Banker and saltmaker John Q. Dickinson was born in Virginia on November 20, 1831. During the Civil War, he served in the Confederate Army. He was a prisoner of war for the last year of the conflict.
After the war, Dickinson ventured to the Kanawha Valley and rebuilt the salt furnace his grandfather had started at Malden in 1832, which had been partially destroyed by the flood of 1861 and then finished off by Union troops.
In 1867, he and his father, William Dickinson Jr., established the Kanawha Valley Bank in Charleston. John Q. Dickinson succeeded his father as bank president in 1882 and served for more than 40 years. Under his leadership, the bank became the largest financial institution in Charleston.
Dickinson acquired extensive holdings of coal, gas, and oil properties in Boone, Kanawha, Fayette, and Raleigh counties. He also was the first director of the West Virginia Bankers Association and the Kanawha Coal Operators Association.
John Quincy Dickinson died in Charleston in 1925 at age 94. His family saltworks continued to operate several more years until the Great Depression wiped out the business.