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Charles Addison Dillow
(1858-1918)

 

Charles Addison and Harriet Dillow

Charles Addison Dillow was born on May 6, 1858 in either Round Head, Hardin County, OH or more likely in Madison County, OH, the son of William Baker and Evaline (Summers) Dillow. His mother died when Charles was five years old in 1862, and his father in time married again, to Elizabeth Houser.

As a young man, sometime prior to 1881, Charles and his parents and siblings migrated westward to Central Illinois. They settled in the town of Weldon near Clinton, DeWitt County.

On the Fourth of July 1885, when Charles was 28 years of age, he was joined in holy matrimony with his first wife, 18-year-old Harriet Dickson (or "Dixon") (1867-1902), the daughter of James and Margret (Yates) Dickson. The ceremony was performed by justice of the peace John J. McGraw at Clinton. At the time of marriage, Charles was a farmer.

The Dillows together bore a brood of 10 children, six of whom survived into adulthood -- Blanche Myrtle Johnson Burns, Margaret E. Willis, Elsie Mae Delamere, William Oscar Dillow, Caroline Jane Houchin and Lawrence E. Dillow. 

Sadly, their four children Rosetta Dillow (1893), Charles Edgar Dillow (1895), Persie Oliver Dillow (1898) and Lucy Belle Dillow (1899) all passed away in infancy.

 

Lucy Belle's obituary, 1899

In reporting on Lucy Belle's death, in a short article on April 14, 1899 headlined "Death of an Infant," the Clinton Weekly Public said she had been ill for several weeks, and that she was "laid to rest in the family graveyard" in Farmer City.

Circa 1888 and 1889, when two of their daughters were born, the Dillows lived in Piper City, Ford County, IL. By 1891, when another daughter was born, they had moved to Mason City, IA. But the family eventually returned to DeWitt County, and when the federal census of 1900 was taken, the family lived in Clintonia Township, where Charles was listed as a "day laborer." 

Sadly, Harriet died at the age of 35 in Bloomington, McLean County, IL on Aug. 10, 1902. She is buried in the Dickson family plot in Greenleaf Cemetery, Farmer City, DeWitt County. She rests beside four of her infant children.

After two years as a widower, on Dec. 10, 1904, Charles married his second bride, Dora Belle O'Neil (1882-1962), a native of Carmel, IL. Their wedding was held in Bloomington, IL. They were a quarter of a century apart in age. Her maiden name alternately has been spelled "O'Neal." Their union endured for 14 years until cleaved apart by death.

Charles and Dora Belle went on to produce five more children of their own, all born in Clinton -- Evelyn Pearl Dillow, Mearle Addison Dillow, James DeLoss Dillow, Charles Kenneth Dillow and Paul Deland Dillow. 

 

Grave of Harriet Dillow and babies, Farmer City. Courtesy Dorles (Dillow) Barber

 

 

Farmer Charles

Sadly, son Charles died in infancy in August 1915 at the age of about six months. In all, Charles tragically lost six of his children before they reached adulthood.

Charles was badly hurt in a freak accident in about 1915. Reported the Decatur Review and Herald, he "was caught beneath a falling tree and was seriously injured and his health had been declining since that time.

For three years, Charles endured the pain and debility of his mishap. His address during that time was 1413 East Washington Street in Clinton.

The spectre of death swept him away at home on Feb. 18, 1918. A notice in the Bloomington Pantagraph said that funeral services were led by Rev. A. Wells in the local Methodist Church. Burial was in Woodlawn Cemetery in Clinton. 

Dora Belle supported herself as a widow through employment at the Catholic Church in Clinton. A newspaper said she unfortunately was "not in the best of circumstances."

In 1920, a heinous crime struck the family when Dora Belle's daughter, 14-year-old Evelyn, was murdered by an uncle, Raymond O'Neil/O'Neal, who then took his own life. His rambling farewell note, written on the back of blank checks in his checkbook, was published verbatim on the front page of the May 18, 1920 edition of the Clinton Daily Public. The newspaper said that O'Neil "had never been considered 'just right' mentally but was considered 'harmless' as is so often the case in affairs of this kind... [She] met her death from a 'harmless' brute that the laws of Illinois did not put away."

 

South and east sides of Clinton's public square

 

Woodlawn Cemetery, Clinton
Courtesy Dorles (Dillow) Barber
Dora Belle outlived her husband by more than four decades. At some point, she became a companion of Arthur Rhodaback ( ? - ? ). The two produced a son, Roy Arthur Rhodaback, who took on the name "Dillow."

She later married Abraham Thomas "Abe" Henson ( ? - ? ). Abe adopted Dora Belle's son Roy, and the boy's new name became Roy Kenneth Henson.

Dora Belle passed away in Shelbyville, Shelby County, IN, on May 21, 1962. Her stepson Lawrence Dillow and stepdaughters Margaret Willis and Elsie Delamere traveled from Clinton to attend the funeral. She rests for eternity in Miller Cemetery near Shelbyville. 

Her son Roy wed Vera Hinkle ( ? - ? ) and bore a son, Jerry. Atter a divorce, he married Mickey and produced four more children. The second marriage ended in divorce. Roy's final year were spent in California.

Many years later, Charles and Harriet Dillow's son Lawrence purchased a grave marker for his parents. He had it cut in half and engraved for placement at their respective burial sites to replace the original old metal markers provided by the funeral home. He is said to have visited his mother's site every Mother's Day, where he annually planted a geranium. Lawrence's daughter Dorles and her husband Don eventually installed a concrete form at the grave of Harriet Dillow and her four infants to replace the old metallic markers. 

 

Blanche Johnson Burns

~ Daughter Blanche Myrtle (Dillow) Johnson Burns ~

Daughter Blanche Myrtle Dillow (1886-1932) as born on Dec. 18, 1886 in DeWitt County.

The Clinton Journal & Public once said she was a "prominent resident of Texas township."

She was married twice. Her first husband was David A. "Dave" Johnson (Oct. 17, 1868-1927), the son of Andrew D. and Minnie (Mills) Johnson of near Kenney, IL. They were wed in Bloomington, IL on the Fourth of July 1902.

The Johnsons went on to produce six children -- Fred A. Johnson, Oscar Johnson, Duane Johnson, Edward W. Johnson, Mary Margaret Johnson and a baby who died in infancy. Sadly, evidence suggests that son Oscar also died in infancy in the 1904 to 1910 timeframe.

They resided northeast of Kenney, IL circa 1926. In the autumn of 1927, after David had sown a large crop of wheat, the family was making plans to relocate the following spring to Wapella, IL.

The first of a host of family heartbreaks occurred in November 1926, when their son Fred and grandson Derald Gene Johnson were fatally burned after an oil lamp exploded.

Grief again blanketed the family on the last day of October 1927 when David was working on the Snell farm north of Clinton, apparently employed by the farm's tenant, George Walrod. He was badly injured when he "was assisting with putting up soy beans on the place," reported the Decatur Herald and Review. The pully broke, bringing down a hay fork on top of his head. "He suffered severe scalp wounds and other injuries. He was removed in an ambulance to the hospital for treatment."

He died the next day on Nov. 1, 1927. Funeral services were officiated by Rev. Wayne Stanley, held in the Christian Church, with burial in Woodlawn Cemetery.

 

Obituary, 1932

After David's death, Blanche married widower Lafayette Burns (1860?-1930). His first wife had passed away on Oct. 6, 1922, a daughter of Ansel and Elizabeth Hull. Lafayette was the owner of a 33-acre farm near Clinton.

The Burnses separated after a year or two of marriage, with Blanche filing for support, and the news printed in the Herald and Review.

Tragically, just about a week after Blanche's legal complaint was filed, Lafayette was badly injured in a highway accident in Clinton on Sept. 17, 1930. Reported the Herald and Review, "he was thrown from a lumber wagon when the wagon was struck by a car on the Salt Creek hill south of Clinton.... The accident happened when [the driver] going north, attempted to pass Burns on the Salt Creek hill. As he started around the wagon he saw a car coming toward him and he applied the brakes which failed to hold and he crashed into the  Burns wagon." His skull was fractured, and he died a few days later.

Twice widowed, Blanche suffered from "a complication of diseases." Just two years after Lafayette's death, Blanche passed away in Clinton on Aug. 11, 1932, at the age of 45. She is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Son Fred A. Johnson (1903-1926) was born on April 22, 1903 in Clinton. When he was 19 years of age, two days before Christmas 1922, he was joined in matrimony with Goldie "Pearl" (Cobb) Hall (Nov. 1, 1893-1979), a native of Clarion, IA who was the daughter of William Adolphus and Minnie Alice (Blankenhorn) Cobb and the widow of Ted Hall Sr. The bride was nine to 10 years older than the groom. Fred thus became stepfather to Pearl's five children -- Minnie "Irene" Hall, Lester Hall, Teddy Hall Jr., Manual Hall and Lloyd Hall. Fred and Pearl proceeded to produce two more offspring of their own -- Derald Gene Johnson and Rose Ellen VanArsdall. The combined family made their home seven miles south of Kenney, IL. Pearl is known to have been a member of the First Christian Church. On the fateful day of Nov. 7, 1926, the 24-year-old Fred and two sons was refilling a lighted coal oil lamp with kerosene when it exploded. Reported the Decatur Herald and Review:

Mr. Johnson, noting that the fuel in the lamp bowl was becoming low, unscrewed the wick-holder. While Manuel held the top so as to allow the end of the wick to dangle in the remaining oil in the bowl, his father started pouring kerosent into the lamp from a one-gallon oil can. The flame of the wick ignited fumes in the lamp bowl, exploding them, and the kerosene in the can exploded at the same time. The burning oil was thrown all over the room, covering Mr. Johnson and Derald Gene, who was playing on the floor, with flames, and setting the room afire. Strangely, none of the flaming oil touched the boy, Manuel, who was helping his father, and he escaped without injury. Mr. Johnson immediately started extinguishing the flames on Derald Gene's clothing, then put out the fire which had started in the room. this done, he rushed out of the house, across the road in front of it, and tumbled into a ditch filled with water, extinguishing the fmales on his own clothing. Though suffering greatly from the burns he had received, Mr. Johnson then walked to the home of B.C. Breisfoard, a mile away, and called a doctor at Kenney.

Fred and Derald were rushed to Decatur Macon County Hospital, where the boy soonafter died and the father succumbed that evening. News of the double tragedy was published in the Decatur Herald and Review. (The book, Descendants of Thomas and Elizabeth Dillow, 1786-1996, erroneously states that it was stepson "Manual Hall" who was killed.) A double funeral was held in the First Christian Church, led by Rev. J. Wayne Stanley. Their charred remains were lowered into eternal repose in Woodlawn Cemetery. The widowed Pearl outlived Fred by many years. After nearly five years of mourning, on July 2, 1930, she married once again to Claude Tipton Bush ( ? -1970). The Bushes did not reproduce. Claude died on July 2, 1970. She passed away at the age of 85 on May 2, 1979. An obituary in the Bloomington Pantagraph said that the count of her survivors was eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Interment also was in Woodlawn Cemetery.

