The Story Of My Life as Narrated By Albert Edward Dixon, Ivy Dixon’s Father. Husband of Mary Jane Peel Dixon.
I, Albert Edward Dixon, fifth child of James Dixon and Ann Ratcliffe, was born on the 16th day of August, 1867, at Leeds, Yorkshire, England. My parents, like other people of the working class of the times, was not given the privilege of much schooling, and wages being extremely low, they were hired out to work very early in life. My Father decided that I should at least have a common school education which consisted of the three R’s commonly know as reading, writing and arithmetic. I was put to work at a very early age, about nice years of age, working in a shoe store and later in a pottery before going to serve my apprenticeship in the boiler shop. At twenty-one years of age I completed my apprenticeship.
I was raised in the Methodist Church and was a regular attender for many years, both as scholar and teacher. I am, and always have been lover of all outdoor sports and played them for years, cricket, football, swimming and foot racing being my favorites.
In England in 1891, I met Mary Jane Peel, fell in love with her and we were married. My wife was sure a good wife and helpmate. We had seven children born of our marriage, five boys and two girls. Three of the boys died in infancy. Our first children, two boys and two girls, were born in Leeds, Yorkshire, England, and we brought them to this country (America) when young.
My Mother and Wife and I heard the Gospel preached by Elder James Ratcliffe of Grantsville, Utah, and Elder J.H. Frisly of Snowflake, Arizona, afterwards of Provo, Utah. We were baptized on the first of April, 1899 by Elder James Larred. I was confirmed by Elder Lorenzo Ingram.
I had been a user of tobacco for years but I quit shortly after joining the church and I commenced to pay my tithes and was promised if I would be faithful in this that I should gather to Zion. Two years after joining the Church my Mother passed away asking me to do her work for her in the Temple of the Lord.
I was ordained a deacon shortly after joining the Church and late ordained a priest in the Aronic Priesthood. I was pleased to have the will power to stop the use of tobacco, tea and coffee, and a sickness that I had been troubled with very often, left me when I kept the work of wisdom.
On the 3rd of July, 1903, L left my home and wife and four children in England and went to South Africa on the good ship Tintargel Castle to work for the South African Government for one year. While I was there I had an opportunity to live the Gospel by my life and I bore my testimony to people with whom I came in contact. I arrived in Capetown on the 27th of July 1903, two days after the South African Mission was opened by Elder Smith of James. I did what they asked me to do and met with some of them every week. I regretted very much to hear of the death of my Father while I was there. I also had the privilege of being a witness to the first baptism performance in that mission by Elder R. W. Smith at the Witenhague Swimming Baths when a Mrs. Vanderhoof and her daughter was baptized.
About this time I was stricken down with Enteric fever and preparations were made to send me to the hospital at Port Elizabeth. I had a friend write to one of the Elders laboring as a Missionary, his name was W.R. Smith, at that place. He came as soon as he could and administered to me. He promised me in the name of the Lord that I should recover and that I should gather to Zion. Almost instantly the fever left me and I was soon back to work. (Typhoid Fever – Typhoid fever, also known as enteric fever, is a systemic infection by Salmonella typhus or by the related but less virulent Salmonella)
I wrote home and told my wife how sick I had been and she informed her sister, who was a spiritualist, of my illness and she told my wife that I had died. This upset my wife. She went home crying, soon after getting home, Elder Abraham Hill called at our house and asked Sister Biswick, was staying with my wife while I was away what the trouble was, After being informed, he walked across the room and said, Sister Dixon, I promise you in the Name of the Lord that Bro. Dixon will get well and return unto his family and gather to Zion and that I will see you there. A promise which has been fulfilled to the very letter. There were people taken out of the same house who were in the Hospital for 3 months. Was I more than them. No, it was through the Power of the Priesthood by which I restored to health.
I had the pleasure of meeting a Mr. Jack Bousfield of Darlington. He paid me a very tribute and wished to live with me and as I lived. He and all his family joined the Church at Darlington, England. Upon returning home I was presented with a traveling bay and purse of gold by a Mr. James Spence, who on behalf of my friend said this, “I don’t know neither do I care what Church Mr. Dixon belongs to but I have known him ever since he has been here and he is a credit to any Church.”
