Rives, Cynthia Arnold (1804 VA - 1879)


Rives, Cynthia Arnold


Father: Joseph Rives
Mother: Mary Frances Prunty

Birth: 7 Apr 1804, Virginia
Birth Source:

Death: 1879
Death Source: Headstone

Spouse1: Robert N. Dickenson, m. 15 Sep 1826, Franklin County, Virginia


Children of Robert N. Dickenson and Cynthia Arnold Rives:__
  1. Middleton Woods Dickenson, b. 11 Jul 1827
  2. Joseph Rives Dickenson, b. 17 Sep 1828
  3. Frances Rives Dickenson, b. 17 Sep 1828
  4. John Edwin Dickenson, b. 3 Nov 1830
  5. Isabella Woods Dickenson, b. 8 Jan 1832 , d. 8 Feb 1832
  6. Mary Ann Dickenson, b. 3 Mar 1833 , d. 7 Jul 1834
  7. James Alexander Dickenson, b. 18 Nov 1834
  8. Robert Henry Dickenson, b. 7 Sep 1838, d. 24 Feb 1849
  9. William Wiley Dickenson, b. 19 Dec 1840
  10. Samuel Noten Dickenson, b. 22 Jul 1845

From Reliques of the Rives:
Cynthia Arnold Rives was born at Gladehill, Franklin county, Virginia, April 7, 1804, and died in Hunter Town ship, northeast of Paris, Illinois, March 15, 1879. She was educated at a girls' school in Greensboro, North Carolina, and married September 21, 1826, at her home in Franklin county, Robert Nathaniel Dickenson, (b. Dec. 10, 1792, d. Aug. 17, 1851), son of John Dicken son and his wife, Isabell Woods, whom he married in Henry county, Virginia, June 2, 1781.
In 1836, discontent with the economic conditions existing in Virginia, and the lure of new and undeveloped land, led Mr. Dicken son to consider the movement of his family. While on a journey of investigation of the possibilities of a settlement in western Virginia, he received from his wife a letter from Franklin county, dated November 15, 1836, and addressed to him "At Kanhawa Saline, Virginia," as follows:
Dear Husband : Father returned home the next day after leaving you in Fincastle and told me that you did not get a situation to your liking; perhaps it is all right, the land in that country is very high and to get land unimproved would not suit us. I have heard since I saw you that Mr. Shrewsbury intended to make you a very liberal offer & take you as a pardner in the store if you would accept same, this news came from William Dickenson of Bedford * * * Would it not be the best for you to accept of it * * * George is going out tomorrow to see how many scholars he can get me and I will teach school till Christmas or longer if we remain here. It will help the family here and be good for our children * * * In all our ups and downs in this life let us not forget our home in heaven * * * When you write me let me know what you think would be the best to do with the caryall. Mr. Eubank, I think wants to buy it * * * If we stay here until Spring and I can get 60 $ for it would it not be the best to sell it? * * * See to our things and try to keep my bedding clean * * *

A little later, despite Mrs. Dickenson's disinclination to settle upon unimproved land, she and her husband removed from Virginia to the north arm of the Illinois prairie in what is now Edgar county, following in the footsteps of the pioneers of 1817 and 1818. Mrs. Dickenson is stated to have been one of the first, if not the first, female teachers in Edgar county, Illinois. She was a woman of fine intellect, and of a personality which drew to her many friends. Her first dwelling place in Illinois Territory was a log cabin built by Mr. Dickenson near the present site of Paris, in which they lived for fifteen years, finally moving into a more commodious two-story frame dwelling.
Robert N. Dickenson, her husband, served in the Indian wars in the West, and was one of the first Recorders of Edgar county, serving in this capacity from August 17, 1838, to August 18, 1847, at which time he was made Clerk of the Edgar county court, a post which he filled until his death in 1851. During this period, Abraham Lincoln was one of the judges of the old 8th Judicial District in Illinois, which included Edgar county, and a warm friendship developed between the two men which was only terminated by Mr. Dickenson's death.

She and her husband are buried in the Blackburn Cemetery, Paris, Edgar County, Illinois. Headstone looks more recent. Dates given are 1804-1879.

Research Notes


Marriage1:  Virginia, Compiled Marriages, 1740-1850 (Ancestry)

1850 Census:  Edgar County, Illinois
1860 Census:  Edgar County, Illinois
1870 Census:  Edgar County, Illinois

Childs, James Rives. Reliques of the Rives, p394