Dickey was born on October 18, 1823, probably in Grayson County. He was the son of James Dickey and his first wife, Elizabeth Bourne Dickey. Late in the 1840s he married Martha Hale. They had at least two daughters and one son. Dickey owned nearly 300 acres of land near the courthouse in the town of Independence and was identified as a farmer both before and after the Civil War. He also worked at the county courthouse as clerk of court in 1851. He may have remained at home working his farm during the Civil War. In July 1866 Dickey petitioned the governor to commute the death sentence of an African American to life imprisonment, on the grounds he did not receive a fair trial because of the prejudices of some civil officers of the county court.
By the end of the century, Dickey and his wife had moved into the household of one of their married daughters in Independence. Dickey died on January 28, 1903, and was buried in the Independence town cemetery.
October 18, 1823 - William R. Dickey is born, probably in Grayson County.
Late 1840s - William R. Dickey and Martha Hale marry. They will have at least three children.
1851 - William R. Dickey works as a clerk of court at the Grayson County courthouse.
July 1866 - William R. Dickey petitions the governor to commute the death sentence of an African American to life imprisonment, on the grounds he did not receive a fair trial due to racial prejudice.
October 22, 1867 - William R. Dickey is elected to represent Carroll, Floyd, and Grayson counties at the Constitutional Convention of 1867–1868.
1868 - William R. Dickey sells land for the establishment of an African American school in Independence, Grayson County.
April 17, 1868 - William R. Dickey votes against the majority, which adopts a new state constitution.
1876 - William R. Dickey forms a partnership to open a mine in Grayson County.
July 1889–April 1893 - William R. Dickey serves as postmaster of Independence, Grayson County.
January 28, 1903 - William R. Dickey dies in Independence, Grayson County.
Cite This Entry
- APA Citation:
Tarter, B., & the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. William R. Dickey (1823–1903). (2015, July 7). In Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved from http://www.EncyclopediaVirginia.org/Dickey_William_R_1823-1903.
- MLA Citation:
Tarter, Brent and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. "William R. Dickey (1823–1903)." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 7 Jul. 2015. Web. READ_DATE.
First published: July 1, 2015 | Last modified: July 7, 2015