Genealogy Trails

Jackson County, Illinois


Taken from the portrait and biographical record of A History of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois.....published 1894 Williamson Albert Dilday. aka "Squire" Dilday. Among the prosperous agriculturists of Jackson County, prominent mention should be made of Mr. Dilday, who resides on Section 10, Degognia Twp., and is the owner of two hundred and sixty acres of fine wheat land lying among the hills of Section 10 and 15. A native of Georgia, he was born on the 21st of Sept., 1831. He is a son of Elias and Pheriba ( Wimpy ) Dilday, who were born near Charleston, SC and died in June, 1892, at the ages of eighty-five and eighty-three respectively. (Ed.note aka Pharaba Wimpey...Elias b.12 Nov.1808 Old Pendleton Dist. SC married 31 Oct.1826 in SC to Pharaba b.23 March 1810 in SC. Elias d.24 Oct.1891 in Union Co., IL or Seminole ,FL. Pharaba d.17 Aug.1891 in Union Co. Both are buried in Limestone Cem., Alto Pass, IL.) Grandmother Wimpy died during the preceding year (1890 or 1891), at the advanced age of a century. (ed. note this would be Mary Ann wife of Daniel Wimpy...b.1790/91). Grandfather Dilday, who was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, died some thirty years ago, at the age of ninety-seven. (ed. note Charles Dilday b. abt.1760 in Gates Co., NC d.abt.1825 in Old Pendleton Dist., SC or according to this d. 1855-64) His son Elias took part in the Seminole War in Florida, and three of the sons of the latter, including our subject, fought for the Union in the late Rebellion. (Ed. note John Balas Dilday b.1829, served as private Co.F, 11th Kansas, Simeon Dilday b.1839 and/or Willis Dilday b.1851 ?)

When our subject was a child of two years, his father emigrated to Eastern Tennessee, where he remained some seven years (Ed. approx.1833-1841) Thence, in the year 1842, he (Elias) removed to Illinois, settling near Jonesboro, in Union County, and made his home there until his death. Our subject's first school days were spent in Tennessee. He had to pass the house of the famous David Crockett in going to school and well remembers having been led over the footlog across a stream near his home by the daughter of the illustrious hunter. After removing to Union County, Mr. Dilday attended the subscription schools, but his education has been secured principally by study at home. He remained with his father until his twenty-first birthday, which occurred on a Sunday. He then left, intending to go south and work at the cooper's trade, which he had learned under his father. However, having had to wait some time for a boat, his funds ran low and he therefore started upstream instead of down. Stopping at Chester, he found work as a journeyman in the shops there. After a few months spent in that city, he returned to Union County where he engaged in farming for one year. Then coming to Jackson County, he here began the life of an agriculturist, in which he as since continued.

November 17, 1854, Mr. Dilday was united in marriage, upon the farm where he now makes his home, with Miss PeriSadi, daughter of Dr. H C. and Nancy (O' Daniel ) Hodges, natives of Alabama. (Ed. see biography Hezekiah Claiborn Hodges, Degognia lore says they were married on horseback on Golconda Ridge) Mrs. Dilday was born March 9, 1834 and died April 26, 1870, after having become the mother of seven children. Two of the number are now living, D.C and Reuben E. (Ed. D.C. is Dennis b. Dec.1860 d.Feb.1905..marr. Adaline Turner dau. of Perry Burton Turner and Mary Ann (Polly) Sweat and Reuben Ellis b.abt.1865 married Annie Rebecka Windom only other known is Daniel Willis b.1855 married Mary Susan Steeley 15 March 1876 in Dade Co., MO...Daniel d.abt.1883 in Dade Co.)

The second marriage of Mr. Dilday occurred March 26, 1871, his wife being Elizabeth Turner, who was born in Union Co. November 7, 1850. She is the daughter of Albert and Mary A. Turner, natives of Tennessee and at present residents of Union Co., IL. (Ed. aka Sarah Elizabeth Turner b. Campbell Co. TN d.16 Dec.1921 her parents Perry Burton and Mary Ann...see ed. note on D. C. Dilday) Seven children have been born of Mr. Dilday's second marriage, viz.: Elias B., Samuel J., Emzia, Albert T., Clinton, Calvin and Ralph E. (ed. note Elias Burton aka Burt b.28 Oct.1873 d. 12 March 1938..never married.....Emzia b.4 June 1876 ..d.20 Oct.1948 married (1)William Lewis (2) Samuel Easton.....Samuel J. b. June 1877..never married.....William Albert aka about b.Oct.1881..d.27 July 1938..never married....Clinton C. b.18 Dec.1883..d.24 Feb.1952..marr Bessie Demster/Dempster......George Calvin aka Cal b.3 Jan.1887..d.8 Sept.1961..marr. Mary Marjorie Krug 1 July 1920.....Ralph Edgar b.Sept.1889 d. 20 Oct. 1963...married (1) Unknown in Evansville, IN abt.1919 (2) abt.1930 Mary Margaret Mount b.11 June 1899 in Jackson Co., IL.

Enlisting in March of 1865 as a member of Company B, Sixty-fifth Illinois Infantry, Mr. Dilday served until the close of the war. (Ed. Regimental history of 65th.IL Inf. the Occupation of Raleigh April 14...Bennet's House April 26...Surrender of Johnston and his army at Goldsboro, NC until July. They were mustered out in July of 1865.) During his voyage from New York to North Carolina to join the army at the front, a terrific storm was encountered, which raged for some thirty-six hours and tossed the vessel at its mercy upon the foam-crested waves. The experience was one of the most perilous of Mr. Dilday's life, and such was the horror of the storm that he says he has seen enough of the water to satisfy him the remainder of his days. Of fourteen who left Rockwood with him he is the only one that survives. (Ed. note: as of this writing (June 1999) have located names of seven Jackson Co. men whose place of residence was lost from roster of 65th IL Infantry Consolidated... thanks to efforts of Joel S. Russell)

In politics Mr. Dilday is a Democrat. A few weeks after attaining his majority he voted for Pierce and has continued in that faith ever since. For thirty years he held the office of Justice of the Peace, for four terms officiated as Supervisor and for ten years was School Director. He is a contributor to the Free Will Baptist Church at Antioch, with which his wife is identified. Socially, he is member of Rockwood Lodge, I.O.O.F., to which he has belonged some twenty-five years, and which he represented as a delegate in the Grand Lodge of the state. He is one of the few remaining of the earliest settlers and is highly respected by a large circle of friends. (ed. note: Williamson d.13 Feb.1905 and is buried in Buchahan Cemetery, Cora, IL.)

Contributed by Marjorie Dilday Legris

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