Biography of Oren L. Dickinson

In addition to handling a fine tract of land which Mr. Dickinson secured on the reservation by the homestead right, he has, since 1901, been operating a drug store at Melrose, where he is working up a good patronage. He is a man of good standing and has labored for the advancement of the interests of the country and is a progressive and patriotic citizen.

Oren L. Dickinson was born in Oswego, New York, on August 12, 1840, being the son of Rudolphus and Margaret K. (Coplin) Dickinson. The father was a merchant and died in 1893, while the mother was born in Michigan.

Oren was raised by his grandfather Coplin, until ten, his father being in California, and then the father came home and took him to Davenport, Iowa, where he received his education. Oren remained with his father until he was eighteen and then started out in the world for himself. Three years were spent in traveling to various places and then he settled in Dixon, Scott County, Iowa, and took a mail contract. In September, 1863, he enlisted in Company B, Ninth Iowa, and served principally on scout detachments in Arkansas. After three years of faithful service, he was discharged at Davenport and now is the recipient of twelve dollars per month from the government.

Following the war he engaged in mercantile pursuits with his brother Arthur for two years in Calamus, Iowa. In 1873 ne took a homestead near Harrison, Arkansas, and two years later returned to Iowa and took up the tinner’s business. It was in 1882 that he retired from that and migrated to Palouse, Washington, where he continued the tinner’s work in connection with a preemption in Latah County. That was his home for fourteen years and then upon the opening of the reservation, he came hither and took his present place, which he is handling in partnership with his son.

In Scott County, on September 9, 1860, Mr. Dickinson married Miss Susan, daughter of John and Margaret (Anfinson) Larson, natives of Norway. Mrs. Dickinson was also born in Norway, on March 13, 1844, and came to the United States with her parents in 1856. She was well educated before coming to this country. The parents settled in Illinois and then came to Iowa. She has three brothers; Louis, Anfin, and John. Mr. Dickinson has one brother, Arthur, living in Missouri, and one half brother, Frank Dickinson, in Vineland, Washington. To our worthy subject and his estimable wife there have been born the following named children: Rudolphus S., in Iowa; Joacquin, in Nez Perces County; Alfred, at home; Donacelia, wife of W. R. Skey; May V. Yarbrough; Sophia, wife of Jesse J. Wright: Melrose, Arthur F. and Chester O., both at home.

Mrs. Dickinson is a faithful member of the Lutheran Church. Mr. Dickinson is an adherent of the Republican Party and takes a very active part in the campaigns. His grandfather was a soldier in the Revolution and this son is not a whit behind in patriotism.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903

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