Thaddeus Delmore Dixon was born March 18, 1871 in West Virginia’s Greenbrier Valley, six short years after the conclusion of the Civil War. The Dixon family operated a large farm in the Greenbrier Valley, with the main commodity being free-range livestock. At the tender age of ten, Thaddeus met Emmeline Mae Shepard, daughter of a local merchant. At the age of twenty-one, on June 14, 1892, Thaddeus would marry Emma Mae. Upon the death Thaddeus’s father, Everett Cecil Dixon, Thaddeus inherited the family in November 1894.
Thaddeus and Emma Mae lived a peaceful life in the Greenbrier Valley utilizing the land for most of their sustenance. In their Greenbrier Valley community, Emma Mae was soon recognized for her wild blackberry pies. After struggling to conceive for many years, Emma Mae gave birth to Ida June on June 2, 1899 and two years later, to Everett Arlo on January 14, 1901. The family planned to continue their peaceful lives on the family land for generations to come.
However, fate would change their lives. In 1906, the Meadow River Lumber Company chose the Greenbrier Valley as the base of operations for timbering. The company sought public and private lands for its timber resources and soon became the largest land owner in Greenbrier Valley. The Dixon family, feeling “squeezed” by this pervasive neighbor, eventually sold their farm and homeplace to the Meadow River Lumber Company. Dixon realized that the changing landscape and economy was not conducive to traditional, family-operated agriculture.
After selling the Greenbrier Valley land, the Dixon family moved in 1912 to Hominy Falls, located in Nicholas County, West Virginia. The family purchased a small parcel of land and the family found life in Hominy Falls was much like it was in pre-industrial Greenbrier Valley. Emma Mae would once again renowned for her wild blackberry pies. Selling the land also gave the Dixon family a generous amount of money. This new affluence meant that Thaddeus no longer needed to work. Thaddeus then begins spending his time exploring the Appalachian Mountains. He was constantly pulling his spectacles out of his shirt pocket to examine, more closely, natural objects. Appropriately, residents gave him his eventual nickname of “Specs”.
Thaddeus’s daughter, Ida June, married coal miner Clyde Judson Morgan, and later gave birth to Anna Mae Morgan and Zachariah Wade Morgan. Thaddeus’s son, Everett, operated a successful general store in Hominy Falls and in due course married Hazel Josette Tucker. The couple had a son, Abbott Shepard Dixon. Thaddeus Dixon, when not exploring the mountains that he loved, spent the rest of his days telling his beloved grandchildren about the bygone days and life in Greenbrier Valley. Thaddeus lived a happy and peaceful life. He died on October 27, 1948 and was buried under a sugar maple tree on the family homeplace in Hominy Falls. Emma Mae died shortly thereafter, on February 11, 1950, and was buried next to her husband.