  • Step-grandson Donald Emanuel "Manuel" Hall (1915-1981) was born on Feb. 11, 1915 in Clinton. On Sept. 22, 1945, in a ceremony held in Clinton, he married Ellen Irene Roberts (Sept. 19, 1918-2003), daughter of Oscar M. and Dora May (Campbell) Roberts. Their residence in 1979 was in Fairbury, IL. Sadly, at the age of 65, he passed into the realm of eternity on Jan. 22, 1981. Burial was in Woodlawn Cemetery in Clinton. Ellen outlived him by more than two decades. She died in Lincoln, IL at age 84 on July 26, 2003.
  • Step-granddaughter Minnie "Irene" Hall (1916-2010) was born on Oct. 2, 1916 in Clinton. In 1934, when she was age 17 or 18, she wed Vernon L. "Dude" Richards (Oct. 31, 1908-2000), a native of Lanesville, IL and the son of Walter and Cora (Hemp) Richards. Their wedding was held in Decatur, IL. The couple did not reproduce. In 1979, they lived in Havana, IL. Vernon died in Clinton on March 25, 2000 as a patient in the Dr. John Warner Hospital. His obituary appeared in the Bloomington Pantagraph. She endured for another decade. Irene succumbed to the spectre of death at age 93 on May 11, 2010 in Lincoln, IL. The couple is in the sleep of the ages in Clinton's Woodlawn Cemetery.
  • Step-grandson Lester Hall
  • Step-grandson Teddy R. "Ted" Hall Jr. (1920-2002) was born on March 14, 1920. He entered into the sacrament of marriage with Marjorie I. Sympson (1925-2003). They together begat four daughters -- Fern Burke, Doris J. Emslie, Gail Sherer, Janet Stewart and Myra Jane Hall. The family endured the grief of the untimely death of infant Myra Jane on Nov. 20, 1952. The family dwelled in 1979 in Hillsboro, IL. Teddy died in St. John's Hospital in Springfield at age 82 on Oct. 17, 2002. Rev. Harry Meyer officiated the funeral service, with an obituary appearing in the Bloomington Pantagraph. Marjorie lived for another year. Death enveloped her at age 77, also in Hillsboro, on May 11, 2003. Their remains are in eternal repose in Clinton's Memorial Park.

Great-granddaughter Fern Hall was joined in wedlock with Gary Burke. They lived in Hillsboro, IL in 2002. Three sons born to this marriage were Michael Burke, Jason Burke and Matthew Burke.

Great-granddaughter Doris J. Hall married Thomas Emslie. In 2002, they were in Lombard, IL. Their son is Danny Emslie.

Great-granddaughter Gail Hall was united in matrimony with Michael Sherer. The couple has made a home in Hillsboro, IL.Together they produced a son, Jacob Sherer.

Great-granddaughter Janet Hall wed Kelvin Stewart. They are the parents of Lucas Stewart. They have dwelled in Hillsboro, IL.

  • Step-grandson Lloyd Hall was still living in 2002.
  • Granddaughter Rose Ellen Johnson (1925-2007) was born on Aug. 19, 1925. She and Carl S. VanArsdall (June 23, 1927-2011) tied the knot together on June 23, 1944 in his hometown of Greensburg, KY. The son of Carl W. and Eula (Ennis) VanArsdall, Carl as a 15-year-old had migrated with his parents of Forsyth, IL. He was a veteran of World War II, having served in the U.S. Army. Rose Ellen and Carl dwelled over the years in Bloomington, IL. Their only son was Rickie VanArsdale. Carl earned a living over the years as a railroad laborer, fireman, brakeman and conductor. His employers over that timeframe were the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad, Illinois Central Gulf Railroad and Amtrak. He belonged to the United Transportation Union. Socially, he held memberships in the Wade Barney Lodge of the Masons, Bloomington Scottish Rite, Mohammed Temple and Peoria and McLean County Shrine Club. He also liked to fish and garden and follow the fortunes of the Chicago Cubs team of Major League Baseball. Rose Ellen died at age 81 on July 11, 2007. Carl lived on as a widower for another four years. The Grim Reaper cut him away at age 83, as a resident of Bloomington's Heritage Manor, on May 21, 2011. They sleep in the realm of eternity in Park Hill Mausoleum.

Great-grandson Rickie VanArsdale wed Kim. They are the parents of Tracy Neal and Joshua VanArsdale and have made a home in Normal, IL.

Son Duane Johnson (1911-1992) was born on May 19, 1911 in DeWitt County. He entered into marriage with Olive Wilson (June 20, 1909-1998). The two families were close, and Duane's sister Mary wed Olive's brother Robert Earl Wilson. Their only son was Richard S. Johnson. Duane died on Sept. 10, 1992. Olive passed away on March 7, 1998 in Hallsville, IL.

  • Grandson Richard S. Johnson (1935-living) was born in 1935. He wed Barbara J. Cutright (1937-living). Their family includes daughters Janice Johnson and Alice Kay Johnson.
Clinton's South Center Street

Son Edward W. Johnson (1918-1980) was born on Jan. 25, 1918 in Clinton. In September 1926, while driving two cows home from a local creek, the eight-year-old Edward was struck by lightning. Reported the Decatur Herald and Review, "When the storm broke the cows found shelter under a large elm tree in the pasture. The boy was less than 30 feet away when a bolt of lightning struck the tree, killing the two cows instantly. The boy was stunned by the bolt but he soon recovered." Then on April 13, 1941, at age 22 or 23, he married Lillie Beeler (Oct. 10, 1922-1981), daughter of Jacob and Mable (Hollingshead) Beeler. The nuptials were held in Fulton, TN. During the early years of marriage, in World War II, Edward joined the U.S. Marine Corps. After the war's end, Edward and Lillie put down roots in rural Clinton and stayed for good. The couple together bore a brood of three sons -- Jacob David Johnson, Rickey Kent Johnson and Michael Keith Johnson. For many years, Edward earned a living as a car man for the Norfolk and Western Railroad. They belonged to the Kenney Christian Church and he to the American Legion post in Kenney. She was active with the Weldon lodge of the Rebekahs and Order of Eastern Star. Tragically, at age 61, Edward made the decision to end his life. On the fateful day of Oct. 26 1980, he placed a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. He was rushed to Dr. John Warner Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The Bloomington Pantagraph reported in kindly wordsmithing that the county coroner only "said foul play was not suspected." Rev. C. Don Ferrill led the funeral service, with interment of the remains in the Baptist Cemetery. Lillie only survived him by five months. She died at age 58 on April 1, 1981. Her remains were interred in the Baptist Cemetery near Kenney. Her obituary was printed in the Pantagraph.

  • Grandson Jacob David Johnson made his home in Clinton, IL in 1980.
  • Grandson Rickey Kent Johnson lived in 1980 in Clinton, IL.
  • Grandson Michael Keith Johnson was in Warrensburg, IL in 1980.

Daughter Mary Margaret Johnson (1920-2001) was born on May 15, 1920 in DeWitt County. On Feb. 10, 1936, she entered into the bond of marriage with Robert Earl Wilson (May 5, 1904-1976). The two families were close, and Mary's brother Duane wed Robert's sister Olive Wilson. Six children resulted from this marriage -- Norma Jean Heath, Bessie Margaret Lee  Wilson, David Earl Wilson, Caroline Myrtle Bleavins, Thomas Robert Wilson and Mary "Alice" Fitzgerald. The family resided for years in Decatur, IL. Grief cascaded over the family when Robert passed away in Clinton on Sept. 24, 1976. Mary survived him by a quarter-century and remained in Decatur. At the age of 80, on Jan. 12, 2001, she died in Decatur's St. Mary's Hospital. Her obituary was carried in the Bloomington Pantagraph. Burial was in Woodlawn Cemetery in Clinton following a funeral preached by J. Kent Hickerson. She was survived by 15 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

  • Granddaughter Norma Jean Wilson wed Dalton Heath. In 2001, they were in Guam.
  • Granddaughter Bessie Margaret Wilson ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). On March 15, 1957, she wed David Lee ( ? - ? ). Bessie resided in Dora, MO in 2001.   
  • Grandson David Earl Wilson was joined in matrimony with Pam. They relocated to Seward, AK.
  • Granddaughter Caroline Myrtle Wilson married Harry R. Bleavins. Their home in 2001 was in Carterville, IL.
  • Grandson Thomas Robert Wilson lived in Clinton in 2001.
  • Granddaughter Mary "Alice" Wilson was united in wedlock with Terry Fitzgerald. They established their residence in Pottersville, MO.

 

Margaret Willis

~ Daughter Margaret Elizabeth (Dillow) Willis ~

Daughter Margaret Elizabeth "Maggie" Dillow (1888-1969) was born on May 17, 1888 in Piper City, Ford County, IL.

At the age of 17, just three days before Christmas 1905, she married 25-year-old William L. Willis (Sept. 14, 1880-1929). He was the son of Evan E. and Matilda E. Willis.

Margaret and William were farmers in or around Clinton.

They together produced a brood of five children -- Lucille Evaline Andrews, William "Edward" Willis, Harold Lewis Willis, Evan Odair "Junior" Willis and Orville Oscar Willis.

When the census was enumerated in 1920, the Willises lived in Texas Township, DeWitt County, next door to William's father. They all are listed as farmers.

 

Obituary, 1969

Tragedy struck the family on Sept. 8, 1929, when William was killed in an automobile accident at the age of 49. He and his elderly parents and sons Junior and Orville were riding together in a Chrysler 80 sedan, driven by Lloyd Howell, who had picked them up at the railroad station at Vandalia en route to a visit with relatives. While riding together on the Old National Trail, 10 miles east of Vandalia, the "car left the pavement and turned over three times, throwing out all the occupants and alighting on its wheels," reported the Clinton Daily Journal and Public. No other vehicle was involved. William's skull was badly fractured, and he was rushed to Mark Glenn Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries. Burial was in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Margaret outlived him by four decades, and was a member of the First Christian Church of Clinton.

The federal census of 1930 shows the 41-year-old widow and her four sons living on West South Street in Clinton. She had no occupation that year, but apparently was supported by her sons living under her roof -- Edward, who worked as a floor man in a garage, and Harold, who was a laborer at odd jobs.

Circa 1945, her home address was 315 North Jackson Avenue.

She is known to have traveled with her brother Lawrence and sister Elsie Delamere to Shelbyville, IN in May 1962 for the funeral of their stepmother.

As she aged, Margaret went to live in the Crest View Nursing Home. She passed away on Jan. 10, 1969, at the age of 81, at John Warner Hospital. At her death, she had 12 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren. She and William rest for eternity in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Daughter Lucille Evaline Willis (1906-1999) was born on Nov. 7, 1906 in Clinton. On June 1, 1925, in a wedding ceremony held in Clinton, she wed George Dewey Andrews (Oct. 27, 1898-1950), a native of Jacksonville, IL and the son of Harrison and Ella Andrews. The couple bore one son, William Harrison Andrews, and made their longtime home in Clinton. During World War I, George was a sergeant with the 39th Infantry, 4th Division of the U.S. Army. After the war, he obtained employment with the Illinois Central Railroad and spent three decades with the company. He was a commander of the local posts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion, a noble grand of the Clinton Odd Fellows lodge, counselor of the Modern Woodmen of America, president of the Illinois Central Service Club and a member of the Eagles and the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks. They belonged to the United Brethren Church. George in late 1949 began receiving medical treatment for heart disease. On the fateful day of Jan. 9, 1950, at age 51, he was stricken by a massive heart attack at the Ellis gasoline filling station. He was rushed to John Warner Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival. An obituary was printed in the Bloomington Pantagraph. Lucille lived for another 19 years plus one day and died in Clinton on Jan. 10, 1969.

  • Grandson William Harrison Andrews (1926-1980) was born on Feb. 18, 1926 in Clinton. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy. On June 23, 1944, he wed Florence Agnes Keatley (Jan. 24, 1925-2011) who had been born in New York City but at the time was in Clinton. Together they were the parents of William George Andrews, Jane Hooker and James Larry Andrews. The family dwelled in Clinton at 600 East Washington Street. The Andrews clan belonged to the First Christian Church, while William held memberships in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers as well as the local lodges of the Eagles and Elks, Clinton Volunteer Fire Department and DeWitt County Sportsmans' Club. Sadly, William died in the Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, IL, at the age of 53, on Feb. 16, 1980. His funeral was led by Rev. Bob Barr, with burial in Woodlawn Cemetery. An obituary was published in the Bloomington Pantagraph saying that the count of his survivors was nine grandchildren. Florence outlived him by 31 years. She was carried away by the spirit of death in Springfield, IL on July 14, 2011.

Great-grandson William George Andrews dwelled in Clinton in 1980.

Great-granddaughter Jane Andrews wed Jarod Hooker and moved to Springfield, IL.

Great-grandson James Larry Andrews resided in 1980 in Clinton.

