Location: Oconee County, South Carolina
This document is a part of the Dillard Family Association
Four Brothers in Oconee County
By John M. Dillard Originally appeared in the Dillard Annual
Four of the seven sons of John B. Dillard and Rachel McKinney Dillard left Rabun County at different times starting about 1885, and made their homes in Westminster, Oconee County, South Carolina, which is some thirty four miles southeast of Dillard, Georgia in the adjoining county in South Carolina. These were William McKinney Dillard (nicknamed "Mac"), James Doctor Marshall Dillard (nicknamed "Doc"), Albert Lafayette Dillard, all three with McKinney family names, and John B.Dillard, Jr. The two brothers who remained in Rabun County, Georgia were Beavert Rush Dillard (nicknamed "Bede"), who lived in Rabun County until his death on September 15, 1949 at age 80, and Robert L. Dillard. Robert L. Dillard at age 28 in 1897 and is buried next to his parents in Head of the Tennessee Baptist Church cemetery at Dillard. A seventh brother, George Macon Dillard, had migrated to Johnson City, Tennessee prior to 1892, the year of his marriage to Mary Elizabeth "Mollie" Hyberger of Timber Ridge near Greeneville, Greene County, Tennessee. He later moved to Oklahoma and Texas, but died in Robertstown, Georgia.
The names and a brief history of all of the seven sons and three daughters of John B. Dillard, Sr. and his wife, Rachel McKinney Dillard, is at pages 193 and 194 in Ritchie's Sketches of Rabun County History. Ritchie elsewhere mentions that when Rabun County had no public school system, a pioneer teacher, W. A. Curtis came into the county in 1873 and started a private school in exchange for a schoolhouse, a house and one hundred acres of land.
Listed among the enrolled students at that school during the session of 1875-1876 were John B. Dillard, James D. M. Dillard and William M. Dillard, three of the four sons who migrated to Westminster, South Carolina as well as Sarah C. Dillard, all children of John B. Dillard, Sr. and Rachel McKinney Dillard.
The Town of Westminster had its first United States Post Office in 1874, and was incorporated on March 17, 1875. It is located in the northwestern most corner of South Carolina adjoining the Georgia border, seven miles distant from Walhalla, an 1850 German settlement and the present county seat, and some ten miles distant from Seneca, all three of which towns are small towns located in this presently mixed rural and industrial county. From the comparatively recent vintage of Westminster as a town, it appears that the Dillard brothers were among its pioneer settlers.
With the coming of the Atlanta and Richmond Air Line Railway, Seneca was subdivided into lots from rural property in 1873 by developers and promoters Doyle, Easley, Green, Norton and Thompson. This successful undertaking was tried again with Westminster in 1874 with the completion of this railroad through that town.
William McKinney Dillard
William McKinney Dillard, was deeded property in Westminster as early as 1886, was in the retail grocery business who was born at Dillard on March 18, 1860 and married Ida King Dillard at Westminster on September 5, 1886. Documentary evidence seems to indicate that he could have been the first Dillard brother to come to Westminster, South Carolina. He lived his entire remaining life in Westminster until his death on January 26, 1940. He also served for many years as a Magistrate in Oconee County.
Mac Dillard's colorful obituary in the Tugaloo Tribune by its well known editor, Gus Gossett, dated February 1, 1940 states "William McKinney Dillard was born in Rabun County. Georgia on March 18, 1860. The town of Dillard sprang up at his birthplace after the expansion of the Tallulah Falls railroad through the mountains to Franklin, North Carolina....Coming to Westminster in 1882 just after reaching his majority, W. M. Dillard lent a helping hand in the up building of the town. He began work as a clerk in the stores and later entered the mercantile field and sold goods for many years on his own account. He was engaged in the sawmill and lumber business a while and served several years as a Trial Justice....In Mr. Dillard's first mercantile venture he found himself in the condition a lot of merchants face - he had to borrow some money. A shipment of flour amounting to $350.00 had to be paid. He went to his first employer, William J. Stribling. and asked him for the loan. Mr. Stribling had $350.00 in gold and let him have it without any paper or security, the only requirement being the money must be paid back in gold as soon as he was able to pay the debt. When he sold the flour he took Mr. Stribling the money and part of it was currency, but Mr. Stribling held out for all gold and "Rabun" (nickname of W. M. Dillard among his Westminster contemporaries) had to exchange the currency for gold."
