Rebecca Ann Dillon – Wife of a Forty-Niner

OUR NONAGENARIANS
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Short Sketch of Adams County Citizens of Advanced Age.
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MRS. REBECCA ANN DILLON
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This Aged Lady Now Makes Her Home With Mrs. R.J. Bohanan in Corning, Iowa.
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Mrs. Rebecca Ann Dillon, whose picture we present this week, was born in Guernsey county, Ohio, August 26, 1815, and is therefore about 93 and a half years of age. Her maiden name was Pulley. She resided in the county of her nativity for several years and on February 11, 1836, was married to James Dillon.

In 1849, at the time of the gold excitement in California, her husband, in company with relatives and friends, went across the great plains to the golden state to seek his fortune. He was gone fifteen months and returned by water. Mr. Dillon was more fortunate than any of the rest of his company, and returned with more gold than they. However, during his absence all the children of the family, five in number, had scarlet fever, and the eldest daughter died. Mrs. Dillon did not inform her husband of her trials during this absence, and he knew nothing of the death of his daughter until his return home.

In the fall of the same year Mr. and Mrs. Dillon moved Grant county, Indiana, where they erected a house in the woods and cleared off the timber for a farm, a no small undertaking in those days, as the timber on the land in that vicinity was very heavy. On this farm they made their home and helped their children get a start in life. One son was born there. When not engaged with his duties on the farm, Mr. Dillon worked at the gunsmith trade. In the spring of 1872 he died, and Mrs. Dillon remained on the home place until 1874, when, in company with her two daughters and their families, she came to Adams county. Her three sons were already here, and she made her home with her children until the daughters returned to Indiana, when she accompanied them, making her home mostly with her daughter, Mrs. Susan Veach. The latter died about two years ago, since which time Grandma Dillon has depended upon her grandchildren for care.

Image from Bygone Places Along the Hoosier Line

Mrs. Dillon’s mental qualities are better than her physical strength, although she last fall made the trip from Hamlet, Indiana, to Corning unattended. Previous to the world’s fair in Chicago she made a visit to this city along, returning to her home alone in September of the same year. Even as late as last summer Mrs. Dillon visited with friends and relatives in Grant county, Indiana; but at present she has not the strength to walk alone, and is cared for by her grand-daughter, Mrs. R.J. Bohanan, of this city.

Mrs. Dillon has three brothers living, Jonathan Pulley, of Chariton, Iowa; Jackson and Samuel Pulley, both living near Marion, Grant county, Ind. Two sons and one daughter are living. They are Mrs. Mollie Bowman, at the soldiers’ home in Lafayette, Indiana; Martin Dillon of Grant county, Indiana, and J.W. Dillon of Seattle, Washington state.

Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa) Mar 10, 1909

DIED.

[Excerpt: some of the bio was repeated in the obituary]

Mrs. Rebecca Ann Dillon died at the home of her granddaughter, Mrs. J.A. Bohanan, in Corning, on Saturday, October 7, 1911. Her death was due to old age, she being aged 96 years, 1 month and 11 days.
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To Mr. and Mrs. Dillon six children were born, three sons and three daughter. Mrs. Mollie Bowman and W.M. Dillon, both of Gas City, Ind., and J.W. Dillon, of Seattle, Wash., survive their parents, while Elizabeth Dillon, S.B. Dillon and Mrs. Susan Veach, preceded the parents in death.
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After the death of her youngest daughter Mrs. Dillon made her home with her granddaughters, spending some time with Mrs. Jennie Barker and Mrs. Ida Roose, of Hamlet, Indiana, and nearly three years with Mrs. Emma Bohanan in our city. Beside the children Mrs. Dillon is survived by one brother, Jonathan Pulley, of Chariton, Iowa, and a number of other relatives. She has had thirty-five grandchildren, most of whom are living; several great grandchldren and one great great grandson.

Mrs. Dillon was  devoted Christian, joining the church at the age of 14 years. She desired that she might pass from from this life as a candle going out and her wish was granted. The funeral services were held in the Christian church Monday afternoon, at 1:30 o’clock, conducted by Rev. J.C. Hanna, and the body was laid to rest in the First Baptist church cemetery, eight miles north of Corning. The relatives from out of town Mrs. Addie Williams and two children, of Greenfield; J.F. Dillon and Miss Ruth, of Carl, and other relatives met the funeral party at the cemetery.

Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa) Oct 11, 1911

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