LEWIS A. DAWSON is a member of the well known firm of Dawson Brothers, of Herrin, whose connection with mercantile enterprises here has been continuous and somewhat varied during the past decade. Their present business has developed into one of the extensive feed and flour houses in Williamson county, and the personnel of the firm comprises Lewis A. and his brother John M. Dawson. The brothers are both indigenous to the soil of Franklin county. Lewis A. Dawson was born on a farm near Christopher, Illinois, January 27, 1864, and John M. was born on the same estate November 8, 1871. They are sons of Allen Dawson, who became identified with the region of Franklin county before the dominion of Williamson was set off from it. Allen Dawson was born in the state of Alabama in 1822 and he accompanied his father, Arfax Dawson, to Illinois about the year 1835. The family on its arrival in this state located near what subsequently became Christopher, where Allen died in 1877. His life was devoted to agriculture and the rearing of his family, and his public service embraced the incumbency of the office of county commissioner of Franklin county, to which position he was elected as a Democrat.
Arfax Dawson, just after the close of the Civil war, decided to remove with a portion of his family to Texas, the journey being made by wagon and team. Texas was then dangerous ground for a man from the north to tread upon without military protection, as Mr. Dawson discovered when nearing Dallas, In the vicinity of that city he was set upon by rebel sympathizers, who presumed that he was arrayed against them during the war, and they murdered him upon some pretext. His family remained in Dallas county and a number of his descendants are still inhabitants of that section of the state. The Dawsons were natives of Alabama and of course entertained southern ideas and the same political sentiment. None of the sons of Arfax participated in the war of the rebellion. His children were Allen, Ephraim, George, Judy and Catherine. Allen Dawson married Mary Vaughn, and the Dawson Brothers of this sketch are members of a family of thirteen children.
Lewis A. and John M. Dawson both grew up under the invigorating influence of the old homestead farm and they acquired their somewhat limited educational training in the neighboring district schools. They left the farm to engage in business in Herrin in the year 1900, and Lewis A. gained his first experience along mercantile lines as a clerk for his brother, C. C. Dawson, engaged in the grocery business in this city. Discovering an opening for an exclusive feed business in Herrin, he associated himself with his present partner and opened a store at the corner of Jackson and Mulberry streets, where their place of business, two hundred by forty feet in lateral dimensions, contains their feed mill and carload stocks of feed and flour. They manufacture all their feed stuff, save bran, are heavy shippers of corn to Herrin to meet the demand of this industrial community, and their flour comes to them in lots of ten cars, which they job out to dealers in Herrin and the country normally tributary thereto. Recently the brothers have added implements to their stock in trade and this department promises a favorable return for the money and effort expended. As previously intimated, the Dawson brothers are stanch Democrats in their political adherency.
On February 14, 1886, was solemnized the marriage of Lewis A. Dawson to Miss Margaret Dial, a daughter of Minyard Dial. Mr. and Mrs.
Dawson became the parents of four children, of whom Basil is deceased. Bessie and Nellie remain at home with their parents and Rolly is engaged as office man in the Dawson Brothers' store.
John M. Dawson married Miss Etta Whiteside, a daughter of Frank Whiteside, of Herrin. This union has been prolific of three children _ Kenneth, Helen and Joe Vaughn. The Dawson Brothers rank among the most prominent citizens of Herrin, where they are ever on the alert to do all in their power to advance progress and development. They are honored for their fair and straightforward business dealings and hold a high place in the confidence and esteem of their fellow men.