October 31 1917

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Wednesday Night

Oct. 31–1917


My dear Papa[1]-

            We are getting on all right down here still though it has turned considerably cooler and the auto robe[2] that Mary[3] sent helps out a great deal at night.

            I got your card and was so glad to hear from you in your own hand-writing again and hope you will write me a line or so whenever you feel like it.  I appreciate so much your buying and putting away for me the Liberty Bond.[4]  It is a great help to me away from home like this to be thought of in this way.  The Bond will help me out when I get out of the war for I must make a start all over again then.  I enjoy very much the Edenton and Norfolk papers which come regularly.  Brownie[5] came over to see me last night and brought the candy from Mary B.2 cigarettes from Minton[6] and a bottle of wine from Uncle Dick.[7]  Please thank them all for me.  It was too bad than brownie was delayed in getting home and after all didn’t get there for the dance.

            All of the officers in this Regiment[8] were given an examination last night by the General.[9]  It was unusually hard and embodies some questions that we hadn’t been over at all.  I do not think I made a very good mark but did as good as the other officers and am quite sure I passed all right.

            Lt. Rodman Guion[10] has been sick for 3 weeks with grippe[11] and his Father and Mother came Monday and took him back home to recuperate.  They were afraid that he might have pneumonia as he insisted on going out and working.

            I hope Mac[12] made money selling “hot dogs” at the fair.

            With love to you all





Minton Hughes Dixon, Sr., “Papa” or “Judge” (1849-1923)

Father of Richard Dillard, George Brownrigg, MacDonald, Mary Elizabeth, and Elizabeth MacDonald Dixon.  Prominent merchant in Edenton, North Carolina.  Served as a Justice of the Peace, Recorder’s Court Judge, and city councilman.  Married Sallie Dillard (1860-1910) in 1886.

auto robe[2]

Another name for a driver’s robe, an early twentieth century wardrobe specially designed for early automobile drivers.  See an example from the Smithsonian Postal Museum, link:  https://postalmuseum.si.edu/collections/object-spotlight/drivers-lap-robe.html

Mary [3]

Mary Beverly Dixon, “Mary Beverly” or “Mary B.” or “Mary” (1886-1959)

Elder sister of Richard Dillard Dixon.  Never married, and lived her entire life in Edenton, North Carolina.


George Brownrigg Dixon, “Brownie” (1896-1953)

Younger brother of Richard Dillard Dixon.  Attended UNC-Chapel Hill from 1914 to 1916, where he belonged to the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.  Went into the wholesale grocery business with his older brother, Minton Hughes Jr., in Plymouth, North Carolina from 1916 to 1917.  Enlisted in the North Carolina National Guard on May 25, 1917.  Due to his college experience, selected for officer’s training on December 27, 1917.  Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 119th Infantry, Dixon resigned for mysterious reasons on March 27, 1918.  About two months later, he reenlisted, this time in the Marine Corps.  After completing basic training at Parris Island, served at the New York Marine Corps Barracks in New York City.  Reached the rank of corporal.  Never left the United States during his military service.  After his discharge from the Marines in February 1919, moved to Suffolk, Virginia to work as a manager for Winborne & Company, a wholesale grocer.  Later became a salesman for the local peanut growers’ association in Norfolk, Virginia.  Ultimately returned to Suffolk, where he worked as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Benthall Machine Company, a firm that manufactured peanut harvesters, until his death.


Minton Hughes Dixon, Jr., “Minton” (1893-1960)

Younger brother of Richard Dillard Dixon.  Attended UNC-Chapel Hill from 1910 to 1911.  Worked as a salesman for his father from 1911 to 1916.  Moved to Plymouth, North Carolina in 1916 and opened a wholesale grocer with his younger brother, George Brownrigg Dixon.  Called up by the draft, Dixon enlisted in the US Navy in Norfolk, Virginia on December 13, 1917.  He became the Chief Storekeeper at the Naval Ammunition Depot, Mine Plant Barracks, Portsmouth, Virginia.  He continued in this role after a transfer to the Naval Training Camp in Pelham Bay Park, New York.  Never left the United States during his military service.  After his discharge on January 5, 1919, Dixon returned to Edenton, where he worked as an office manager for a cotton and peanut commodities broker.  Upon his father’s death in 1923, Dixon assumed control of the family mercantile business.     

Uncle Dick[7]

Richard Dillard, “Uncle Dick” (1857-1928)

Maternal Uncle, and namesake, of Richard Dillard Dixon.  Physician and noted author from Edenton, North Carolina.  Biography included in the North Carolina Dictionary of Biography, link:  http://www.ncpedia.org/biography/dillard-richard.


113th Field Artillery.


George Grant Gatley, (1868-1931). 

Brigadier general.  Born in Maine, Gatley graduated from West Point in 1890.  Fought in the Philippine-American War and the Mexican Expedition against Pancho Villa as an artillery officer.  Sent to Camp Sevier as the original commander of the 55th Field Artillery Brigade, which included the 113th Field Artillery.  However, in July 1918, Gatley took command of an artillery brigade in the 42th Division, which he led through the war.  Served in the army until his death in 1931.  

Lt. Rodman Guion[10]

William Blount Rodman Guion, “Rodman” or “Guion” (1889-1959)

A member of the extended Rodman Family, his grandfather was North Carolina Supreme Court Justice William Blount Rodman, Guion earned a law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1910 and practiced in New Bern, North Carolina.  Inducted into federal service from the North Carolina National Guard, entered the army as a 1st Lieutenant.  Promoted to captain on September 24, 1918.  Served mostly as an artillery instructor.  After the war, returned to practice with his brother, John Amos Guion.


Another name for influenza.  Derived from the French term gripper, or “seize.”


MacDonald Dixon, “Mack” or “MCD” or “Mac” (1897-1984)

Younger brother of Richard Dillard Dixon.  Attended UNC-Chapel Hill from 1915 to 1916.  Returned to Edenton, where he worked for his father.  Did not serve in World War I.  After his marriage in 1939, moved to Elizabeth City, North Carolina where he worked as a fuel oil dealer for Sinclair Oil Company until his retirement to Nags Head, North Carolina in the mid-1960s.