Son William "Edward" Willis (1908-1965) was born on Feb. 13, 1908 in Clinton. A bachelor at the age of 22, in 1930, he was employed as a floor man in a Clinton garage. By 1938, he worked as a shop foreman for Moots Motor Company. On June 18, 1938, when he was 30 years of age, he was joined in marriage with co-worker Bernadine Elizabeth Savely (July 4, 1916-1965), daughter of Ed Savely of Clinton. Their marriage ceremony was held in the local Christian Church by the hand of Rev. H.B. Wheaton. In announcing the wedding, the Bloomington Pantagraph said that the bride "was dressed in dark blue, with matching accessories..." At the time, she earned a living as a stenographer with Moots Motor. Two sons of this couple were Frank Edward Willis and Roy E. Willis. The family made a home in Clinton at 315 North Jackson Avenue. Edward and Bernadine marked their 22nd wedding anniversary in June 1960 with an accompanying article appearing in the Clinton Daily Journal and Public. On the tragic day of March 6, 1965, while driving together in on U.S. Route 24 west of Burnettsville, near Monticello, IN, Edward and Bernadine were killed in a two-vehicle, head-on collision. The news was reported in the Indianapolis Star among other newspapers in Indiana and Illinois.

  • Grandson Maj. Gen. Frank Edward Willis (1939-2017) was born on June 19, 1939 in Clinton. He grew up in Clinton and while in high school earned income as a newspaper deliveryman, janitor and country music radio disc jockey. He also obtained his pilot's license during those years. In 1957, he graduated from Clinton Community High School and then was accepted into the Air Force Academy, where he received his bachelor of military science. Frank went on to serve with the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War and in 1960 was stationed in Colorado Springs, CO. He spent his career in the military. By 1965, he was in Peru, IN. On June 7, 1961 -- the same day as his Academy graduation -- he wed Clarice Marie Hull (Jan. 3, 1938- ? ). Their union endured for more than 55 years. They produced three sons -- Michael Evan Willis, Steven Edward Willis and William Eric Willis. Frank was transferred to a variety of military posts including the Tan Son Nhut and Phan Rang air bases in Vietnam in 1970-1071, logging more than 1,000 combat flying hours. Over time Frank was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in 1984 and major general in 1989, and in total flew more than, 5,100 airborne miles. His final duty was with the Military Airlift Command where he helped complete the Air Force's purchase of the C-17 and Air Force One aircraft. He also commanded the SAC's Looking Glass airborne unit which flew continuously every hour of every day of the year. Frank retired and lived in St. Louis, where he devoted time to his hobby of model railroading and co-owned the Tinker Town model railroad shop. Also passionate about full-size railroading, he served as president for seven years of the Illinois Central Historical Society. The couple moved to Colorado Springs in 2007 and stayed put. There, he succumbed to death on Feb. 23, 2017. Following a memorial service at Forestgate Presbyterian Church, his remains were lowered into honored rest in the U.S. Air Force Academy Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Gazette.

Great-grandson Michael Evan Willis married Judy. Their offspring are Evan Willis and Joshua Willis.

Great-grandson Steven Edward Willis wed Bettina. Five children of the pair were Alex Willis, Andrea Willis, Erika Willis, Kristina Willis and Anna Willis.

Great-grandson William Eric Willis entered into marriage with Margo. Together they bore Eric Willis and Jessica Willis.

  • Grandson Roy E. Willis grew up in Clinton and lived there in 1965. On June 3, 1967, he married Linda Marie Howell (1948- ? ). Into this family were born four daughters -- Kimberly Kaye Willis, Kristy Lynn Willis, Kerry Beth Willis and Melinda Marie Willis.

Son Harold Lewis Willis (1912-2006) was born on Jan. 19, 1912 in Clinton. He was married twice in his lifetime. His first bride was Mildred A. Freelove (Nov. 26, 1912-2001), a native of Clinton. Their wedding was held in Bloomington, IL. To them were born three children -- Dale Willis, Patricia Willis and Paul Larry "Pete" Willis. The couple divorced. On Jan. 20, 1949, in Sandoval, IL, he was joined in matrimony with his second bride, Mary Evonne Evans (April 11, 1919-1976). He thus became a stepfather to Mary's daughter Linda Evans. The Willises made a home circa 1960-1969 in Clinton. Sadly, Mary died in DeWitt County, IL on Jan. 17, 1976. Harold survived his second wife by 30 years. He passed away in Washington, IL on July 27, 2006. Former wife Mildred passed away in Bloomington on March 16, 2001.

  • Grandson Dale Willis (1930-2015) was born on Oct. 7, 1930 in Clinton. The spirit of death whisked him away in Hartville, MO on Dec. 20, 2015.
  • Granddaughter Patricia Willis ( ? - ? )
  • Grandson Paul Larry "Pete" Willis (1937-1998) was born on Jan. 2, 1937. He died in Morton, IL on Oct. 7, 1998.
  • Step-granddaughter Linda Evans ( ? - ? )

Son Evan Odair "Junior" Willis (1922-2006) -- named after his grandfather -- was born on Dec. 8, 1922 in Clinton. A little more than a year before the outbreak of World War II, at the age of 18 in 1940, he joined the U.S. Navy. On July 18, 1942, at age 19, he wedded Ethel Lucille Thompson (Aug. 6, 1926-2001). Their marriage survived the ups and downs of a remarkable 58 years. They became the parents of Harold Evan Willis and Ken Alan Willis. Evan spent his 22-year military career with the U.S. Navy, with many transfers over the years. Circa 1947, the family was in Pensacola, FL. They migrated to Texas in 1959 and resided for the balance of their lives in Portland, TX. They belonged to St. Christopher's By the Sea Episcopal Church. He also held memberships in the Masons as a master, district deputy and chaplain, as well as in the Al Amin Shrine Temple, Traveler and Dune Buggies, and the Portland and ARansas Pass Orders of Eastern Star. Ethel passed into eternity in Portland on Feb. 26, 2001. Evan lived as a widower for five more years and remained in Portland. Death spirited him away at home at the age of 83 on Aug. 30, 2006. His pastor Rev. Ripp Hardaway led the funeral service, with interment following in San Patricio Memorial Gardens. His obituary appeared in the Corpus-Christi Caller-Times.

  • Grandson Harold Evan Willis (1946-living) was born on June 17, 1946. He was joined in matrimony with Vickie Bell Horton (June 4, 1948-2018). They appear to have settled in Portland, TX. Sadly, she passed away in Palestine on Sept. 25, 2018.   
  • Grandson Ken Alan Willis (1952-living) was born in 1952 in Chincoteague, VA. He made a residence in 2006 in Portland, TX.

Son Orville Oscar Willis (1924-2002) was born on May 13, 1924 in Clinton. He was a graduate of Clinton High School. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Army and was deployed to England in January 1943. He took part in the 1944 Normandy campaign in France and was commended by his commanding officer for "his driving in difficult weather and over shell-pocked highways in the blackout," reported the Clinton Daily Journal and Public. Then in December 1944-January 1945, he was assigned to a military police guard in Belgium, driving German prisoners of war from the front lines to the stockades. He entered into marriage with Donna Jean Manley (Dec. 10, 1929- ? ). The family initially dwelled in Clinton and by 1965 were in Portland, TX. Together, they produced a brood of four sons -- James Steven Willis, Jon Robert Willis, Roger Alan Willis and Bradley Wayne Willis. Sadly, Orville died in Clinton on Sept. 30, 2002. Burial was in Clinton's Memorial Park Cemetery.

  • Grandson James Steven Willis (1949-2018) was born on the Fourth of July 1949. He wed Suzanne Stone ( ? - ? ). They begat two two children, Jeffrey Jay Willis and Angela Michelle Willis. They lived in Colona, IL in 1986. Sadness blanketed the family when he died in Clinton on Sept. 4, 2018.
  • Grandson Jon Robert Willis (1952-1986) was born on March 20, 1952 in Clinton. He was a 1970 graduate of Clinton Community High School and worked in young manhood for Revere Copper and Brass Inc. He first was united in matrimony on Aug. 5, 1972 with Cynthia Reynolds ( ? - ? ). Cynthia was the daughter of William Reynolds, a high school senior and the organist at the Clinton First United Methodist Church. Their one son was Joseph Robert Willis. Then in 1982 he married again to Karen Anderson ( ? - ? ). Their only known daughter was Kristen Kelli Willis. He was employied with Taylor Abstract Company of Clinton as a manager. Tragically, at the age of 34, while riding together with Karen near Springfield, five days before Christmas 1986, Jon was badly injured when their vehicle was struck by a drunk motorist. While "driving west on Durkin Drive," said the Bloomington Pantagraph, he "stopped for a traffic sign and continued west." The other driver, heading "south on Lawrence Street ... failed to yield at a stop sign" and crashed into the Willis vehicle. Jon had to be extracted from the vehicle and was rushed to Springfield (IL) Medical Center, where he soonafter passed away. Karen also was hurt but recovered. Burial was in Clinton's Memorial Park Cemetery.
  • Grandson Roger Alan Willis (1953-1983) was born on Dec. 30, 1953 in Clinton. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy. When he was age 22, on Nov. 27, 1976, he was joined in wedlock with Julie Ellen Reed ( ? - ? ). The wedding was held in Clinton. Together they were the parents of three daughters, Jessica Leighan Willis, Jennifer Lei Willis and Katherine Leslie Willis. They dwelled in Clinton. Roger was employed with Caterpillar Tractor Company as a fireman and held a membership in Local 751 of the United Auto Workers. Sadly, suffering from leukemia, the 19-year-old Roger died on Sept. 18, 1983 in St Louis' Barnes Hospital. Funeral services were officiated by Rev. Dr. J. William Jones, with burial in Memorial Park Cemetery. An obituary was printed in the Bloomington Pantagraph.
  • Grandson Bradley Wayne Willis (1956-living) was born on May 25, 1956. He married Kathy Leann Harlow ( ? - ? ) and had a daughter, Alison René Willis. Circa 1986, they dwelled in Waynesville, IL.

 

~ Daughter Elsie Mae (Dillow) Delamere ~

 

Elsie May Delamere

Daughter Elsie Mae Dillow (1889-1985) was born on July 11 or 17, 1889 in Piper City, IL.

On Feb. 1, 1908, in Clinton, she was united in the bonds of holy matrimony with Daniel Levi "Dan" Delamere (Jan. 14, 1879-1956), the son of John and Euphemia (Laney) Delamere. Daniel a full decade older than his bride. The families were close, and Elsie's aunt, Sylvia Dillow, was married to Daniel's brother, Charles Edward Delamere.

The Delameres together bore two daughters -- Harriet "Louise" Rogers and Helen Marie Linton Curl.

Daniel and Elsie were longtime farmers. In September 1917, he purchased a 120-acre farm located two miles north of Kenney, IL. He bought the tract from Weldon Ward, for the price of $145 per acre. Reported the Clinton Daily Public, "This is a grain and stock farm with good improvements. Forty acres were recently purchased from the county and eighty acres were purchased from L.K. Ingham."

Over the years, their comings and goings often were reported in the gossip columns of local Clinton newspapers, including shopping and business trips into town. In June 1927, the Clinton Daily Journal and Public said that an ancient stone axe had been found on their farm -- "The axe is the most remarkable specimen the reporter has ever seen, being about the size of the modern hatchet, perfectly balances and polished to a sharp edge and smooth surface."

 

   

40th wedding anniversary

The Delameres moved in the spring of 1928 from near Kenney to a tenant farm near Heyworth, IL, known as the "Snell half section" of land. The tract more precisely was five miles east and two miles south of Heyworth, three miles east and four miles north of Wapella and one mile south and a half-mile west of South Downs, on the county line.

They made the decision in January 1930 to move to their own farm, with Daniel placing an advertisement in the Clinton newspaper, offering a wide range of his farming assets for sale -- eight head of horses and mules, 11 head of milk cows and calves, 29 head of hogs and sows, and a host of farming implements such as a tractor, corn dump, cultivator, plows, harrows and wagons. He also offered to sell four sets of good harnesses and 16 tons of baled timothy hay.

