Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.
Search

Isabella Elliot Fairbairn[1]
Female 1850 - 1902


HomeHome    SearchSearch    PrintPrint    Add BookmarkAdd Bookmark

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Birth  29 Aug 1850  London, Middlesex, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4, 5
    Gender  Female 
    Name  Isabella Elliot Dickson 
    Religion  1891  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Presbyterian 
    Eby ID Number  Waterloo-65795 
    Died  15 Aug 1902  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Buried  Mount View Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Person ID  I65795  Generations
    Last Modified  19 Sep 2017 

    Family  Rev. James A. R. Dickson, B.D. Ph.D.,   b. 22 Oct 1839, Tranent, , East Lothian, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Jan 1915, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Maggie Dickson,   b. 22 Apr 1868, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. James Dickson,   b. Not Given, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Minnie Dickson,   b. 29 Jul 1869, London, Middlesex, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     4. David Dickson,   b. 1870, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. Walter Dickson,   b. 1874, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     6. Annie Dickson,   b. May 1875, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     7. Charles J. Dickson,   b. 29 Aug 1876, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     8. Ethel M. Dickson,   b. 14 Jun 1878, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     9. Isabella Dickson,   b. 22 Jun 1882, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     10. Ethel Dickson,   b. 1878, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     11. Jennie Dickson,   b. 22 Jun 1882, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     12. Belle Dickson,   b. 1882, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     13. Bree Dickson,   b. Aug 1884, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     14. Grace Mcmillan Dickson,   b. 22 Oct 1887, Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     15. Grace Dickson,   b. 1887, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Family ID  F17191  Group Sheet

  • Notes 
    • MRS. J. A. R. DlCKSON. I find great difficulty in speaking of one so close to me, and so unspeakably dear to my heart; and yet I have been told by my kindest and most judicious friends, in the congregation and out of it, that the volume would be incomplete without a notice of her who, for twenty-three years, was as much as myself to the congregation, and perhaps more than myself, for she lived in me and wrought through me in the most effective way by the love and influence of her life.

      She was blessed by having profoundly pious parents; a father and mother who were highly intelligent Christians, who knew the saving truth of the gospel and rejoiced in it, and who understood the truth for the daily life and obeyed it. Theirs was a rich experience of the spiritual realities. They knew whom they had believed and also what they believed. To them the darkness was past and the true light shone, and gave them assurance and comfort and strength. Never have I seen finer exponents of the truth of the saving grace of God; they lived in the power of it, and left this glorious heritage to their children. They were people of character in the highest and best sense. The keynote of their earthly sojourn was: " For me to live is Christ," and Christ lived in them. The thought of their pure, and loving, and consecrated lives is a blessed and inspiring memory. They were Christians of a high order, thoroughly unworldly, thinking more of what Christ thought of them than of what men thought of them; entirely indifferent to the judgment of the world, and shaping their course by the light that shines in a dark place. Bred up in such an atmosphere as this, the best things might very properly be expected, and they were not looked for in vain. The daughter was like the parents, she breathed their spirit and imitated their example. She was an entirely consecrated soul and all through her life, from the day the Lord gave her to me, she was devoted to the Lord, and all these years she was an angel of God to her husband and her children. Her days were passed in sweet communion and fellowship with the Lord. The first thing she did in the morning was to read her Scripture portion, as set down in the International Bible Reading Association s slips, and the last thing at night was to seek God in prayer, laying all her loved ones on His bosom; she lived in the spirit of prayer. Morning by morning she applied the spiritual eye salve that she might see clearly, and regaled herself by the heavenly manna that she might be strong to serve, and went forth with God. She endured as seeing Him who is invisible amid the shadowy spectres of a passing scene. Her life was lived as in the presence of God.

      No one, I believe, ever heard her utter an unadvised word. She kept her heart with all diligence, lest she should in any way offend. Her family was her first concern, and that afforded great scope for her love, her wisdom, her grace, her activity. She was never idle; our large family kept her busy; and having all her life, till the last year, good health, it was a joy to her to be fully employed, either for her own or for others. She was tireless in her activity, and in everything she did there was a sweetness like the perfume of roses, and her pleasant face was a true heart's ease, bringing a gracious contentment and rest to the whole of us.

