From Page 2: (Spring of 1832) "Grandpa also came across the river during this time ...  . He was a merry soul, chiefly concerned with the present. ... . A direct quote from his old age, 'It was a paradise. A man could go into it with only a
gun and an axe and make himself a living.' And at sixteen he did start out alone --- in the fall of 1832 --- with an axe and
a gun, and made his way."  

 " ...autumn of 1832 ... from an old diary that Lola Quigley turned up ... . a small group of families who had built
themselves a little settlement in the hills ... and then discovered when winter approached that there wasn't a hunter among them. They faced starvation. 
But one day, so the diary relates, a strange gun shot was heard echoing in the hills. Next  day it was heard again. ... Ned Dickens, (grandpa) the sixteen year old with his gun and axe, turned up one evening --- and he stayed the winter with them, killing game for their food.


He was a Tennessee boy, a good shot, a competent hunter. In exchange for shelter he brought in game for the whole settlement. I suppose one of the reasons be became so much loved and revered as an 'old settler' in the county was because the descendents or perhaps even survivors of this settlement were his neighbors till the end of his life."     

From Page 3: "The Dickens family from which Ned Dickens descended were Carolina tobacco farmers ...  .
Sometime after the Revolution, these Dickenses, having worn out their Carolina tobacco land, moved over the mountains into Tennessee in the low hills southeast* of Nashville, taking  ...  several households of the family. 
They cleared the land and built great tobacco barns, which Grandpa could remember from his childhood. But before 1830 they were all ruined, for the thin soil, when the forest was removed, washed off the rocky slopes and down into the rivers ... I saw it in 1931."    
(My note: Actually the location is a little *northeast of Nashville.)

Continuing Page 3: "Grandpa had been orphaned and adopted by a Dr. Griffith, who was the great grandfather of the Quigley girls we knew in McGregor. Dr. Griffith's young daughter, (who, in 1832, was a child of grandma's age (11) was supposed to become Ned Dickens' bride when old enough to marry. So Lola quigley told me. ... But Grandpa took off into the paradise of the Iowa hills, and when he was 20, married grandma, Ann Drusilla VanSickle, just 15.  

From Page 11: "... Grandpa Dickens ... could communicate with the Indians in their own language; eat with them
and visit with them; enjoy a practical joke with them; yet maintain himself and his family in a highly civilized state. 
One example was the fact that no quarrelling or fighting was ever permitted and thus never developed in this large
family of children."

From Page 11: "Ned Dickens was an upright and honored citizen, not only respected, but loved and not only by those who knew him but by many who had just heard of him. When he lay 'in state' at North McGregor, his friends had found it necessary to commandeer the 'Opera House', a large public hall used for theatricals and all large public meetings or dances. People by the hundred and of all ages --- scores of children --- came to see him. Some of them driving in from the country for miles around."  (My note: Ned died in 1894 - Ann died in 1909. They are buried in Council Hill Cemetery, Giard Twp. Clayton County, Iowa.)

Remarkably Zilla mentions visiting my Grandfather, Will Dickens (William Jasper Dickens) in Springfield, TN 
in 1932. If that visit occurred after late summer of 1932 she also saw me as a newborn, ha. To me, that this
document exists in the McGregor Iowa Library and has now been shared with the TN Dickens family, is amazing!

From Page 30: "When Wally came back from taking the boy to his Carolina-bound bus ... I asked him to inquire when he wrote the boy, if he had any kinfolks in Carolina named Dickens. The reply finally came back, 'Everybody here has kinfolks named Dickens.' These were Carolina 'mountain' folks. Their ancestors were some of those who didn't make it across the mountains to Tennessee or other points west."

My Note: Will Dickens (William Jasper Dickens) of Springfield TN, my grandfather, was a grandson of John Dickens Jr., Felix Dickens was a son of John Dickens Jr., Ned was a brother of John Dickens Jr. 
These aren't the entire families of the following - just those names that expain the relationship mentioned above.
   
John Dickens Sr.(1700s)                  John Dickens Jr. 1813                  Joshua Dickens (known as Jr) 1845
   John Jr 1813                                    Felix 1839                                     William Jasper (Will) 1878
   Edward Glover (Ned) 1815             Joshua (known as Jr) 1845             (My father Ernest Curtis 1910, 
   Joshua (known as Sr) 1820                                                                      is a son of  William Jasper.)

Edward Glover's mother died while he was a child resulting in his being adopted, as previously mentioned.

From Page 15: In the summer of 1861 two sons of Ned and Ann went to fight in the Civil  War,  Lucius and Wesley.
 
Page 17: "They were with Sherman in the march from Atlanta to the sea. I remember a pewter tea spoon that was Wesley's souvenir of this march. During all the skirmishes and battles in which the boys were involved in that region, Grandpa suffered agonies. I heard said that he really never was the same after those war days. When a battle was on, he walked the floor all night. For he had two sons in the Union Army and two nephews and a brother on the Confederate side. I seem to recall hearing that all of the Rebels were chaplains and some of the Southern family were Federals and chaplains. Very devout Methodists; and they still were when Aunt Joe was down there in 1919."

