Family came from Micheldean England,
a small town near London. I have not spent much time researching
family, all the information and pictures
I received from my mother, and the many letters she wrote me over the
years. William Bunn Dawson, my grandfather, grew up in Micheldean England,
and at an early age went to work
in the family business that was run by his father. In the store, they sold everything.
William did not want
to work in the family store, he wanted to see the world, but his father told him, that if
he did not work in the family store that he would disinherit him. William was torn between working and seeing the world, and finally
he and his brother Samuel decided to go to America. Their father was furious, but their
mother gave them what money she had and they went off to America. On board the ship the brothers met a
man called Mowers who also was going out west and became friends. Mr. Mowers and William finally
became partners in the drugstore
in Kingston, New Mexico. William and Samuel finally ended up in
Calvert , Texas, where Samuel
became very ill and finally died.
I don’t know what he died from, but William erected a nice stone over
Samuels grave stone in Calvert
, Texas. William and his son WilliamII standing by the stone.
Stone in 1959, My daughter
Cathe holding the original picture.
Stone today taken in 1991 with my third wife Dotty.
After Samuels death,
William bought an old building and had it torn down, he loaded all the lumber onto some wagons and headed west up
the Black Range toward Kingston , New Mexico, Silver had just been found there and it was a rush to get
there. In Kingston
, William built the first boarding
house for the miners, it was not
much, but the miners needed a place to sleep. Later he built a drugstore and a house for himself. The town grew fast and there were many
saloons all up and down the streets.
William and Mr. Mowers went into partnership in the drugstore and
William invested heavily in the mining business. Kingston is situated in the Black Range, not to
far from Silver City.
On one of his
business trips to New Orleans, William met a beautiful southern
bell, Anita Ball, and they were
soon married. Anita and William went to Kingston
to live, and there some of the children were born. William and Anita were married on February 4 1885. It was a hard life living in a mining
town then, no electricity or running water, but life still went on. I was in Kingston, when my mother Olga was just born, the wind took the curtain and blew it
over the gas flame and caught the whole wall on fire, when an old China man
came by the house and crawled into the window and put out the fire. Since then my mother has always like
the Chinese people.
In 1887, my grandmother Anita Ball
Dawson and her mother Harriet Jemison Ball took the stage to Lake Valley where
the train stopped, on the way they were apprehended by some highwaymen and
ordered out of the stage. My great grandmother, in getting out of the
stage dropped the baby Harriet and the baby never recovered, she finally died
and is buried in New York. Grandfather William B. Dawson went to Florida
when the silver slumped to find some land to invest in and it was during that
time the scarlet fever hit Kingston, the two little girls Anita and Clytia died
and are buried in the cemetery in Kingston. Grandmother with the rest of the children Olga and Una left
Kingston for Florida to meet up with William. Grandfather William made his money from helping the miners,
giving them a grubstake and then making some money from their finds, he also
owned the drugstore.
When William decided
to move to Florida, his friend Ed Doheny
decided to move to California. Ed Doheny became famous in California
and was part of the Tea Pot Dome Scandal.
When I visited
Kingston in 1959 we stayed at the Black Range Lodge, at the time it was owned by an old gentleman, I have forgot
his name, but I showed him the pictures that I had that my mother had given me, and he left me for a while and
came back with lots of tin cans and bottles, they all had grandfathers name on them, ‘William B. Dawson
Druggist and Stationer, Kingston New Mexice.” I was thrilled and the old man let me have all of them, he also told me that back of where the
drugstore had been was a shed, and in that shed was all the items from the old
drugstores. I went through the
items and loaded the trunk of the car with all the stuff. Also on another trip to Kingston,
after we moved to Albuquerque
, I went into a shed behind the house my mother was born in, and I found an old
wood chest, and when I removed the snow that covered the chest, I could
on the lid. Quite a find after all
those years. I donated a lot of
bottles etz to the new Museum that
was built in the old Percha Bank Bldg.
Dawson, my grand mother.
The Dawson Home also
called the Drummond house.
Dawson house now.
William B Dawson
Sadie Orchard stage line.
And the old Drugstore, Kingston
When William came to Jacksonville,
Florida he first purchased a business at 119
E. Bay St. Jacksonville, Florida,
and ran a large wholesale liquor and wine business from there. Some of the clay Jugs having the name
‘William B. Dawson liquor and wine dealer Jacksonville, Florida” are still
around, I had a few but I have
given, them to my children,
you can still see some around in some of the antique stores. William also purchased the land where
the Seminole Hotel is standing , also the land where the Kress Bldg. is. He also purchased land where many old
negro houses were, all over the town,
we still own some of them.
Dawson store E.
Bay St. Jacksonville Florida. He also built a large home for his
family on E Adams St.
William always wanted
to own a large tract of land, so he finally purchased the old Greenfield
Plantation, a 1000 acre piece of land south of St. Johns river and
bordered by Greenfield
creek and the Inland waterways.
The story of Greenfield
is a separate story listed at the beginning of the family tree. There he built a large house with large
outbuildings , barn and corncrib.
He purchased many blooded animals such as cows, horses, pigs etc. He had his large farm when sickness
came. William went to all the finest hospitals, but finally died and he never
got to enjoy his wonderful Greenfield.
William and Anita had
two more children after they came to Florida; Ovid Tristan Dawson who died at three.
William B. Dawson Jr.
Harriet Edwards, Married Joseph Dawson Born 1810, Died August
20 1888. Interred
Dawson, Born June
16 1856 In Micheldean England. Died May
22 1916, Jacksonville
Florida. Married Anita Ball, Born November
8 1858, Died August
2 1931. Date of
Marriage February 4 1885
Anita Ball Dawson, Born December
10 1885, Died October
Dawson Born 1887, Died July
Clytia Isolde Dawson, Born July
29 1888, Died September
Olga Mims Dawson “My
Mother”, Born January 10 1890, Died November
William B Dawson Jr.
Ovid Tristan Dawson, Born 1897 Died April
Joseph Dawson, Died at birth.
Olga Mims Dawson
Married Folke Jonsson from Sweden
“ My Parents” See Jonsson line.
Joseph Dawson and family
house, Grandfather and son, when first built.
With the help of New Mexico’s Cemetary Department, we
located the gravesites of my mothers’ two sisters “Anita Ball” and “Clytia”,
both buried in the Kingston, New Mexico’s cemetery. I placed a stone in memory of the two girls at the
gravesite, June 2007.
My daughters Marsha and Cathe at the gravesite in 1958.