EX-PRECEPTOR DICKSON was born at New Lanark in 1824. He
was brought up in Stanley, and received his schooling there and in Perth. He
began life as a draper's assistant in the city of Perth, where he remained only
a few years. After a short engagement in Glasgow he started business in
Birmingham, but three years later returned to Glasgow, and soon thereafter
joined the firm of M'Lelland & Dickson, wholesale cabinet-makers and
In 1877 the business was sold to Messrs. Cumming & Smith, and Mr. Dickson entered the municipal life of the city as a member of the Town Council for the Twelfth Ward. In November, 1903, he completed a quarter of a century of municipal work. During that period he acted as member or convener of most of the Council's committees, and had the distinction of holding office as a Magistrate for a longer term than anyone before him for fifty years. He was Senior Magistrate in 1887, and thrice refused the honour of the Lord Provost's Chair. He had a chief part in the inception of the Glasgow International Exhibition of 1888, of which he was a vice-chairman, and as Convener of its Finance Committee he was largely to be credited with the undertaking's surplus of £50,000. In the Exhibition of 1901 he filled the same positions, but on account of his advancing years was not able to take so vigorous a share of the work. Among many other institutions in whose management he has taken a share, he is a Director of the Merchants' House and Chamber of Commerce, and was Preceptor of Hutchesons' Hospital from 1892 to 1896, and Chairman of the Western Infirmary for thirteen years. Among outstanding functions in which he has played a chief part were the laying of the foundation of the new police buildings of the Northern district in 1889, and the opening of the new pathological building of the Western Infirmary in 1896. He is a J.P. for Lanarkshire and a J.P. and D.L. for the County of the City of Glasgow.
In recognition of his valuable public services Ex-Preceptor Dickson was entertained at a banquet in the Windsor Hotel in 1896, at which Sir James King, Bart., occupied the chair, and he was presented with his portrait painted by W. Q. Orchardson. In 1903, also, the members of Finnieston U.F. Church presented him with an address on his completion of fifty years of eldership. For many years he regularly attended the General Assembly of the Free Church, and took part in its proceedings. He is a staunch teetotaler, and of his family of six children one married daughter survives.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)