Mrs. E. J. King conveyed to William M. Dillard part of Lots 30 and 32 on Main Street extending to Green Street by deed dated June 28, 1886 for a consideration of $150.00. In a deed dated January 5, 1891 Mac Dillard was conveyed title to Lot 5 and one-half of Lot 4 on Lucky Street extending to Augusta Street in the Town of Westminster. This deed quitclaimed Lot 5 and part of Lot 4 from an earlier deed recited to have been lost and stated "This is the lot William M. Dillard now lives on". An early E. R. Doyle plat of the layout of the original Town of Westminster dated November, 1888, and an investigation on the scene of presently located streets in that town, seem to indicate that both the 1886 and 1891 deeds included property south of Main Street near the old uptown of Westminster in the general area of the existing City Hall and Westminster Baptist Church.
The final home of Mac and Ida Dillard was some blocks away on the then opposite or eastern side of Main Street fronting transects the center of town, on which site William Barnett Dillard, their son, built a home in his later years after the Mac Dillard residence was destroyed. This property was purchased in the name of Ida T. Dillard from N. Olive Smithson on November 17, 1893 and from C. E. Abbott on April 2, 1904. According to Rachel Dillard Scott, it is on this real estate that the store building operated by Mac and Ida Dillard for many years stood next door to their residence. Rachel Dillard Scott also recalls that this also was the site of the Magistrate's Court for many years over which Mac Dillard presided for the conduct of marriage ceremonies and other civil and criminal matters.
The 1900 United States Census for South Carolina verifies that the William McKinney Dillard household was in "Westminster Town" consisting of William M. Dillard, born l860 in Georgia, 40 years of age; his wife, Ida T., born November 1871 in South Carolina, age 28, and children, Claude N. Dillard, born September, 1887, King Dillard, born July, 1889 and William B. Dillard born October 1891. Rachel Dillard Scott states that Ida King Dillard was correctly born in 1868 and was in 1900 31 years of age. The census taker was not always correct. Further shown are two other persons in the household, Albert L. Dillard, born October 1865 in Georgia and one unnamed boarder. These family members are not found in the South Carolina l880 Census which indicates the four Dillard brothers had not then migrated into South Carolina.
The 1910 South Carolina census shows William M. Dillard, age 50, and his wife, Ida, age 41, with children "Joe K.", age 20, and William B., age 18. Claude Dillard had apparently left home.
William M. Dillard appeared to have sold most of his earliest property acquisitions in Westminster between 1887 and 192. Ida King Dillard purchased other property in Westminster in her name.
Ida King Dillard, born in Anderson County, South Carolina on November 28, 1868, died in Westminster on September 24, 1939. She and William McKinney Dillard are buried in the same grave lot in Eastview Cemetery along with their son, William Barnett Dillard, born October 7, 1891 and died October 3, 1950 at Westminster and who served in combat in World War I in France.
William Barnett Dillard married Florrie Wylie of Cartersville, Georgia on December 24, 1921, who died March 6, 1990. Their only child, Dr. William B. Dillard, Jr., died survived by no children on October 23, 1989. "Bill" Dillard was a salesman for most of his life. Dr. William Barnett Dillard, Jr., was a practicing physician of Cartersville, Georgia. William Barnett Dillard, Jr., who was a classmate of his second cousins, Barham Foster Dillard, Jr. and James Calvin Stone (children of B. F. Dillard and Stella Dillard Stone through their father, J.D.M. Dillard) at Clemson College in 1939-1942, achieved distinction as a student in Clemson College, served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division in Japan and married Jane Jernigan on December 8, 1951. He died from cancer and is buried in Cartersville, Georgia. His mother, Florrie Wylie Dillard, survived her son for approximately one year and is also buried in Cartersville, Georgia, her hometown.
A thirty-two year old son, Claude N. Dillard, who was born September 14, 1887 and who died on September 14, 1919 following injuries in the Norfolk Navy Shipyard, is buried in the same plot with William McKinney Dillard and Ida King Dillard as well as an infant son, Ivan Dillard, who was born August 28, 1894 and died February 10, 1896. Ivanhoe Dillard, the youngest son, was a victim of measles and died prior to maturity.
