John Alden Dix
John Alden Dix
|38th Governor of New York|
January 1, 1911 – December 31, 1912
|Lieutenant||Thomas F. Conway|
|Preceded by||Horace White|
|Succeeded by||William Sulzer|
|Born||December 25, 1860|
Glens Falls, New York
|Died||April 9, 1928 (aged 67)|
New York City, New York
John Alden Dix (December 25, 1860 – April 9, 1928) was an American businessman and politician who served as 38th Governor of New York from January 1911 to December 1912.
A native of Glens Falls, New York, Dix attended Cornell University before becoming active in several Dix family business ventures. He later expanded into the lumber and paper industries, where his success made him wealthy.
Dix became active in politics as a Democratic Party, and served terms as chairman of the Washington County Democratic Committee and the New York State Democratic Committee. In 1908, Dix was an unsuccessful candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New York.
In 1910, Dix was the successful Democratic nominee for governor, and he served one two-year term, January 1911 to December 1912. His term was largely concerned with issues of workplace safety in the wake of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. In 1912, Dix ran for reelection, but lost the Democratic nomination to William Sulzer.
After leaving the governorship, Dix returned to management of his business interests. In retirement he became a resident of Santa Barbara, California. He died in New York City in 1928, and was buried in Albany, New York.
Born in Glens Falls, New York, Dix graduated from Glens Falls Academy and attended Cornell University from 1879 to 1882. He was an initiated member of the Beta Charge of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity.
After college, Dix was employed in the Dix family businesses, including a quarry and a machine shop. He then began a career as the owner of several businesses in the lumber and paper making industry, the success of which made him wealthy.
He married Gertrude Alden Thomson, the daughter of Albany lumber merchant Lemon Thomson, who was Dix's business partner. Gertrude's sister, Nancy Sherman Thomson (1867–1927), was married to State Senator Curtis N. Douglas (1856–1919).
Dix also became involved in politics, including serving as a delegate to the 1904 Democratic National Convention, and chairman of the Washington County and New York State Democratic Committees. In 1906, he was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor at the party's state convention.
Dix ran for governor again in 1910; he won the Democratic nomination, and won the November general election. During his term, Dix established a New York State Factory Commission to investigate factory conditions, a reaction to the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire; as a result of the commission's work, 32 worker safety laws were enacted by the legislature and approved by Dix. After a fire destroyed a large portion of the state capitol building, Dix successfully advocated state legislation that improved fire safety regulations and building codes.
Other Dix accomplishments in office included creation of the state Conservation Commission, the law authorizing direct primary elections, and a law limiting work weeks to 54 hours. In 1912 he was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. He also ran for reelection in 1912, but lost the Democratic nomination to William Sulzer.
Death and burial
After leaving office Dix retired to Santa Barbara, California. He was also active in civic endeavors including service on the Cornell University board of trustees. In 1912, he received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Hamilton College.
Mrs. Dix died in Santa Barbara in 1923; the couple had no children.
The other Governor Dix
John Alden Dix had the same first and last name as Union General and Governor of New York John Adams Dix, and was often referred to in the press as a nephew or a first cousin once removed of John Adams Dix. In fact, John Alden Dix had no known family relationship with John Adams Dix.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to John Alden Dix.|
- "The Ten Year Book of Cornell University Volume 2 1868–1888 pp.87".
- Douglas-Thomson genealogy at schenectadyhistory.org
- "The Dix Ancestry" transcription of a letter to the New York Times by Warren R. Dix, of September 24, 1908
|Party political offices|
Lewis S. Chanler
| Democratic Party nominee for Lieutenant Governor of New York
Thomas F. Conway
William J. Conners
| Chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee
Winfield A. Huppuch
| Governor of New York