February 23, 1900
James Ira Dickson is born in South Dakota

January 29, 1901
Lillian Ruth LeVesconte is born in Prior Lake, Minnesota

Lillian completes her Bachelor of Arts at Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota


G-2826-FC-1 Timeline
Rev. James Ira Dickson (Item G-2826-FC-1 at the PCC Archives)
G-4872-FC-1 Family - timeline
The Dickson family (Item G-4872-FC-1 at the PCC Archives)

ca. 1925
Lillian completes her studies at the Biblical Seminary, New York City, New York

May 16, 1927
Lillian and James are married

1927 to 1940
The Dicksons serve as missionaries under the Board of Foreign Missions of The Presbyterian Church in Canada in Formosa (Taiwan) where Rev. Dickson served at the Taiwan Theological College

November 29, 1930
Lillian gives birth to their first child, Ronald James Dickson

July 13, 1932
Lillian gives birth to their second child, Marilyn Ruth Dickson

Fall 1937
Xinjang War begins as the Soviet Union invades the Republic of China; Japanese invade Shanghai


Continued fighting in China with Japan, Japanese also attempt to fight the Soviet Union in China but are defeated

United States withdraws from its commercial treaty with Japan

Late October 1940
The Dicksons leave Formosa for America

1941 to 1946
The Dicksons serve as missionaries in New Amsterdam,Guyana (now British Guiana), in South America


Copy of G-6067-FC Lillian and Japenese maids - timeline
Lillian posing with Japanese maids (Item G-6067-FC at the PCC Archives)
G-2826-FC-2 Family - timeline
Lillian, Jim, Ronald, and the family dog and cat in the early 1940s (Item G-2826-FC-2 at the PCC Archives)

December 7, 1941
Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The next day the U.S. and Britain declare war on Japan

Marilyn Dickson is sent back to the United States to live with Amy due to tough living conditions in British Guiana; Ronald shortly after

May 8, 1945
Victory in Europe

August 6 and 9, 1945
First Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima, second Atomic Bomb dropped on Nagasaki;
Japanese surrender on August 14


The Dicksons return to Taiwan; Rev. Dickson serves as Principal of the Taiwan Theological College

Hua-Lain Aboriginal medical team, assisting Lepers ministry begins

Lillian begins her work that would become known as The Mustard Seed

Lillian and Jim adopt a girl,
Bi-lian “Mei-ling”, or Dolly, Dickson


1997-5006-5-5 - timeline
Children outside the Babies Home at The Mustard Seed (Slide from file 1997-5006-5-5 at the PCC Archives)
Newspaper article from The Star Weekly Magazine November 14 1959 1997-5006-4-1 - timeline
Newspaper article from the Star Weekly Magazine, November 14, 1959 (Item from file 1997-5006-4-1 at the PCC Archives)

Children’s Home is set up

“The Mustard Seed” name for Lillian’s work is official and registered in California

Trade school set up, including auto repairing, driving class, and agricultural class


Youth Home, Merciful Door for Black-Foot Disease Clinic, and National Mary Obstetrics Clinic are set up

Expansion of The Mustard Seed to other small countries and islands in the Pacific

Rev. Dickson retires

June 15, 1967
Rev. Dickson passes away

January 1971
Lillian’s brother, Harold LeVesconte, lawyer for The Mustard Seed passes away


Institutions under The Mustard Seed - 1997-5006-2-3 - timeline
(Item from file 1997-5006-2-3 at the PCC Archives)
G-6205-FC-2 Lillian laughing at a banquet - timeline
Lillian at a banquet in her honour (Item G-6205-FC-2 at the PCC Archives)

September 1978
Dr. Bob Piece of World Vision passes away

Ronald passes away

January 14, 1983
Lillian Dickson passes away in Taiwan

This Project has been made possible [in part] by the Government of Canada through the Young Canada Works and Heritage Organizations Program. « Ce projet a été rendu possible [en partie] grâce au gouvernement du Canada par de Jeunesse Canada au travail et le Programme des organismes patrimoniaux». This exhibit was created by the Archives summer intern, Victoria Baranow.

*Copyright 2012 – The Presbyterian Church in Canada
If you wish to quote or use any part of this website exhibit, please give credit to The Presbyterian Church in Canada Archives.


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