JOHN M. DILLON. There is a great deal of interest felt in those families which ranked among the pioneers of a place, and whose members, by means of their energy and thrift, assisted in turning a barren waste into a blooming landscape. The Dillon family is one of the oldest in Calhoun County, the fourth generation now living within its bounds and three having been born here. The farm in Gilead Township owned and occupied by John M. Dillon was inherited from his father, who in turn had received it from his progenitor.
Grandfather Dillon came hither when this section was known as Madison County, and the ground was largely covered with heavy timber, giving rise to the common occupations of the few inhabitants — those of lumbering, hunting and fishing. Mr. Dillon turned his attention to the first-named, but also purchased and somewhat improved the tract of land before mentioned. On this place he died after a long life well and profitably spent. His son, James Monroe Dillon, father of our subject, was also engaged in the lumber business for a number of years, making staves, hoop-poles, sawlogs, etc., which he sold on the bank of the river or rafted down to St. Louis, Mo. During the later years of his life he turned his attention to farming and made a great success of all agricultural pursuits. He passed away October 6, 1852.
The mother of him of whom we write was previous to her marriage Miss Ellen Ferguson, and after the death of her first companion she became the wife of Henry Hefner. She died in Gilead Precinct in January, 1869. At her death John came into possession of the homestead, he being the only son born to his parents. His natal day was March 14, 1849, and his birthplace being the farm that had been the scene of his father's entrance upon the stage of life. He was but three years old when his father died, and he received every possible attention from his mother and step-father until fitted to pursue his own course in life. His farm embraces three hundred and twenty acres of land, a portion of which is well improved, and has excellent buildings. The residence is pleasantly situated, overlooking the valley of the Mississippi.
Mr. Dillon was married October 9, 1871, to Miss Sarah Branham, who was born in Lincoln County, Mo., June 5, 1855. She is a daughter of Samuel Branham, was well educated and is a highly cultivated lady. To Mr. and Mrs. Dillon have been born eight children, five of whom are living, viz.: Roy, Ellen, Cora, Martin and Henry. Those deceased are James Monroe, Thomas Howard and Mary. Mr. Dillon, belonging as he does to an old and honored family, is naturally very popular in his neighborhood. He is a genial, intellectual gentleman, to whom power and success come as a just reward for his active and useful life. His extensive farming operations give him wide acquaintance among those raising or dealing in agricultural products, and he is well spoken of by all with whom he has dealings.
Extracted 16 Mar 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 633-634
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