Born March 20, 1849
||Few men are more prominent or more widely known in the enterprising town of Center junction than Mr. Dawson. He has been an important factor in business circles and his prosperity is well deserved, as in him are embraced the characteristics of an unbending integrity, unabating energy and industry that never flags. He is the proprietor of the brick and tile factory and for the past twenty-three years has also owned and conducted a lumberyard at Center junction. A native of England, his birth occurred in that country on the, 20th of March, 1849. His father, John Dawson, crossed the Atlantic to the United States in 1850, taking up his abode in New York, where he followed his trade of wagon the end of a year, however, he left the Empire state and located in Hamilton, Canada, where he made his home until 1866. In that year he removed western to Iowa, settling in Sabula, Jackson county, but twelve months later went to Spragueville and subsequently to Preston. After a short residence there he took up his abode in Audubon county, Iowa, where his remaining days were spent, his, demise occurring in 1905, when he had attained the ripe old age of eighty-two years.
Thomas Dawson was but a year old when brought to this country by his parents. He obtained his education in the common schools and on putting aside his text-books assisted his father in the wagon shop. After attaining his majority he conducted a shop of that character in Spragueville for about two years. In April, 1874, he opened a shop at Center junction, Jones county, and in addition to the manufacture of wagons was also successfully identified with carpentering and building interests for a number of years. For the past twenty-three years has owned and conducted a lumberyard in Center Junction and he is also the owner of the brick and title factory at that place. A prominent and influential factor in the industrial and commercial circles of the town, he has earned for himself an enviable reputation as a careful man of business, and in his dealings is known for his prompt and honorable methods, which have won him the deserved and unbounded confidence of his fellowman.
Mr. Dawson has been married twice. In 1871, he wedded Miss Alice Foster, of Spragueville, Iowa, by whom he had one child-Hon. Albert F., who is a resident of Creston, Iowa, and is now serving for the third term as congressman from the second district. Losing his first wife in 1873, Mr. Dawson was again married, on the 15th of August, 1885, his second union being with Miss Della Corbet, a daughter of Miles Corbet, who died while defending the interests of the Union in the Civil war. Mr. and Mrs. Dawson have four children, as follows: Miles H., who is in the employ of Curtis Brothers, sash and door manufacturers of Clinton, Iowa; Alice, the wife of Dr. J. M. Young; John V., a resident of American Falls, Idaho; and Minnie B., who is a trained nurse and lives at home.
Politically Mr. Dawson is a stalwart advocate of the republican party, being convinced that its principles are most conducive to good government. He has done effective service for the cause of education as a member of the school board for many years and has also capably served as a member of the town council., having been repeatedly elected to that body. Fraternally he is identified with Center junction Camp, No. 892, M.W.A., and Center junction Lodge, No. 85, Mystic Workers. Both he and his wife belong to the Methodist Episcopal church, in the work of which they are deeply and helpfully interested. His salient characteristics are such as have commended him to the confidence and good will of all and he now occupies an enviable position in public regard while in business circles he has gained that material reward for labor that now classes him with the substantial and prosperous residents of Jones county.
Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 37.
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