Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.
William Dickson, Jr.

William Dickson, Jr.

Male 1799 - 1877  (78 years)

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

  • Name William Dickson 
    Suffix Jr. 
    Born 1799  , Welland Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Gender Male 
    Appearance
    • tall, spare, but commanding figure, and reserved manner, is so well remembered, that a minute description of him is unnecessary

      Reminiscences of the Early History of Galt and the Settlement of Dumfries in the Province of Ontario, by James Young, 1880 Toronto: Hunter, Rose , Pg 52
    Historic Building 1832  16 Byng Avenue, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    stone cottage 
    • This stone cottage was the home of William Dickson Jr. the son of the Hon. William Dickson, founder of Galt. It was built in 1832 and was intended to be the gatehouse for an even grander house that was never built. It too had a gatehouse. The building with the very steep roof at 10 Byng Avenue was the gatehouse for Kirkmichael
    16 Byng Ave.
    16 Byng Ave.
    Cambridge Archives
    Residence 1852  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Residence 1852  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Presbyterian 
    Occupation 1861  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Gentleman 
    Residence 1861  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Episcopalian 
    Residence 1871  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Church of England 
    Eby ID Number Waterloo-24955 
    Died 1 Jan 1877  Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Person ID I24955  Generations
    Last Modified 4 Dec 2021 

    Father Hon. William Dickson,   b. 1769, , Dumfrieshire, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Feb 1846, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Welland Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years) 
    Mother Charlotte Adlam,   b. 1771, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1823, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Welland Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 52 years) 
    Family ID F6737  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Wiliam Dickson Jr.
    Wiliam Dickson Jr.

  • Notes 
    • First View of River

      "After a very pleasant ride, we came, rather suddenly, at an opening in the forest, upon the Ouse, or Grand River, where it made a beautiful sweep and a fine appearance. A little farther down, some straggling houses and extensive mills announced our arrival at Galt. A wooden bridge led us to a commodious stone-building in the cottage style, the residence of Mr. Dickson, delightfully placed upon a rising ground, and commanding fine views of the river. I found with Mr. Dickson a kind and cordial welcome and enjoyed the comforts of such a family not a little, after the somewhat rough work of the last two days; Mr. Dickson is a very extensive landowner, having purchased a large township, which he named Dumfries, and, in the present full tide of emigration, I doubt not that it will rapidly fill up. The system of dealing with settlers here is particularly favorable for those who are compelled to rely chiefly upon their personal labour. Mr. Dickson opens an account with each individual, receiving instalments in money or produce, and frequently where character warrants such confidence, even supplying the means of purchasing oxen, implements, or seed. At an early period of the settlement he formed a connection with Mr. Shade, an intelligent, enterprising American, who devotes his attention principally to the mills, where he carries forward an extensive concern in the various departments of flour and saw mills, with a cooperage similar to the one at Gananoque, and from which he turns out uncommonly neat and reasonable articles. A son of Mr. Dickson resides with him, giving his aid in the general management, and was at this time just returned from an experimental voyage, in company with Mr. Shade, by which the important fact was ascertained, that the Ouse affords a safe communication with the Welland Canal, a distance by water of 100 miles. A barrel of flour, which now costs 3s. to reach Ontario, will thus be conveyed for 1s. and all other produce, of course, in like proportion. a difference of incalculable value to the district.

      "Mr. Dickson has a very neat garden tastefully laid out behind his mansion, and adjoining to it a large extent of improved land. The rocks at the river side are of limestone, which in fact forms the sub-stratum of the whole, or most part, of Upper Canada.

      As my time would not admit of a long sojourn, where I should otherwise have enjoyed myself so much Mr. Dickson kindly offered me his horses; and his son, though still an invalid from cold caught in his aquatic excursion, insisted upon accompanying me to Hamilton, where I could again rejoin the high road to Niagara.

