Monday, January 17, 2011

Elder William Edward Dawson

The subject of this sketch is an Idahoan, having made his advent into this world at the town of Weston, in Oneida county. April 8th, 1872, was the memorable day in the Dawson household. When he became old enough to labor the farm was awaiting him, and soon his muscles became hardened and his complexion bronzed in the sunshine and rain of farm life. He, in common with a great part of the Elders in the mission, acquired his early education during the reign of King Frost, while farm work is at a discount.

During the year 1894 he took a course at B.Y.A., Provo, absorbing all the information he could, although he but took what is known as the M. I. A. class.

Soon after returning from Provo he took a strong notion to secure a position of railroading, thereby giving him a better opportunity for seeing the country. He secured a lucrative position at which he continued until overtaken in the State of Montana with a letter from Box B., Salt Lake City, informing him that his presence was desired in the Lord’s vineyard. To this call he responded, arriving home on Christmas day of 1896, and two weeks later left all that is near and dear to receive the rebuffs and jeers of the world "for Christ's sake."
On his arrival he was assigned to the South Carolina Conference, where he labored assiduously in the various duties of the traveling Elder until the spring of 1898, when he, with Elder S. H. Topham, was among the "special Elders" called to make up the Georgia Conference, This call involved a walk of 500 miles; here he was detailed to labor with Elder A. C. Pyper, who became ill, necessitating an immediate removal to Chattanooga. From this city he was reassigned to the East Tennessee Conference as the Superintendent of Sunday Schools. He tilled this position until August 29, when he assumed the first position, qualifying him for the Presidential Toga, and on the release of President Samuel B. Thatcher he became his logical successor as President of the East Tennessee Conference, a position that he is holding with marked ability. He has great executive qualities and enjoys the love and esteem of his thirty-five Elders, besides the hundreds of people he has met in his travels. His reports come in promptly and with extreme care, showing him to be well qualified for the duties required of him.

I was unable to find out much about Willam Dawson's later life. It is a pretty common name. I don't know if he went back into railroad work, or if he found another career that let him stay at home with his family.  The 1920 census does describe him as a farmer. And then in 1930 as a "Dist Agent" of some sort. But I can't make out what it says. The left cell is the occupation. The cell on the right  is the industry. "News" perhaps?
He married Effie Estella Smith on October 11, 1899, in Logan Utah. They lived in at least three different counties in Idaho, so they didn't stay in just one place. They had six children all of whom lived long lives. He died on November 11, 1950 in Weston Idaho, ten years before his wife.


Merlin Anderson said...

I am the grandson of William Edward Dawson. He died in my parents home in Franklin, Idaho. I have all the information concerning his later life and family. Contact me at

BruceCrow said...

I'd love to hear about his later life, but your contact info did get posted. Feel free to send me an email directly at bruce_crow at