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John Quincy Dickinson


Banker and saltmaker John Quincy Dickinson (November 20, 1831-November 26, 1925) was born in Bedford County, Virginia. During the Civil War he enlisted in Company A of the Second Virginia Cavalry, commanded by his brother, Capt. Henry Clay Dickinson. In 1864, he was captured near Greene Court House, Virginia, and kept prisoner at Fort Delaware until the end of the war.

In 1865, Dickinson came to the Kanawha Valley and began repairing the family’s salt works, which had been established by his grandfather, William Dickinson Sr., in 1832. They had been rendered inoperable due to damage caused by the great flood of 1861 and by the Union Army. Dickinson, with his father, William Dickinson Jr., brother Henry Clay Dickinson, and others, established the Kanawha Valley Bank in 1867. He succeeded his father as the bank’s president in 1882, serving until 1925. Under his leadership the bank became the largest financial institution in Charleston. At about the time the bank was established he moved to the farm at present Quincy. He lived there and in Malden until 1893, when he moved to Charleston.

Dickinson acquired extensive holdings of coal, gas, and oil properties in Boone, Kanawha, Fayette, and Raleigh counties. He was directly interested in enterprises in 28 states, Cuba, and the Philippines. He was the first director of the West Virginia Bankers Association (1894) and the Kanawha Coal Operators Association (1904).

John Quincy Dickinson died at his Charleston home.

Written by Gerald S. Ratliff


  1. Drennen, Bill. One Kanawha Valley Bank: A History. Charleston: 2001.

  2. Miller, Thomas Condit, and Hu Maxwell. West Virginia and Its People vol. 2. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing, 1913.

  3. J. Q. Dickinson Loses Battle Against Death. Charleston Gazette, 11/27/1925.