Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

County surveyor for the South Riding of County Mayo, 1893-1922. Edward Keville Dixon, son of Thomas Henry Dixon of Northcliffe House, Blackrock, Co. Cork, and his wife, Maria (née Dixon), was born in Cork on 27 March 1860.(1) He entered Queen's University, Cork, in 1876 at the age of sixteen and was awarded the BE degree in 1879 and the ME degree in 1882. After serving his articles with JOHN LANYON JOHN LANYON ,(2) he worked for a time in the United States as an assistant engineer with the Union Pacific Railway Company. In 1886 he joined the civilian staff of the Royal Engineers at Gravesend, Kent.

In July 1893 Dixon gained first place in the qualifying examination for county surveyors and was appointed to the South Riding of Co. Mayo the following September.(3) He was also town surveyor of Castlebar for many years and engineer and architect to the Board of Guardians and to the rural district council, as well as running a private practice. He urged the council to use direct labour and adopt the use of steam rollers for road construction but to little effect.(4) In 1921 when the council stopped all road works in the county because of the unsettled conditions which prevailed at the time, they also suspended all their engineering staff without pay. Dixon resigned in November but in 1922, although his resignation had already been agreed, he was appointed county surveyor for the entire county on a temporary basis.(5) During this last phase of his career he was engaged in rebuilding the seventy-one road bridges in the county which had been destroyed in 1922. He remained in place until he was succeeded by THOMAS PATRICK FLANAGAN  THOMAS PATRICK FLANAGAN in October 1924.(6) The article on his intended retirement in the Irish Builder notes: 'In all the most troubled periods of the past few strenuous years, Mr Dixon fully maintained his popularity with all classes and sections of the community; taking no part in politics, he was yet respected by all.'

Dixon retired to Rathgar, Dublin, where he died on 28 February 1942.  He was buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery. He was survived by his wife, Mary Ann (née Cudmore), who died in England in 1944,(7) his son and two daughters.  The charm of his personality is noted in his obituary in the Irish Times, which records that he was a noted amateur conjuror and an international chess player.

Inst.CE:(8) elected associate member, 2 February 1892; transferred to member, 27 November 1894.

Address: The Green, Castlebar, 1893->=1924;  Rathgar, Dublin, at time of death.

See WORKS and BIBLIOGRAPHY. BIBLIOGRAPHY.



References

All information in this entry not otherwise referenced is from Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 149-151, from Dixon's obituary in  Irish Times, 2 Mar 1942 (reference supplied by Brendan O'Donoghue), and from the note on Dixon's retirement in IB 65, 15 Dec 1923, 961, which is illustrated with a portrait photograph (but wrongly ives Dixon's first name as Edmund).


(1) Inscription on headstone in Mount Jerome Cemetery (B.O'D.);  in his 1911 census return Dixon gives his place of birth as Castlebar, Co. Mayo.
(2) According to the note on Dixon in IB 65, 15 Dec 1923, 961, he served his articles with Charles Lanyon, who effectively retired from practice circa 1874.
(3) Connaught Telegraph, 15 Jul 1893.(B.O'D.)
(4) 'Topical Touches' in IB 48, 27 Jan 1906, 49, has a note that Dixon had asked the county council to pay the £18 interest on the capital he proposed spending on the purchase of a motor car for his official duties. 'The request seems a not unreasonable one, but one of the members remarked that "he thought they should provide an airship."'
(5) Connaught Telegraph, 4 Mar, 19 Sep 1922 (B.O'D.); IB 64, 9 Sep 1922, 617.
(6) Connaught Telegraph, 30 Aug 1924 (B.O'D.).
(7) Irish Times, 30 Aug 1944. 
(8) Charter…and list of members of the Institution of Civil Engineers (1912), 87.


9 work entries listed in chronological order for DIXON, EDWARD KEVILLE


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Building: CO. MAYO, WESTPORT, WATER SUPPLY
Date: 1896
Nature: Extension. For Board of Guardians.
Refs: IB 38, 15 Jun 1896, 133

Building: CO. MAYO, CASTLEBAR, DISTRICT LUNATIC ASYLUM
Date: 1896-97
Nature: Alts. & adds., including laundry adds., boiler house, chimney, observation dormitory &c.
Refs: IAA, PKS 0760, B17/15, B18/12; IB 38, 1 Apr 1896, 77 (wrongly called E.K. Nixon); 46th Report on…Lunatic Asylums (1897), 19

Building: CO. MAYO, CASTLEBAR, DISTRICT LUNATIC ASYLUM
Date: 1900-1903
Nature: RC chapel, extension, medical officer's residence.
Refs: B 78, 7 Apr 1900, 358, advertisement for tenders; IB 42, 15 Apr 1900, 334,343; 43, 30 Jan 1901, 606,607; 44, 27 Feb, 8, 22 May,14 Aug, 25 Sep, 9, 23 Oct 1902, 1060,1240,1258,1368,1422,1436,1452; 52nd Report on … Lunatic Asylums (1903), 549

Building: CO. MAYO, CASTLEBAR, DISTRICT LUNATIC ASYLUM
Date: 1908
Nature: Sewerage scheme.
Refs: IB 50, 28 Nov 1908, 745

Building: CO. MAYO, WESTPORT, QUAY
Date: 1911
Nature: Reinforced concrete extension, for Harbour Commissioners.
Refs: IB 53, 27 May 1911, 369

Building: CO. MAYO, CASTLEBAR, WATER SUPPLY
Date: 1916
Nature: Extension. Cost c.£4,000.
Refs: Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 150

Building: CO. MAYO, ASHFORD CASTLE (CONG)
Date: 1918
Nature: Extensive improvements, for 1st Viscount Iveagh.
Refs: IB 60, 12 Oct 1918, 394

Building: CO. MAYO, DELPHI, BRIDGE
Date: 1924
Nature: Restoration of bridge designed by William Bald.
Refs: Plaque on bridge (information from Brendan O'Donoghue)

Building: CO. MAYO, GLENISLAND, CHURCH (RC)
Date: 1927
Nature: Refurbishment.
Refs: Brendan O'Donoghue, The Irish County Surveyors 1834-1944 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2007), 151

Author Title Date Details
Dixon, Edmund Keville 'Rural district road bridges of small span. Some practical notes' 1910 IB 52, 14 May 1910, 302-304.