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Located in northern Pulaski County, Missouri, the city of Dixon began as a railroad town. Although other nearby communities older than Dixon had survived the American Civil War, the first large settlement near Dixon was a camp made up of about a hundred railroad workers, who were building the Frisco Railroad in 1867 and 1868. These workers moved into town the following year, and Dixon was laid out along the tracks by a railroad surveyor named Milton Santee, who had come from Dixon, Illinois. Hancock is west of Dixon, while the community of Franks and Arlington are to the southeast. Brinktown is north of the city, and Hayden is to the northeast. The Mark Twain National Forest is south and southeast of Dixon.



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