The Delameres were among a number of local residents in June 1932 to have parts of their farms legally condemned for right-of-way purposes in the proposed construction of a gravel road from Kenney to Hallville.

They were members of the Clinton United Methodist Church. In 1942, Elsie joined the West Barnett unit of the Home Bureau.

 

Obituary, 1956

Daniel advertised in August 1943 that he was selling 300 white rock pullets (young hens), of which 150 were reading for mating, considered a "heavy laying strain." At the time, their 120-acre farm was located halfway between Kenney and Hallsville on the "black top road."

By 1949, the couple appears to have retired and made a home in the town of Clinton at 109 South Elizabeth Street. They sold that property in 1950 and moved to 520 North Elizabeth Street. They held onto their farm until December 1950, when it was sold to Ray Dement of Hallsville.

Daniel underwent major surgery in Decatur in July 1951. He lived for another five-plus years. The couple quietly marked their wedding anniversaries in 1952, 1954 and 1955, with related articles appearing in the Daily Journal and Public. Then in June 1952 they purchased a home at 616 South Quincy Street, a story-and-a-half frame structure.

He died at age 77 in Clinton, on Aug. 2, 1956. His obituary was published in the Journal and Public. Following a funeral service held in the family church, by the hand of Rev. Walter Theobald, the remains were buried in the memorial park section of Woodlawn Cemetery in Clinton. At the time of his passing, he was survived by six grandchildren.

Elsie survived him by nearly three decades. She died at the age of 95 on April 14, 1985, and is buried beside her husband. She was survived, said the Clinton Daily Journal, by six grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

 

Clinton Daily Journal, Monday, April 15, 1985

 

Daughter Harriet "Louise" Delamere (1910-1990) was born on Sept. 11, 1910 in Macon County, IL. At the age of 18, living in Wilson Township near Clinton, she was joined in the bonds of marriage with 21-year-old George "Alvin" Rogers (Jan. 18, 1909-1992), also of Wilson. Their wedding was held in Clinton on Feb. 5, 1929. Five known offspring born to the pair were Juanita "Joan" Wendling, Phyllis May Rogers, Sharon Elaine Rogers, Daniel Delamere Rogers and David Darryl Rogers. They dwelled near Kenney, IL in 1938, in Peoria, IL in 1943, in DeKalb, IL in 1950-1952, in Thawville, IL in 1954-1956, in Piper City, IL in 1962 and in Farina, IL in 1985. Louise passed away in Iola, IL on Feb. 12, 1990.

  • Granddaughter Juanita "Joan" Rogers (1929-2007) was born on Dec. 16, 1929 in Weldon Township. She was a 1947 graduate of Naperville High School. On May 22, 1948, when she was 18 years of age, she wed Gene Ralph Wendling (1926-1995), a resident of Naperville and a railroad employee. Their wedding was held at St. John's Evangelical and Reformed Church in Naperville. The Wendlings first lived in Naperville. By 1954, they dwelled in Long Beach, CA. Later, she was joined in matrimony with Frank Robert Wallace (1915-1994). Neither of the marriages resulted in children. She died in Kingman, AZ on St. Patrick's Day 2007.
  • Granddaughter Phyllis May Rogers (1931-1999) was born on Aug. 13, 1931 in Heyworth, IL. She was twice-wed. Her first spouse was Donald McKnight (1924- ? ). The pair lived in Los Angeles in 1951. Then on Nov. 11, 1954, she was united in matrimony with John J. Scott (1930- ? ), a butcher of DeKalb, IL. Officiating was Rev. B.E. Junkins. The couple was pictured in a related story in the Clinton Daily Journal and Public, which noted that the bride "wore a blue dress with matching accessories and white corsage." At the time of marriage, she was about to begin a position with First National Bank in DeKalb. They produced three offspring, Gail Louise Scott, John Roger Scott and Randall Lee Scott. She succumbed to the spectre of death in DeKalb, IL on Aug. 5, 1999.
  • Granddaughter Sharon Elaine Rogers (1938-2001) was born on Nov. 23, in 1938 near Kenney, IL. At her birth, the news was printed in the Clinton Daily Journal and Public. She was married thrice in her lifetime. Her first husband was Boake Thompson (1937- ? ). Her second spouse was Lyle Smith (1936- ? ). The Smiths begat a family of three -- Lori Jo Smith, Lisa Gay Smith and Lane Louise Smith. Sharon's third marriage was to David Jones ( ? - ? ). Death swept her away in Flower Mound, TX on Jan. 8, 2001.
  • Grandson Daniel Delamere Rogers (1941- ? ) was born in 1941 in Louisville, IL. He married Linda Carole Collins (May 13, 1942- ? ), a native of Pontiac, IL. Together, they were the parents of Heather Ann Rogers and Ryan Collins Rogers.
  • Grandson David Darryl Rogers (1944- ? ) was born in 1944 in Sycamore, IL. His first bride was Linda Kay Moore (Dec. 8, 1946- ? ), of Knoxville, TN. Their three offspring were Stacey Lynn Rogers, Brenda Sue Rogers and Mark David Rogers. His second spouse, whom he wed on Oct. 2, 1971 in Piper City, IL, was Ann Renee Myers (Aug. 6, 1951- ? ), originally from Fairbury, IL. They bore a daughter of their own, Shannan Dee Rogers.

Daughter Helen Marie Delamere (1919-2018) was born on Dec. 8, 1919 at home two miles north of Kenney, IL. News of her birth was announced in the Clinton Daily Public. During her lifetime she was married twice. She first was wed to Elwin Linton (1918-1994), of Tunbridge Township, DeWitt County. They became the parents of Rose Marie Linton. In the 1940s and '50s, they resided in Clinton. She is known to have been a notary public and employed in the DeWitt County Clerk's office in 1951. The couple divorced, with Elwin moving to Wichita, KS. Then on March 14, 1958, in Hernando, MS, she wed farmer Thomas Jacob "Tom" Curl (Feb. 16, 1928-2022), son of Charles W. and Edna H. (Hoffman) Curl. Thomas was a U.S. Army veteran. He belonged to the American Corn Growers Association, American Agriculture Movement and for many years was president of AAM's Illinois organization. Socially he belonged to the Clinton Elks Lodge for 65 years and was amember of the local American Legion post.  Helen worked as deputy county clerk in the late 1950s. Sadly, Helen passed into the arms of the angels in Tallahassee, FL on July 13, 2018. Thomas survived his bride by almost four years, remaining in Tallahassee. Death enveloped him at age 94 on April 24, 2022. His obituary appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat.

  • Granddaughter Rose Marie Linton (1940-1993) was born in 1940. She was  a 1958 alumna of Clinton Community High School. As a young woman, she was employed in Bloomington, IL with State Farm Insurance Company. On Oct. 12, 1958, she entered into wedlock with Jack Leo Armstrong (1938-living), son of Harold Armstrong of 521 South Madison Street, Clinton. Their nuptials were held in Clinton's First Christian Church. He was a 1956 Clinton Community graduate and at the time worked as a draftsman with Reeser Construction Company of Maroa, IL. Later in the year of their marriage, Rose Marie was hired as a stenographer in the office of the county superintendent of schools. Two sons born to this union were Gary Wayne Armstrong and Gregory Owen Armstrong. Sadly, Rose Marie died in 1983. The widowed Jack married again to Bonnie and made their residence in Tallahassee.

    Great-grandson Gary Wayne Armstrong wed Robyn. They have lived in Pooler, GA.

    Great-grandson Gregory Owen Armstrong entered into marriage with Bobbie Jean. Their home in 2022 was in Tallahassee. 

 

William Oscar Dillow and friends, 1912

~ Son William "Oscar" Dillow ~

Son William "Oscar" Dillow (1891-1914) was born on June 5, 1891 in Mason City, IA.

He was united in matrimony with Emily E. Long (May 3, 1891-1918), the daughter of Jefferson and Mary (Dillavou) Long, on Feb. 16, 1913 in Clinton.

The couple did not reproduce.

Oscar is said to have been very religious and to have read the Bible before his meals. He was employed circa 1914 as a railroad car inspector with the Illinois Central Railroad.

Tragically, less than a year into their marriage, the 23-year-old Oscar was killed at work in the Illinois Central's east yards. On the fatal day of March 24, 1914, reported the Clinton Register:

... he was watching a freight train pulling in on the Gilman line when a short string of cars, pulled by a switch engine, struck him. His right leg was crushed near the knee joint, and left hip was bruised, and there were minor bruises on the left leg. There was a scalp wound, which appeared to have been caused by striking some hard substance when Dillow was struck, but there was no fracture of the bones of the skull. The injured man was at once placed in a caboose and taken to the depot, where the Oakman ambulance was waiting. He was taken to the Warner hospital, where Dr. Edmonson amputated the right leg, but the patient was too weak to survive the operation and died... A number of witnesses were examined and according to their evidence Dillow had stepped onto the ties on a switch track where some cars were being backed in, and was knocked down and run over by a couple of cars which were being side-tracked, the one striking him being an oil tank...

His remains were interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery memorial park, with Rev. E.K Towie officiating. After a coroner's inquest, the railroad company was exonerated of any blame in the accident.

The widowed Emily remained in Clinton to mourn her loss. She is known to have attended a 79th birthday party for her husband's grandfather William Baker Dillow in late March 1916.

Heartbreak followed grief. Evidence suggests that she lost her mind during that time and was considered by county officials as insane.

Emily surrendered to the angel of death at the age of 27, on Oct. 27, 1918. A story in the Clinton Daily Public said that just a few weeks beforehand, she had taken out an insurance policy with the Lady Maccabees, and that a few weeks after her death, a check for $1,000 was delivered.

 

~ Daughter Caroline Jane (Dillow) Houchin ~

Daughter Caroline Jane "Carrie" Dillow (1895-1921) was born on Nov. 8, 1895 in Bloomington, IL.

 

Clinton Daily Public, 1922

At the age of about 18, on Feb. 3, 1914, entered into marriage with Charles W. Houchin (1892-1922), also spelled "Houchins," the son of John and Milia (Crum) Houchin of DeWitt County.

They together bore a son, Edwin Houchin.

Tragedy visited this family twice, leaving their young son as an orphan to be raised by a stepmother. The Grim Reaper first visited on Oct. 1, 1921, when Carrie was killed when her Ford automobile was struck by an interurban trolley. The accident occurred near the Clinton Country Club. Her remains were laid to eternal rest in Woodlawn Cemetery in Clinton.

The widowed Charles wed again, to Bertha Justice ( ? - ? ), daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Justice of Clinton. The pair did not reproduce.

Charles only lived a short time after the second marriage. He obtained employment in Bloomington, McLean County, IL, laboring in the Chicago & Alton Railroad shops.

Death claimed him a year later, in October 1922 "when a crane chain broke and fell, striking him squarely on top of the head, while he was at work with a companion in the coal chutes," reported the Clinton Daily Public. "A part of the hat which he was wearing at the time ... was driven into his head. Mr. Houchins was conscious all of the time, the terrible blow not even rendering him unconscious." He died of a fractured skull at the Brokaw Hospital a day and a half after the accident, on Oct. 21, 1922. Burial was in Woodlawn Cemetery. He is one of far too many cousins to lose their lives in accidents related to the coal, coke and steel industries and railroad industries.

Son Edwin L. Houchin (1916-1945) was born on June 30, 1916 in Clinton. He was only six years of age when rendered an orphan and was raised by his stepmother. He led a troubled life. In January 1936, already a paroled convict, he was convicted of automobile theft and sentenced to a term in the penitentiary in Chester, IL. In about 1943, at age 27, he was admitted to the Oak Park Tuberculosis Sanitorium in Harvey, IL. He remained there for the balance of his life. During a visit with his younger brother Lawrence and sisters Maggie and Elsie, who brought fresh fruit, he said that if he could have more fruit he could cure himself. But his years were destined to be short. He passed away at age 29 on July 29, 1945. An obituary in the Bloomington Pantagraph said that Rev. H.B. Wheaton led the funeral service, with interment in Woodlawn Cemetery, and that Edwin was survived by a sister "Mrs. Morris E. Scribner of Decatur."        

 

Lawrence and Loraine Dillow
Courtesy Dorles (Dillow) Barber

~ Son Lawrence Edward Dillow ~

Son Lawrence Edward Dillow (1899-1981) was born on Dec. 11, 1899 in Clinton, DeWitt County, IL.

On Jan. 15, 1924, when he was age 24, he was united in the bonds of holy matrimony with 22-year-old Clara "Loraine" Derby (1901-1966), stepdaughter of Orvil Gilbert and a native of Waggoner, IL. The wedding took place in Clinton.

Although Clara never was adopted by her stepfather she was known in the community as "Loraine Gunter" prior to marriage.

Together, the couple produced a family of seven offspring -- Donald Lawrence Dillow, Robert Eugene Dillow, Harriette "Irma" Prosser, John LeRoy Dillow, Margaret "Collette" Baker, Dorles Ann Barber and Mary Jane Foster.

The Dillow family spent most of their lives in Clinton. Among their addresses were 323 North Mulberry Street in 1925, 703 East Webster Street in 1935-1952 and at 818 East Julia Street.

During the summer/fall of 1927, they dwelled in Milwaukee, WI where Lawrence had found work for the time being.

 

Photo collage of Loraine and her children -- Courtesy Dorles (Dillow) Barber

 

 

Lawrence Edward Dillow
Courtesy Dorles (Dillow) Barber

When the federal census enumeration was made in 1940, Lawrence was employed in the city of Clinton by the Works Progress Administration. The WPA was one of the ways President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the federal government tried to overcome unemployment during the Great Depression. It's widely considered one of the Roosevelt's largest and most ambitious undertakings of his "New Deal" to get the nation back on sound economic footing. Over the years, the WPA hired millions of out-of-work individuals to build public works projects, such as roads, bridges, retaining walls and buildings.

Lawrence later earned a living as a a longtime masonry contractor. Among his known projects was the Assembly of God Church located at 412 South Monroe Street.

In early September 1949, the family were among 91 relatives and guests who attended the 11th annual Dillow Reunion, held at Weldon Springs Park. Lawrence served as president of the gathering, and he and Loraine won the award "for having the largest family present," reported the Clinton Daily Journal and Public.

Clara spent her final years at 818 East Julia Street. She died just a few weeks before her  65th birthday in Clinton on Sept. 1, 1966, said the Journal and Public, "following an extended illness."

 

Obituary, 1981

At the time of her passing, Clara and Lawrence were survived by 30 grandchildren.

Lawrence survived her by 15 years, and made his home at 617 South Quincy Street.

At the age of 81, he passed away on Oct. 22, 1981, in Clinton, with burial at Woodlawn Cemetery memorial park. By the time of his death, he and Clara had 31 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

Son Donald Lawrence Dillow (1925-2011) was born on Aug. 5, 1925  . News of his birth was announced on the pages of the Clinton Daily Public. During World War II, in November 1942, he joined the U.S. Navy and underwent basic training in Farragut, ID. He was assigned to a minesweeper vessel in the Pacific and spent 19 months on that tour of duty. He is known to have returned home in January 1945 for the first time since his enlistment. Once back home for good after the war, he secured a job in Bloomington, IL with John Felmley Construction Company. On Sept. 9, 1948, in nuptials held at the Wesley First Methodist Church in Bloomington, Donald entered into marriage with Marie Eleanor (Brown) Sodorf (March 25,1923-2003). Rev. Lloyd G. Strouse presided. The Dillows resided in Bloomington, IL and became the parents of four -- Paul James Dillow, Anne Marie Spencer, Donald "Wayne" Dillow and Lynn Ellen McGann Morrison. Sadly, Marie died on June 14, 2003. Donald outlived his wife by eight years. He passed away in Heartland Healthcare in Normal, IL at age 85 on June 26, 2011. His obituary was printed in the Bloomington Pantagraph. 

  • Grandson  Paul James Dillow (1945-living) was born in 1945.

  • Granddaughter Ann Marie Dillow (1949-living) was born in 1949. She was united in matrimony with Terry Lee Spencer (1948-living), a native of  Woodstock, IL. Their wedding was held on Aug. 21, 1971 in Bloomington, IL. Ann and Terry together produced two  children, Gregory Scott Spencer and Tara Elizabeth Hurley.  

  • Grandson Donald "Wayne" Dillow (1954-living) was born in 1954. On Nov. 17, 1973, in Bloomington, IL, he was joined in wedlock with Marjorie Kay "Margie" Bryant ( 1954-living),, of Omaha. The couple's three children are Bryan Dean Dillow, Jaime Leigh Dillow-Mendez and Nicole Marie "Nikki" Dillow. 

  • Granddaughter Lynn Ellen Dillow (1959-living) was born in 1959. She was twice-wed. Her first spouse was Brian S. McGann (1958- ? ), a native of  Peoria, IL. Their nuptials were conducted on Aug. 25, 1984 in Bloomington, IL. Two offspring born to this couple are Kayleigh Ann Twork and Shane Patrick McGann. On Oct. 15, 1994, in Bloomington, Lynn wed her second spouse, Mark Irvin Morrison (1958-living).

Son Robert Eugene "Bob" Dillow (1928-2011) was born on May 21, 1928 in Clinton. He was a 1946 graduate of Clinton Community High School. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps for 18 months during World War II. He then attended Chicago Technical College, graduating in June 1951. On Nov. 19, 1948, he wed his first bride, Dixie Carol Glenn (July 7, 1929-1992), a native of Farmer City, IL and daughter of Edgar Glenn of Clinton. The happy event was held in the parsonage of the Christian church in Clinton, led by Rev. H.B. Wheaton. The Clinton Daily Journal and Public reported that Dixie "was attired in a gray gabardine suit with matchine accessories and carried a bouquet." The couple made their first home together in Chicago until his graduation. He then became employed as a testing engineer by the American Association of Railroads. Five children were produced by the couple. The family later settled in Eureka Springs, AR. He is known to have owned several businesses in Arkansas and Missouri, and he held a lifetime membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Sadness blanketed the family when Dixie died in Eureka Springs, AR on Sept. 23, 1992.  Robert married a second time to Patricia Ann "Pat" Pulliam (Nov. 12, 1937-2018). She brought three children to the union from an earlier marriage --  Cynthia Loescher Gardner, Steffani Ray Loescher and William Loescher. The Dillows spent their final years together in Springfield, MO. On July 26, 2011, Robert passed into the arms of eternity at age 83 at Cox Medical Center South near Springfield. His obituary was printed with his photograph in the Springfield News Leader, with the family requesting that any memorial donations be made to the American Cancer Society. Patricia lived for another eight years. She surrendered to the spirit of death on May 11, 2019.

  • Granddaughter Carrie Christine Dillow (1951-living) was born in 1951 in Bloomington, IL. Carrie first married Boston native Richard LaMon (1946- ? ). The marriage was held on Sept. 19, 1970.  Their only son was Derek William LaMon. Carrie later wed  Kenneth Thomas McKinley, Jr. (1953- ? ), of  Fredericksburg, VA. They tied the knot in Austin, TX on April 28, 1978. Richard adopted his stepson who then was known as Derek William McKinley. The family has lived in Smithville, TX. resided in Smithville, TX.
  • Granddaughter Shelly Kathleen Dillow (1956-living) was born in 1956 in Bloomington. Shelly is the mother of two  children. Her first  son was Shawn Paul McLane, born in San Diego. Her seecond child was Lyla Odessa, born in Eureka Springs, AR. Shelly has made a home in Fayetteville, AR. 

    Great-grandson Shawn Paul McLane (1972-2019) was born on July 7, 1972 in San Diego. On July 2, 2005, in Eureka Springs, AR, he entered into marriage with Vanessa Rea Williams (1986-living). Sadly, he died on Jan. 8, 2019 in St. Clairsville, OH.

    Great-granddaughter Lyla Odessa (1977-living) was born in 1977 in Eureka Springs, AR. On Nov. 9, 1999, in the town of her birth, she wed Cory Dean Allison (1973-living), a native of Arlington, TX. One daughter born into this family is Madison Leigh Hall.   

  • Granddaughter Melissa Ruth Dillow (1959-living) was born on Nov. 8, 1959 in Milwaukee, WI. Her four known children are Elizabeth "Blanche" Shultz, Jeremiah "Tylus" Griggs, Audrey Lynn Atwell and Franklin Mohave Speer Dillow. She has  dwelled in Fayetteville, AR.
  • Granddaughter Amy Roxanne Dillow (1963-living) was born in 1963 in Waukesha,WI. She is the mother of Jacob Allen "Jake" Dillow. Amy established her residence in Elkins, AR.
  • Granddaughter Melanie Beth Dillow (1960-living) was born in 1960 in Waukesha, WI. She was joined in the bonds of wedlock with Kenneth Ray Mitchell (1952-living) a native of Alton, IL. Their wedding was held in Conway, AR on March 11, 1989. The pair produced a daughter, Miranda Catherine Mitchell. The Mitchells put  down roots in Springdale, AR.  
  • Step-granddaughter Cynthia  "Candy" Loescher wed (?) Gardner and has lived in Springfield, MO.  
  • Step-granddaughter Steffani Ray Loescher was in Rogersville in 2011.   
  • Step-grandson William Loescher resided in 2011 in Springfield, MO.

Daughter Harriette "Irma" Dillow (1929-living) was born on Christmas Eve 1929. At age 18, she was employed circa 1948 in the Goodyear Footwear plant in Clinton. She was four-times-wed. On March 6, 1948, she was joined in matrimony with Paul Eugene McDonald Sr. (1929-2004), a resident of Arrowsmith, IL. Their wedding was held in the Clinton Baptist Church and announced in the Clinton Daily Journal and Public. At the time of marriage, Paul earned a living as a brakeman on the Illinois Central Railroad, covering the run between Clinton and Freeport. They resided in Freeport and bore two children, Harriette Ann McDonald and Paul Eugene McDonald Jr. Grief cascaded over the family when daughter Harriette, born prematurely, died at age one day on Oct. 22, 1948. In time she married again to Jacin Loren Ruble (Nov. 9, 1929-1981), Piggott, AR on Nov. 7, 1952. Together they produced five more children -- Jeffrey Alan Ruble, Gregory J. Ruble, Jacina Leslie Ruble, Regina Ann "Reggie" Ruble and Michael Loren Ruble. Once again, they mourned at the passing of son Jeffrey at the age of just five days on the Fourth of July 1953 in Clinton. The family relocated to California in the late 1950s, prior to the birth of their daughter Regina. The second marriage ended in divorce, and Jacin passed away in Stanton, CA on March 25, 1981. On Sept. 8, 1975, in a ceremony in Las Vegas, she married a third time to Donald Worth Richardson (May 1, 1924-1979), The Richardson marriage lasted for four years, ending in Donald's death in Anaheim, CA on Jan. 29, 1979. Irma waited for 16 years until marrying a fourth time, on Sept. 9, 1995, in Las Vegas, to Donald Frank Prosser (Dec. 31, 1929-2004). Sadly, Donald was swept away in death in Anaheim on March 5, 2004.           

  • Grandson Paul Eugene McDonald Jr. (1951-2020) was born on Jan. 9, 1951. His first wife was Bonita Lucille Choate (1951-living), a native of Enid, OK. They were joined together in marriage on Aug. 8, 1970 in Fontana, CA. Three children of this union were Amber Anne Kois, Karen Bonita McDonald and Paul Eugene McDonald III. Paul's second bride was Karen Jo Artz (1951- ? ), originally from New Kensington near Pittsburgh, PA. They tied the knot in San Bernardino, CA on July 25, 1998. The pair did not reproduce and eventually divorced.      
  • Grandson Gregory J. Ruble (1954-2015) was born on Sept. 1, 1954 in Champaign, IL. He was united in matrimony in Las Vegas on Leap Day 1976 with Susan "Susie" Abel (1953- ? ), from Oakland, CA. The couple's only daughter was Jaime Michelle Ruble. He passed into eternity in San Jacinto, CA on June 18, 2015.  
  • Granddaughter Jacina Leslie Ruble (1956-living) was born in 1956 in Champaign, IL. On June 19, 1976, in Garden Grove, CA, she wed Stephen Kurt Marciniak (1952-living), a native of Alpena, MI. Two children born into this family were Jillian Nicole Marciniak and Travis Stephen Lawrence Marciniak. 
  • Granddaughter Regina Ann "Reggie" Ruble (1959-living) was born in 1959 in Long Beach, CA. She has been married twice. On Jan. 25, 1975, in Garden Grove, CA, she entered into marriage with Richard Jerome Rainier Jr. (April 2, 1956-2006). They became the parents of Tayna Marie Rainier and Stephen Jared Rainier. The couple divorced, with Richard moving to Asheville, NC where he died on May 9, 2006. Regina's second husband was Robert Douglas "Doug" Blundell (1947-living) of Santa Monica, CA. They were wed in Las Vegas on March 21, 2003.  
  • Grandson Michael Loren Ruble (1961-2017) was born in 1961 in Long Beach. He married Richmond, KY native Eva Gail Singer (1961-living) at Lake Tahoe, NV. Three offspring of the pair are Jacin Michael Ruble, Chad Edward Ruble and Chelcie Lorae Ruble. Grief blanketed the family at Michael's death in Los Angeles on Feb. 12, 2017.

Son  John LeRoy "Jack" Dillow (1931- living) was born in 1931. He was a 1949 graduate of Clinton Community High School. In January 1951, he joined the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He served aboard a destroyer in 1951. Burdened with arthritis, he received treatment at the naval hospital on Mare Island, CA. In peacetime, he was hired as a brick mason by Felmley & Dickerson Company. On Sept. 4, 1953, he entered into the bonds of marriage with Lois Marie Harris (1934-living). Their nuptials, presided over by Rev. B.E. Junkins, was held in the chapel of the Clinton Christian Church. "The bride ... chose for her wedding a white linen suit with small purple hat with pearl clips and a nose veil, purple shoes and purple orchids," reported the Clinton Daily Journal and Public. She was employed at the time of marriage with State Farm Insurance Company. They have made a home for years in Clinton and have produced a family of five -- Pamela Sue Harris, John "Mark" Dillow, Carla Kay Morse Miller, Deanna Marie "De" Wilson Menchaca and Daniel Lee Dillow.

  • Granddaughter Pamela Sue Dillow (1956-living) was born in 1956. She was united in the bonds of holy matrimony with Stanley Thomas Harris (1957-living) of Champaign, IL. Their nuptials were held in Clinton on Sept. 10, 1977. Together they bore two children, Matthew Ryan Harris and Abigail Nicole "Abby" Clark.
  • Grandson John "Mark" Dillow (1957-living) was born in1957. He has been twice-wed. His first bride was Ginger Marie Lewis (1962-2018), a native of Gibson City, IL. Their wedding was held in Clinton on Sept. 12, 1981. The couple did not reproduce. Mark's second spouse, whom he married in Clinton on Nov. 30, 1996, is Robin Jean Orr (1961-living). Their only daughter was Macy Kay Dillow. They relocated to Florida. The couple was plunged into grief when daughter Macy died of leukemia in St. Louis in 2020.

    Great-grandaughter Macy Kay Dillow (1997 -2020) was born on Oct. 15, 1997. She moved with her parents to Florida. But over the Thanksgiving weekend of 2019, following an automobile accident, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia. In short time she was placed on life support. Due to coronarvirus restrictions, her family could not be with her during periods of time in her treatment, according to a story on WAND-TV. Death carried her away at Evelyn's House on March 14, 2020.

  • Granddaughter Carla Kay Dillow (1959-living) was born in 1959. She has been married twice in her lifetime. On March 3, 1978, in Clinton, she was joined in wedlock with Rodney Earl Morse (1958-living), also of Clinton. Their two daughters were Andrea Marie Deerwester and Haley Michelle Leimbach. After a divorce, on Aug. 31, 1981, Carla wed Jesse Lionel Miller (1962-living). They produced a son of their own, Jesse Carl Miller.
  • Granddaughter Deanna Marie "De" Dillow (1961-living) was born in 1961, a twin with her brother Daniel. She has been married two times. On May 2, 1981, she was brought together in marriage with Timothy LeRoy Wilson (1958- ? ), originally from Elizabeth, KY. They did not reproduce, and in time divorced. Then at College Station, TX, on Aug. 15, 1987, she wed a second time to Daniel Isidoro Menchaca (1957-living) of Carrizo, TX. Two sons born to the second marriage were Daniel Isidoro Menchaca II and Aaron Thomas Menchaca.
  • Grandson Daniel Lee Dillow (1961-living) was born in 1961, a twin with his sister Deanna Marie. He thrice has been married. His first spouse was Lori Dawn Burton (1961-living), in a wedding held in Clinton on July 9, 1983. They appear not to have reproduced. His second bride was Julie Darlene Roberts (1961-living), with their nuptials held in Clinton on April 1, 1988. Together they bore two children, Benjamin Jackson Dillow and Chloe Justine Dillow. Then on April 24, 1999, in El Paso, TX, he was joined in marriage with his third wife, Karen Yvonne Harris (1966-living), a native of Bloomington, IL.

Daughter Margaret "Collette" Dillow (1933-living) was born in 1933. On Nov. 19, 1952, in Clinton, she married Ronald Keith Baker (1930-living), son of Burness Baker of Weldon, IL. In announcing the engagement, the Clinton Daily Journal and Public published Collette's photograph portrait. The wedding was led by Rev. B.E. Junkins in the chapel of Clinton Christian Church. Reported the Journal and Public, "The bride chose for her wedding a white suit with black accessories and red rose corsage." The Bakers first made a home in Clinton, with Ronald working there in the plant of Revere Copper & Brass. Later, circa 1966-1981, they dwelled in Ronald's hometown of Weldon. Six children born into this family were Rhonda Kay Parvin, Richard Keith Baker, Roger Kent Baker, Gina Lyn Field, John Eric Baker and Matthew Elliot Baker.

  • Granddaughter Rhonda Kay Baker (1954-living) was born in 1954 in Clinton. On July 5, 1975, in Decatur, IL, she was joined in wedlock with Rex Louis Parvin (1952-living), a native of Maryville, TN. Their only daughter is Anne Collette Emerson.
  • Grandson Richard Keith Baker (1955-living) was born in 1955 in Clinton. He entered into marriage on Sept. 3, 1976, in Clinton, with Jeanne Diane Huisinga (1956-living), originally of Monticello, IL. The pair's two daughters are Amanda Nicollette Baker and Rachel Katelyn Kane.
  • Grandson Roger Kent Baker (1957-living) was born in 1957 in Clinton. In Decatur, IL on March 24, 1984, he was united in matrimony with Mary Beth Sulicz (1955-living). They are the parents of Laura Beth Baker and Emily Ann Dick.
  • Granddaughter Gina Lyn Baker (1958-living) was born in 1958 in Clinton. She wed LeRoy Frank "Smokie" Field (1942-living), a native of Washington, DC who was 16 years older than she. They tied the knot in Annapolis, MD. The pair bore two children -- Colette Viancour Field and Cameron Lee Field.
  • Granddaughter John Eric Baker (1963-living) was born in 1963 in Clinton. On Aug. 6, 1992, he married Verna Dean Walls (1966-living). The couple produced a family of two sons -- Wyatt Allen Baker and Dillon Lee Baker.
  • Granddaughter Matthew Elliot Baker (1971-living) was born in 1971 in Decatur, IL. In a wedding held in Gatlinburg, TN on July 23, 2021, he was joined together in the bonds of marriage with Martha Rebecca "Marti" Richardson (1964-living), originally of Beaufort, SC. Their daughter is Katelyn Makenzie Baker.  
Donald and Dorles Barber, 1952
Courtesy Dorles (Dillow) Barber

Daughter Dorles Dillow (1935-living) was born in August 1935 in Clinton. On Dec. 28, 1952, when she was 17 years of age, Dorles was united in matrimony with Decatur native  Pvt. Donald Lee Barber (1932-living), son of Clifford C. Barber, who had grown up in Clinton. The wedding was held in the parsonage of the Christian Church in Clinton, by the hand of Rev. B.E. Junkins, and the newlyweds were pictured in the local newspaper. Three offspring have been born to this union -- Donald Lee Barber Jr., Traci Ann Johnson and Mitchel Charles Barber. The elder two were born in Champaign County, IL while the youngest was born in Aurora, CO. In more recent years, the Barbers have made their residence in Monticello, IL. Deeply interested in her genealogical roots, and maintaining impeccably detailed records, Dorles originally reached out to the founder of this website in 2007, graciously sharing her research and images for this biography. The two have remained in contact for years. Again in early 2022, the two collaborated on making significant updates for this webpage. Sadness cascaded over the family when Dorles and Donald endured the untimely death of their son Donald Jr. in May 2022.

  • Grandson Donald Lee Barber Jr. (1953-2022) was born on June 25, 1953 in Rantoul Township, Champaign County, IL. He attended Brigham Young University. Circa 1973-1975, he served in a full-time, two-year mission to Georgia and South Carolina with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While on the mission, he met his future wife. In a ceremony held in the LDS Temple in Kensington, MD, in the outskirts of Washington, DC on Nov. 20, 1976, he wed Debra Lynn Greene (1955-living), a native of Lenoir, NC. Their union endured for 45 years. Together they have borne four children -- Jennifer Nicole "Jenn" Watts, Joshua Lawrence Barber, Ryan Mitchell Barber and Joel Christopher Barber. The family made its home in Columbia, SC. There, Donald earned a living as a licensed builder and contractor. He surrendered to the spirit of death at the age of 68 on May 16, 2022. Funeral services were held in the LDS church in Columbia, with burial occurring in Centerville Cemetery. An obituary was printed in The State.
  • Granddaughter Traci Ann Barber (1958-living) was born in 1958 in Rantoul Township, Champaign County, IL. She has been wed twice in her life. Her first husband was John Edward Johnson (1957-living). Their wedding was held at Fort Bragg, NC on Nov. 19, 1979. Two daughters of this union were Tane Nichole Rickey and Sarah Loraine Johnson. After a divorce, Traci married again to James Lawrence Johnson (1963-living), in nuptials held in Dillon, SC on Oct. 8, 1983. Two children of the second marriage are Jessie Lee Johnson and Clifford James Johnson.
  • Grandson Mitchel Charles Barber (1962-living) was born in 1962 in Aurora, CO. On Sept. 14, 1987, in Mesa, AZ, he was joined in wedlock with Sandra Lee Horsch (1987-living). In time he and Angela Carol Stemmer (1971-living) produced a daughter, Kelsey Marie Barber

Daughter Mary Jane "Pete" Dillow (1937-living) was born in 1937. She was an alumna of Clinton Community High School and obtained employment with State Farm Insurance Company. On Aug. 20, 1955, in nuptials held in Clinton, she was joined in wedlock with E. Clyde Foster (Aug. 29, 1929-2016), son of Denny William and Clotha Ann (Bland) Foster of Weldon and Deland, IL. They became the parents of Arnold Dee "Arnie" Foster, Lori Spicer and Barry Foster. Clyde served in the Special Services section of the U.S. Army. At the time of marriage, he worked as a carpenter in Champaign, IL. The Fosters spent their lives in Monticello, IL over the span of more than five decades. Clyde then went into politics. For 32 years, he was the treasurer of the County of Piatt, encompassing the Champaign-Urbana region and including Monticello as well as the towns of Atwood, Bement, Cerro Gordo, Cisco, Deland, Hammond and Mansfield. He also was a Democrat Precint Committeeman. They belonged to the Deland Christian Church, and he held memberships in the Hamm-Burke post of the American Legion, Piatt County post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Young Democrats of Piatt County, the Jaycees and the Diehard Cubs Fan Club. Said the Piatt County Journal-Republican, he "was involved in Boy Scouts and he was the Little League Baseball Commissioner and a baseball coach for over 30 years. Clyde was also member of the 1960 General Cable State Champion Fast-Pitch Softball Team. Clyde proudly donated over 32 gallons of blood in his lifetime." Sadly, at the age of 86, he surrendered to the spirit of death at Carle Hospital in Urbana on July 24, 2016. He was survived by nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Rev. Danny Roberts led the funeral in the First Christian Church of Monticello, followed by burial in Monticello Township Cemetery. In November 2016, the Illinois General Assembly adopted the bill SR2133 with a resolution officially mourning his death. 

  • Grandson Arnold Dee "Arnie" Foster  (1956-living) was born in 1956. On Aug. 29, 1981in in Edmond, OK, he married Dallas, TX native Rhonda Joann Mantooth (1956-living). They have resided in Glen Carbon, IL and have produced two children, Jeremy Clyde "J.C." Foster and Aubrie Dawn Reynolds.
  • Granddaughter Lori Lee Foster (1957-living) was born in 1957. She first wed Gregg Allen Weidner (1957-living) on June 11, 1977 in Monticello, IL. The pair's two sons were Clayton Daniel Weidner and Justin Allen Weidner. Then on Aug. 31, 1982, in Urbana, IL, she married her second husband, David Wayne Spicer (1945-living). The couple planted themselves in Monticello.
  • Grandson Barry William Foster  (1959-living) was born in 1959. He was joined in marriage with Jan Ellen Buoy (1960-living), originally of Decatur, IL. Their nuptials were held in Monticello, IL on Sept. 26, 1981. Together the pair bore three children -- Dennis William Foster, Mary Frances Foster and Claire Loraine Henson. They have made a home in Festus, MO.

 

~ Daughter Evelyn Pearl Dillow ~

Daughter Evelyn Pearl Dillow (1906-1920) was born on Feb. 17, 1906.

Growing up, she and her widowed mother were in some sort of conflict, and the girl was sent to live elsewhere

 

Clinton Daily Public, 1920

Evelyn drew the special affections of her mother's brother, Raymond O'Neil, who was some 19 years older than she. Reports in the Clinton Daily Public state that the two of them had had a sexual relationship.

The uncle appears to have suffered from mental health issues and may at one time have been institutionalized. Evidence suggests that he was estranged from his family and friends except for Evelyn and her mother Dora (his sister).

The Daily Public once said that the uncle "had never been considered 'just right' but was considered 'harmless' as is so often the case in affairs of this kind... [He] hails from Bloomington but ... has 'junked' around Clinton more or less."

Circa 1920, when Evelyn was age 14, the uncle "was not satisfied with the fact that the girl was working away from home and going to school," reported the Daily Public. He also was plotting his own suicide at the time.

On the horrific day of May 17, 1920, Raymond was inside the Dillow residence on the 1700 block of East North Street in Clinton. He had agreed to take Evelyn into town to buy her a new coat, and she was specially excused early from school for this purpose. After locking the doors to the house, he began to scribble what the Daily Public called "a rambling letter written on the back of blank checks in his check book," to be read later by mother and daughter. The text read, in part:

Please put me away nice Dora but let God be with you in this world. Maybe Evelyn think what I told her when I was on earth, but it is too late now to do as I ask her. Sister you know I have been good to her and also I will see you and her in the next world. You are the only ones who have been good to me but take care of me when I die, please. I have no friends but you Dora.

Then, in a temporary change of heart, he turned his attention toward niece Evelyn. He apparently approached her, was rebuffed, then attacked her and they struggled. Scratches later were found on her arms. The uncle then pulled out his .22 caliber revolver and shot at her three times, hitting her in the hand, behind the right ear and through the neck. She died instantly. He then resumed writing his suicide note to his sister:

Well sister I done it to Evelyn but forgive me please I was out of my head, she did not kill herself. Don't blame her, I did it. Get your insurance on her. You would not let her come home to stay so there was no home without here so I killed her then myself. We are going to heaven together but lay me and her side by side. Will youdo that much for me and her, sister?

The uncle then reloaded his gun and turned the weapon on himself, shooting twice. The first bullet his his left arm. The second, pointed left and upward, struck the back of his neck, killing him instantaneously. The bodies were discovered by Evelyn's 10-year-old brother and three friends after school, after they broke down the house door since it was locked. The boy ran to alert his mother, who was working at a Catholic school nearby, who in turn called police.

Evelyn's remains were laid to rest beside her father's in Woodlawn Cemetery, following funeral services in the Methodist Church, led by Rev. F.B. Madden. In summarizing the tragedy, the Daily Public opined that "Instead of getting a new coat, little Evelyn met her death from a 'harmless' brute that the laws of Illinois did not put away."

A coroner's inquiry was held, and Evelyn's aged grandfather William Baker Dillow was called to give testimony. He admitted that the killer had told him of the sexual relationship, but he "thought it was just the wanderings of an unbalanced mind and did not report it to either the officials nor to the mother of the dead girl."

Upon conclusion of the inquiry, the Daily Public added even more fire to its criticism:

And thus ends one of the most terrible tragedies ever enacted in Clinton. The public will soon forget that little Evelyn Dillow gave her young life to protect her honor against the attacks of a "HARMLESS" insane man. The public will forget, until a crime of a like nature is again committed by some of the "harmless" degenerates that are permitted to walk our streets with freedom, endangering the lives and the honor of womanhood.

 

~ Son Mearle Addison Dillow ~

Son Mearle Addison Dillow (1907-1982) was born on Aug. 16, 1907 in Decatur, Macon County, IL.

On Sept. 25, 1925 in Carrollton, IL, he wedded Zella Belle Fox (Aug. 9, 1906-1971), the daughter of Jesse Edward and Lulu (Black) Fox of Perryville, MO. The nuptials were conducted in Zella's hometown.

They were the parents of seven -- Evelyn Ann Dillow, Roy Lamon Dillow, James Arthur Dillow, Barbara Jane Lee, Francis "Pauline" Roseberry, Donald Lee Dillow and Robert Mearle "Bob" Dillow

Sadly, daughter Evelyn died at age 22 days on April 12, 1926 in Whitehall, IL and son Roy at age five in about 1934, with interment in Middletown Cemetery near Greensburg, IN.

The couple first resided in Decatur County and then moved to Ripley County, IN. They belonged to the Church of the Nazarene in Osgood and the Mothers of World War II Veterans.

Their residence in 1971 was in Osgood, IN.

For the last two years of her life, Zella suffered a serious illness. As a patient in Memorial Hospital, she passed away at the age of 65, on Oct. 11, 1971, with an obituary published in the Greensburg (IN) Daily News. Burial was in South Park Cemetery, Greensburg, IN. The headcount of her survivors included 24 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Mearle lived for another 11 years. He died at age 75 on May 27, 1982.

Son Donald Lee "Don" Dillow (1927-1983) was born on June 23, 1927 in Whitehall, IL. He was wed twice in his lifetime. His first bride was Patricia Ann Herbert (Oct. 21, 1930-2011). The pair lived in Indianapolis and bore four offspring -- Linda Kay Dillow, Gary Lee Dillow, Donna Lee Dillow and Viola Sue Dillow. Sadness blanketed the family at the death of son Gary at age three-plus months on Sept. 5, 1950 in Indianapolis. On Nov. 1, 1945, in the closing timeframe of World War II, Donald enlisted in the U.S. Army. On Nov. 10, 1958, when he was 31 years of age, he entered into marital union with Mary Imogene Diarmit ( ? - ? ). Donald went on to a working career with a railroad spanning three decades. He belonged to the Masons lodge in Indianapolis and the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Missouri. Donald is known to have lived in Maryland in the early 1970s. In time they relocated to Thayer, Howell County, MO. At the age of 56, he passed away in Howell County on Nov. 10, 1983. Rev. Tom Brown led the funeral service. Donald sleeps for all time in South Park Cemetery in Greensburg, IN. Patricia lived on as a widow for another 28 years and moved into the residence of a daughter in Temperance, MI. There, she succumbed to the spectre of death on Oct. 30, 2011. 

  • Granddaughter Linda Kay Dillow (1949- ? ) was born in 1949 in Indianapolis.
  • Granddaughter Donna Lee Dillow (1952- ? ) was born in 1952 in Indianapolis.
  • Granddaughter Viola Sue Dillow (1953- ? ) was born in 1953 in Indianapolis.

Robert Mearle Dillow's book

Son Robert Mearle "Bob" Dillow (1928-2020) was born on July 26, 1928 in Decatur, IL. During the 1946 to 1952 timeframe, including the Korean War, he served with the 2nd Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. While posted to Aberdeen Proving Ground, he met his first wife, Ruby Elizabeth Wood (Dec. 13, 1932-2014), a native of Belair, MD. They tied the knot in Havre de Grace, MD on July 5, 1949, and put down roots in the community. Their union endured for an extraordinary 66 years. Together they produced four children -- Pamela Sue Nohe Tonneson, Carol Ann Rambo Nowakowski, Teresa Lynn Labruto and Mark Rodney Dillow. The Dillows are known to have resided in Maryland in 1971 and in Fallstaff, VA in 1983. He became a home-building and remodeling contractor in and around Harford County, MD. They belonged to Bel Forest Baptist Church of Bel Air, MD, where he was a longtime deacon. Later he relocated to Independence, VA. Sadly, Ruby passed away on Nov. 6, 2014. The widowed Robert then wed again to Diane Mills ( ? -living). Her children from a previous marriage were Karen Sherman and Lesley Hack. Fascinated by genealogy, he is the author of the book, Descendants of Thomas and Elizabeth Dillow 1786-1996. An original copy of the volume is preserved today in the Minerd.com Archives. Robert and Diane spent their final years in Abingdon, MD. He passed away in Bel Aire, MD on March 22, 2020. A celebration of his life was held at the family church, with an obituary published in the Baltimore Sun. The number of his survivors included 14 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and seven great-great grandchildren.

  • Granddaughter Pamela Sue Dillow (1950- ? ) was born in 1950 in Havre de Grace, MD. She first was united in matrimony on Aug. 2, 1969 with Christopher Edward Nohe ( ? - ? ). Two children born into this marriage were Martin Edward Nohe and Andrea Elizabeth Nohe. After the first marriage ended, Pamela entered again into marriage with Mark Tonneson (1948- ? ), a native of Malone, NY. They bore a son of their own, Matthew Joshua Tonneson.

    Great-grandson Martin Edward Nohe (1970- ? )

    Great-granddaughter Andrea Elizabeth Nohe (1973- ? )

    Great-grandson Matthew Joshua Tonneson (1987- ? ) 

  • Granddaughter Carol Ann Dillow (1954- ? ) was born in 1954. Her first husband was George Rambo ( ? - ? ). They are the parents of George Robert Rambo and Brandy Leigh Rambo. Carol's second spouse is Dr. Andrew Nowakowski ( ? - ? ).

    Great-grandson George Robert Rambo (1974- ? )

    Great-granddaughter Brandy Leigh Rambo (1977- ? ) 

  • Granddaughter Teresa Lynn Dillow (1955- ? ) was born in 1955. She and Carmen Labruto ( ? - ? ) were joined together in wedlock.
  • Grandson Mark Rodney Dillow (1958- ? ) was born in 1958.

Son James Arthur Dillow (1931-2018) was born on Oct. 22, 1931 in Shelbyville, Shelby County, IN. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and then in the 1956-1960 timeframe. In June 1952, he is known to have trained at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. When he was 20 years of age, on March 7, 1952, in Batesville, IN, James was united in holy matrimony with Mary Frances Dwenger (Feb. 18, 1932- ? ), daughter of Alfred William and Mearle (Newkirk) Wenger of Dandusky, IN. They became the parents of seven -- James Roy Dillow, David Mearle Dillow, Mary Ann VanArsdall, Allen Earn Dillow, Becky Jean Parish, Richard Paul Dillow and Danny Joe Dillow. Grief cascaded over the family when their firstborn son died at age two days at Camp Atterbury, IN. James was married two other times. He made a home in 1971-2018 in Greensburg, IN. As his health declined, he went to reside in Arbor Grove Village in Greensburg. He died at age 86 on March 13, 2018. The remains were cremated. Former wife Mary Frances passed into the arms of the angels in Greensburg, IN on June 10, 2001. 

  • Grandson David Mearle Dillow (1953- ? ) was born in 1953 in Charleston, SC. He entered into marriage with Denise Level ( ? - ? ) in nuptials held in Greensburg, IN. They established a home in Decatur County, IN and together bore three children -- David Mearle Dillow Jr., Joshua Avery Marshall Dillow and Jeremy James Dillow. Later he was joined in wedlock with Edith. She was in Charleston, SC in 2018.
  • Granddaughter Mary Ann Dillow (1954- ? ) was born in 1954 in Charleston, SC. She wed David VanArsdall ( ? - ? ). Two children in this family were Melissa Ann VanArsdale and Michael David VanArsdale. They settled in Shelbyville, IN.
  • Grandson Allen Earl Dillow (1957- ? ) was born in 1957 in Batesville, IN. He married Connie. They have lived in Greensburg, IN.
  • Granddaughter Becky Jean Dillow (1959- ? ) was born in 1959 in Batesville, IN. She was united in matrimony with Buddy Parish ( ? - ? ). Their two sons are Bruce Wayne Parish and James Russell Parish. Circa 2018, she was in Greensburg, IN.
  • Grandson Richard Paul "Ricky" Dillow (1960- ? ) was born in 1960 in Batesville, IN. He was joined in wedlock with Yong ( ? - ? ). They have dwelled in Upper Marlboro, MD and have borne two children, Jennifer Dillow and Robert Dillow.
  • Grandson Danny Joe Dillow (1965- ? ) was born on March 27, 1965 in Greensburg, IN. He was deceased by 2018.

Daughter Francis "Pauline" Dillow ( ? -2019) was born on Nov. 23, 1933 in Shelbyville, Shelby County, IN. She became a nurse and, in addition to four marriages and eight children, worked in the healthcare field for about 30 years. Her first spouse was Dale Henry Cramer (Feb. 14, 1934-2007) of Decatur County, IN. They tied the knot in Greensburg, IN on Jan. 9, 1951. Together, they bore four offspring -- Robert Dale Cramer, Paula Kay Baird, Steven Gary Cramer and Dennis Raymond Cramer. The Cramers divorced. Her second spouse was Elmeth Vinton "Mike" Roseberry (1917-1990). The second marriage resulted in three more children -- Michael David Roseberry, Randall Scott Roseberry and TJ Roseberry. During the late 1980s and early 1990s timeframe, Pauline and Mike owned and operated the Hillsville Shoe Shop. Sadly, he passed away in 1990. Husband number three was Michael Joseph Martinez ( ? - ? ). Pauline and Michael produced an only son, Kenny Michael Martinez. Her fourth husband was William Joseph Guernsey (Aug. 31, 1923-2020) of Detroit. Over the years, her homes were in Hillsville, VA, Winston-Salem, NC and Zephyrhills, FL. She was employed in hospitals in Galax and Radford, VA and in Winston-Salem, NC. Added the Carroll News, "She also spent a few years as a public health nurse for Carroll County and while there fostered several children. She also served as a volunteer for the rescue squad and on call nurse for the local law enforcement agencies where she drew blood alcohol for analysis." Her final place of residence was in Centuria, WI. The spirit of death whisked away Pauline at the age of 85 on July 14, 2019. Her remains were interred in Felts Memorial Cemetery in Galax, VA, following a funeral serviced by the hand of Bishop Leon Goad. Her survivors included 14 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Former husbands Dale Cramer surrendered to death in Greensburg, IN on Sept. 20, 2007 and William Guernsey in Brookville, FL on Jan. 11, 2020.

  • Grandson Robert Dale Cramer (1952- ? ) was born in 1952 in Decatur County, IL. In nuptials held in Wilmington, NC, he married Deborah McCoy (1952- ? ). Two children of this couple are Sabrina Lea Cramer and Robert Michael Cramer.
  • Granddaughter Paula Kay Cramer (1953- ? ) was born in 1953 in Decatur County, IL. She wed James Rex Baird Jr. ( ? - ? ), of Morganton, NC. They became the parents of Justin Bair and Lindsey Baird.
  • Grandson Steven Gary Cramer (1955- ? ) was born in 1955 in Decatur County, IL. He was brought together in marriage with Donna Sue Charles (1959- ? ). Together, they produced a brood of three -- Amanda Cramer, Jennifer Cramer and Andrew Cramer. Their home has been in Hillsville, VA.
  • Grandson Dennis Raymond Cramer (1956- ? ) was born in 1956 in Sanman, IN.
  • Grandson Michael David Roseberry (1969- ? )
  • Grandson Randall Scott Roseberry (1971- ? )
  • Grandson TJ Roseberry ( ? - ? )
  • Grandson Kenny Michael Martinez ( ? - ? )

Daughter Barbara Jane Dillow (1935- ? ) was born on May 31, 1935 in Shelbyville, IN. On Aug. 6, 1954, at the age of 19, she was united in matrimony with Charles Edward Lee (Aug. 6, 1934-2018), a native of Decatur County, IN and the son of Lloyd and Louise Lee. The pair's six children were Cathy Jane Shafer, Charles Edward "Eddie" Lee Jr., Gary Duane Lee, Lisa Louise Wilson, Lori Ann Wilson and Angela Dawn Lee. Charles was a 1952 alumnus of Sanducky High School. Their residence was in Greensburg, IN in 1971-2018. For 63 years, Charles earned a living as a construction contractor, specializing in building homes and business buildings. In his free time he liked to watch sports, fish and work with his bobcat, bulldozer and excavator. They belonged to the First Christian Church of Greensburg. Sadly, Charles passed away in Greensburg on March 3, 2018. His remains were laid to rest in South Park Cemetery following services led by Rev. Danny Wolford.

  • Granddaughter Cathy Jane Lee (1955- ? ) was born in 1955. She wed Glen Foster Shafer ( ? - ? ). They bore three offspring, Erick L. Shafer, Jamie Lynn Shafer-Strimple and Phillip G. Shafer. Then on Jan. 23, 1989, she entered into marriage with her second spouse,  James "Jim" Walker ( ? - ? ). Grief blanketed the family at the untimely death of daughter Jamie Lynn in 2016. She was deceased by 2018.

    Great-grandson Erick L. Shafer ( ? - ? )

    Great-granddaughter Jamie Lynn Shafer (1978-2016) was born on June 6, 1978. She was a 1996 graduate of Greensburg (IN) High School and at one time held a membership in the Free Methodist Church. On March 11, 2006, she wed Anthony William "Tony" Strimple ( ? - ? ). The couple lived in Greensburg, and their two children were Jacee Strimple and Jordan Strimple. The family was plunged into grief when Jamie died at age 38 on June 30, 2016. Her funeral was led by Pastor Phil Bogear at the Greensburg Wesleyan Church.

    Great-grandson Phillip G. Shafer ( ? - ? ) 

  • Grandson Charles Edward "Eddy" Lee Jr. (1957- ? ) was born in 1957. He has been married twice. His first bride was Victoria Joy Van Skyork ( ? - ? ). Their family of children included Lindsey Joy Lee and Joshua Edward Lee. His second wife was Ronda Sampson ( ? - ? ). Their son is Matthew Addison Lee.
  • Grandson Gary Duane Lee (1960- ? ) was born in 1960. He was united in wedlock with Becky Weber ( ? - ? ). Two children born of this union were Andrea Lee and Michelle Lee.
  • Granddaughter Lisa Louise Lee (1964- ? ) was born in 1964. She was joined in matrimony with Willie Wilson ( ? - ? ). The couple together bore three offspring -- Kyle Brook Wilson, Kari Beth Wilson and Adam Charles Wilson.
  • Granddaughter Lori Ann Lee (1969- ? ) was born in 1969. She entered into marriage with John Wilson ( ? - ? ). They are the parents of Chelsey Rene Wilson and Chastity Wilson.
  • Granddaughter Angela Dawn Lee (1969- ? ) was born in 1969. She is married to Timothy Stapp.

 

~ Son James DeLoss "Jim" Dillow ~

Son James DeLoss "Jim" Dillow (1909-1968) was born on Aug. 11, 1909.

He married twice, first in August 1931 to Kathryn Burk (Dec. 12, 1913-1999).

One daughter born to this couple was Helen Louise Dillow.

The couple divorced. James married again in Chicago on Jan. 21, 1939 to Frances Fanta (1914-2008), the daughter of James Vaclav and Teresa (Kopecky) Fanta.

The pair produced more more children, all born in Chicago -- JoAnn Colacchio, Mary Fances Hamilton, James Arthur Dillow and William Charles Dillow.

The family spent their years together in Shelbyville.

James died at age 59 on Dec. 5, 1968, in Edenburg, IL. His remains were laid to rest in St. George Cemetery in Jackson Township, Shelby County, IN.

Frances outlived her spouse by an remarkable four decades. She is known to have corresponded in October 1970 with her husband's cousin Dorles (Dillow) Barber in sharing family information.

Her final years were spent in Gallatin, TN. She surrendered to the angel of death there on May 26, 2008, at the age of 93.

James' ex-wife Kathryn married a second time to Floyd Goodwin. They dwelled in Indianapolis circa 1954. She died on May 30, 1999, with burial in Union Chapel Cemetery in Morton, IN.

Daughter Helen Louise Dillow (1932- ? ) was born in 1932. She attended Indiana University and Butler University and resided in young womanhood in Indianapolis. On Jan. 9, 1954, at the age of 22, she entered into marriage with Pvt. Reeve Burton Peare ( ? - ? ), son of Reeve Swaim Peare of the Wabash Valley. The nuptials were held in the parlors of the Tabernacle Presbyterian Church, and Helen was pictured in a related announcement in the Indianapolis Star. Reported the Star, she "wore a white afternoon frock, hat and white roses." Reeve was a 1953 alumnus of Wabash College, where he had received his bachelor of arts degree. At the time of their marriage he was stationed at Camp Pickett, VA with the U.S. Army.

Daughter Mary Fances Dillow (1944- ? ) was born in 1944 in Chicago. She was joined in wedlock with (?) Hamilton ( ? - ? ).

Daughter JoAnn Dillow (1945- ? ) was born in 1945 in Chicago. She was united in matrimony with (?) Colacchio ( ? - ? ).

Son James Arthur Dillow (1949- ? ) was born in 1949 in Chicago.

Son William Charles Dillow (1951- ? ) was born in 1951 in Chicago.

 

~ Son Paul Deland Dillow Sr. ~

Son Paul Deland Dillow Sr. (1916-1991) was born on Aug. 26, 1916.

He first wed Hazel Bennett ( ? - ? ). The wedding took place in Shelbyville, IN.

The couple's only son was Paul Deland Dillow Jr.

They eventually divorced.

He married a second time to Karen McClendon ( ? - ? ).

Together they produced a daughter, Paula Kay Higginbotham.

Circa 1981, the Dillows made a residence in South Carolina.

Paul died in Indianapolis, IN on Jan. 12, 1991.

Son Paul Deland Dillow Jr. ( ? - ? )

Daughter Paula Kay Dillow (1971-2017) was born on Feb. 5, 1971 in Shelbyville, IN. She married (?) Higginbotham ( ? - ? ). They were the parents of two -- Justin Higginbotham and Megan Higginbotham. At one time she resided in Midway, SC and later in Aiken, SC. After what the Charleston (WV) Gazette-Mail called a "sudden illness," she died at age 46 on Nov. 3, 2017. Her obituary named several [half?] siblings -- Billy Floyd, Elizabeth Scanlon, Candy Byrd and Nora Porter. Her final resting place is Buffalo Memorial Park in Buffalo, WV.

 

Copyright © 2007-2008, 2019-2022 Mark A. Miner.

Minerd.com extends gratitude to Dorles (Dillow) Barber for sharing her research findings for this biography. The photograph of Charles A. Dillow and news obituaries courtesy of the DeWitt County Genealogical Society, Vespasian Warner Public Library, Clinton, IL.