In 1889, he established the W.S. Dickey Clay Manufacturing Company which started out creating ceramic pipes made of "burnt clay" that were used to drain farmland via tile drainage. As municipalities developed underground sewage infrastructures, the company supplied clay pipes to serve that purpose. By 1915, the company was promoting its "tight as a jug" vitrified salt-glazed clay silos. The company had large plants in Pittsburg, Kansas and Deepwater, Missouri and made a fortune providing pipes for buried conduit lines of Bell Telephone.
His home was purchased by William Volker and donated to be the first building at the University of Kansas City which would become the University of Missouri - Kansas City. It is now called Scofield Hall.
- "See Me about the Dickey Silo". The Lathrop Optimist (Lathrop, Missouri). 1 July 1915.
- "W.S. Dickey Is Dead. Former Publisher. Owned Kansas City Journal Post and Was Candidate for Senate in 1916. LED MISSOURI REPUBLICANS One of World's Biggest Manufacturers of Sewer Pipe. Succumbs to Heart Disease at 68". New York Times. January 23, 1931. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
Walter S. Dickey, a leader of the Old Guard Republicans in this State, one of the largest manufacturers of sewer pipe in the world and former publisher of The Kansas City Journal-Post, died unexpectedly at his ...