John Dix (1796-1870) founded Dixboro in 1824. He moved his family to Texas in February 1834 and settled in Washington County.

Dixboro’s founder, Captain John Dix, was only twenty-eight years old when he came to the Michigan Territory, but he had already led a remarkable life. Born in Massachusetts in 1796, Dix had gone to sea at age sixteen, fought in the War of 1812, and been shipwrecked in New Zealand. He bought the site that would become Dixboro in 1824, the same year that John Allen and Elisha Rumsey founded Ann Arbor.

DIX, JOHN JAMES, SR. (1796–1870). John James Dix, Sr., businessman, judge, and Unionist, was born on April 12, 1796, at Littleton, Massachusetts. He ran away to sea in 1810 and served on an American privateer in the War of 1812. For a period he was engaged in cutting the English brig Don Cossack out of a California port. He made a voyage to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) from Mystic, Massachusetts, in 1820 and became interested in Pacific trading. In 1825 he was wrecked on the north island of New Zealand while trading between the Sandwich Islands and the islands of the South Pacific. On his return he married Mary Eliza Hayes, and they settled at Dixboro, a village he had surveyed in Washtenaw County, Michigan Territory. The town, just north of Ann Arbor, retains his name.

John James Dix, Jr.

Captain John James Dix had long and varied military and civilian careers in Texas. He was born in Michigan on March 24, 1826. His family emigrated to Texas, arriving in February 1834, and settled at Coles Settlement, renamed Independence in 1836, in Washington County. In 1845, during the U.S.-Mexican War, he went to the mouth of the Rio Grande and worked as a sutler's clerk and as a horse drover for the Army quartermaster. After the war, he settled in south Texas, west of the Nueces River.