Oak Ridge View Lots



James and Sarah Dixon were real pioneers of the County.  Most of the following information is from the Wright County History by Franklin Curtiss Wedge 1915.  They moved onto the County in the days of savages and wolves.  They experienced hardships, privation, and exposure but with undaunted courage they persevered and became leading people in the community.  James Dixon was born in Ireland, March 22, 1830 a son of Andrew Dixon. At the age of fourteen he went to England then to Scotland. He was twenty when he returned to Ireland.   His twenty first birth day found him enroute to America. He landed in Westchester County New York and worked there for some five years.  On Christmas Day 1854 h was married to Sarah Cochran.  Sarah was born in Ireland, October 55, 1833 and came to the United States with her parents when she was thirteen or fourteen years old. After their marriage they came to St. Paul on April 8, 1855.


When they reached St. Paul Mr. Dixon had $1.00 and Mrs. Dixon $5.00.  For a time he worked in that city then leaving his wife there he came to Frankfort Township and took a claim in Section 32. He built a crude cabin with no floor but trampled earth, and in the fall of 1856 his wife joined him. Their claim of 160 acres was on the Northeast side of Lake Charlotte.  The timbers were full of wolves and wild animals and often when her husband was away, Mrs.  Dixon heard them howl near the cabin. Mr. Dixon like the other early settlers had the back breaking task of clearing land with axe and grub hoe to sow their crops. It was four years before they succeeded in getting a cow.  At one time Mrs. Dixon was so anxious to get some buttermilk the she knit a pair of stockings for Thomas Steele in return for a pail of buttermilk.  During the days of gensing digging, Mrs. Dixon earned money digging the root. Often with the roots selling for 5 cents a pound she earned 20 shillings a day. Harvesting gensing was called sanging.  The Dixons were always friendly to the Indians and the natives treated them with respect.  They often stopped by for food and they sometimes left a side of wild game or a valuable fur. Earl said his Grandfather, Andrew, told him about how the natives tied the tops of weeds together around their house to mark it as a friendly house.


They received a patent for the 160 acres signed by President Abraham Lincoln dated March 1, 1862.  (This160 acres included the present day lots 41-81 of Oak Ridge View). In the spring of 1856 James Sheridan took a claim on the Southeast side of Lake Charlotte in Section 5 of Rockford Township.  Mr. Sheridan’s claim of 77.5 acres included some land between Lake Charlotte and Lake Martha.  Section 5 was part of the Railroad Land Grant and was finally purchased from the railroad by Sheridan in 1864.  James Dixon purchased that land from the Sheridan’s 1874. This77.5 acres included lots 1-40 of Oak Ridge View.  Originally the Dixon’s lived in a log cabin which was about 60 rods (1000 ft.) west of the present farm house.  I believe this would place the location about in the field across the road from Lot 54. (Dennis and Judy Olson’s) They built an 18 room house probably in the late 1860’s at the site of Agnes & Earl’s present house.   By the early1900’s their farm had expanded to 360 acres. Travelers always received a warm welcome at their place and they became known for their hospitality.  The Dixon’s entertained many summer guests and developed into something of a summer resort.

The Dixon’s hired a young lady, Minnie Furtney, to help with the household chores.  Minnie was the daughter of Aaron Furtney. (See Furtney Resort-Girl Scout Camp.)  Minnie married Robert Dixon the son of James and Sarah on July 14, 1897.

James and Sarah Dixon had twelve children.  Four died in infancy.  Those living in 1915 when the Wedge’s history was published were John born 18--, Thomas 1860, William 1868, James 18--, Andrew 1874, Elizabeth 18--,. The year of 1910 brought a great deal of sadness for Sarah Dixon.  Her husband, James the pioneer, died January 31, 1910, son Robert died June 1, 1910 and daughter Mary Louise Forsyth died December 31, 1910.  Sarah, herself, died in 1918 at the age of 85.


The Dixon farm consisted of acres bordering on Lake Charlotte and Martha in both sections 32 in Frankfort Township and Section 5 in Rockford Township.  The transfer of ownership within the family of the two parcels did not always coincide.  We have tract them separately.

Original Dixon Homestead in Section 32 Frankfort Township.

1856 – 1891 James & Sarah Dixon, 1891 – 1926 Andrew & Ruth Dixon,

1926 – 1957 George & Beatrice Dixon, 1957 to date Earl and Agnes Dixon.


Section 5, Rockford Township Purchased from St. Paul & Pacific Railroad.

1856 -1874 James & Eliza Sheridan, 1874 – 1887 James & Sarah Dixon,

1887 - 1893 William Dixon, Single, 1893 – 1921 Andrew & Ruth Dixon,

1921 – 1957 George & Beatrice Dixon, 1957 – to date Earl & Agnes Dixon.

1960 Oak Ridge View lots 1-81 Platted.


The original 18 room house was torn down in 1962 and the present house of Earl and  Agnes Dixon was erected on the same site. Earl lost his left hand in a corn picker accident in 1954 and some fingers of his right hand four years later.