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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

Ancestor of Sylvia Land

HENRY DAWSON, SR. - Henry Dawson, Sr., who is the president of the Brick & Tile Company of Springfield, was born in Lincolnshire, England, in February, 1829, his parents being Henry and Mary (Cumberworth) Dawson. The former died in England and the latter in Ohio. The father was a manufacturer of brick and through manv years followed that pursuit in order to provide for his family. A devoted and zealous member of the Methodist Episcopal church, he took an active part in its work and his efforts were effectual in promoting its progress and upbuilding. He died in his fifty-third year, leaving to his family the priceless heritage of an untarnished name. Henry Dawson is one of nine children, seven sons and two daughters, of whom one died in infancy. The others were John, a resident of Fremont, Iowa; Matthew C., who resides in Rushville, Indiana; James, of Ohio; George, deceased; William, who was a soldier of the Civil war and died at Chattanooga; Anna, who died in E ngland in her twenty-fourth year; Mary, who died in Ohio; and Henry, of this review.

In Great Carleton, England, Henry Dawson, Sr., began his education and left school at the age of thirteen years in order to begin work as a farm hand by the month. In that capacity he was employed until he attained his twenty-second year, when severing the connections which bound him to his native land he crossed the Atlantic to the new world, arriving in New York city in 1851. Immediately afterward he went direct to Plymouth, Ohio, where he was engaged in working on a farm and also in teaching. Later he removed to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he spent six years, during which period he devoted his energies to the manufacture of brick and drain tile. His next place of residence was Auburn, Illinois, where he entered into partnership with James Reader for the manufacture of brick and tile.

When he disposed of his interests at that place he came to Springfield, Illinois. Here he established a similar business in connection with his son Jabez, under the firm name of H. Dawson & Son, and when a few years had passed Edward Dawson was admitted into the partnership and the firm style was changed to Dawson & Sons. The brick works are located west of Springfield, adjoining the city limits, and the plant is operated by steam power. The latest improved machinery has been introduced and the factory is operated both winter and summer, sending out building brick and tile of various sizes. The annual output amounts to five million brick and a large local trade is enjoyed, while the surplus is shipped to adjoining towns.

When in his twenty-fifth year Henry Dawson was united in marriage to Miss Rebecca Curran, who died in Sunman, Indiana, leaving four children. She was a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal church and a most estimable lady. For his second wife Mr. Dawson chose Miss Ruth Harris, of Ohio. He is an acceptable member of the Methodist church to the support to which he contributes liberally. He votes with the Republican party and believes firmly in its principles, yet has never sought office. Having retired from business, he now makes his home in Auburn, Illinois, where he has a nice residence and this, together with his brick factory, is an indication of his life of earnest toil and well directed energy. The hope that led him to seek a home in America has been more than realized, for he found in the business openings of the new world the opportunities he sought, and taking advantage of these he has worked his way upward until he is now in control of an important and profitable industry.

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