Supplied fine arms to the Old West
Born—Vermont, about ¡811
Little is known of the parentage or early life of Horace Dimick. Even the place and date of his birth are matters of tradition. It is known, however, that he had migrated to Lexington, Ky., before 1838 and that he operated a cabi-netmaking and upholstery shop there before setting up in business as a gunsmith. His interest in firearms and shooting was already manifest.
In 1849 Dimick moved to St. Louis, and thereafter his history becomes clearer. His first shop opened under the name of H. E. Dimick & Co. at 38 N. Main St. and prospered so famously that he was able to open a branch store at 97 N. 4th St. in December 1861. A month later the new store became the home of the company. Working with Dimick were a number of employees and associates, ranging in numbers as high as 13 at peak periods, if one includes those making arms or components under direct contract but outside the shop. In addition to those arms made within his own shop or by contract under his direction. Dimick also purchased large quantities of arms of all sorts from manufacturers elsewhere in the United States and in Europe. The scope of his stock was broad, including plains rifles, target rifles, shotguns, target pistols, deringers. revolvers, bowie knives, tomahawks, cannon, ammunition. and supplies.
Dimick's own specialty remained fine target arms, especially rifles. It is reasonably certain that most such arms bearing the Dimick name were actually made in his shop rather than purchased from another manufacturer, and they were exceptionally well-made arms. He was also interested in cannon, experimenting with breech-loading systems and inventing a rifled 'torpedo cannon' for harbor defense which he vainly tried to sell to the government.
With the coming of the Civil War. Dimick supplied quantities of arms to the Federal government and to the State of Missouri. Some of these he apparently manufactured himself, but for most he acted merely as a purchasing agent. Apparently Dimick's business continued uninterrupted throughout the War, and he remained active until his death at about the age of 62.—Harold L. Peterson
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