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Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAMSON DILDAY. Among the prosperous agriculturists of Jackson County, prominent mention should be made of Mr. Dilday, who resides on section 10, Degognia Township, and is the owner of two hundred and sixty acres of fine wheat land lying among the hills of sections 10 and 15. A native of Georgia, he was born on the 21st of September, 1831. He is a son of Elias and Pheriba (Wimpy) Dilday, who were born near Charleston, S. C., and died in June, 1892, at the ages of eighty-five and eighty-three respectively. Grandmother Wimpy died during the preceding year, at the advanced age of a century. Grandfather Dilday, who was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, died some thirty years ago, at the age of ninety-seven. 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.

When our subject was a child of two years his father emigrated to Eastern Tennessee, where he remained some seven years. Thence, in the year 1842, he 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 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 up stream 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 has 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. 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. The second marriage of Mr. Dilday occurred March 26, 1871, his wife being Elizabeth Turner, who was born in Union County November 7, 1850. She is the daughter of Albert and Mary A. Turner, natives of Tennessee and at present residents of Union County, Ill. Seven children have been born of Mr. Dilday’s second marriage, viz.: Elias B., Samuel J., Emzia, Albert T., Clinton, Calvin and Ralph E.

Enlisting in March of 1865 as a member of Company B, Sixty-fifth Illinois Infantry, Mr. Dilday served until the close of the war. 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.

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 a member of Rockwood Lodge, I. O. O. F., to which he has belonged some twenty-five years, and which he has 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.

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This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

View additional Jackson County, Illinois family biographies here: Jackson County, Illinois Biographies

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