Dills, Harrison

Born: 1812-05-13 Parkersburg, West Virginia

Died: 1899-11-01 Missouri

Flourished: 1849-02-19 Quincy, Illinois

Dills moved from his native state to Illinois in 1832, initially settling in Danville. In 1834, he moved to Quincy, Illinois, where he opened a blacksmith shop. In 1835, he married Laura Parsons. In 1839, he became a member of Engine Company No. 1 of the Quincy Fire Department. When the Illinois General Assembly incorporated Quincy as a city in 1840, Dills was among the first street commissioners. In 1850, he was working as a blacksmith and owned real estate valued at $10,000. In 1855, Dills laid out the village of LaPrairie in the northeastern portion of Adams County. In 1860, he was employed as a grocer and owned real estate valued at $50,000 and had a personal estate of $4,000. In May 1865, Dills became postmaster of Quincy. A devoted Mason, Dills was among those that organized the first grand lodge in Illinois, which met in Jacksonville in 1840. He was a charter member of the Bodley Lodge of Quincy, the oldest Masonic lodge in the state. He gradually advanced in rank, becoming grand master in 1857 and grand treasurer in 1863.

Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Adams County, 3 September 1835, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Quincy Daily Whig (IL), 5 November 1899, 3:2, 8:3; William H. Collins and Cicero F. Perry, Past and Present of the City of Quincy and Adams County, Illinois(Chicago: S. J. Clarke, 1905), 48, 79, 340; The History of Adams County, Illinois (Chicago: Murray, Williamson & Phelps, 1879), 476, 495; Masonic Review 12 (December 15, 1899), 462; Everett R. Turnbull, The Rise and Progress of Freemasonry in Illinois, 1783-1952 (Harrisburg?: Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Illinois, 1952), 85, 112, 339-40; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Ward 2, Quincy, Adams County, IL, 274; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Ward 2, Quincy, Adams County, IL, 67; Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth September, 1865 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1865), 70*.