I left South Africa late in 1904, stayed in England a few weeks and came to Zion in October, 1904. I lived in Salt Lake City until 1909 when I came to live in Idaho. I took up a homestead in Teton Valley upon which I lived with my family for fifteen years, when through my wife’s failing health we came lower down the River to live.
I had blessings innumerable given to me about the year 1912. I had a cement wall fall on me and every tissue of body was broken. The doctor said, administer to him before I do anything with him as it is impossible for a man to live in his condition. Those holding the Priesthood promised that I should live and their promises were fulfilled.
We came to live in Pocatello for a little while where I organized Troop 12 in the Boy Scouts. In 1923 I organized another Boy Scout Troop in Riverside and after coming to Blackfoot I have been associated with Troop 21 and been a co worker with some of the finest boy men. It has been my privilege to know Loyd Davis, E Fjeldsted, E. Bingham, R. Eskelson, R. Ditton, W. Thomas, Jack Argyle, Wallave Wright and Dave Watkins along with our present and former Bishops, O Buchanan and W. H. Snyder. It is a blessing to be associated with men like these, and also the Stake Presidency, President James Duckworth, Nofear Davis and B. G. Johnston and his sons, james and Peter R. and also Elmer Williams.
I had the misfortune to lose by death my dearly beloved Wife on the 7th of April, 1931, who has been a wise counselor and a devoted Wife and Mother and one whom cannot be replaced.
I am indebted to our Teacher in Genealogy more than I can repay for his help in this work and to R. McClellan as he has been an inspiration to me. Would that I could find more names to my ancestors in England to do work for them in the Temples of the Lord. I have sure enjoyed working in the Temple the last two summers on the excursions there with my friends, Bro. Larson and Bro. Wilfred Jones. I am glad that I have been permitted to live in the last days and do a little in furthering the Gospel as I am reminded of friend of mine, Tom Williamson. He was not of our faith and after getting well acquainted with him we discussed the Bible and he eventually asked the Bishop of Driggs, F.M. Reynolds, for baptism and I had the pleasure of performing that ordinance. Oh! It is wonderful for I know that my Redeemer lives. I pray that my children will carry on the work that I have leave undone and may god bless them in my prayer in the Name of Jesus Christ and when my game is finished and time is called, may I have played the game fair to my fellow man whether I win or lose for the
Sunset and evening star
And one clear call me and
And may there be no moaning of the bar
When I put out to sea.
But such a tide as moving seems asleep
Too full for sound or foam
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell
And after that the dark
And may t here be no sadness of farewell
When I embark.
For though from out our bourne of time and place
The flood may bear me far
I hope to see my pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.
History of Mary Jane Peel Dixon, Mother of Ivy Dixon, Wife of Albert Edward Dixon and Grandmother of Murel Hill Kay.
Mary Jane Peel was born 10 July 1872 (one record show 11 July 1874) at Hunslet, Leeds, Yorkrshire, England, the daughter of Alfred Peel and Mary Peel. She had eleven sisters and one brother. Some names are not available at present. Ben Peel, born 8 June 1856 married Emily Blackburn, died 28 February 1933. Elizabeth Ann Peel born 1 January 1859, married William Henry Ripley. Clara Peel married David Fowler. Mary Hannah (Polly) Peel. Married George Phillips, died 22 October 1932. Ada Peel married Alfred Shepperd Whitfield.
