William Eugene Dickinson was the son of Henry Alonzo Dickinson and Ellen Gage Dickinson. Henry Alonzo Dickinson was born on August 15, 1854 in Sabula, Iowa. Ellen Gage was born on June 12, 1858 in Ogle County, Illinois. They were married at Grundy County, Iowa on October 14, 1876. They came to Dakota Territory in 1879 and lived in Dakota for the rest of their lives, except for four years during which they lived in Vancouver, Washington. Henry and Ellen had four children, William Eugene, Herbert (also known as “Bert”), Frank and Shirley. Ellen Dickinson died in the influenza epidemic of 1918 and Henry Dickinson died in 1932.
William Eugene Dickinson was born on October 22, 1877 in Montrose, McCook County, Dakota Territory. Dickinson attended Sioux Falls Washington High School for three years before serving in the Spanish – American War as a private in Company B, 1st South Dakota Infantry. After the war, Dickinson attended Sioux Falls College and then Medical School at the University of Nebraska.
On September 23, 1885 Dickinson married Pearl Ruby Phillips. The couple’s only son, John Henry, was born on June 13, 1904. After the birth of his son, Dickinson set up his medical practice in Canistota, South Dakota. In 1928, Dickinson went to Tulane Medical School in New Orleans to receive psychiatric training. He returned to Canistota in 1930 and continued his practice until poor health forced him to retire. William E. Dickinson died in 1945.