr. Dixon is a strong Republican and has held a number of local positions in the township. He is one of the Trustees of the School Board, and for two years was Supervisor of his township. He is a Grand Army man and a member of the post at Nokomis for the past fifteen years.

Extracted 12 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 467-468.

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