Biography of William W. Dawson
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

WILLIAM WARREN DAWSON, who is engaged in the practice of law in the City of Cleveland, with office in the Leader-News Building, is a native son of Ohio and a representative of a family whose name has not only been identified with the history of the Buckeye State since the pioneer days, but with the annals of the nation since the Colonial era, the first members of the Dawson family in this country having settled in Virginia long prior to the War of the Revolution.

William Warren Dawson was born at Wooster, Wayne County, Ohio, on the 2nd of March, 1892, and in Milton Township, that county, was born his father, Rev. William Dawson, the year of whose nativity was 1851. Archibald Dawson, father of Rev. William Dawson, likewise was born in Wayne County, where his father settled in the early pioneer days. The father of Archibald Dawson was born and reared in Virginia, moved thence to Kentucky, and in 1812 came to the new state of Ohio and became one of the first settlers in Wayne County, where he instituted the reclamation of a productive farm in the midest of the forest wilds, he having continued his residence in that county until his death, as did also his wife, whose maiden name was Jemima Burres and who likewise was born in Virginia, both she and her hubsand having died at venerable ages.

Archibald Dawson was reared under the conditions and influences that marked the pioneer period in the history of Wayne County, and there he continued his active association with farm industry until 1885, when he moved to Missouri, purchased a farm property in the central part of the state, and there remained until his death, as did also his wife, whose maiden name was Harriet Chambers.

Reared on the home farm and afforded the advantages of the public schools of his native county, Rev. William Dawson thereafter advanced his education by attending Baldwin University, and in this institution he was graduated. He was later ordained a clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He held various pastoral charges in Ohio, and continued his earnest and consecrated work in the ministry until the close of his life, his death having occurred in 1907. His widow, who now resides at Brecksville, Cuyahoga County, was born at Mansfield, Ohio, and her maiden name was Mary E. Nail. She is a daughter of Samuel Nail, who likewise was born in Richland County and who was a son of Henry Nail and Catherine (Lewis) Nail, both natives of Pennsylvania, where the former was born in Washington County, he having been a patriot soldier in the War of the Revolution. Henry Nail became one of the pioneer settlers in Richland County, Ohio, where he reclaimed a farm from the forest and where he and his wife passed the remainder of their lives.

Samuel Nail was reared and educated in Richland County, there served an apprenticeship to the carpenter's trade, and he became a successful contractor and builder, besides which, in his young manhood, he made a record of effective service as a teacher in the Ohio schools, principally during the winter terms in the district schools. He long maintained his residence in Madison Township, Richland County, and there his death occurred, as did also that of his wife, whose maiden name was Jane Peters and who was born in the State of New Jersey. Rev. William and Mary E. (Nail) Dawson became the parents of four children who attained to years of maturity and who survive the honored Mather, namely: Charles A., Archibald N., Mabel A. and William W. Dr. Archibald N. Dawson, the second son, was graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University, at Delaware, and from the medical department of Western Reserve University, at Cleveland, he being now successfully established in the practice of his profession.

William Warren Dawson gained his early education in public schools of the various places where his father held pastoral charges, and he thereafter advanced his education by a thorough course in Ohio Wesleyan University, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1914, and from which he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Thereafter he gave his attention to the study of law until there came to him a higher duty, when the nation became involved in the World war. In 1917 Mr. Dawson enlisted in the United States Army, with Company F, Third Regiment of the Ohio National Guard, he having later become a member of the One Hundred and Sixty sixth United States Infantry, with which command he went to France in October, 1917. There he was assigned to detached duty at general headquarters of the American Expeditionary Forces, and there he continued in service until the armistice brought the war to a close. He returned home in July, 1919, and shortly afterward received his honorable discharge at Camp Dix, New Jersey, he having received promotion to the rank of first lieutenant.

After the close of his service in the World war, Mr. Dawson continued his studies in the law department of Western Reserve University until his graduation as a member of the class of 1921, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. He was forthwith admitted to the bar of his native state, and has since continued in the general practice of law in the City of Cleveland, where he is making a record of specially successful professional achievement. Mr. Dawson is a member of the University Club, the Cleveland Grays and the American Legion, and is affiliated with college fraternities.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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