William Taylor Dillon, lawyer and jurist, was born in Cedar county, Iowa, Nov. 17, 1853, a son of Juniper Taylor and Rebecca (Spurgeon) Dillon. His father was a native of Iowa and his mother was born in Oregon. Juniper Dillon was in California in 1848 and secured his start financially in the gold fields. W. T. Dillon was educated in the common schools and in Drake University, graduating in the law course of that institution. He began the practice of law at Casey, Iowa, and after a few years removed to Guthrie Center, Iowa, remaining there until 1884. On June 17, 1880, he married Jennie L. Munger, daughter of Orange and Maria (Molony) Munger, natives of New York State. Mrs. Dillon was born in Wisconsin, March 17, 1854. Her people came to Wisconsin at an early date and were married at Sheboygan, Nov. 25, 1849. They raised four children to maturity and in their declining years made their home with Mr. and Mrs. Dillon, where they both passed away a few years ago.
In 1884 Mr. Dillon removed his family to Belleville, Kan., where he remained until the time of his death. He soon built up a prosperous legal business and in 1904 was elected judge of the Twelfth judicial district, composed of the counties of Republic, Cloud and Washington. In 1908 he was reëlected to this office without opposition. His death, which occurred April 7, 1910, was a sorely felt loss to the community. Besides his wife he left five brothers: Dr. G. A. Dillon, of Mountinair, N. Mex.; G. W. Dillon, of Northwood, Iowa; J. D. Dillon, of Des Moines, Iowa; S. A. Dillon, of Mitchelville, Iowa; and D. M. Dillon, of Des Moines, Iowa.
Judge Dillon was a member of the Baptist church, which he joined in 1887. He was a Thirty-second degree Mason, a member of the Eastern Star, Knights and Ladies of Security and Sons and Daughters of Justice. He was deeply and truly loved by his fellow citizens, and his funeral, which was in charge of the Masonic order, was attended by people from all the surrounding towns, especially in his judicial district. In his removal from the bench and from the general activities of life, people of all walks of life lost a true, sympathetic friend. He had a profound knowledge of the law, was deliberate, methodical, considerate and possessed with remarkable judgment. He was always found on the right side of every moral question. The supreme court of the state paused in its deliberations to pay the following tribute to Judge Dillon:
"Since this case was tried and since the brief of appellants was filed, the Hon. Judge William T. Dillon who presided as judge of the trial court has passed beyond this life. It is appropriate that we pause in our consideration of this case to take note of the departure of one so highly esteemed as a lawyer and judge, so respected and honored as a citizen, so much beloved as a true and honorable man. In his death those who knew him have lost a good friend and the state has lost an able, honest judge and faithful citizen."Pages 1552-1553 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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