William H. Dickens 1843-1915 – William Henry Dickens’ life began at sea, but his success was rooted firmly in land.
He was born May 26, 1843 aboard ship while his parents were en route to America from England. His family originally settled in Canada and later moved to Wisconsin.
In the spring of 1860, Dickens came west to Burlington, Colo. (in what is now Longmont) to join his stepfather, Alonzo Allen (a 1993 Boulder County Hall of Fame inductee). Allen had come to Colorado the previous year in search of gold. Along with Allen, Dickens built the first log cabin in the Burlington community. He also was elected town marshal.
In 1881, Dickens built the Dickens Opera House on 3rd and Main in Longmont. While the second floor housed the theater, the first floor was given over to the Farmers National Bank that Dickens founded. He also helped organized the Farmers Mill and Elevator Co. that at its peak owned 11 elevators in northern Colorado and one in Denver.
Dickens was fatally shot in his home by an unknown assailant on Nov. 30, 1915.