(My note: They still were devout Methodists when I grew up in Springfield, TN in the 1930s and 1940s.)

"FOREWORD:  The 11th and last child of Edward and Ann Druzilla Dickens was my grandmother, Lillian Dickens Ellyson Gill. Lillian had two daughters, Zilla and Ila. Zilla had one daughter Mary Jeane, and Ila had Ila Jean and me, Olivia. 

Lillian was widowed when my mother was only 2 years old. Charles Sumner Ellyson died of "galloping consumption", now called tuberculosis, or TB. She became a mlliner, raised her girls, sent my mother to college, was a talented gardiner and an excellent cook . She married Joe Gill, Sheriff of Sibley, Iowa. Lillian was born Oct. 22, 1862 and died June 18, 1921.

In the 1960s when Ila and Zilla were in their 70s we all wanted Zilla with her retentive memory to write or dictate the family's history. Jeanne typed it all, included her mother's other works and mailed them all to us. These are the pages
that follow" 

Thanks to all the family, friends, and acquaintences of the descendents of these two Iowa Pioneers, Edward Glover (Ned) and Ann Drusilla Dickens, for making the current generation of Dickens' aware of their contributions toward establishing a stable civilization in what was then, an untamed land. And thanks to the historians of Clayton County Iowa who have furnished me with enough information about the settling of that area to fill a book if I were so inclined.    

Page 29: "It was during those years just before and after our father and Grandfather Dickens died --- about 1893 that Grandma told us so many stories of her early days in Iowa."

(My note: These excerpts are just a little of the exploits of Ned and Ann Dickens. Several of Ann's stories are available as they were printed in Newspapers of the time. You can find them mentioned on the Clayton County Iowa Web site.)   

The following is from the Manuscript.

The entire account of Ned and Ann Dickens that I have amassed into this Web site would not exist were it not for their great-great-grandson Chuck Runneberg of Iowa. Chuck wrote to me inquiring about his Smith County TN relatives, specifially about his great-great-great-grandfather John Dickens, Sr. the father of Edward Glover (Ned) Dickens. That same John Dickens, Sr. is also my great-great-great-grandfather - but I had never heard of Ned Dickens. Thus began
my study. 

Dickens of Hurricane Creek, TN

and
Clayton County, Iowa
Edward Glover (Ned) and Ann Drusilla Van Sickle Dickens

Page 06.

Page 06.

From Pages 30 and 31: "...When quite young I posed a question to some older person ... 'Why did Grandpa stay in the hills along the river, and not go on to the more valuable land to the west?' The answer was that he didn't like the open prairie --- was really afraid of it. We can now understand that --- he was not only a frontiersman, but a mountaineer also. Although raised, not in the mountains, but in the hilly country southeast* of Nashville; nevertheless, he was still not able to face a treeless prairie." 
My note: * it was actually a little northeast of Nashville in the hill country of middle Tennessee, along the banks of the Cumberland River.

From Page 17: "In the fall of 1860, Ned Dickens had gone down to Tennessee to visit his people. I vaugely
recall that the troubled political scene (pre-war) was part of his reason for going. When he returned he brought
with him, his nephew Felix Dickens. Aunt Phrone described Felix as a blue eyed blond, 'the most beautiful
man'she ever saw (she was 13 going on 14). He was so charming that all the girls for miles around were
smitten, and persued him. I think he came north with the intention of staying, but when the war came he hurried 
back home, and never returned. I may have even talked to his son. I met a Will Dickens at Springfield, Tennessee
in 1932, who was a grandson of Ned Dickens' brother Joel --- but didn't ask him who or what Felix was to him.

Recently Chuck sent a copy of a manuscript which is filed in the McGregor Public Library of Clayton County,
Iowa that contains many memories dictated by Zilla Ellyson Rutherford Flagg, a granddaughter of Edward Glover
(Ned) and Ann Drusilla Dickens. Zilla mentiond events that were told to her about the Dickens family from the late
1700s in Carolina through the1800s and well in to the 1900s in Iowa and Tennessee; some are her own experiences
and some were told to her by others. I have chosen to copy some paragraphs that directly mention Ned in order to
acquaint his many Dickens kinfolks with him and a few of his activities as a Pioneer in the early settlement of the
state of Iowa. Don't let me lead you into thinking that this is all that is written about Ned and Ann. There is much
more on file in Clayton County, Iowa (and in my computer files). 

From Page 13: "Ned Dickens was very friendly with the Indians that were being displaced in their own country. There were Winnebago, Sac, and Fox. He was one of those people who quickly pick up any language with which they come in contact. So it was inevitable that he should become an interpreter, and he did in fact act as such for various Astor Fur company buyers." 

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