Served as mayor: December 1, 1886–November 30, 1887
John Kelly Dixon was born in Cleveland County, North Carolina to Columbus and Ann Dixon. He began his career working for the Southern railway in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. He was transferred to Gastonia, North Carolina in the late 1880’s, where he worked until he was transferred to Toccoa, Georgia. From there he went to Athens, Georgia to work for the Seaboard. In 1900 he moved back to Gastonia and purchased interests in the Trenton Cotton Mills and became active President. He stayed in this role until his death. He was also president of the Dixon Mills, Inc.
John Kelly also served as Mayor of Gastonia for two terms. During his time in Gastonia he served as a member of the board of trustees for the YMCA. He was an active member of the Main Street Methodist Church.
John Kelly Dixon was married to his wife, Hester Wilson Dixon, for 50 years until his death. The couple had two sons.
John Kelly Dixon passed away at the age of 74 from throat cancer.