LUREN D. DICKINSON
LUREN D. DICKINSON is one of the leading farmers of Eaton township and is a prominent and influential business man and honored citizen of the county, which he has represented in the state legislature with marked ability, while he has long been a prominent factor in public affairs in this section of the state. Mr. Dickinson was born in Niagara County, New York, April 15, 1859, and is a son of Daniel and Hannah E. (Leavens) Dickinson, the former of whom was born December 1, 1828, his death occurring, in Eaton township, March 4, 1903, while the latter was born, in Orleans county, New York, April 17, 1830, now making her home with the subject of this review. The parents were married in 1853, in the state of New York, where the father was engaged in farming and fruit-growing until 1854, when he came with his wife to Eaton County, Michigan, where he was employed at farm work for about three years, at the expiration of which he returned to the state of New York, where he continued to reside until 1860. He then came to Eaton County, Michigan, passing the first two years in Chester Township and the next two in Benton Township. In 1864 he purchased thirty acres of wild land in section 21, Eaton Township, improving the property and erecting the present frame residence. His sister had land adjoining and he eventually purchased the same, while he purchased and sold other land in the county, having been successful in his operations and having reclaimed a considerable amount from the native timber. He was a man of strong individuality and unwavering integrity, commanding the esteem of his fellow men. He served many years as a school officer and one term as justice of the peace. He was a Republican in politics and was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as is also his widow. They became the parents of four children, one of whom died in infancy; Marvin is a prosperous farmer of Brookfield township; Luren D., the subject of this sketch, was next in order of birth; and Deone is the wife of Frank Mikesell, of Charlotte. Luren D. Dickinson was reared to the sturdy discipline of the home farm, and was intimately associated with his father in his farming and real estate operations until the death of the latter. After leaving the district school he continued his studies in the high school in the city of Charlotte. He began teaching at the age of eighteen years and followed the pedagogic profession, with marked success, for nineteen terms, while in the connection he made a noteworthy record, as follows: In two years and three months he taught two winter terms of school, worked two summer seasons on the farm and advanced four grades in the high school. At the age of twenty years he became associated with his father in the buying and selling of farmlands in the county, and they made numerous transactions of a profitable sort, in the meanwhile making improvements on a number of the properties handled. He is now the owner of a valuable landed estate of two hundred and five acres, in Eaton and Brookfield Township, and he has manifested much energy and discernment in improving his property, his homestead being a particularly attractive rural domain. Mr. Dickinson is an influential factor in the local councils of the Republican Party, in whose cause he has been an enthusiastic and effective worker. He served one term as township superintendent of schools; was township clerk one term, to fill a vacancy; and was supervisor three terms. In 1897 he was elected to represent the second district of Eaton County in the state legislature, and in the house he was assigned to the committees on agriculture, liquor traffic and industrial school for girls. In 1904 he was again elected to the legislature, and in the assembly was given a place on the house committees on elections, Upper Peninsula asylum for the insane, federal relations, and state library. He introduced what was known as the Dickinson bill and later as the Dickinson-Double-Ivory bill, having to do with reforms in primary elections. He has been a member of the Republican central committee of Eaton County, for the past twenty years, was chairman of the legislative committee four years and was chairman of the congressional convention, in the city of Battle Creek, in 1904, when Hon. Washington Gardner was nominated for congress. In 1895 he tied the field for the legislative nomination, but was defeated, and in 1901 he tied the winning candidate at the convention for nomination for state senator, while his name is being prominently brought forward in connection with the senatorial nomination in 1906. He has probably been a delegate to a greater number of political conventions than has any other man of his age in Eaton County. Mr. Dickinson is secretary of the Charlotte Creamery Company and is a stockholder of the First National Bank of that city. He is affiliated with the Knights of Pythias and both he and his wife are zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. October 16, 1888, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Dickinson to Miss Zoa Della Cooley, who was born in Eaton Township, this county, July 11, 1865, being a daughter of William T. and Katherine (Nisley) Cooley, the former of whom was born in Maryland, November 1, 1829, being now a resident on his fine homestead farm, in Eaton township; his wife, who was born June 27, 1826, in the state of Ohio, died in Eaton township, January 18, 1892. Mr. Cooley is one of the honored pioneers of Eaton County, where he took up his residence in 1852, reclaiming a good farm and becoming one of the prosperous agriculturists of the county. Following is a brief record concerning the eight children of William T. and Katherine Cooley: Martha born August 21, 1847, became the wife of John Hurd, and died September 23, 1876, leaving one child; Jane, born April 5, 1851, is the wife of William H. Prescott of Harbor City, and they have three children; Sarah, born January 30, 1854, is the wife of George Spotts, of Brookfield township, and they have three children; Myrtie, born April 6, 1856, first married Isaac Snow, who died, leaving one child, and she later married Josiah Wickerd, likewise deceased, and she is now the wife of Henry A. Moyer of Charlotte; William, who was born November 21, 1859, and who is a farmer of Eaton township, married Effie Murray and they have one child; and Zora D., the youngest of the children, is the wife of the subject of this review. Mr. and Mrs. Dickinson have an adopted child, Ethel, who was born March 2, 1890, being the daughter of Mr. Dickinsonís brother, Marvin.