Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
DILLON, THOMAS M. (deceased) - When a good, earnest man is snatched from his activities, the community suffers a loss not easily sustained. The Methodist Church has many eloquent and steadfast workers among its ministry, but one whose memory will long be cherished is that of the late Thomas M. Dillon, who held many charges throughout the Illinois conference, and during a useful life never spared himself or neglected the heavy duties upon his willing shoulders. He was born in New York City, May 8, 1845, a son of Joseph and Catherine Dillon, natives of New York. The father was a miller and a dealer in cotton.
When he was fifteen years of age, Thomas M. Dillon left New York City and, coming to Springfield, found employment until he began his studies for the ministry, under Dr. Harkey, President of a Springfield College. After his ordination Rev. Dillon was assigned to a number of charges. At first many of them were small, the work was extremely hard, and the remuneration small and poorly paid, but no obstacles could dampen the enthusiasm of this man. Early and late he worked, pleading eloquently with sinners to enter the fold. His powers of persuasion were wonderful, and the shone forth at revivals in a most remarkable manner.
Rev. Dillon was married in Springfield, by Rev. James J. Davison, June 7, 1868, to Caroline Conant, born in Springfield, September 1, 1844, a daughter of Sullivan and Lydia (Heminway) Conant, natives of Massachusetts. Both parents were early settlers of Sangamon County, coming there from Massachusetts as early as 1831. No children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Dillon, but out of the tenderness of their hearts, they adopted two daughters: Dora C., an efficient school teacher of the Rochester schools, who resides with Mrs. Dillon, cheering her declining years and proving herself a daughter in love if not in flesh; and Virginia L., wife of Samuel Byers, of Sangamon County.
The sympathies of Mr. Dillon were too broad for him to tie himself to any political party, as he believed in voting for the man rather than any set principles, aside from those set forth in the Golden Rule, but while living in Springfield he usually voted for Republican candidates. He was a member of the Modern Woodmen, holding membership in the Springfield Lodge. Never sparing himself, Mr. Dillon broke down, and passed away, October 24, 1902, in Rochester, Ill., his remains being laid to rest in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, to await the last resurrection, in which he so devoutly believed. Many pages of this book would be required to do justice to the work of this good men, who quietly went about his Master's work, never seeking worldly preferment, but trying to make the world better for his stay in it and to bring to his fellow-creatures some appreciation of the religion he not only preached, but also lived every day of his blameless life. Mrs. Dillon owns a beautiful home in Rochester.