MICHIGAN TRAILS -
GENEALOGY and HISTORY
Luren D. Dickinson was but a year old when in 1860 his parents settled in Eaton County, where he has since lived. He supplemented his early educational training, received in the district schools, by study in the Charlotte high school and for nineteen years he engaged in teaching during the winter seasons and at one time was principal of the Potterville high school. On the 16th of October, 1888, he married Zora D. Cooley, daughter of William T. and Catherine (Nissley) Cooley, who had come to Michigan from Ohio. They reared an adopted daughter, now deceased.
Mr. Dickinson has long been interested in farming, fruit growing and stock raising and is also associated with business interests of the city as a stockholder in the First National Bank of Charlotte and the Duplex Truck Company of Lansing and Charlotte. He resides on the home farm near the latter city and is a member the Charlotte Grange. Public interests and activities have always shared his time with personal affairs. Long an earnest member in the Eaton Methodist Episcopal Church, he is serving as one of its trustees and has eight times been elected to the General or World’s Conference of the church and was a member of the Inter-Church Commission of the Two Methodisms. He is likewise vice president of the Men’s Work Commission of the Methodist Episcopal Church of America and was for four years president of the Laymen’s Association of the Methodist Church of the World. His humanitarian spirit has found expression in his service as state chairman of the Near East Relief work since the World War.
In political circles he has long been an outstanding figure. He was a member of the Republican county committee for twenty-four years and for four years chairman of the representative committee. For eleven years he was assessor of the school district, has also been town clerk, was superintendent of schools under the old system and several times filled the office of supervisor. Elected to the State Legislature, he served during the sessions of 1897-98, 1905-06 and 1907-08 and was then elected to the Senate for the term covering 1909-10. He received the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor at the primary election August 25, 1914, and at the general election on November 3, 1914, the popular vote placed him in office, where he continued through three successive terms. He then withdrew to private life for a period but at the general election of November 2, 1926, was again chosen for the office, was reelected in 1928 and also in 1930, having the unusual record of being six times chosen for that position. One of the Michigan papers, writing of his candidacy for lieutenant governor, said: “Luren Dickinson has spoken in nearly every schoolhouse and church in the state in behalf of his principles against the use of liquor. He is a strict prohibitionist and as such commands the vote that believes as he does almost solidly. As presiding officer of the Michigan Senate he always lent dignity and poise to that august body.” It is a recognized fact throughout the State that Mr. Dickinson’s position is never an equivocal one. He stands firmly in support of the principles in which he believes and has worked untiringly and effectively for the promotion of higher standards of citizenship. He finds his recreation in travel and has visited points of interest in every section of the country.
Mr. Dickinson was nominated lieutenant governor on the Republican ticket in the campaigns of 1932 and also in 1936, but went down to defeat with the rest of the ticket because of the Roosevelt landslides. He was again nominated lieutenant governor in 1938 and elected by the largest majority of any candidate on the ticket. On the death of Governor Fitzgerald on March 16, 1938, who was elected at this same election, Mr. Dickinson succeeded to the office of governor the following day.
A Centennial History of the State and its People Edited by George N. Fuller Lewis Publishing Co 1939