ALBERT B DICKENS
One of the leading farmers and stock dealers of Wolf River township, Albert B. Dickens, has been prominently associated with the farming interests near Bendena for the past eighteen years. His ancestors through many generations were connected with agricultural interests in the east, and he was reared upon a farm in New York, although his early manhood was spent roaming the mountains and on the plains of the west. His birth occurred in Schuyler county, New York, December 31, 1841, and he is of English descent, his grandfather having been a native of the "merrie isle." Samuel Dickens, his father, was probably born in the state of Delaware, followed farming throughout his entire life and died in Schuyler county, New York, in 1853, at the age of sixty-six years. He married Abigail Updyke, a lady of German lineage, whose death occurred in Schuyler county, New York, in 1883. Their children were: Lewis, a farmer of Schuyler county; Henry, who died leaving a family in Pennsylvania; Sarah, the wife of Ward Wilkins, a resident of Ovid, New York, and Julia, the wife of George Bailey, of Missouri.
In his youth Albert B. Dickens worked on the farm through the summer months, and after harvests were garnered in the autumn was allowed the privilege of attending the public schools of the neighborhood. During the first year of the war he was employed as a farm hand by the month, but in the spring of 1862 a strong feeling of patriotism prompted his enlistment, and at Havana, New York, he was enrolled among the "boys in blue" of Company H, One Hundred and Seventh New York Infantry, under the command of Colonel Van Valkenburg. This regiment was at first attached to the Twelfth Army Corps, and afterward became a part of the Twentieth Corps by the consolidation of the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps. Mr. Dickens was mustered in at Elmira, New York, and, by the way of Washington, D. C., went to the front. His first field service was in the vicinity of Alexandria, Virginia, from which point the regiment marched to the battle field of Antietam. Following that engagement the army was stationed at Belleplain, on the Potomac, and later participated in the engagements at Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Lookout Mountain and in the almost continuous fighting of the Atlanta campaign down to Dallas, where Mr. Dickens received a gunshot wound in the leg. This incapacitated him for further field service, hut he was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps and it was not until after his regiment was discharged that he was mustered out. He was very loyal and true to the old flag and the cause it represented, and his valor was manifest on many a southern battlefield.
After the war Mr. Dickens returned to his home in the Empire state, where he remained until the spring of 1866, when he came west, locating in St. Joseph, Missouri. He possessed health, industry and ambition, but had little capital beyond what was needed to bring him to the Missouri valley. In a short time, however, he secured work of Mr. Hamilton, who was operating a saw-mill in St. Joseph, Missouri, and remained with him through the summer: he then secured a span of horses with which he conveyed a load of passengers across the plains to Colorado. He was quick to note the opportunities for a teamster in that region and followed the business for some time, engaging in freighting through the mountainous country around Denver and Cheyenne. For thirteen years he enjoyed an excellent patronage and from his well-earned capital saved a sufficient sum to purchase a farm. Accordingly he invested in land in Doniphan county, Kansas, in 1880, becoming the owner of a quarter-section, upon which his beautiful home is now located. He has since devoted his energies to general farming and is also one of the leading cattle dealers in the vicinity of Bendena, feeding from eighty to one hundred and fifty head each winter. His success as a farmer has been marked and his prosperity is indicated in his increased real estate holdings, his farm now comprising four hundred and eighty acres of arable and valuable land.
Mr. Dickens was married in Doniphan county, in 188r, to Mamie Otten, a lady of German parentage. Their children are: Charles, William L., Hattie, Helen, Edna and Mildred.
In his political views Mr. Dickens is a Republican and keeps well informed on the issues of the day, but has never been an aspirant for political honors, preferring to devote his time and energies to his business interests. His industry is probably his most salient characteristic and has been the most potent element in securing to him prosperity.