The second child of Mac and Ida Dillard was Joseph King Dillard, a well known plumbing contractor who spent his life in Westminster. For many years, King Dillard worked for the Town of Westminster as its supervisor over all water and sewer installations. He was born on July 17, 1889, married Daysie Holcombe on July 16, 1916, and died on October 24, 1956. Daysie Holcombe Dillard died November 4, 1962. They are also buried in Eastview Cemetery in Westminster.
Rachel Dillard Scott is the only presently living child of Joseph King Dillard and Daysie Holcombe Dillard. She married Fred Alexander Scott of Toccoa, Georgia on October 3, 1940.
Another child of Joseph King Dillard and Daysie H. Dillard was Jack Holcombe Dillard, employed with Daniel Construction Company, who was born December 22, 1924 and died July 15, 1989. His wife, Ruth Gray Dillard, died a few days later , both victims of cancer. The only child of this marriage was David Kyle Dillard, born July 16, 1963. A stepson born to Ruth Gray Dillard by a previous marriage, William Eugene Hopkins, survived them.
Another son, Joseph King Dillard, Jr., was born May 10, 1917 and died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 13, 1988 where he is buried. Joseph King Dillard, Jr. married Elizabeth Wash in Greenwood, South Carolina on December 8, 1939 and enjoyed a 32-year career with Westinghouse Corporation mostly at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as a professional electrical engineer where he was general manager of Westinghouse's advanced systems technology operations.
The children of Rachel Dillard Scott are Martha Diane Scott, born December 26, 1942 now of Columbia, South Carolina and twin sons Robert Claude Scott and Joseph King Scott, born August 19, 1941 of Atlanta, Georgia, all three of whom are unmarried to this date.
The children of Joseph King Dillard, Jr. are William King Dillard born September 8, 1952 of Duluth, Georgia and John Holcombe Dillard, born April 15, 1955 of Columbia, South Carolina. The children of William King Dillard are Rhea Ann Dillard born September 30, 1978 and John Joseph Dillard born April 24, 1985.
On the date of W. M. Dillard's death, there was a thick blanket of snow on the ground. "This reminded a few of the citizens of the weather which prevailed early in the year 1894 when Mr. Dillard's father, J. B. Dillard, was seriously sick and death soon followed. The snow was deep on the ground and a blizzard was in the Southland. Mac and his brother, J.D.M. (Dock) Dillard hitched up a mule to the buggy to make the trip to see their father. Travel was well nigh impeded on all the roads. When the Dillard brothers struck the mountains the mule and vehicle mired down so deep they were compelled to turn back home and abandon the journey. The elder Dillard lived at the old home place near Clayton, Ga."
James Doctor Marshall Dillard
James Doctor Marshall Dillard, born in Dillard, Georgia on January 25, 1862, married Mattie Center Foster in Westminster on July 16, 1885, at a ceremony witnessed by William McKinney Dillard. At least the first three of their six children, Stella Dillard (born July 27, 1886), James Doctor Marshall Dillard, Jr. (born March 26, 1890) and George Bookter Dillard (born December 15, 1891) were born in Westminster. The date of his marriage, the dates of birth of his first three children and the date of his property acquisitions in Westminster seem to indicate that Dock Dillard came to Westminster about the same time as his brother, Mac, which was about 1885.
Dock Dillard's first recorded real property purchase in Westminster was on February 15, 1887 for lots on Main Street extending back to Depot Street and Windsor Street, which appear to be located near the first properties acquired by his brother, Mac Dillard. A lot on Retreat Street was purchased on February 17, 1887, lots at the corner of Lucky Street and an alley and on Augusta and Retreat Streets on January 5, 1891 and Lots 68 and 69 on Cemetery Street on March 21, 1891. All of this property appears to be in the old uptown section of the original town of Westminster near the present City Hall. Witnesses to one of these deeds recorded in Deed Book O, Page 502 were William M. Dillard and G. W. C. Wikle, a brother-in-law with a colorful career who married Rosette Dillard, a daughter of John B. Dillard, Sr. and Rachel McKinney Dillard.
James Doctor Marshall Dillard also acquired 66 acres on Colonel Fork Creek at Corner Cross Creek waters of Seneca River on January 21, 1889. The latter was sold on January 18, 1890 as evidenced in Deed Book Q, Page 340. Cross deed records indicate he also owned tracts of 59 acres and 30 acres on Shoals Creek of Tugalo River, for which no deed into Dock Dillard is indexed . These properties could have been acquired in connection with Dock Dillard's saw mill business which he operated in Westminster.
