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 Murray County Museum  

Nelson Dickerson

Andrew Buford "Buff" Bradley was the fourth of nine children born to Stephen & Minerva (Davis) Bradley on May 23, 1856. In 1860 Stephen & Minerva had moved from Gilmer to Gordon County where they and their growing family remained until the US Census finds them in Murray County in 1880 in the Doolittle Community. By this time and at the age of 24 Buff was living on the Andrew K. Ramsey farm working as a farm laborer.

Nelson Dickerson was born about 1793 at Greenville, South Carolina. His parents are thought to have been Nelson Dickerson (1770-1808) and Elizabeth Henderson.

The younger Nelson married Rebecca Crutcher Evans, in 1819, in Greenville, South Carolina. Her parents were (Judge) Phillip Evans (1759-1849) and Mary Charles (1764-1804).

The 1830 Census listed the Nelson Dickerson family living in Hall County, Georgia. The household consisted of 8 free white persons and one male slave under the age of 23.

When the state of Georgia conducted a special census of Murray County in 1834, the Nelson Dickerson family was then living in Murray County, Georgia.

One of Nelson's early recorded actions as a citizen of Murray occurred in May 1834 when he petitioned the Governor to hold a second election to select two justices of the peace in Murray's Second District, charging many irregularities had occurred in the one just concluded.

The Governor apparently ordered a new election because another took place on August 16, 1834. This one reportedly also had many irregularities, two of them glaring in nature. The election was not advertised in advance; and the polls were not opened until late afternoon.

In September 1834 Nelson Dickerson served as foreman of a Murray County jury that found James Graves, a Cherokee, guilty of murder. The former Moravian Mission served as the county courthouse for that trial. Murray County had no jail so Graves was housed in the jail at Cassville while waiting for his sentence to be carried out. He was brought back to Spring Place, November 21, 1834, where he was hanged, earning him the distinction of being the only man ever legally hanged in Murray County.

The 1840 Census listed the Nelson Dickerson family living in Cherokee County, Georgia. That census counted 7 free white persons and 3 slaves (a female under age 23 and 2 males under age 10).

The 1850 Census was the first to list by name all members of a household. It listed the family, living in Cherokee County, as Nelson Dickerson, male, age 57, born in SC; R. Dickerson, female, age 50, born in SC; N. L. Dickerson, male age 18, born in Georgia; and I. C. Dickerson, male, age 12, born in Georgia. Two others were listed living in the household: M. E. Whicher, female, age 15 and Patterson Whicher, male, age 19.

Various sources indicate that Nelson and Rebecca probably had other children who were no longer living at home in 1850. Some contend that the M. E. Whicher listed in the 1850 Census above actually was Mary E. Dickerson.

Family records reveal that Nelson had served in the War of 1812. His son Thomas Evans Dickerson fought with the Canton Volunteers in the Mexican War 1846-47.

The 1860 Census listed Nelson and Rebecca as the only members of their household, still living in Cherokee County. Their son, Nelson Lumpkin Dickerson also was living in Cherokee County when that Census was taken. His household included a female named, Louisa, age 18, who had been born in South Carolina, as well as a 21 year old male who had been born in Georgia, with the unlikely spelling Isereal C. Dickerson. Surely this was Israel–the year of age and place of birth are right.

On the 18th of April, 1861, two of the sons enlisted in the Confederate Army, Company F, 2nd Georgia Infantry Regiment.

The older son, Nelson L. Dickerson, enlisted as a First Sergeant. One year later, he was promoted to Full First Lieutenant, April 28, 1862. Four months later he was promoted to Full Captain, August 30, 1862. He was killed July 3, 1863, at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Israel C. Dickerson died of disease in a military hospital at Richmond, Virginia, May 31, 1862.

The father, Nelson Dickerson, died in the early 1870s, probably in Cherokee County, Georgia. Rebecca died around 1880. Both are buried in Round Hill Cemetery at Cave Spring, Georgia. Their tombstones list only names, no dates.


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