John Wesley Dixon

and his wife

Sarah Jane Stiarwalt

NOTE: The information printed in this record is spelled as found in the original records. The original photo copies are found in file # 40 and 41. The original file is listed as Dixon, John W. wc-72,253 Co. "I" 77 Ill. Inf.

John Wesley Dixon was born August 16, 1841 in Preble County, Ohio. His father was William D. Dixon and his mother was Lettitia Sutten. Sarah Jane Stiarwalt was born at Uniontown, Illinois in 1846. Her parents were M.R. Stiarwalt, and her mother was Esther (last name unknown). Sarah married John Wesley Dixon on February 26, 1862 in Knox County, Illinois. The following are notes from Sarah's mother and John's father.

Yates City Ill
Feb. 24 /62
Mr. John S. Winter

Sir Please issue mariage licens
for my Daughter Sarah Jane
to marry John W. Dixon and
oblige yours!

Mrs. Esther Starwalt

Yates City Feb 24th 1862
Knox County, Ill.
Mr. John S. Winter

Sir please issue marriage
licens for my son John W.
to marry Sarah J. Stinwaltt
and oblige yours

W. D. Dixon

John and Sarah had two children: George W. Dixon, born October 13, 1862 in Knox County, Ill., and John Wesley Dixon Jr. born July 1, 1864 at Shelbyville Knox Co. Ill.

John Wesley Dixon enlisted in the Union army on December 23, 1863. The muster roll gives the following information: enlisted at Elmwood Ill. for 3 years his eyes are gray and hair dark. His complexion is listed as light and height is 5 ft. 11 inches. He was mustered in at Camp Butler and paid a bounty of $60.

John appears present on the January and February 1864 Company muster. The March and April 1864 shows him absent with the following remarks: "absent sick at New Orleans, La. since Mar. 9' 64. 2nd installment of Bounty-due $40. not-paid past muster." The May and June 1864 Company Muster has the following remarks: "Discharged for disability" from New Orleans, May 11th 1864.

The certificate of disability for discharge states "I certify, that I have carefully examined the said JOHN W DIXON of Lt. Mathews Company and find him incapable of performing the duties of a soldier because of chronic diarrhea with disability 2/3." John died four days later, May 15, 1864 on board a steamboat near Vicksburg, Mississippi.

A widows declaration for pension dated April 18, 1865 states that John W. Dixon was the husband of Sarah and that their knowledge of the identity of her husband with the soldier is derived from "a personal acquaintance for more than six years and lived near neighbors at the time of his enlistment and was present when his CORPSE was brought home and buried."

State of Illinois
Knox County

Thomas C. Matthews
being first duly sworn deposes and says That he was lastly First Lt. of Co. "I" 77th regt Illinois Infantry Vols and was in command of the Co. during all the time that John W. Dixon belonged to said Company that said John W. Dixon was a private soldier in said Company and to the best of my knowledge and belief said Dixon contracted the disease (Measles and chronic diarrhea) of which he afterwards died while he was on his way down the Mississippi River on a Showboat and while he was in The Service. Sworn and subscribed before me this 13th day of February A.D. 1866

Thos C. Mathews
Lt. "I" 77 Ill.

Nelson L. Jay J.P.

The information from a document dated May 1, 1866 CLAIM FOR WIDOW'S PENSION states: affidavit of a fellow private in said Co "I". John W. Dixon as having a good record/ shows though he died of Measles May 15, 1864. See also affidavit of his then 1st Lieutenant. The pension was granted May 1, 1866 of $8 per month commencing May 15, 1864. On October 4, 1866, Sarah filed a claim for an INCREASE OF PENSION. The following documents were submitted.

