Biography - Robert Dinwiddie

ROBERT A. DINWIDDIE was born in Henry County, Tenn., in 1849 and is now a prominent citizen of Tunnel Hill Township, Johnson County. His father, W. C. Dinwiddie, a farmer of the same county, was born in 1823, and was a son of James and Polly (Carson) Dinwiddie, the former from Virginia. Dinwiddie Court House was named after Governor Dinwiddie, a relative. The mother was from Christian County, Ky. These grandparents were wealthy planters and the landed estate is still in the family. The grandfather bought up large tracts of land, which he left to four sons and one daughter, of whom William C., the father of Robert A., was the third child and son in order of birth. The grandfather died in 1860, at the age of eighty-two, and was one of the pioneers of Virginia, also one of the ardent supporters of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of that State. He was a soldier in the War of 1812 and in the later Indian wars, distinguishing himself in a number of battles. He was twice married, his last wife being the one named above.
The mother of Robert A. Dinwiddie was a Miss Helen Dillahunty, of the same county, whose father, James Dillahunty, was of French ancestry, and his wife was Miss Luzana Greer, of Davidson County, Tenn. W. C. Dinwiddie was a farmer and lived and died on his own farm of over one thousand acres, as did also his amiable wife. They buried two daughters in early childhood, and reared two sons and two daughters, viz: Robert A.; Tabitha, wife of J. L. Ridley, of Tennessee; Sallie H., wife of George T. Ridley, also of Tennessee; and James O., a farmer in the same State. The mother died December 25, 1882, at the age of fifty-four, and the father followed, as above narrated.
Robert A. was reared on the farm and received his education in the district schools, although some of the family attended school in Bethel College at McKenzie, a prominent town in antebellum days, but now a deserted village. Our subject left home and school at the age of twenty years, going to McKenzie, where he engaged as a clerk in a general merchandising establishment, and remained there over one year. He was next a traveling salesman for the drug house of Ewing, Pendleton & Co., and traveled some four years, when he returned home to the farm. He managed his father's farm for three years, and came to Illinois in the spring of 1883, arriving at Cairo at the time of the great flood. He at first engaged as salesman in a house handling crockery, queen's ware, etc., and remained with them two years, at which time he next engaged as traveler for a New York company at Cairo, covering southern Illinois, and part of Kentucky and Tennessee. While on one of his trips in this part of the State he met Miss Emma Beauman, daughter of Dorrick F. Beauman, whose sketch is elsewhere in this volume, and was married to her October 15, 1890, at the church in Tunnel Hill, by the Rev. Mr. Dee. a Methodist clergyman. In September, 1890, he went into business with his father-in-law, and is still in that connection. Mr. Dinwiddle is a Democrat in politics, and is respected and liked by all who know him.

Extracted 16 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 609-610.

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