JOHN A. DILLON, M. D. A native of Kansas, for over twenty years identified with the medical profession, and a product of the best schools both in America and abroad, Doctor Dillon for the past ten years has been prominent in his profession and also in civic and business life at Larned.
He represents old American stock and the family by progressive stages has crossed half the continent from the Atlantic colonies to the prairies of Kansas. The Dillons were colonial settlers in Virginia. Doctor Dillon's great-grandfather was born in Old Virginia, and early in the nineteenth century he brought his family to the Ohio Western Reserve, locating in Trumbull County. Doctor Dillon's grandfather, Jesse Dillon, was born in Trumbull County, and spent his active lifetime there. He was a farmer, did not become wealthy, but lived a useful and worthy life and reared his sons to be worthy of his example. He died when past seventy years of age. He was a man of muscular and raw boned frame and was a thorough backwoodsman in physical type. His sons were named Horace, David, Homer, Emery, Doctor Alfred and Hine, and five of these were loyal soldiers of the Union during the Civil war.
Doctor Dillon, of Larned, is the son of a pioneer Kansas physician, Dr. Alfred Dillon, who was born in Trumbull County, Ohio, seventy-three years ago. He is now the last survivor of a family of country school teachers. He grew up in the Western Reserve of Ohio, and was still under age when he volunteered his services in defense of the Union. He went out with an Ohio regiment of infantry and spent the last year in the war, being corporal of his company. After the war he taught several terms of country school and paid his way while studying medicine in the Cleveland Medical College. After getting his degree he began practice in his native county and lived there until 1870. That year he brought his family from Warren, Ohio, and established himself on a homestead in Osborne County, Kansas. At that time Marysville was the terminus of the railroad, and from that point the family proceeded with wagons and teams into Osborne County.
The first home of Dr. Alfred Dillon in Kansas was a log cabin. He proved up his claim and conducted modest farming operations until 1888. However, his work in the fields was seriously interfered with by his practice as a physician. As his skill and ability became better known his services were in great demand over a wide section of country. He rode horseback in the early days across a trackless prairie, and carried health and cheer to many a family of afflicted pioneers. He went night and day, through foul weather and fair, and be bore up splendidly under this heavy service. He was in Kansas in time to see the great herds of buffalo on the plains, and many times he hunted that wild game. In 1888 he removed from his farm into the county seat at Osborne, and has since continued his practice there and at the same time maintained a drug store. Dr. Alfred Dillon has served as county physician and health officer of Osborne County many years. Politically he is a stanch republican and has never been affected by either populism or progressiveism. He has never entertained any political ambitions of his own. He is a member of no church and has taken little interest in fraternal or secret orders.
Dr. Alfred Dillon was married in Trumbull County, Ohio, to Mary Shafer. Her parents were John A. and Ann (Murphy) Shafer, the former a Pennsylvania Dutchman and the latter of Irish family. Doctor and Mrs. Dillon have the following children: Nellie, wife of O. A. Earl, of Lamar, Colorado; Miss Alberta, who became a trained nurse at Christ Hospital, Topeka, and died there in 1896; Dr. John A.; Emma, wife of J. W. Belk, of Cawker City, Kansas; and Harry D., a dental surgeon at Osborne, Kansas.
Dr. John A. Dillon was born December 24, 1872, in the old log cabin which was his father's first home on the claim in Osborne City. That locality was his environment during the first sixteen years of his life. In 1889 he graduated from the Osborne High School, and then for a year taught in a country district. Natural aptitude and inclination led him to adopt his father's profession as his own, and he pursued his early studies in the Kansas Medical College, where he was graduated in 1893. For one year he served as house physician in Christ Hospital at Topeka, and then returned to his home town of Osborne, where he was in active practice until 1898.
Doctor Dillon is also a dentist, having completed a course in the Kansas City Dental College in 1900. After that he removed to North Dakota, and spent five years in practice at Washburn, part of the time serving as county health officer and physician. He is the type of professional man who is never satisfied with present attainments and is always seeking by experience and study to advance and improve his capabilities. From North Dakota he went to Europe and spent more than a year in post-graduate work in some of the greatest medical centers abroad. He was in the London Hospital, and afterwards spent a number of months in Berlin, where he came under the instruction and inspiration of such great authorities as Professors Nagle, Ortman, Lassar and others.
On returning to the United States Doctor Dillon resumed private practice with renewed enthusiasm and broadened experience, and in 1907 located at Larned. He has become prominent in his profession in this section of the state, has identified himself with the County Medical Society, is district councillor for the Kansas State Medical Society, and is a member of the American Medical Association. He has been one of the leading men in the State Medical Society and has been district councillor for the past ten years. He has also served on the county board of health and is now coroner of Pawnee County.
Doctor Dillon is a stockholder in the First State Bank of Larned. He has served frequently on committees of the Commercial Club and has been a member of the Library Board since its organization. While a member of the city council from the third ward he gave some valuable assistance in preparing and passing the ordinance for the establishment of a sewer system. Doctor Dillon cast his first presidential vote for McKinley in 1896. In 1912 he went with the progressives, though in that year he was elected county coroner on the republican ticket, was elected to the same office in 1914 as a progressive, and in 1916 was re-elected as a republican. Doctor Dillon is a member and trustee of the Presbyterian Church. In Masonry he is affiliated with the Lodge, Chapter, Knight Templar Commandery and the Wichita Temple of the Mystic Shrine. He also belongs to the Subordinate Lodge of Odd Fellows, is a member of the Great Bend Lodge of Elks, and is a Knight of Pythias.
He was married in Osborne County in June, 1900, to Miss Margaret Ogden. The Ogdens came originally from New Jersey and many of the family, in the different generations have been rather conspicuous in the field of merchandising. James Ogden, father of Mrs. Dillon, was for many years a wholesale clothing merchant at St. Joseph, Missouri, where Mrs. Dillon was born. Mrs. Dillon was one of four children. Her two living sisters are Mrs. Robert Clark and Miss Juliette Ogden of Osborne, Kansas. Doctor and Mrs. Dillon have had three children: John Alfred, David Ogden and James Ogden, but the last named died at Larned at the age of 3 1/2 years.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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