Robert Paine Dick (1823-1898) was the son of Parthenia Williamson and John McClintock Dick, a state superior court judge. After attending the Caldwell Institute, Dick entered the University in 1840, joined the Dialectic Society, and graduated with second honors in 1843. He then studied law under his father and George C. Mendenhall and began his own practice in 1845. In 1848 he married Mary Eloise Adams of Pittsylvania, VA; the couple had two sons and three daughters. Active in Democratic state politics, Dick was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1852 and again in 1860. An active Union man, once the Civil War broke out Dick voted for secession in the 1861 state convention. After the war Dick became an ally of provisional governor William W. Holden and, briefly, a US district judge. From 1868 to 1872 he was justice of the state's supreme court; then President Grant appointed him a Federal district judge, a position he held until 1898, when he resigned in poor health. He died later that year of Bright's disease (Dictionary of North Carolina Biography 2:63).