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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, JR. - The officers of the Auburn State Bank are men of such well known business ability, sound judgment and keen discrimination that from the beginning the bank has enjoyed an era of prosperity, which is creditable to the institution and highly satisfactory to the stockholders. Mr. Dawson is serving as cashier, and he also has other business interest, being a man of resourceful ability. He is the president of the Auburn & Alton Coal Company, and is one of the leaders in many of the fraternal orders of this part of the state, including the Court of Honor, of which he is the assistant treasurer. His success has been such as to make his business methods of interest to the commercial world. There is, however, nothing esoteric in the methods which he has followed in winning prosperity. He has based his business principles and actions upon untiring energy and strict and unswerving integrity, and his life record, therefore, furnishes an example that is well worthy of emulation by those who desire not only to achieve success, but also to win an honored name in business circles.

Mr. Dawson is a native of Richland county, Ohio, born December 16, l856. His parents were Henry and Rebecca (Curran) Dawson, the latter a native of Ohio and the former a native of England. At an early day the father came to America, taking up his abode in Ohio, where he resided continuously until 1878, when he came to Sangamon county Illinois, and for many years he made his home in Springfield, where he was engaged in the brick and tile business, but is now living retired in Auburn, though he is still president of the company.

Henry Dawson, Jr., obtained a good education in the best schools of Indianapolis, Indiana. He first entered the common schools there, later pursued a high school course and afterward matriculated in the Northwestern Christian University of that city. He thus obtained a good education to serve as the foundation for a successful business career. After completing his studies he went to Sunman, Indiana, where he was engaged in the manufacture of brick and tile for three years. On the expiration of that period he came to Auburn, and in connection with his father again engaged in the brick and tile business, which they carried on for several years. A private bank was then established by Thomas S. Parks and Henry Dawson accepted a position as cashier in the new institution, serving in that capacity in a most acceptable manner until Mr. Parks was killed on the 28th of January, 1891. At that time the bank was re-organized under the name of the Auburn State Bank, and Mr. Dawson was chosen cashier, and has continued in that position up to the present time. He has a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the banking business, is systematic and methodical in all of his work, and not a little of the success of the institution is attributable to his well directed efforts and keen business discernment. He spends as many hours every day at the bank as necessary, and his life is indeed a busy one. However, his attention has not been confined alone to one line, but has been extended into other fields of labor, with the result that his energy and sound business judgment have become a factor in other industries. In 1900 the Auburn & Alton Coal Companv of Auburn was organized, and Mr. Dawson has since been connected with it, serving at the present time as its president, while L. W. Senseney is the secretary and J. D. Shaffer is the treasurer.

On May 21, 1879, Mr. Dawson was married to Miss Winnie Van Zile, a native of Vermont, and a daughter of Abram and Martha (Dodge) Van Zile. The father is now deceased, but her mother is still living, making her home in Carthage, Illinois. Unto our subject and his wife have been born seven children: Winnie Inez, who is now a nurse in the Baptist Hospital of Chicago; Henry, who is a teacher in the public schools of this county; Edward, who is a graduate of the high school of Auburn; Eva, Avis and Stuart, all at home, and Mary W., who died at the age of three years.

In his political views Mr. Dawson was formerly a Democrat and served as a member of the Democratic county committee, but at the present time he is independent in his political relations, giving his support to the men whom he thinks best qualified for office. He is connected with various social and fraternal organizations, including Auburn Lodge, No. 543, I. 0. 0. F., having been identified with this order for twenty-five years; Ark and Anchor Lodge, No. 354, A. F. & A. M.; Auburn Chapter, No. 92, R. A. M.; Auburn Council, R. & S. M.; Modern Woodmen of America; the Knights of the Maccabees; the Royal Circle, of which he is supreme director; the Court of Honor, which was organized in July, 1895, and of which he is the assistant treasurer; the American Home Circle; and the Yeoman. All of these are either in Auburn or in Springfield. He was one of the founders of the Court of Honor, assisted in organizing the first lodge and holds the first certificate in the order. The organization has grown rapidly, and now has over eighty thousand members. Mr. and Mrs. Dawson are members of the Advent Christian church of Auburn, interested in its welfare and in the promotion of the moral development of the community. In matters of citizenship he has been found as a co-operant factor in all that pertains to public progress and improvement, and in business affairs he has ever been found progressive, energetic and reliable. The spirit of energy and adaptability which are characteristic of the central Mississippi states, as manifest in his career and his life history, proves the potency of earnest labor and keen discrimination in winning prosperity.

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