Joseph Dickson

January 13, 1775 - 1884)

Dickson, Joseph, mountain man (Jan. 13, 1775-1844). Born in Pennsylvania, his family moved to Tennessee, then to St. Clair County, Illinois, Dickson becoming a hunter and trapper by 1803. With Forest Hancock (Forrest Handcock) in 1804 he followed Lewis and Clark up the Missouri, the fourth party of white men known to have reached the mouth of the Yellowstone River. Sioux troubles in the winter of 1805-1806 left Dickson (Dixon) wounded but determined; the pair continued upriver in the spring of 1806. They met the returning Lewis and Clark expedition, and John Colter left it to join them. Abandoned by his two companions, Dickson wintered in the upper country, become converted to Christianity during a siege of snow-blindness. He became the first white American in the northern Rockies, the vanguard of the mountain men. His subsequent fur gathering was most profitable. He brought his beaver packs to St. Louis, sold them for a good price and rejoining his family in Illinois. He built the first cabin in Sangamon County, Illinois, in 1818, fathered nine children (one named Missouri), was a staunch supporter of Methodism, and died at Franklin, Illinois, where he is buried.


Frank H. Dickson article, MM, Vol. III; Dickson being a great, great grandson of Joseph Dickson.