Captain Henry Dixon

by Edmund Starling, 1886

 

CAPTAIN HENRY DIXON, better known as Capt. Hal., was born in Caswell County, North Carolina, in the year 1777, during the Revolutionary troubles. His grandfather, Henry Dixon, was a distinguished Colonel in the Revolutionary War, and was killed at the battle of Eutaw Springs. He was also highly complimented for gallantry at the battle of Camden. Captain Dixon was a brother of Wynn Dixon, father of Governor Archibald Dixon. He immigrated to Kentucky in 1808 and settled upon the land now owned by Joshua Staples.

Subsequent to that he purchased the farm now owned by Thomas Buckman, lying on the Madisonville road, and built the house that is yet used as a residence by Mr. Buckman. In 1853 he sold his farm and removed to Union County, settling at the Sulphur Springs. In November, 1858, he died. Captain Dixon was a remarkable man, large, muscular and weighing ordinarily from two hundred and twenty-five to two hundred and fifty pounds. he was a man of indomitable will and absolutely fearless. he was an industrious worker, ever active in attending to business matters. he was never much of a politician, yet he possessed unbounded influence and was a power when he chose to exercise it. He was an unflinching Jackson Democrat and took an active interest in his race against Henry Clay. He was elected and served one term in the Kentucky Legislature, and hi this connection several good stories are told. It is said that when the Captain approached the polls to cast his vote and the usual question, "How do you vote?" had been asked him, he good humoredly, yet positively, replied, "I like Captain Dixon better than I do the other feller, so put me down for Dixon." It is a traditionary statement that up to that time the vote between the Captain and his opponent was a tie, and that the Captain voting for himself decided the election. Again another good story is told of him while a member of the Legislature. It is said that he was no speaker, and for a man of his courage and good sense was remarkably timid upon such occasions, even though he knew every man in the house.

The Legislature was in session, and the Captain in his seat. He desired to introduce a bill and to preface it by a few remarks. When he arose, he imagined that one or two of the members offered him majestic proportions and forgetting what he had arisen for, he addressed the speaker in the following laconic language: "Mr. Speaker, I am no speaker, but sire, I can whip any infernal scoundrel in this house who dare insult me."

This raised a breeze and the Captain took his seat, never again to be intentionally or humorously joked.

Captain Dixon was twice married. His first wife was Miss Mary Johnston, of Virginia; his second wife Mrs. John Talbot, of Henderson County. Twelve children, resulted from his first marriage, to-wit: Roger, Martha, Henry, Mary, Eliza, John, Robert, Niel, Susan, George, Judith and Francis.

ROGER married Miss Elizabeth Brown, who after his death married Thomas P. Lambert. They had one child.

MARTHA married John Green, father of Hon. Grant Green, and had four children, Henry, Grant, John and Mary Ann. Henry married Miss Lambert, of Arkansas, and died leaving children: Grant married Miss Katie S. Overton, of Virginia, and has quite a family of bright, promising children ; John married Miss Randolph, of Henderson County, and has several children ; Mary Ann married Theodore Hall ; she died leaving three children.

HENRY married Miss Ann Mariah Ashby and had two children, John E. and Mary; John married Miss Mary Sugg and they have children; Mary married George W. McClure and they have three children.

MARY married Gabriel Grant Green, by whom she had three children, Henry Dixon, Gabriel and Ann. Subsequent to Mr. Green's death, she married Dr. A. H. Bailey, by whom she had three children, Cornelius, John, and Eliza, who married Hon. C. C. Ball, Mayor of the City of Henderson.

ELIZA married William Posey, by whom she had thirteen children, Reuben, Mary, Thomas, Lucy, Henry, John, Eliza, William, George, Robert, Addison, Sallie and one other whose name is unknown to the writer.

