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Oswell S. Dillon 1852-1921


Posted By: Merllene Andre Bendixen (email)
Date: 9/25/2010 at 23:20:45

O. S. Dillon Is Laid to Rest
Obituary of Pioneer Railway Man Contributed by Rev. LaGrone of Methodist Church
Oswell Dillon was born April 29, 1852, near Fairfield, Jefferson county, Iowa and came to his death on Oct. 4, 1921 at his home in Estherville, Iowa, age 69 years, 5 months and 5 days.

During his childhood Mr. Dillon lived with his parents in his native community and then moved to Hardin County near Iowa Falls, where he lived during his youth and young manhood on a farm. In the summer of 1875 he left the farm to engage in railroad services and began his duties as such with the I.C. railroad running between Dubuque and Sioux City. His lifeís work was before him, he was henceforth to be a railroad man, and though he worked for the Illinois Central, the old Dubuque and Dakota, now part of the Great Western, and the B.C.R. and N. now a part of the Rock Island his greatest service was with the last mentioned road, he having run as an engineer on that system from Dec. 15, 1884 until the time of his disability on Sept. 9, 1915, and was continued on the honor roll of that company until his death on Tuesday evening of last week.
He came from a family of railroad men, and he now has six brothers engaged in railroad service of various types. Being a quiet, peaceable citizen, conscientious and of ultra-conservative disposition, details of his life and incidents such as are experienced by every man who devotes his life to railroad engineering are but little known by his friends. A might be expected, however, of one who has been connected with the vast army of railroad men from the early days of light power, small equipment, crude and inefficient mechanism, and who has personally passed though and experience all the changes incidental to the arrival of the modern-day equipment he has had his share of the trial and tribulations, wrecks and narrow escapes from death while pulling trains or fighting snow in the Northwest country or in performance of other duties which befell his lot.

In January 1877 he was united in marriage to Miss Libbie [Liberty] Jane Robb at Eldora, Iowa, to which union one child, a daughter now Mrs. Flossie Raub of Philadelphia was born. His first wife having died on Oct. 13, 1904, he was united in marriage to a second wife, Mrs. Jennie Schaffenberg of Estherville, on May 8, 1909. He was a faithful and devoted husband and an indulgent father. He lived to serve and this he did faithfully until his sickness made continuance of this impossible. Then through his long and trying sickness it was his good fortune to have as his companion, a faithful wife who did every thing that it was humanly possible to do for his comfort and to make his sunset one of ease and happiness.

His sickness was most painful and he was a great sufferer, and was doubtless as patient and uncomplaining as any one so afflicted could have been. He was much attached to his friends and enjoyed company and never failed to urge anyone calling on him to return again. He especially enjoyed having his pastor call for a visit and consultation. He was always pleased when informed that he was a special object of prayer and hi soul was moved to the depths when listening to his minister pray. His faith in God was sure and steadfast. He had no fears of death. He was long reconciled to his fate and often expressed a desire to face the inevitable. As an honest and rugged character he had lived simply in an honorable and faithful manner. In his relations with his fellow man he had tried to always be on the square and felt that he was ready to face his record. He came from old-time Quaker stock and had many of the characteristics of the old-fashioned pioneer. He was honest, upright and truthful and felt that a manís honor must ever be unsullied.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Jennie Dillon; his daughter, Mrs. Flossie Raub of Philadelphia; one sister, Mrs. Allenn Sperbeck of Iowa Falls, and six brothers, Warren of Estherville, Delbert A. of Cherokee, Clint of Iowa Falls, Rozell of Fort Dodge, George of Cherokee and Albert of Iowa Falls. Besides these there are many other relatives and a veritable host of friends, all of whom were deeply moved by his intense suffering and who now mourn with his bereaved wife and daughter and other members of the family.

Funeral services were held from the home on Friday afternoon. So far as possible the arrangements were in accordance with the expressed wishes of Mr. Dillon who long before the end came made known his wishes regarding the funeral service, he having selected the singers, the minister, and made other requests as to what should be done and how. Rev. J. W. LaGrone was the minister in charge while Mrs. J. W. Morse, Mrs. C. E. Birney and Messrs. Edw. Broms and Orr. Manthe were the singers. The Masonic Fraternity were in charge of the services at the grave and furnished the pall bearers and an escort for the procession. The floral offerings were exceptionally numerous and beautiful and expressive of the deep sympathy for the bereaved and high regard for the deceased. Burial of the body was in the family lot in Oak Hill cemetery. (Estherville Enterprise, Estherville, IA, October 12, 1921)


Emmet Obituaries maintained by Lynn Diemer-Mathews.
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