January 1, 2010

Royal Dixon

   Royal Dixon was an American author, animal rights activist and a member of the Americanization movement. He was born in Huntsville, Texas, to Elijah and Francis Elizabeth Dixon, and educated at the Sam Houston Normal Institute, Morgan Park Academy, Chicago and later as a special student at the University of Chicago.

   His earliest career was as a child actor and dancer trained by Adele Fox, but his acting career was short, with his last performance being at the Iroquois theater in Chicago in 1903. He became a curator at the department of botany at the Field Museum of Chicago from 1905 to 1910, then subsequently became a staff writer at the Houston Chronicle. He made special contributions to the newspapers of New York, where he lectured for the Board of Education and founded a school for creative writing. His interest and attention were later directed to immigration, as a director of publicity of the Commission of Immigrants in America, and as managing editor of The Immigrants in America Review. He published a book, Americanization (1916), on how immigrants needed to be "Americanized" into a single uniform culture.

   In 1921, he founded the First Church for Animal Rights in Manhattan which at its peak had a membership of about 300 people. His aim was to "awaken the realization" that animals have "the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." He and his partner, a local artist named Chester Snowden, moved to Houston in the late 1920s. Dixon's letters and works are archived at the University of Houston Library. As an author, his published works include The Human Side of Plants (1914), The Human Side of Animals (1918) and The Ape of Heaven (1936). Dixon passed away on June 4, 1932 and was interred at Glenwood Cemetery in Houston.

29° 46.008, -095° 23.196

Section C1
Glenwood Cemetery

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