Born: 1805 Green County, Kentucky
Flourished: Fulton County, Illinois
Alternate name: Dodson
As a young man, Dobson made a living working on flatboats on the Mississippi River between Kentucky and New Orleans. In 1829, he married Elizabeth Shields in Harrison County, Indiana, where the couple lived before moving to Illinois. During the Black Hawk War, Dobson served in the company of mounted militia commanded by Abraham Lincoln, which was mustered into service in Sangamon County, Illinois. The Dobsons and their seven children settled in Fulton County where Joseph was a farmer for the remainder of his life.
Muster Roll of Abraham Lincoln’s Company of Mounted Volunteers; History of Fulton County, Illinois (Peoria: Charles C. Chapman, 1879), 947; Indiana Marriages through 1850, Harrison County, 2 May 1829, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Fulton County, IL, 137; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Fulton County, IL, 151.