May 15, 1986 – Today is Ida Mae (Cowan) Dixon’s 90th birthday celebrated in Bismarck, North Dakota. Ida’s daughter Jane (Dixon) (Perry) Olson wrote a short biography and introduction for her mother Ida.

(Read Ida’s biography here…)

(L to R) Ida Mae Cowan Dixon Jane Margaret Hanwell Cowan Charles Duffy Cowan John Cowan

(L to R) Ida Mae (Cowan) Dixon, Jane Margaret (Hanwell) Cowan, Charles Duffy Cowan and John Cowan

Ida Mae (Cowan) Dixon’s 90th Birthday Party

A short bio and history presented by Ida’s daughter, Mrs. Jane (Dixon) (Perry) Olson on May 15, 1986 in Bismarck, North Dakota

I’m sure you all know why we are all here today; my Mom, Ida Mae’s 90th birthday party! (Clapp)

I’d like to share a little of her history and memories with you. Mom was born in Arnot, Pennsylvania May 15, 1896 to John and Jane Margaret (Hanwell) Cowan. So she’s really 90 today and holding! (Clapp)

I’m sure she will soon be on NBC’s Willard Scott’s 100th year birthday list! If HE lives that long! (Clapp)

There were four children born to John and Jane (Hanwell). Frank is the first son, then Ida Mae the first daughter, then Charles (Duffy as we remember him as), then Elizabeth, some called her Dolly. And by the way Dolly’s two daughters (Jacqueline Mae (Parks) (Tibesar) Kawamoto and Jane Irene (Parks) Myers) are here today to help us celebrate Mom’s big day! Will Jacque Kawamoto of Hardin, Montana and Janie Myers from Star, Idaho – will you gals stand up? (Clapp)

Going back to the Cowan family; they emigrated from Scotland to Arnot, Pennsylvania. John who was 8 years old, had worked in coal mines in Scotland so he started in the Arnot, Pennsylvania mines. In later years John married Jane Margaret Hanwell. Soon Duffy (or Charles) had a case of Tuberculosis and mining slacked off. Due to Duffy’s illness the doctor in Arnot suggested taking him to “guess where” North Dakota where the air was pure. (Clapp)

So Pa Cowan and Uncle Dodd Hanwell came to check things out in North Dakota. They landed in Wilton, North Dakota. (Clapp) They found work and good air so they went back to bring the families. They all arrived and settled in Chapen, North Dakota – a few miles north of Wilton near the mine. Will the Hanwells please stand up and introduce yourselves? (Clapp) Thanks.

Ma and Pa Cowan (Mom’s mother and father) took on running what was called the “Beanery;” a place where other miners boarded and roomed. Mom helped wait tables, etc. In that crew, Mom met a young handsome man named John Walker Dixon whose family farmed south of Wilton. He had a beautiful horse and buggy, which he started courting Ida Mae in. (Clapp)

Soon John popped the question to be married which was agreed on! July 31, 1913 they took the old Soo line train to Bismarck, North Dakota and were married. They then lived at the Beanery. Mom helped in the Beanery and Dad in the mine. Their dear friends were Reachy – Frank and Marth Dutton – Daughter. (Clapp)

Then along came a sweet gorgeous daughter named Jane – plain Jane – no middle name – just Jane. (Clapp)

I was born at Mrs. Egerton’s home in Wilton, North Dakota June 29th, 1914. (Clapp) Mrs. Egerton was the midwife and Dr. Thompson came with his little black satchel.

I grew and grew being bounced from one miner to another – as they missed their wee ones. Soon Mom and Dad and I moved to Washburn, North Dakota. Dad worked for Old King Coals coal mine about three years. There they met so many people but, the best and closest family was Bert and John Schssarves! (sp?) They had a great family and, one daughter and her husband are with us today. Will Peg and Bob Tagree now living in Burlington, North Dakota please stand up? (Clapp) We love them both.

Two years later we moved to Garrison, North Dakota where Dad managed the Ed Rupp mine. I started school there and went five years many new friends again and one of them are with us today. Loretta Gilfay, will you please stand up? (Clapp) Loretta and I were the best of friends.

Now in Garrison, Mom had her first and only trip to a hospital. She had ruptured appendicitis. Dr. Aynes Stucke took her to Bismarck to the St. Alexius hospital. How about that! In 90 years Mom has only been in a hospital only once!!! (Clapp) (Clapp)

Back in Garrison again and a few years later (in 1925) a son (Jim) was born to Mom and Dad. My only brother. Alma Akin and Dr. Stucke delivered him. (Clapp)

Soon our family moved to Burlington, North Dakota. Dad worked for L.C. Stearn. They settled on the Burlington project. I graduated and moved to Bismarck. Many new friends and good times were had (believe me). Some old friends are with us today. Will Eulue Allen and daughter Judy stand up? (Clapp)

Then our Jim decided to marry Gladys Livingston of Minot, North Dakota. Gladys please stand up. (Clapp) We all love her.

Then Dad was sent to the Quality Lignite coal mine near Sawyer for Mr. Stearns of Minot and Ben Kamins. So many new friends again. It was dubbed “The Hollar” (Clapp) More good times and friendships grew and grew:

Schmidts – Rudy and Emma
Schnabels – Inez and Rueben
Knarrs – Art and Doris
Will the group stand up? (Clapp)

Along the way Jim and Gladys Yvonne (Livingston) Dixon presented us with two beautiful sons, Corey James Dixon and John “Johnny” Edwin Dixon. Corey and family please stand. (Clapp) Aren’t they something – those two little ones!! (Clapp again)

Johnny and his wife were unable to be with us but let’s (Clapp) anyway. We love them so much.

Dad (John Walker Dixon ) passed away in 1963. Then later, Mom stayed with us until she lived with and worked for Harold and Marian Schafer. Later she worked for Bucky and Marian Bertch. Bucky said eleven great years. Bucky will you please stand? (Clapp)

Now Mom is now living at 602 Avenue D East (in Bismarck, North Dakota) alone. She’s great – she’s lovely. My Mom! (Clapp)

Mom, come up please. We all love you! (Clapp) Now it’s your turn to say something.

My lord I forgot my family:

Janice (Perry) Dralle
Ellen and Kit Dralle

Joe and Sandra “Sandy” (Tower) Perry
Paula Perry – Kimberly and Jody

Patricia (Perry) Key
Greg, Chris and Michelle Key (Clapp)


Note: Ida Mae is Jacqueline Mae (Parks) Tibesar’s aunt.

Peter Benedict –> Louis –> Antoine “Anton” –> Pierre –> Michel –> Philippe Tibesar