REUBEN studied law, practiced his profession for a number of years in Louisiana, and for many years last passed has held the office of Circuit Judge in one of the parishes of that State. He had been twice married, first to Miss Kavanaugh and second to Miss Russell, of Texas; he had children. Mary married John N. Lyle and removed to Louisiana, they have several children; Thomas married Miss Augusta Alves, died a few years afterwards, leaving two or three children; Lucy married William J. Marshall and has a large family of children; Henry married Miss Emma Butler and has several children; John married Miss Sarah Taylor and has several children; Eliza married Cornelius Bailey and has children; William married Miss Addie Alves and has children; Addison is a leading physician in San Francisco, California; he recently married a lady of that State. Sallie, married twice, first, Dr. Ross and again Dr. Doyle, of Madisonville. Thomas, Sallie, George and Robert are dead.

JOHN married Miss Sarah E. Powell, of Henderson County, by whom he had eleven children, Charles, Henry, Thomas, John, George, Mary, Joseph, Simmeon, Robert, Roger and Thomas. Of this number, Charles, Thomas, George, Robert and Roger are dead; Henry married Miss Mary Ellen Grayson, John married Miss Amanda Watson, George married Miss Julia Taylor, Mary married twice, first Weston Anderson, second William E. Powell; Joseph married Miss Blanch Pennell, Simmeon married Miss Harriet Arvin. They all have children.

ROBERT married Miss Mary Ann Clay, a distant relative of Henry Clay, by whom he had seven children, Ann Eliza, Henry, Mary, Amelia, Robert, Georgiana and Sallie; Ann Eliza married Hon. S. B. Vance, of Evansville, and has several children; Amelia married William Payne, and died a few years afterwards without issue; Mary married Andrew Clark and has one daughter, Mrs. T. W. Buckner; Robert married Miss Alice Young and has quite a family of children; Georgiana married Thomas Posey and has three children; Sallie is yet unmarried; Henry died when young.

CORNELIUS married Miss Isabella Clay and had eleven children, Roger, Betty, Henrietta Charles, Susan, Henry, Robert, Wynn, Belle, Clay and Mary. Bettie, Charles and Belle are dead; Roger has been three times married, first, Miss Todd Butler, of Henderson; second, Miss Mary Singer, of Evansville; third, Miss Carrie Dike, of Posey County, Indiana. First two wives died soon after marriage. He has several children by his last wife. Henrietta married Caleb F. Ruggles and has children; Susan married Rich Posey and has children; Henry, a practicing physician in Evansville, married Miss Amelia Wilson, of Louisville; Robert married Miss Rosa Green, of Henderson, and has two children; Mary married John J. Towles, she has no children.

SUSAN married Col. William P. Grayson and had five children, namely, Mary Ellen, Sophy, Susan, Hebe and Rober; Mary Ellen married Captain Hal Dixon and has children; Sophy married J. Monroe Watson and has children; Hebe was three times married, first, Col. DeMiller; secone, William Butler, and third, Col. Grimes, of Arkansas; Roger married Miss Grimes.

GEORGE married Miss Sallie Hardin, who died several years afterwards. He then married Miss Helm, a near relative of Gov. Helm. Mr. Dixon was a lawyer of distinction, and was at one time Judge of the Memphis Tenn. Circuit. He died several years ago, leaving children.

JUDITH married Thomas Towles, Jr., the brightest mind ever born in Kentucky and a lawyer of signal ability. She had five children, Mary, Ann, Martha, Bettie and Thomas. Mary married Phelps Sasseen, an expert accountant and most excellent gentleman; they have several children. Ann died soon after arriving at her twenty-first birthday; Martha married John T. Moore and several years afterwards died, leaving children; Bettie married William Arvin and has children; Thomas is unmarried. Many years after the death of Thomas Towles, his widow married Dr. James Beatty and raised one daughter, Fanny, who married Ira Ball, of Corydon. She has children.

FRANCES married Dr. James B. Allen, of Shelby County, Kentucky, and moved to Union County. She had six children, namely: Mary, Drucilla, Georgiana, Fanny, Henry and Sallie; Drucilla married a Dr. Jones, and died some years afterwards; Joseph married a Miss Mattingly; Sallie married in Virginia; Fanny married Dr. Neal, of Evansville; Georgiana married Dr. Stone, of Union County, and died; Henry D. married Miss Mattie Hughes, daughter of Hon. D. H. Hughes, of Morganfield, and his children. This completes the long line of Capt Dixon's progeny.

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