P .D. served in the Mexican-American
War --1847-1849 before becoming a 49er. Records show he was mining with
brothers and cousins on the Trinity River in 1850 and arrived by ship in
San Francisco in 1852. An ardent abolitionist and friend of John Brown.
he returned to Arkansas Territory where he married Cynthia Ann Pettit.
During the next six years he was active with Brown. With one son and another
on the way, anticipation of the Civil War caused PD and Cynthia to migrate
to California; their second son was born in the Wyoming Territory. The
three boys were born after their arrival in California:
|Alfred Jefferson||b. Nov 16, 1855||d. Feb 13, 1928|
|Richmond Clayton||b. 1860||m. Lillie Bowser|
|Robert Allison||b. 1863||d. 1898||m. Ella Victoria Parsons|
|Pleasant Dixon Jr.||b. 1865||Cattle rancher|
|David Lattimer||b. 1867||Cattle rancher and
barber shop in Red Bluff
After his arrival in California, PD invested in land in Tehama Co. and started a school on the property In 1868, he started a harness and saddlery in Cottonwood and purchased land along the Sacramento River in Shasta Co. and acquired the Adams Daingerfield Ferry later known as the Logan Ferry. PD invented the world's first traction engine to bring logs to the Sacramento River and to power the ferry. R.R. Wise invested in the business; they built the engines for five years; then Holt and Gregg who had the brick-works in Anderson became involved. They took the machinery and patents to Stockton and started Caterpiller Tractor. After a flood wiped out his ferry and other equipment PD returned to ranching with his sons, taking part in community activities and his men's service clubs. He lived in the family home on Cow Creek until his death in Cottonwood Feb 28, 1899. Pauline survived another two years.
Source: Shasta Historical Society - May 2000