      Her judgment was always clear and wise, because it was thoroughly scriptural. Every thing she did was based upon and built up on the Word. Her influence was felt by everyone as an active force. She was our idol the one we all seemed to live by and for; whom it was our joy to please. She was the sun of our home, around whom we all moved the centre where we all found our point of rest. And when she was taken from us darkness and desolation came in our unspeakable loss. It was to us as Egyptian darkness a darkness that could be felt; a darkness in which God alone could give light, and a sorrow in which God alone could soothe the heart. She being dead yet speaketh. Her life is a blessed memory. With her God's judg ment ruled in everything. I cannot tell how strongly she felt against the traffic in strong drink, which has blighted so many lives, and ruined so many homes. Her whole soul was in the great missionary enterprise of the Church of Christ, and it was with her a constant study. She believed firmly in the doctrine of the second coming of Christ, and found in it a source of comfort and strength. The Bible was with her " The Book " which gave her light, and law, and life; which controlled her judgment and ruled her heart, and commanded her conscience. Beyond that she read widely, but all that she read had to be of a distinct character, that is, it had to be spiritual, and the more intensely so the better. Andrew A. Bonar, Samuel Rutherford, Frances Ridley Havergal, Dr. Matheson, of Edinburgh, Andrew Murray, R. M. McCheyne, Gypsy Smith, Henry Moorehouse, and men and women of that temper, were her companions and teachers. Anyone with a spiritual experi ence, with a heavenly vision, or a deeper insight into the Scripture was welcomed at once. Religious biography was with her a real fellow ship with the choicest minds and hearts of God's saints, and Christian thinkers and Chris tian workers all brought to her their distinctive gifts of encouraging words, and uplifting thoughts, and noble examples, which enriched her mind and enlarged her life. Her outlook was wide as the history of the Church, and her love as large as the household of faith. She was generous and unselfish to a degree. She thought of her self last; the law of kindness was in her heart in constant operation. What a rich gift of God she was to me and mine; and what a blessing to have possessed so long! I thank God for her love, her life, her labor through all these years. She moved among us like a beam of heavenly light a perpetual benediction; an inspirer of joy and gladness, her pure, sweet devout soul, unchanging and unchanged year after year.

      Her love toward her parents, like her love to us, was a devoted and sacred affection, full of exquisite tenderness. Her faith in God never faltered, and her obedience was sincere and un reserved. She was a true helpmeet. Her thought regarding the members of the congre gation never ceased; and often she would remind me of duties to be performed. She was a tower of strength to her husband and a judicious counsellor; one on whom he rested with con fidence and in whom he trusted implicitly. No circumstance could arise in which she would not act with marked wisdom. In the religious culture of the children she was most careful and diligent, impressing upon them the thoughts of God, and not trusting in anything else, however beautiful it might seem, or however eloquently expressed. The simple Word of the Living God always took the first place, and was suffi cient and final. She rested upon the Word of the King. Anything that did not accord with that was rejected at once. This unswerving faith in what God had spoken was the stay of her soul, the light of her life, the blessedness of her being. Like the prophet Elijah, she could say, " God, before whom I stand." And like Paul, " Whose I am, and whom I serve." This was her constant attitude and her reigning feeling; and withal there was such a sweet and charming meekness in her spirit. She was one of the separated unto God; one who was entirely surrendered.

      After her departure, one of the things that surprised me most, was the universal acknowledgment of her uplifting influence. Letters of sympathy from all quarters made mention of it I will only quote a few brief statements in con firmation of this. One writes: " To me she was the most perfect character I ever met, and she was always an inspiration to try and be better. What a legacy she has left her dear children for she certainly bore all the fruits of the Spirit." Another writer, as representing many, says: " Her womanly Christian life in her home, her bright, as well as faithful, way of doing her many duties as a house-mother and pastor's wife, and the sweet dignity of all her church work won our affectionate admiration." Another expresses himself in this way: "It has been my privilege to know her ever since she came to Galt, and I have always had a great respect for her. I cannot think of any other who was so devoted to her family, and who endeared herself to so many by her kind and loving deeds and bright and winsome smile. Hers was one of those wholesome lives that one could not know without being the better for it." Another says: "What a beautiful life Mrs. Dickson s was so full of love and gentleness and sympathy, and so unselfish." Another.: " The memory of her beautiful life and sweet Christian character will be a benediction not only to you all in the home, but to many homes wherever she was known." Another speaks of "that life that was so beautiful and blessed." I append two resolutions to close this notice:

      "The following resolution was passed at the meeting of our Guelph Presbyterial W. F. M. S., which took place at Berlin on the 18th and 19th February, 1903: Moved by Mrs. D. McRae, seconded by Mrs. Watt, That the members of the Women's Foreign Missionary Society of the Presbytery of Guelph, desire to express their loving sympathy with the family of the late Mrs. Dickson, of Galt, a beloved President of her auxiliary, and at one time President of this Presbyterial Society. We remember her acceptable service, the sunshine of her face, her genius as presiding officer, the Christ-like spirit she showed, and her gift of bringing things new and old out of God's Word. Amid our own sense of loss we would lovingly commend those who mourn in her own home to the God of comfort, asking that He give strength and consolation and be with them all the days until they shall be re-united and be forever with Him.

      "Yours sincerely, " ELIZA J. KERR.

      "Cor. Sec. IV. F. M. S"

      "To the Rev. Dr. J. A. R. Dickson and family:

      " HIGHLY ESTEEMED FRIENDS. The members of the Ministerial Association of Galt and vicinity have learned with profound sorrow of the unspeakable loss you have sustained in the death of your beloved wife and mother.