      F. Douglas Reville, Brantford, Ontario, 1920 History of Brant County pg 268

      ____________________________________

      During the same year (1827), Mr. Dickson temporarily removed from Niagara, and took up his residence in Galt. He first occupied a quaint little rough-cast cottage on the south side of the west end of the bridge. It was situated on a pretty sloping knoll, and was partly surrounded by a well-trimmed Scotch thorn hedge, which extended down to the river's brink. He subsequently removed to a new house* which he erected on the beautiful western hills overlooking the village.

      The residence of the Hon. William Dickson, in Galt, only continued till 1836 a period of nine years. He was then in his sixty-seventh year, and the labours of an unusually active life had begun to make inroads on his once vigorous constitution. He determined, therefore, to return to Niagara, and leave the charge of his affairs in Dumfries and Galt in the hands of his son, Mr. William Dickson, jun., who subsequently inherited the greater portion of the estate.

      The latter gentleman, with his tall, spare, but commanding figure, and reserved manner, is so well remembered, that a minute description of him is unnecessary. He was born in Niagara, in 1799, and was the second of three sons, the Hon. Robert Dickson being the eldest, and the Hon. Walter H. Dickson the youngest. + William spent several years at College in Edinburgh, Scotland, and on his return took up his residence permanently in Galt. For a brief space he had a joint interest in one of Mr. Shade's stores. He had no taste, however, for general business, and soon confined his attention to his father's affairs, or spent his time in travel.

      From the time the old gentleman removed to Niagara, the management of the property of the family in Dumfries and Galt-already largely increased, and steadily augmenting in value-devolved chiefly upon Mr. William Dickson, although Robert and Walter generally spent some portion of each year in the village. During these visits the brothers occupied the two cottages on the Queen's Square owned by the family-one of which is yet standing behind Mr. Gavin Hume's hardware store, and the other was situated opposite thereto, on the north-east corner of the square. Mr. William Dickson soon became closely associated with the Township, and as well known to the settlers as ever his father had been.

      His office was at the west end of the bridge, and often presented a busy scene about the beginning of the New Year, at which time the settlers were expected to pay the instalments due upon their lands. Ever to be associated with this office must be the name of Mr. Kenneth Robertson * who, from a very early period, acted as Mr. Dickson's clerk and agent. This gentleman was of Highland birth, but unlike most sons of the Gael, possessed an unusually cold and calculating manner. The annual interview with him, therefore, was not an occasion which called up feelings of pleasure in the settlers' minds, particularly if, through unfavourable weather or other causes, they were unable to meet their engagements.


      *This building stood almost directly west of the Queen's Arms Hotel. The writer of this sketch was born in it on the 24th May, 1835. It was removed about twenty years ago.

      + The Hon. Robert Dickson died at Leghorn, Italy, on the 27th November, 1846, in his 51st year. A tablet to his memory was erected in Trinity Church, Galt, shortly after his death, The Hon. Walter H. Dickson, of


      Reminiscences of the Early History of Galt and the Settlement of Dumfries in the Province of Ontario, by James Young, 1880 Toronto: Hunter, Rose Pg. 52

  • Sources 
    1. [S313] Census - ON, Waterloo, Galt - 1851, Div 1 Pg 19.

    2. [S570] Census - ON, Waterloo, Galt - 1871, Div. 3, Pg. 1.

    3. [S713] Vit - ON - Death Registration, death certificate 12519 (1977), William Dickson, accessed 31 Oct 2009.
      William Dickson, d. 1 Jan 1877, aged 77, gentleman, b. Niagara, Ontario, cause: general debility (two months)

    4. [S1838] Census - ON, Waterloo, Galt - 1861, Galt 1861 Div. 5 Page 60.

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1799 - , Welland Co., Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsHistoric Building - stone cottage - 1832 - 16 Byng Avenue, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1852 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - Presbyterian - 1852 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Gentleman - 1861 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - Episcopalian - 1861 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - Church of England - 1871 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 1 Jan 1877 - Galt (Cambridge), Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth