Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
DILLARD, R. MARTIN , of Springfield, Ill., belongs to one of the old families of Sangamon County, of which he is a native. He was born in Springfield Township, January 22, 1847, son of Benjamin Franklin and Mary (Crowder) Dillard, the father a native of Virginia, born August 10, 1810, and the mother of a Kentuckian, born in 1818. The grandfather, William Dillard, was born in Virginia and in 1830 came to Sangamon County, where he spent the remainder of his life. Benjamin F. Dillard was educated in Virginia and as a young man removed to Kentucky, where for a number of years he was engaged as stage driver. In 1830 he settled in Springfield Township, Sangamon County. The place where he located was known as the old McKinnie Settlement. His wife had come to Sangamon County with her parents when a small child, the trip being made by wagons. Her parents were also farmers. Benjamin F. Dillard was married in Sangamon County, where he lived until his death, September 1, 1869, his widow surviving him until 1870. When he came to Sangamon County he also made the trip by wagon and upon his arrival entered eighty acres of land, which he improved and operated, and he was active and successful in this work until the time of his death. Both died on the home place, where their five children had been born. They were: Eustatia, wife of Edward E. Keys, died recently; John J. died on the home place in 1864; William R. lives on the old home place; Mary E., deceased; R. Martin.
R. Martin Dillard was educated at the Liberty School, about four miles north of Springfield, and his first work was performed on his father's farm, where he grew to maturity and remained until he reached his majority, when he began farming on his own account. He continued this occupation until 1903, then took up his residence in Springfield, and now occupies a most comfortable residence at No. 633 West North Grand Avenue. He is employed by the Lincoln Park Coal & Brick Company.
Mr. Dillard was married in Springfield by Rev. E. B. Rogers, of the Central Baptist Church, May 3, 1893, to Lucy Frances Coy, who was born in Macon County, Ill., on a place near Mount Zion and eight miles east of Decatur, August 18 1854. She is a daughter of John T. and Martha A. (Cox) Campbell, the father born in Virginia, December 22, 1831, and the mother a Pennsylvanian, born December 6, 1835. Seven children were born to Mr. Campbell and wife, the oldest being Mrs. Dillard and the others as follows: Emma, wife of Lewis Carpenter, a farmer of Colorado; Luella, wife of William Maxie, a farmer of Fort Scott, Kan.; Clara, wife of Thomas Prigmore, of Reeds, Mo.; Martha, wife of Charles Broodway, a farmer living near Joplin, Mo., where he has an extensive strawberry farm; and William. Lucy Frances Campbell married (first) George W. Coy, September 8, 1871. Mr. Coy was a native of Indiana, born in 1850, and died in 1891. Five children were born of this union: Clara, born May 18, 1872, died in 1881. Rose, born December 21, 1874, wife of John Burns, of Springfield; Arthur L., born November 4, 1876; John W., born January 25, 1878; Edward A., born December 21, 1880. By her second marriage Mrs. Dillard had two children, namely: Alice, born September 27, 1894, a telephone operator and living at home; Benjamin Franklin, born April 10, 1896.
Mr. Dillard is a member of the Baptist Church and in politics is a Republican. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America and has a large circle of friends. He remembers his attendance at the first State Fair ever held at Springfield, and has witnessed many changes and improvements in the city and its environments since he was old enough to take cognizance of such matters.