      " The members of the Association, in common with a very large circle of friends, feel that in the removal from earth of dear Mrs. Dickson they have lost the presence and companionship of a woman of exalted Christian character; the companionship of one whose face shone with sweet and frequent communion with her Saviour; one in whose quiet, gentle, Christian life was reflected the simplicity that is in Christ.

      "She has gone from the scenes of earth to her rich reward above, leaving behind her a noble work well done; well done as the prudent ad viser and constant helper of her husband a minister of the gospel; well done as a mother, tender and loving, ever teaching her children by precept and pure example to walk in the way of holiness; well done in the Church, whose prosperity was the rejoicing of her heart; and well done could truthfully be inscribed upon whatever she did. Those of us who remain be hind cannot but feel that while earth is poorer because of her absence, heaven is richer because of her presence.

      "We are well aware that human sympathy has but little power to assuage a grief that will nigh overwhelm the soul, yet it is all we have to give, and it is most heartily and tenderly extended to you all. We commend you to the deeper, higher, broader sympathy of Him who * will not break the bruised reed nor quench the smoking flax, believing that in all your afflictions He is afflicted.

      "As one whom his mother comforteth, so may you all be comforted by Him who said to his near disciples and to all his true followers: I will not leave you comfortless.

      "On behalf of the Ministerial Association: "ADAM G. KING, D.D. "W. E. PESCOTT, B.A. " Galt, Ontario, October 8th, 1902."

      Resolutions in the same tenor came from the various societies in the congregation, and from many in the town, all carrying everything that man could give of kindly comfort and Christian consolation, all of which were much prized by our family. Dr. Francis R. Beattie, of Louis ville, Kentucky, who had come to take charge of a town pulpit for a few Sabbaths, arrived shortly after the death of Mrs. Dickson, and in a note of brotherly sympathy observes: " The whole community is deeply moved by the event." The Rev. John H. McVicar, B.A., who was among the ministers present at the funeral, says: " The deep emotion, so evident through out the gathering at the funeral service in the church, showed how much Mrs. Dickson was beloved, and how greatly she will be missed. Though I saw her so seldom I felt and feel as if a warm-hearted friend had been removed." The Rev. J. B. Mullen, at the request of the family, conducted the funeral service with a thorough appreciation of the circumstances and of the character of Mrs. Dickson.

      I thank God that she did not live in vain. Her life force, since her going home, seems to have gathered itself together into a compact unit, and exerts itself with redoubled might upon the hearts of her friends, rather than to have spent itself. She lives again to appro priate George Eliot s words: " In minds made better by her presence, in pulses stirred to generosity, in deeds of daring rectitude, in scorn for miserable aims that end in self." And so, according to the Word that utters unchalleng- able truth, " Their works do follow them." How profoundly true! The other day I was having a heart-to-heart talk with a loving father, and he said, " My daughter s last words to me when she died were: Pa, I ll be looking out for you! And day after day, as I sit and think, these words will always be coming back to me, as though I heard her speaking: Pa I ll be looking out for you! Pa, I ll be looking out for you! " So the sweetness, the loveliness, the Christian spirit, the self-abnegation, the devotion to God, and the unquestioning faith in His blessed word, are all forged into a spiritual energy which is here characterized by the words: "Their works do follow them." And having ventured to say so much, how deeply do I realize with George Eliot that " Life is not rounded in an epigram, and saying aught we leave a world unsaid! 1a

      1a
      Ebenezer: A History of the Central Presbyterian Church, Galt, Ontario, with brief sketches of some of its members who have passed on the the other side, The Rev. James A. R. Dickson pg 376

  • Sources 
    1. [S4] Vit - ON - Marriage Registration.
      Thomas Cephas Pearse Born: Coburg Ont Age: 28 Father: Thomas Pearse Mother: Elizabeth Ann Pearse Born: abt 1868 Spouse: Minnie Dickson Age: 26 born: London Ontario Father: Jas A R Dickson Mother: Isabella Dickson married 5 Feb 1896 married: Waterloo, Galt

    2. [S259] Census - ON, Waterloo, Galt - 1901, Galt (Town/Ville) C-10 Page 1.

    3. [S336] Census - ON, Waterloo, Galt - 1881, Galt Division 2 Page 91.

    4. [S122] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Cambridge - Mount View CC#4495 Internet Link .
      Hodie Mihi. Cras Tlbl/ sacred to/ the memory of/ Isabella Elliot Fairbairn/ dearly beloved wife of/ Rev. J.A. R. Dickson B.D. Ph.D./ born at London Ont. Aug. 29, 1850/ died at Galt Ont. Aug. 15, 1902/ She being dead yet speaketh/ Rev. James A. R. Dickson, B.D. Ph.D./ born at Tranent, Scotland, Oct. 22, 1839/ died at Galt, Jan. 10, 1915/ for 35 years/ Pastor of Central Presbyterian Church/ Dickson

    5. [S1800] Census - ON, Waterloo, Galt - 1891, Sec. 1 Page 65.

  • Event Map
    Event
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 29 Aug 1850 - London, Middlesex, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Presbyterian - 1891 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 15 Aug 1902 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Mount View Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth