Monday, February 6, 2012
An Auxencico Update.....The Sequel!!!!
With nearly 100 page views to its credit, the blog article on Auxencico Maria Pena Venezuela Hildreth Dickeson (1842-1879) has proven to be the most popular page on the blog. "Oxie" Dickeson's name is truly one of a kind and he currently occupies the coveted #1 slot in the SNIAPH book, usurping the great Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar.
For those of you who haven't read his blog article yet, the condensed version is as follows: Oxie Dickeson served as a New Jersey State Assemblyman from 1865 to 1866 and was also a highly active mason in his native state. He suffered from ill health throughout the majority of his life, and an undisclosed illness claimed him at age 36 in June 1879.
Throughout November and December 2011, new information on Oxie came to light, courtesy of a very helpful reader named Frank, who e-mailed me some facts that filled in a lot of the blanks in Oxie's life. He was also kind enough to photograph and send me the picture of Oxie that adorns the top of his article. After adding this information, I felt that I could rest easy knowing that Oxie Dickeson now had a face to place with his name and some much needed life facts to tie his article together. Interestingly enough however, a very great surprise was in store for me!!!
On February 1, 2012 I returned from a walk and set about writing an article on Fort Elmo Land, who served as the Georgia State Superintendent of Education from 1925-27. Before doing so I checked my e-mail and noticed a message from a user named "Hildy", concerning Auxencico M.P.V.H. Dickeson.....needless to say, I was immediately intrigued! As it turns out, "Hildy" wanted to inform me that their great-great grandfather was none other than Auxencico Dickeson!!!! Evidently, Oxie was known by his later descendents as "Alphabetical Dick" (because of his "outstandingly different" name) and that there was a family explanation behind how he received his wonderful name.....
Hildy went on to tell me that Oxie's father, Thomas Dickeson, was the close friend of a young medical student named Auxencico Maria Pena, who was studying at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. Pena hailed from Venezuela, and was the first student from that country to graduate from the school in its history (this occurring in 1836.) Thomas Dickeson was evidently so taken with his friendship with Pena that "he vowed to name his son in honor of him, and so he did!" With the addition of the country of Venezuela to the name, as well as the maiden name of Thomas's wife (Hildreth), the end result is certainly one of the most interesting names in the history of humankind!!!
Hildy also clued me in on two previously unknown websites that gave much needed info on the aforementioned Venezuelan medical student, as well as one that went more in depth on the Dickeson family. Oxie's wife, Mary Jane Springer, was born in 1844 and survived her husband by nearly forty years, dying on February 2, 1918. The two were married in Salem, New Jersey on February 22, 1870. Further information was also gathered on Oxie Dickeson's five children, who are listed as follows: Wilbur F.S. Dickeson (1871-1871, who lived only four months), J. Hildreth Dickeson (1872-1918), Wilbur S. Dickeson (1875-1921), Anne Dickeson (1877-ca. 1884) and lastly, Cornelia Dickeson (1878-1884). One can notice that ill health plagued the Dickeson family, as three of the children died before reaching their 10th birthday, and the remaining two sons died in their forties! Oxie himself died at age 36, so it is quite tragic that his wife lost so many of her family within such a short span of time.
With those facts in hand, I want to give a hearty shout out and thank you to "Hildy", who kindly provided me with all of the facts presented here. I would also be remiss in mentioning that Hildy thanked me for my article on Oxie, and believe me, those words mean a lot! It was truly a pleasure to "rescue" Oxie from the shroud of obscurity that has clouded his life since his death over 130 years ago.
Thank you again "Hildy" for your words of encouragement and your help!!!!
For those of you who haven't read the article on "Oxie" yet, the July 22, 2011 article is located here: http://politicalstrangenames.blogspot.com/2011/07/auxencico-maria-pena-venezuela-hildreth.html.