Where and how J.D.M. Dillard learned the lumber business is unknown. It is likely that for awhile, his brother, William M. Dillard, was in business in Westminster with him. One would have expected that he learned this business in Rabun County, Georgia where he probably resided until he went to Westminster when he was about twenty-three years of age. The 1880 United States Census of Rabun County, Georgia, for Tennessee District No. 556, shows "James D. M. Dillard" , age 18, (as well as William M. Dillard, age 20, Albert L. Dillard, age 15) connected with the household of their parents under the occupation description of "son - works on farm". Ritchie in describing Rabun County from 1865-1900 states that with the third generation, farms were becoming smaller notwithstanding the continuation of the resource of the "free range" for livestock, and that the only form of manufacturing was the local grist mill "and a few sawmills at widely separated places". The extension of the Tallulah Falls Railroad and the coming of large timber corporations for the manufacturing and shipping of timber did not come into Rabun County until after 1905, well after the time Dock Dillard had already left.
Starting in late 1889, and ending in 1894, the above properties were sold off to third parties in that Dock Dillard and his family moved to Greenville County, South Carolina at least by 1892, the dates of his first real estate purchases in Greenville County, South Carolina, and other facts supporting this probable date set out in From Westminister to Greenville.
Albert Lafayette Dillard
This Dillard brother according to his imposing gravestone in Eastview Cemetery in Westminster was born on October 23, 1864 and died at only 43 years of age on April 20, 1907. Ritchie records that he served as Sheriff of Rabun County, Georgia from 1891 through 1894. Albert and his brother B. R. Dillard were appointed by the Ordinary of Rabun County on January 6, 1896 to serve as administrators of the estate of their father, John B.Dillard, Sr.
It appears in subsequent proceedings in this estate in Rabun County that only Beavert R. Dillard alone continued to serve and finally settled this estate as set forth in the Minutes of the Ordinary Court for Rabun County, Georgia, 1887-1898. At the January Term in 1896, at page 350 F. A. Bleckley, Ordinary issued Letters of Administration on the estate of John B. Dillard, Sr. to B. R. Dillard upon his giving bond in the sum of $2,000.00. It was ordered on January 6, 1896 that title to all properties of this estate be vested in Rachel M. Dillard. On October 6, 1896 this court at page 377 authorized B. R. Dillard to sell the lands of the estate to pay indebtedness and distribute the same among the heirs of the estate. On October 4, 1897 B. R. Dillard sought discharge as administrator of this estate. Finally, at the January, 1898 term of this Court, B. R. Dillard was discharged as administrator by order dated January 3, 1898. Only B. R. Dillard was mentioned in all these subsequent proceedings as administrator of his father's estate, and not Albert L. Dillard. In the order of the Ordinary dated January 6, 1896 the words "with Albert L. Dillard" seem to have been added as an afterthought following the appointment of B. R. Dillard as sole administrator of the estate of J. B. Dillard,Sr .
In a Sale Bill of the real and personal property of the John B. Dillard, Sr. estate dated January 6, 1896, B. R. Dillard was referred to as "temporary administrator". This same Sale Bill states that Albert L. Dillard purchased two tracts of land from the Estate of John B. Dillard, Sr. with undisclosed acreage at respective prices of $83.00 and $46.50. No deed has been found to date conveying this property to Albert L. Dillard.
The Book of Sales in the Court of the Ordinary of Rabun County dated 1881-1903 at page 88 records that Albert L. Dillard purchased a horse from the Estate of G. W. Kelly on October 26, 1897. Cash to Albert seems to have been easy to obtain.
The petition of George M. Dillard, another brother, to have the Ordinary of Rabun County appoint a suitable guardian for his mother, Rachel M. Dillard, "an imbecile from old age", (she was then 66 years of ago having been born in 1831) dated July 27, 1897 recites that A.L. Dillard, B. R. Dillard and John B. Dillard were then residents of Rabun County, Georgia and were "the nearest adult relatives of Rachel M. Dillard". Albert L. Dillard was issued guardianship of his mother's property (which appeared to consist of all of the real and personal estate of John B. Dillard, Sr., except that part sold off by his administrator) by the Ordinary of Rabun County on October 4, 1897. He was also appointed as administrator of his mother's estate on her death on June 17, 1899 in that he petitioned the Ordinary for that county on April 2, 1900 for his discharge as such and "letters of dismission" were granted by that court.
