(From the Mudgee Western Post. Sept 12 1871 )

With very great regret we have to announce the sudden death in Sydney, early on Saturday morning of Mr John Dickson, in the sixty-seventh year of his age. About six weeks ago he felt unwell, and by the advice of his medical attendant, left Mudgee for Sydney on the 23rd ult, for the purpose of taking further advice. Mr Dickson was a native of Borgue, Kirkcudbright, Scotland, and was, before emigrating to Australia, Rector of Annan Academy. He arrived in the colony twenty nine years ago, and resided for nine years in the Maitland district. He settled in Mudgee nearly twenty years back, and during that time, by his quiet unassuming manners and strict integrity in his business relations, secured the respect and esteem of every inhabitant in the distruct. He was appointed to the Commission of the Peace some years since, but never took an active part in magisterial duties and soon afterwards resigned. He was more at home in matters connected with the agricultural advancement of the district, and spent large sums in model farming. The last four years of his life he devoted to gardening in which pleasant occupation he was a great enthusiast, and most successful disciple, distributing the results of his labours amongst his friends with evident satisfaction.

He was a diligent member of the rural Municipal Council of Cudgegong to which he was elected in 1863, and in that year, and again in 1869, he was elected Mayor of the Borough.

The mining interests of the district owe much to the deceased gentleman, who was always ready with a liberal hand in assisting to develop its resources. In fact, in all matters connected with the material welfare of the community in which his lot was cast, as well as the Presbyterian church to which he belonged, and to which he gave a munificent support, he fulfilled the duties of a Christian gentleman, and a good citizen, and his loss will long be felt in the district of Mudgee.

The subject of this obituary notice commenced business in this town soon after the gold discovery, and, by enterprise and careful attention to business amassed a handsome competency. He leaves a widow and three children; a son, who was in Sydney when his father died, and two daughters, both married.

Mr Dickson's Maitland life will perhaps justify us in adding a few words of respectful sympathy.

Mr Dickson was the eldest of the four brothers who have lived such worthy lives in the Hunter River District. They were Mr John Dickson, Mr David Dickson, Mr James Dickson, and Mr Samuel S Dickson. In the year 1842-43, when we came to Maitland to help start the Mercury, we found Mr John Dickson keeping a first-class school here, and Messrs David and James Dickson in business as general storekeepers, but in the comparatively small way that all business in Maitland was then conducted.

Subsequently Mr Samuel Dickson also commenced business at Morpeth as a general storekeeper. Of the four brothers Mr Samuel Dickson now alone remains. We do not remember any complete family with whom the progress of life has been so uniformly successful as with these four brothers - in part produced of course by good business talent, in part by careful and economical habits of living but in great part also by all four being remarkable for their quiet probity and reliableness in all business matters. Mr John Dickson remained in Maitland, the master of a large and successful school, till the Meroo and Mudgee gold fields were discovered, and tempted a good many of the Maitlanders to go to the gold fields, by the easy route of the Hunter-Goulburn valley. At Mudgee Mr John Dickson soon settled down, carrying on a business of the same nature as his brothers had so long and successfully prosecuted in Maitland and Morpeth and he met there also with the like success, and the same universal esteem and respect.

The death of Mrs. Johanna Dickson, of Mudgee.  

The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW),  30 March 1878

The death of an old inhabitant never fails to throw our town into grief, and there was no exception to the case on Sunday evening last (says the Western Post of the 26th), when the sad report gained speedy circulation that Mrs John Dickson, the good old lady of Annan Lodge, had breathed her last. As always happens there was a doubt as to the veracity of the rumour, and her dearest friends anxiously proceeded to ascertain the truth, but, alas, the news proved to be but too true ; and, instead of the cordial reception which invariably greeted her visitors, there was substituted the remnants of mortality to excite their pity and tears. The lady's death was to a great extent unexpected, as it was not generally known that she was ailing. Mrs Dickson had attained a ripe old age, having been at the time of her death about seventy five years old. Having lived the allotted three score and ten, it was not surprising that she should be unable to longer withstand the cares of this world, and her death may be ascribed to that general debility and breaking up of the system which precedes the dissolution of those who have lived to such a venerable age.

She was solaced in her dying moments by the presence of her friends, who evinced intense emotion as the impending death of the patriarchal old lady became manifest to them. No pains were spared to support her constitution, and medical skill was exhausted, but to no purpose, and her soul winged its flight to another sphere to commune, we hope, with an affectionate husband, whose demise some years previously, she bore with Christian fortitude. Mrs, Dickson has lived upwards of thirty years in Mudgee, during which time she has been beloved by all with whom she came in contact. Her late husband, Mr John Dickson, was the founder of the now flourishing firm of Dickson and Sons, of which his son, Mr. J. P. Dickson, is the sole proprietor. Throughout a residence of upwards of a quarter of a century, Mrs Dickson has been charactised by a disposition of charity and generosity. She was always ready to lend her aid and encouragement in a noble or charitable cause, and was only too willing to use her wealth as a means of expressing a more tangible sympathy with the many who addressed her for assistance. In her own household her presence shed a moral influence, and she found pleasure in inculcating in the members of her family those precepts of virtue which shine as the bright star of her own earthly career. The funeral took place yesterday evening, and was one of the largest and most respectable that has passed through the streets of Mudgee. One generous heart amongst us has ceased to beat, and we venture to assert for people have gone down to the grave loaded with more honors than Mrs Dickson, and bequeathing to their friends a nobler heirloom in an unsullied character and a cherished memory.


John Dickson's parents were Peter Dickson and Elizabeth Houston. He was born on 31st October 1804 in Borgue Parish. His other bothers mentioned above are David, born 13th November 1808; James, born 21st May 1813; and Samuel, born 28th June 1815, all Borgue OPR.

John Dickson and Johanna Maria Irving were married in Annan, Dumfriesshire. The OPR date is 26thJanuary 1835.

A gravestone for their parents is erected in Kirkandrews kirkyard (No.42). It reads: Erected in memory of Peter Dickson, who died at Senwick Park, 27 Feb. 1837, aged 73 years. And his spouse, Elizabeth Houston, who died 23rd Oct. 1823, aged 47 years. Also of William, their eldest son, who died in June 1809, aged 6 years. Also of Peter, their third son, who died in Feb 1829, aged 22 years. And of William, their fifth son, who died at Sierra Leone, in Dec. 1830, aged 19 years.

A gravestone in Mudgee General Cemetery, New South Wales notes the following people.
Dickson Elizabeth, b.10 Nov 1838, d. 16 Jul 1854 aged 15years, daughter of John & Johanna Maria 
Dickson Emily H,  b. 12 Jul 1930  née Iredale, wife of James Peter 
Dickson James Peter, b.18 Jul 1840, d. 18 Apr 1886, husband of Emily H
Dickson Johanna Maria, b. 17 Sep 1803, d. 24 Mar 1878 aged 74 years, wife of John
Dickson John Esq b. 31 Oct 1804, d. 9 Sep 1871, aged 66years, husband of Johanna Maria 
Dickson John George b. 4 Apr 1837, d 7 Aug 1868, aged 31years, son of John & Johanna Maria