Joseph Dixon, the proprietor of a meat market in Towle, dates his residence in California from 1854. He was born in Kennebec County, Maine, on the 12th of November, 1831. His father, Moses Dixon, was of Russian ancestry and was born in New England. He resided in the state of Maine from his sixteenth year until his death, in his eighty-second year, at which time he was called to the home beyond. He wedded Miss Nancy Whitten, a native of Maine and they had twelve children, including twin sons and twin daughters. Only five of the number, however, is now living. The mother attained the age of sixty-four years.
Joseph Dixon, their fifth child, attended school in the place of his nativity. His advantages in that direction were somewhat limited and he was largely self-educated, having obtained considerable knowledge in the dear school of experience. When a boy he worked hard on the farm, reared in the rugged simplicity of a country home where hard work was esteemed honorable and idleness a vice, where the artificial elements of society had not entered, but industry and the faithful discharge of every duty, no matter how humble, were the precepts, and the performance of each day, the freedom of outdoor life, the necessity of early rising, regularity and promptness in the discharge of the daily tasks, all these inculcating habits of thought and action which have made him a practical and reliable businessman. He was about twenty-one years of age when the news of the discovery of the rich gold fields in California reached the east and led him to leave his native state. Full of the spirit of adventure and with a strong determination to gain a fortune if possible in the mines, he made his way to the Pacific coast by way of the Nicaragua route, arriving safely in San Francisco. Soon afterward he made his way to Foster’s Bar on the Yuba River, where he first engaged in mining. For about ten years he continued his search for gold in the different mining camps, but the largest nugget which he found was worth about fifty dollars, while the greatest return he received for a single day’s labor amounted to one hundred dollars. He was most fortunate in his mining experiences on the American River, and like most others who sought a fortune in the gold fields he met with successes and reverses; and when he abandoned the mines at the end of ten years he had only about two thousand dollars. He opened his first meat market at You Bet, in Nevada County, and later did business at Gold Run; but for the past seventeen years he has successfully conducted a market in Towle. During his long residence in the county he has supplied meat to a large patronage and has met with fair success in his undertakings. At the same time he has won a good name, which is rather to be desired than great riches, and he is well known and highly respected by the pioneer settlers of the county as well as the later arrivals.
Mr. Dixon was married in 1876 to Miss Celia Waters, of Forest Hill, and they now have two children: George L. and Martha N. Mr. Dixon is a strong Republican in his political inclinations, having been identified with that party since the Civil War. He owns a pleasant home in Towle, in addition to his market, and is justly accounted one of the reliable and respected men of his community.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.
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