Albert L. Dillard's first real estate purchase in Westminster was in l902. His being shown in the l900 Census as living in the household of his brother, William McKinney Dillard, along with his affairs with the Estate of Rachel McKinney Dillard as late as April 2, 1900 in Rabun County, Georgia, pinpoint his becoming a resident of Westminster during the year 1900.
The date of his marriage to Callie Hull Dillard was reported in the Keowee Courier on February 28, 1906. Callie Hull was, it appears, already a resident of the Town of Westminster with extensive kindred there. It appears that Albert L. Dillard was unmarried until 1896 and had lived at least for some time as a single man in his brother, Mac Dillard.
D. W. Allen, J.H. Harshaw, W. F. Ferguson et. al. as trustees of Joint Stock Company of Westminster by deed dated August 15, 1902 sold to Albert L. Dillard Lot 8 fronting fifty five feet on Main Street and running back to the railroad right of way for a consideration of $200.00. Three years later, J. J. Stoddard sold to Albert L. Dillard another lot fronting on the right of way of the Southern Railway running back to Main Street for $500.00. Other real estate was conveyed to Albert L. Dillard in Westminster as late as the year of his death by Wiley Ferguson and John Gray. Rachel Dillard Scott, who was raised in Westminster and was born after the date of death of Albert L. Dillard, recalls a residence on the eastern side of Main Street backing up to the railroad right of way across that street from the residence of her father, J. King Dillard, being identified as the home of Albert L. Dillard.
The Oconee County Clerk's cross conveyance indices through 1920 indicate that Albert L. Dillard never sold during his lifetime any of the real estate he had acquired in Westminster.
Albert L. Dillard was a town policeman in Westminster, which was a continuation of his law enforcement interests in his having served as sheriff of Rabun County.
Death from unknown but natural causes took Albert L. Dillard one year and two months following his marriage to Callie Hull Dillard. The petition for the appointment of Callie as guardian in the estate of Albert L. Dillard states that his only child, Alberta Calhoun Dillard, was born two days prior to the date of his death.
The estate of Albert L. Dillard who had no will appears comparatively extensive. It consisted of nine rental houses and one or two store buildings and listed the ownership by the decedent of 100 acres near Dillard in Rabun County, Georgia. It also consisted of one cow and calf and one pig. Numerous notes and accounts receivable were listed as assets, including a receivable from William M. Dillard of $50.00, from R. L. Dillard (possibly R. S. Dillard) of $36.80 and Claude Dillard (probably the son of William M. Dillard).
Guardianship proceedings were commenced in the Probate Court for Oconee County for Alberta Calhoun Dillard, a minor who under South Carolina law inherited one half of her father's intestate estate. In 1915, William McKinney Dillard filed suit in this court against Callie H. Dillard as guardian for the minor child in which he alleged he was the "only living brother of Albert L. Dillard" (this was not quite correct but is correct that he was the only living brother in Westminster) and asked the court to remove Callie H. Dillard as guardian and place custody of the person and property of Alberta in him on the grounds that Callie was an unfit person to raise Alberta and handle her property. Mac Dillard alleged that Callie would leave the child to frequent Greenville, South Carolina for immoral purposes and that the purpose of one of these trips was to give birth to an illegitimate child. In her answer, Callie H. Dillard alleged William M. Dillard, who was a "near neighbor" of Alberta, was a person of bad temper and habits who had no affection for Alberta, or she for him.
A question existed as to whether or not the Probate Court had lawful jurisdiction in that it was unusual to bring this type of suit in that court, but the Probate judge concluded he did have jurisdiction and ruled against William M. Dillard on the grounds that he was not on "friendly terms" with Callie H. Dillard. Questions were also raised as to whether or not the Callie Hull Dillard was properly maintaining and keeping rented the rental property in the Albert L. Dillard estate.
