Edward Edwin Dawson (1893 - 1984)

10-7. Edward Edwin Dawson was born 5 September 1893 in Cozad, Dawson Co., NE. He married Bessie May Swartz 27 March 1918 in Monroeville, Allen Co., IN. Bessie's father Daniel Swartz was a farmer. Edward and Bessie had five children Daniel, Glenola, Audrey, Delmar and Archie. Edward was a farmer and carpenter. When World War I broke out, in 1917, farmers were exempt from the service and Edward wasn't required to serve. After their marriage Edward continued to work with his father on the family farm.

In 1919 Bessie's father, Daniel, bought a farm in Pendleton, Madison Co., IN and Edward and Bessie moved to help him on the farm, since he had all daughters. They were there until 1922 when some dispute occurred between Daniel and Edward. This has been the source of many family stories and speculation since Edward and Bessie refused to speak about it. I am sure the economic stress of the depression made life and family relations very difficult. They merely packed up their family and moved to Cozad, Dawson Co., NE where Edward's sister Audrey lived.

Finding work was difficult during the depression and Edward was very resourceful and hardworking. He left his family in Cozad and went to the mountains of Colorado to raise lettuce. The crops failed and in 1924 Edward took his family to Canada looking for prosperity. They moved to Vancouver, British Columbia by train. They were able to only take a few belongings, but Bessie had carefully packed her china and was deeply saddened when it was damaged during the trip. Edward worked as a carpenter, while in Vancouver, building houses.

Their home was 2 miles from school so the children would ride in a covered wagon. In the wintertime there was a pot bellied stove in the wagon to keep them warm and the children would all have to take turns sitting by the fire. When the housing market would slow down Edward cut ice from the Saskatchewan River. The workers would cut chucks of ice out of the river with a hand saw, and then the trains would stop and pick up the ice to keep their ice boxes cold. Bessie would also leave to find work.

When the hops where in season she would take the younger children by train to the countryside to go pick hops. Audrey was expected to take care of Delmar and Archie while their mother was working. She has expressed great frustration in this task. Glenola was always helping her mother and learning how to cook and household chores. Audrey was sent outside with two rowdy boys. During one of their rowdy episodes, she was kicked in the hip by a horse. This lead to lifelong pain and eventually a hip replacement. The family returned to the United States in 1937.

Daniel Swartz had again bought a farm in Rensselaer, Jasper Co., IN and Edward and Bessie returned to help him on the farm. Edward bought adjacent land and opened a small grocery store. He continued working as a carpenter and was very successful at building houses. They remained in Rensselaer until 1953 when they retired in Deland, Fl. Edward continued to work as a carpenter part-time for many years. Edward died 4 October 1984 and Bessie died 11 March 1969 in Deland, FL. They are buried in Memorial Gardens in Deland, Volusia Co, FL.

Sources: Glenola Rogers, Audrey Alexander, Dewey Dawson " The J.E. Dawson Family"

Edward's Documentation    Edward's Family Tree
Bessie's Documentation     Bessie's Family Tree
Edward Edwin Dawson
Bessie May Swartz

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