The origin of the Dillon / Dillin name change.
Who shot the sheriff?
This letter is provided by MaryAlice Parks, who
is unable to identify the writer. It is an interesting story.
trying to find out more about the story regarding
a Zach Dillon shooting a
Sheriff. I found an account in "The Craig/Brewster
Family History (and
allied families) by Judith Radke Craig. This is a microfilm
through the LDS library. The sources are sited, so hopefully
this is accurate.
I had been corresponding with Nancy, whose husband descend from
Dillon (b. July 12, 1830, son of Samuel Dillon and Elizabeth
and we were trying to figure just which Zach this was.
8 of this account is the following:
Zachariah entered 160 acres of land in Bainbridge and Harbison
not have the date of this land entry; however, on p. 357 of Geo. R. Wilson's
History of Dubois County it states : "The Indiana Gazetteer"
in speaking of Jasper, says: "It was first settled in 1830 by
Col. Morgan, B.B. Edmonston, Zachariah Dillon, and J. McDonald"
In 1842, Zachariah Dillon (who was a justice of the peace) became
involved in a disagreement
with Sheriff Thomas Wooldridge at Sixth and Clay Streets, at Jasper, and the
sheriff lost his life. It is said Dillon operated an
illicit distillery on
his own farm which was the West half of the Northeast quarter of section 22,
2 miles northwest of Jasper. Both men were intoxicated (or
their cups" as the old histories say) a condition not unusual to
and officials in those days.
In speaking of the Dillon-Wooldridge tragedy the "History of Pike and
Dubois Counties" 1885
on p. 518 says: "It was in 1842 and attracted
considerable attention from
the prominence of the persons interested. The
circumstances of the case
seem to have been against the defendant and the extenuating ones few.
After a hotly contest trial Dillon was sentenced to a term of two
years in the state
prison and was pardoned before his time expired." (This
prison was located at
Jeffersonville, Indiana, where the Colgate, Palmolive plant is
On p. 262 of the "history of Dubois County from it's Primitive Days to
1910" by George R.
Wilson it states: In the summer of 1842 Sheriff Thos. Wooldridge was shot by
Zachariah Dillon. Both were very prominent, and the trial was
one. Dillon was sentenced for two years in the state prison,
greatly to the joy of his friends." It is said that on
account of this tragic and
unfortunate incident in the life of Zachariah Dillon the entire Dillon
clan has fought the liquor interest ever since in all its forms and
I think some of
you already have this, but I thought I'd send it along.
through the estate papers from Tyrrell right now. Very hard
read - it's going to
take awhile to transcribe. Some interesting stuff though - James Dillon,
who was the executor of Benjamin's estate was involved in a few lawsuits with
Isaac and Charlotte. It seems he sold off some of the
estate (I think it was
land or slaves) supposedly to pay off some of Benjamin's debts.
Charlotte and Isaac claimed that he kept the money for
himself. Haven't gotten
through them all to see how that one comes out. If I don't
trying to read these, I'll send along transcriptions of what they say as I finish