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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy



ANDREW R. DILLMAN, a prosperous and successful druggist of the little city of McLean, has been a resident of this county since 1867, and during a period of twenty years has fully established himself in the confidence and esteem of his fellow-citizens.

He was born in a log cabin in Lewis Township, Brown Co., Ohio, Jan. 11, 1841. His father, Conrad Dillman, was a native of Maryland, and his grandfather, Andrew Dillman, was of pure German ancestry, and came to America with his father and mother when a young child. They located in Maryland, and later removed to Kentucky, where they passed the remainder of their lives.

Conrad Dillman was quite young when his parents removed from Maryland to Kentucky, and he there grew to manhood and married Miss Lydia Reed, a native of Jessamine County. After their marriage they removed to Ohio, and the elder Dillman purchased a tract of land and cleared a farm in Brown County. He was generous-minded and liberal, always willing to assist a friend, and by the signing of notes lost the whole of his property.

In 1841 he removed from Brown to Clermont County, Ohio, where he cultivated rented land and worked at the carpenter's trade until his death, which occurred in 1859, at the age of sixty years.

His widow afterward removed to Illinois, and spent the remainder of her days with her daughter, Mrs. Margaret Houser, of Champaign County, departing this life in December, 1882, in the eighty-second year of her age. The parental household consisted of nine children, three sons and six daughters, eight of whom are still living.

The subject of our sketch was the seventh child of his parents. In early youth he was attacked with hip disease, and was an invalid for a period of eight years. His father being poor he could do but little toward educating his children, but Andrew R. was fond of his books, and while confined at his home pursued his studies, and with the assistance of the district school fitted himself for a teacher, and commenced this occupation at the age of eighteen years. He taught during the winter seasons and in the summer pursued farming on rented land for eight years, and during this time took a partial course of study at Prof. Laycock's Academy at Felicity, Ohio.

In 1866 he decided to remove further West, and accordingly journeyed across the State of Indiana and located in McLean County, pursuing his first duties as a pedagogue in this State, in the town where he now resides. After one year thus employed he secured a position as clerk, and followed this in various stores in McLean for the next four years.

In 1874 he was appointed Postmaster, which position he held until December, 1885. In 1872 he officiated as clerk in a drug-store, where he gained much valuable information, and held the position as druggist's clerk for the following ten years, when he opened a drugstore on his own account, and has successfully operated it until the present time.

The marriage of Andrew R. Dillman and Miss Joanna Croswell was celebrated April 2, 1868, in the village of McLean. Mrs. D. is the daughter of John M. and Mary Croswell, and was born in 1837. By her marriage with our subject she has become the mother of one child, a daughter, Ora Litta. They occupy a pleasant and comfortable home and enjoy the esteem and respect of a large circle of friends and acquaintances. Mr. Dillman is Republican in politics, and he and his wife are connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Mr. Dillman has been prominent in the affairs of his town since coming here. He is local editor of the McLean Lens, and has served six years as Police Magistrate of the village. He has taken a decided interest in educational matters, and served as a member of the School Board, doing what he could to advance the educational and moral interests of his community.

The McLean Lens was established in 1879, by D. G. Palmer, as an independent paper. He conducted the paper until June, 1885, when our subject became the editor. It is now owned by Critchfield Bros. The Lens is a seven-column folio, issued every Saturday, and is a bright, newsy sheet. It is well edited, and has a liberal country circulation.

Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 295. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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