Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Dillons Of Mehlville Part 2

More from the Dillon family oral history based on the recollections of Irene and Charles Wilson, the daughter and son-in-law of Packy Dillon.

After John Dillon’s death in 1870, the old residence on Locust Street was razed and two new brick houses (3 story) were erected being now Nos. 3026 and 3028. It is a coincidence that the writer worked in the auto business right across the street (Tate Motor Co) from the two houses which are still there. None of the male children carried on in the meat business after the father’s death. Patrick, Jerry’s grandfather, was sent to Notre Dame University but left before graduation to go into professional baseball. He was a catcher and played for the old St. Louis Blues which it is reported played the first professional game in St. Louis. Other clubs were the Covington Stars of Covington, Kentucky and the old St. Louis Browns. Edward, Packey’s brother, was sent to Medical College at Quincy, Illinois from where he graduated but did not enter the practice of medicine. Daughters Mary and Bridget went to Academies for girls. Bridget to St. Joseph’s Convent in Carondelet. The writer’s mother also attended St. Joseph’s Academy which was across the street from St. Mary and Joseph’s Church which Rene and I attend.

John’s wife, Alicia, after his death built the 3store stone front houses on Thomas Street at Glasgow Avenue. There resided with her daughter Mary Clark and Mary’s daughter, Sally. Here, at a later date Mrs. Dillon married a Dr. Mullen, a practicing physician, a widower. This proved a great match as Alicia was enamored of the dear doctor. He took good care of his wife’s financial affairs and the pair made an extensive trip to Europe and Japan, being away some two years.

Here I digress for a moment to state that neither John Dillon or his spouse could read or write. Both must have been shrewd individuals to amass what at that time was considered a considerable fortune. We know that Dillon engaged the leading lawyer of St. Louis to look after his legal affairs and to write his will. This lawyer was widely known as lawyer Haeussler. The good doctor died about 1894. He and Mrs. Mullen drove down to the Dillons place many times before his death, and he always enjoyed his visits.

We have around the house a copy of John Dillon’s will which at this time we are unable to locate to make a copy for this narrative. We remember that each of the children were left the sum of $10,000 and the widow $20,000 for her immediate needs, besides the property on Locust Street. There were 3 lots on the northeast corner of Carrison Avenue and Olive street which were left to Edward and one of the daughters. These lots were leased to parties who were to pay $900 per year for the duration of the lease.

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