Orrin W. Dawson, the present mayor of Great Bend and one of its most prominent and respected citizens, came to Kansas with his parents, in 1875, when a lad of seven years, and has spent practically his whole life near and in the city of which he is now the executive head. He was born Dec. 14, 1868, on a farm in Jones county, Iowa, son of James G. Dawson and Margaret J. Clark, natives of Pennsylvania. The father, born in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, Jan. 8, 1836, was a farmer by occupation. He removed to Iowa in 1855. He married Miss Margaret J. Clark, who also was a native of Mercer county, Pennsylvania, born July 12, 1840. Of their union were born three children: Elmer E., born in 1861, is located in Boston, Mass.; Orrin W. is the second in order of birth; and Myrtle M., born Feb. 18, 1871, is the wife of H. E. Turck, a jeweler at Ellinwood, Kan. When the cloud of Civil war broke over the country, in 1861, James G. Dawson tendered his services to the Union by enlisting in Company H, Thirty-first Iowa infantry, and was made second lieutenant of his company. He served three years, until wounded at the battle of Vicksburg, after which he resigned, as he was disabled for further military service. His regiment, however, accompanied Sherman on his march to the sea. When Lieutenant Dawson resigned his company presented him with a gold watch as a token of their esteem. He removed his family to Kansas, in 1875, and located on a farm near Great Bend, where he died March 8, 1888. He mingled with his old comrades in arms as a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. Orrin W. Dawson was reared on the farm and was educated in the public schools of Barton county, at the Central Normal College at Great Bend, and at a business college at Lawrence, Kan. After completing his education he taught school one year in Barton county. He then began business life as a stenographer for the Walnut Creek Milling Company of Great Bend and remained in that company's employ five years. At the expiration of that period he became official court reporter for the Twentieth Judicial District, in which capacity he was employed thirteen years. In 1900 he engaged in the loan and real-estate business at Great Bend, to which occupation he has since given his exclusive attention. He is a Republican in politics and was his party's candidate for the legislature, in 1908, but was defeated in the election by thirty votes. In 1909 he was elected mayor of Great Bend, and gave such efficient service in that office that he was reëlected, in 1911, and is now serving his second term. Upon the failure of the Bank of Ellinwood, at Ellinwood, Barton county, in 1907, Mr. Dawson was appointed receiver for the bank and is still engaged in closing up its business. Fraternally he is a Knight Templar Mason, and in church faith and membership he is a Presbyterian. On Sept. 2, 1892, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Dawson and Miss Jennie Monger, daughter of L. K. Monger, a well known pioneer farmer of Pawnee county, Kansas, who died in 1907. Mrs. Dawson has excellent educational qualifications and was a teacher in Pawnee county five years prior to her marriage. Of their union two daughters have been born: Helen, born Sept. 28, 1896; and Dorothy, born Nov. 12, 1898.Pages 111-112 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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