State of Illinois
Knox County

I, James J. Egan Clerk
of the county court in and for said county do hereby certify that Sarah J. Dixon who I certify to be knowed ... and entitled to credit, this day appeared before me, and after being duly sworn upon her oath says that her age is twenty one years that she is the widow of John W. Dixon deceased, who was late a private in Co. "I" of the 77th regt Ill inft. Vols. That she has two children who are also the children of the said John W. Dixon, that both of said children are under the age of sixteen years. That their names and ages are as follows, George W. Dixon was born October 13th 1862, and John W. Dixon was born July 1, 1864. That her said deceased husband left no minor children by a former marriage, that the reason that he never was married to any other than this affiant. That she has not married since the death of her husband, no ..... the support of her said children or either of them, nor permitted either of them to be adopted by any person or persons, and that the said two children aboved named are the only ligament children of herself and her deceased husband now living. That the No. of her pension claim is No. 72.253, that both of said children are now living with and supported by her.

Sarah Dixon

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 7th day of March 1867

James J. Egan Clerk

State of Illinois
Knox County

I, Thomas L. Long,
a justice of the peace within and for said county. Do hereby certify that on this day, personally appeared before me, Dr. Hensley, who I certify is a respectable, practicing Physician residing in Yates City in said county. Who after being duly sworn upon his oath testified as follows. "I am acquainted with Sarah J. Dixon, widow of John W. Dixon, deceased. That I was her attending physician when her last child John W. Dixon, was born and that the said child John W. Dixon was born on the 1st day of July 1864, and is now alive, and so is her other child, George W. Dixon. I am now attending on the sister of the said Sarah J. Dixon who is sick, and the said Sarah J. Dixon and her two children are living with her said sick sister, and her husband. I have no interest in any pension that the said Sarah J. Dixon may received from the United States, by reason of the service and death of the said John W. Dixon, deceased."

J.W. Hensley M.D.

Sworn to and subscribed before my this 2nd day of April 1867

T. L. Long J.P.


Supplemental to case in which certificate No. 72.253 was issued May 7, 1866.

Brief in the case of Sarah J. Dixon widow of John W. Dixon Priv Co. "I" 77 Ills. Vols.
Resident of Knox County and State of Illinois.
Post Office address: Yates City, Ills.

Date of Marriage of Parents: Feb 26, 1862

Names and dates of birth of children
Geo W. Dixon, born Oct 13, 1862
John W. Dixon Jr. , born July 1, 1864

Proof of ages: by persons present

Issue certificate for 8.00 dollars per month, commencing May 15, 1864 and two dollars per month additional for each of the above-named children, commencing 25 day of July, 1866, deducting former payments.

Geo. W. Taylor, examiner.
Passed April 12, 1867

Yates City
Knox Co.
State of Illinois
August 3rd, 1873

J. W. Baker
Commissioner of Pensions

Dear Sir,
I here with enclose your certificate for increase of pension under act......3rd 1873. Will you please make the necessary alteration. Return to my address Post office as above and oblige very
Respectfully yours,

Sarah J Dixon

(Pensioner Dropped.)
U.S. Pension Agency
Chicago Ill.
July 1, 1883

Wm. W. Dudley
Commissioner of Pensions

I hereby report that the name of Sarah J. DIXON, widow who was a pensioner on the rolls of this agency under Certificate No. 72253 and who was last paid at $8 to 31 Dec 1882 has been dropped because of REMARRIAGE.

Very respectfully,

Ada C. Sweet
pension agent

The following information comes from William Lynn Dixon, grandson of John Wesley Dixon .

"Several years later my grandmother Dixon married Mr. Andrew Jacobs, a carpenter in Yates City; hence, she was always known to us as Grandma Jacobs. I can remember that she was affectionately called 'Doll' because of her delicate doll-like features. I can remember her as being very slender and frail, not over five feet tall. She died in Yates City, Illinois in about 1917. I attended her funeral in the Yates City Methodist Church. The street in Yates City on which her house still stands is names Dixon Street."

The above paragraph was written March 22, 1983 by William Lynn Dixon, the grandson of Sarah Jane Stiarwalt Dixon Jacobs. In July, 1987 I was able to obtain a photo of John Wesley Dixon's grave stone. He is buried in the Elmwood cemetery at Yates City, Illinois. The marker is a white slab standing about three feet tall and eighteen inches wide. It has a shield cut into the face with the following:


Next to the stone is a five pointed star mounted on a rod, that looks like it is made of iron, and in the center are the words CIVIL WAR.

Click to enlarge

Thanks for reading this, and if you see some area of connection please let me know.

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