John Clayton Dixon, Architect for 200 houses in New Edlington

John Clayton Dixon was born on the 11th of October 1880 in Old Brampton, Derbyshire.  His parents were George Dixon, a farmer who was 24 at the time of his birth, and Martha Dixon, 29. John’s middle name came from his mother’s maiden name, Clayton. John was the eldest of six children: Martha Clayton Dixon who was born around 1882, James Henry Dixon in 1883, Ellen Arlette Dixon in 1885, Florence M Dixon in 1887, and Mercedes Jean Dixon in 1895. When John was 10 the family had a governess, Mabel L Whitaker who was 23. By 1901 Florence M Dixon had moved in with her ageing aunt and uncle, Edward and Sarah Lowe. The rest of the family were living in Brampton Hall in Old Brampton. George still worked as a farmer, and John had begun to work as an architect’s assistant.

By 1904 John Clayton Dixon was probably in Doncaster, as this is when Thomson and Dixon was founded. But, it is not completely certain that he was a part of the company from the very start. By 1911 he was definitely living in Doncaster working as an architect and civil engineer, probably for Thomson and Dixon. By 1916 John was a joint owner of Thomson and Dixon, as a Building and Engineering Contractor.  In 1911 he lived at 66 Cleveland Street, Doncaster as the boarder of 82 year old widow Emma Varley, and her widowed daughter Eliza Cornish, 52. This is in contrast to his partner in the company, Arthur Thomson, who already owned his own home. It is possible John was not yet an owner by 1911, or was the junior partner. Regardless, as Thomson and Dixon’s main architect he probably played a large part in the appearance of the 200 miners houses built around Staveley Street at New Edlington.

Late in 1916 John married Alice Wall who was 12 years his junior. On the 18th November 1918 they had a son, George Victor Dixon. George would go on to work as a builder, presumably for his father. John and Alice had their second son early in 1921, Colin James Dixon. Colin became an R.A.F. sergeant in the Second World War. Colin was killed along with four others at age 20 on 13th July 1941 when his plane crashed over Portugal. He was buried at the St James British churchyard in Porto, Portugal. Czech historian Pavel Vancata, who writes on the 311 Czechoslovakian R.A.F. Squadron, has expressed an interest in the crash on and may have further information. In 1939 the Dixon family lived at 1 Greenfield Lane, Doncaster. They had hired an 18 year old domestic servant, Constance M Watson. Besides John, Alice George and Constance two others lived in the house, but their records remain closed. John Clayton Dixon died at age 76 in 1957.

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