H. A. DAWSON is proprietor and editor of the Russell Record, one of the oldest papers in Western Kansas. Logically its history begins in 1872. It has gone through a long series of ownerships, has absorbed a number of other journals in that locality, and it is interesting to note that the present proprietor and editor learned his business in the Record office and has several different times been the owner of the paper.
Mr. Dawson was born at Whitehall, Illinois, August 12, 1867. His grandfather, Nathan Dawson, was a native of Scotland, and on coming to America settled on a farm in Illinois, where he died when ninety years of age.
George F. Dawson, father of the Russell editor, was born at Whitehall, Illinois, in 1846. He spent his early life there and in 1861, as a boy, enlisted in an Illinois Infantry Regiment and saw active service throughout the war. He took up the profession of sign writer and scenic painter after the war and in that profession he traveled all over the western states and territories and was employed particularly in painting scenery in opera houses. The painting of the scenery in the "Tabor Grand," Denver, was the work of his brush. He came to Russell, Kansas, in 1878, being one of the pioneer settlers there. He had contracts for painting in many localities. In 1881 he was at Cheyenne, Wyoming, and while there his assistant became the object of a rowdy attack from a number of cowboys and freighters. Mr. Dawson went to his rescue and a blow meant for his assistant struck him in the head and caused his death. George F. Dawson was a republican and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He married Susan Robertson, who was born at Woodstock, Canada, in 1844, and is still living in Russell, Kansas. H. A. Dawson is the oldest of his mother's three sons. G. F. Dawson, Jr., is separately mentioned in following paragraphs. The youngest, Ernest E., is associated with his brother George F. in business.
H. A. Dawson attended public school at Russell, Kansas, and graduated from high school in 1886. He learned the printing trade in the office of the Russell Record, and in 1889 bought the paper and edited it for several years. After his marriage he lived in Helena, Montana, and was employed in a dry goods store for several years. Mr. Dawson is a musician, a master of the cornet, and for fourteen years he traveled on the road as manager of concert companies as advance agent. He considered Russell his home during this time, but his work took him to all parts of the United States.
After leaving the road he returned to the Russell Record and in October, 1918, bought the plant and paper. This is the third ownership for Mr. Dawson. He owned the plant from 1904 to 1910, leaving its management in the hands of other parties. The Record is the official paper of Russell and Russell County, and has a circulation throughout that and surrounding counties. It is republican in politics and is published in an up-to-date office on Eighth street in Russell.
For the past sixteen years Mr. Dawson has been city clerk of Russell. He is a republican and a member of the Congregational Church. He is a past master of Russell Lodge of Masons and is a member of Russell Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, Aleppo Commandery of Knights Templar at Hays, and Isis Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Salina. He also belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America and to the Ancient Order of United Workmen at Russell.
Mr. Dawson married at Russell in 1891 Miss Jessie Remington, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S. K. Remington, the latter now deceased. Her father is a farmer living in California. Mrs. Dawson died at Helena, Montana, in 1894. She was the mother of one son, Harry Aubrey, who trained for the United States army at Camp Funston. In August, 1900, at Russell, Mr. Dawson married for his present wife, Miss Minnie Mohl, daughter of William and Amelia (Niewanger) MohI. Her mother is deceased. Her father is a farmer two miles south of Russell. Mr. and Mrs. Dawson have four children: Irene, born in June, 1902, now a junior in the Russell High School; Arthur, born in January, 1904, also in high school; Harold, born June 21, 1906, in grammar school; and Vivian, born November 16, 1910, has also begun her education in the public schools.
George Frederick Dawson, brother of H. A. Dawson, was born at Whitehall, Illinois, August 22, 1869, and finished his education in the public schools of Russell. He left school at the age of sixteen, but for three years was employed in the drug store of W. E. Banks. That experience he has utilized as the basis of his subsequent business career. He continued with the store for one year under the ownership of E. J. Collins. After that he worked in drug stores at Abilene, Kansas, one year, at Ellis one year, and at Junction City eight months. Then returning to Russell he bought the drug business of Nelson Wolcott on Main Stret[sic] and has conducted that as the leading store of its kind ever since.
George F. Dawson has been quite prominent in local affairs. He helped organize the City Library and has been a member of the board since its start. For two years he was a member of the city council. He is a republican, a member and trustee of the Congregational Church, and is a past grand of Russell Lodge of Odd Fellows. Among other business interests he is a director in the Russell State Bank and the Russell Milling Company, and owns a farm of 160 acres in Trego County.
In 1898, at Russell, George F. Dawson married Miss Frances W. Lewis, daughter of Cary M. and Mary K. (Kinney) Lewis, both now deceased. Her father was a pioneer druggist of Russell and also of Ellis, Kansas. He came to this section of Kansas with the Wisconsin colony. Mr. and Mrs. Dawson have three children: Dorothy, who died in 1912, at the age of twelve years; Mary, born June 27, 1904, a pupil in the public schools of Russell; and Frederica, born April 3, 1909, also in the public schools.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
Tom & Carolyn Ward
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project