THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Funeral held for respected linen businessman

From the News Letter, December 2, 1879

Gilford, Co Armagh. Picture: Geoffrey Cousins/Lurgan Mail archive
Gilford, Co Armagh. Picture: Geoffrey Cousins/Lurgan Mail archive

The News Letter reported that the remains of Mr James Dickson of Elmfield, Gilford had been removed from his residence for interment in the family burying ground in Banbridge, “amid general expressions of regret of the loss of one who had endeared himself to a wide circle of friends by his genial disposition and kindness of manner”.

Mr Dickson had been born at Glenconway in 1818 and during a long career he had held many important jobs in the linen industry and had gained a worldwide reputation as a businessman.

The News Letter noted that during the American War impetus had been given to the linen industry in Ulster and the companies that Mr Dickson worked for, namely Dunbar, Dickson & Co and Dunbar, McMaster & Co had been the best placed to take advantage of the opportunities then presented.

Later in his career Mr Dickson had become a senior partner in the companies Dickson, Ferguson & Co and Thomas Ferguson & Co of Banbridge.

It was at this time that Mr Dickson began to acquire land in the Gilford area to which he added to “by degrees” until he was in possession of “a very large district” and it was here that he built his mansion, Elmfield. And it was from this house that his body was removed in December 1879 shortly after his death.