At ten years of age Mary Jane Peel started working in blanket mills weaving blankets and went to school part time. When she was twelve she earned as much money as her older sister who also worked in blanket and curtain mills. She was unable to finish school as she had to work and help support the large family. Her mother became very ill when Mary Jane was sixteen. They were all called into the bedroom. She stood at the foot of her mother’s bed and when it appeared that when would die, Mary Jane screamed out, “Don’t Leave me, Mother.” Her mother didn’t die then and suffered for three more days. She told Mary Jane, “I wish you hadn’t done that.” So Mary Jane told her children if anything happened to her not to do that but to let her go in peace. Mary Jane’s father had a stroke later. She had been going with Albert Edward Dixon and he had asked for her hand in marriage. Her father asked him if he would take good care of her and be a good husband to her. After her father died she went to live with her sister Elizabeth (Lizzie) for awhile . The she married Albert Edward Dixon 14 November 1891. They lived with his parents until their first child was born. Three others were also born in Leeds, Yorkshire, England. Wilfred Dixon, born 21 January 1893, married Margarette Miller, died 21 March 1957. Ivy Dixon, born 17 November 1896, married John W. Hill, died 4 January 1937. James Dixon, born 14 November 1897 married Bertha Coon. Lillian Gertrude Dixon, born 31 October 1901, married Bryan Lee Barney. Three boys died in infancy later in America. They were Frank Dixon, born 23 January 1907, died 25 January 1907, Salt Lake City Utah. Heber Grant Dixon, born 14 May 1911, Driggs, Idaho, died 27 September 1911. Clifford Dixon, born 20 October 1915, Bates, Teton, Idaho, died 21 October 1915.
She, her husband, and her mother-in-law heard the gospel preached by Elder James Ratcliffe (her husband’s uncle) of Grantsville, Utah and Elder J.H. Frisley of Snowflake, Arizona, afterwards of Provo, Utah. On 1 April 1899 they were baptized members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Elder James Larred. Her husband had the will power to stop the use of tobacco, tea, and coffee.
Her husband went to South Africa 3 July 1903 to work for the South African Government, Mary Jane was left with four children to care for in England. Albert, her husband, was taken ill with enteric fever in 1904. Her sister, Lizzie, read tea leaves and told her that he would never come back because he was dead. So she cried because she hadn’t heard from him for awhile. At this time the Elders came to see her and put their arms on her shoulders and promised her that he would return home safe. The next day she received word that he was much improved.
Her husband retuned home late 1904, stayed in England a few weeks and then went to Zion in October of 1904. He took the oldest child, Wilfred, with him. Mary Jane once more was left to care for the children and she took in washing to help support them. She and the three children with her came to America in December of 1905. On the way the storm was so bad that it threw Jim from one end of the room to the other and knocked him against a table and broke it. He ran outside and a wave hit him and started to wash him overboard when one of the Elders caught him. The boat landed in Boston. Jim’s eyes were red so they had to stay aboard overnight and were told they’d have to go back if his eyes weren’t better the next day. So she doctored them up and prayed and next morning they were better. The Customs Officers opened her luggage. When they saw her bible they didn’t look through them and she didn’t have to pay any duty.
In Salt Lake City the family lived on a pear orchard at Longton Park near the fairgrounds. She wrapped pears and sold them. She and her husband were members of the Tabernacle Choir. They went to the Salt Lake Temple 12 September 1906, received their endowments, were sealed, and had their children sealed to them. Whenever her neighbors were sick she would go care for them. Her husband’s uncle, James Ratcliffe, would visit occasionally when he hauled freight between Grantsville and Salt Lake City.
Her husband was boiler maker and sprained his shoulder so had to quit. He took his family to Teton Valley in Idaho in 1909. Mary Jane worked at the Wilson Hotel in Driggs to help with expenses. They took up a homestead and she and her daughter, Ivy went to work at the J-X Ranch in Wyoming for a summer. She was 2nd Counselor in the Relief Society for about three years and also a visiting teacher much of the time. She became ill with high blood pressure and diabetes and at the doctor’s suggestion they moved to Pocatello and then to Blackfoot. She sang with the choir in Blackfoot. They lived on South Shilling Street. She became bedfast in November of 1930 so was moved to her daughter, Lillian’s home. She had an inward stroke and couldn’t talk. Her little grandson, Leroy, would go in his little walker over to her bed and she’d hold his hand. She passed away 7 April 1931 of chronic Sarcoidosis of 1 year duration (She was buried 10 April 31 at Grove City Cemetery, Blackfoot, Bingham, Idaho).