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William Eugene Dickinson papers

Identifier: MS-048

Content Description

The papers are mainly about William Eugene Dickinson's military service in the Philippines during the Spanish America War.

The Correspondence series, 1893-1901, includes letters primarily to and from William E. Dickinson. The majority of the letters were written during Dickinson’s service in Manilla, in the Philippines during the Spanish – American War. Most of the correspondence relates the day-to-day activities of life at home and wishes for Dickinson’s well- being and safe return. Dickinson’s letters home relay some details about life in the military but provide little information about the war itself. There are several invitations for functions held by family and friends.

The Military Documents series, 1899-1941, contains official papers relating to Dickinson’s pension. The sub-series of Correspondence concerns Dickinson’s request for a pension and his induction into the Medical Corps in 1918. In this series, there are several of Dickinson’s pension certificates and discharge papers from the US Army and the South Dakota National Guard. Also included is a document in which the President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, appoints Dickinson a Captain of the Medical Corps; however, the document is not signed by the President.


  • Creation: 1893 - 1901
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1898 - 1899


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research without restriction. Researchers are advised to contact the Archives and Special Collections prior to visiting. Advance notice may be needed to retrieve items for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers must obtain a signed Permission to Publish Form if they wish to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information from published and unpublished works held by ASC. Permission to reproduce, broadcast, or otherwise disseminate information materials from ASC does not constitute permission from the holder of copyright or literary rights. The researcher is responsible for securing permission from the copyright holder to publish or reproduce content from materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

William Eugene Dickinson was the son of Henry Alonzo Dickinson and Ellen Gage Dickinson. Henry Alonzo Dickinson was born on August 15, 1854 in Sabula, Iowa. Ellen Gage was born on June 12, 1858 in Ogle County, Illinois. They were married at Grundy County, Iowa on October 14, 1876. They came to Dakota Territory in 1879 and lived in Dakota for the rest of their lives, except for four years during which they lived in Vancouver, Washington. Henry and Ellen had four children, William Eugene, Herbert (also known as “Bert”), Frank and Shirley. Ellen Dickinson died in the influenza epidemic of 1918 and Henry Dickinson died in 1932.

William Eugene Dickinson was born on October 22, 1877 in Montrose, McCook County, Dakota Territory. Dickinson attended Sioux Falls Washington High School for three years before serving in the Spanish – American War as a private in Company B, 1st South Dakota Infantry. After the war, Dickinson attended Sioux Falls College and then Medical School at the University of Nebraska.

On September 23, 1885 Dickinson married Pearl Ruby Phillips. The couple’s only son, John Henry, was born on June 13, 1904. After the birth of his son, Dickinson set up his medical practice in Canistota, South Dakota. In 1928, Dickinson went to Tulane Medical School in New Orleans to receive psychiatric training. He returned to Canistota in 1930 and continued his practice until poor health forced him to retire. William E. Dickinson died in 1945.


.5 Linear Feet (1 document box)

Language of Materials



The papers are mainly about William Eugene Dickinson's military service in the Philippines during the Spanish America War.


The William Eugene Dickinson Papers consist of two series: Correspondence and Military Documents.

William Eugene Dickinson papers
Anne Hinseth
2000 June
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the USD Archives and Special Collections Repository