Meanwhile, in 1916 Callie H. Dillard asked the probate court to relieve her from the burdensome duties of guardian in managing the rental properties. Her brother in law, R. T. Duke, a local U. S. mail carrier, was appointed as guardian for Alberta Calhoun Dillard in her place. R. T. Duke continued to serve until 1928, when he was discharged as guardian by order of the Probate Court dated May 1, 1928. At that time, this probate court file shows that Alberta Calhoun Dillard was then a Thurman. Harry Clifton Duke of Westminster, South Carolina states that his father, R. T. Duke, managed this property for his sister in law and niece after she took her daughter, Alberta, and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, which was before 1921, the date of birth of Harry Clifton Duke.
Several deeds selling off the Albert L. Dillard real estate in 1928, the year of the guardianship settlement, indicate that Callie H. Dillard had apparently remarried and was "Mrs. A. P. Owens" and Alberta Calhoun Dillard was "Mrs. H. L. Thurman".
Alberta Dillard told her cousin, Harry Clifton Duke, that about 1931 or 1932 she hired an Atlanta, Georgia lawyer to gain possession of the one hundred acres of land in Rabun County, Georgia listed as an asset in the estate of her father, Albert L. Dillard. She and other Hull family members went to Dillard, Georgia and found the property, which was a large mountain with and old cabin on the very top. In walking the property, Alberta and her companions were caught in a hail storm and forced to take cover in the old cabin. They were stranded for an extended period of time in the cabin because they were surrounded by a large pack of "wild hogs" . She was never able to obtain possession and sell this property for reasons unknown.
The location of this 100 acres the subject of the "wild hog" story is unknown. Albert L. Dillard purchased two tracts of land, with no acreage given, as reported in the Book of Sales of the Ordinary Court for Rabun County cited above from his father's administrator, Beavert R. Dillard. Albert L. Dillard acquired 35 acres from his father on May 18, 1892 in Deed Book K, Page 520, a part of Lots 162 and 163 which were part of the lands originally acquired by James Dillard in 1823 and 1824. Other Dillard brothers, except John B. Dillard, Jr., were deeded property by their father, John B. Dillard, Sr. in 1893 through 1896. A deed to this 100 acres, wherever it was, does not appear of record. That could have been one of the problems in Alberta's claim of ownership.
Callie Hull Dillard married Albert P. Owens and operated a restaurant near the Ford plant in Atlanta where she died at 94 years of age in the l980's. Alberta Calhoun Dillard later divorced Thurman, and married Van Lee Scarborough, a barber. She never had any children and worked for over forty years in Rich's Department Store in Atlanta where she died at 81 years of age on June 29, 1988.
Alberta Calhoun Dillard Thurman Scarborough was buried in Westview Cemetery, Walhalla, South Carolina. The place of burial of her mother, Callie Hull Dillard Owens is unknown. In her Last Will and Testament Alberta Scarborough devised her entire estate, including her home at 442 Euclid Terrace in DeKalb County, Georgia to what appear to be her cousins, Ila W. Fairley, Hazel D. Cleveland and Harry C. Duke, the last two named of whom still reside in the Westminister area of Oconee County, South Carolina.
The Albert L. Dillard line has completely died out. There was little, if any, family contact during their lifetimes by Alberta Calhoun Dillard Scarborough and her mother with other descendants of John B. Dillard, Sr. and Rachel McKinney Dillard.
John B. Dillard, Jr.
John B. Dillard, Jr. was referred to as a "then resident" of Rabun County, Georgia and as one of the "three nearest adult relatives" of Rachel McKinney Dillard in the application of George M. Dillard to the Ordinary of that county dated July 27, 1897 to have his mother declared incapable of managing her own affairs. John B. Dillard, Jr. acknowledged service of process in this legal proceedings on July 28, 1897. John B. Dillard's gravestone in the First Baptist Church cemetery in Westminster states that he married his wife, Florida A. Wilburn Dillard, on April 26, 1876.
Ritchie states that the wife of John B. Dillard, Jr. was Florida "Welborn", and that she was from Rabun County, Georgia. The above gravestone, as well as the death notice of John Lee Dillard, Florida Wilburn Dillard's oldest child, in the Keowee Courier on September 8, 1965, reconfirms that her name was Wilburn and not Welborn.
The fact that few members of the third generation of this large family are now living (John B. Dillard, Jr. was the oldest son of his parents and 15 years older than the youngest child), and the absence of deeds and administered estates for these first three generations, make it impossible at this time to comprehensively complete this family with generations to the present date. The very large size of the John B. Dillard, Jr. family makes most of the names and whereabouts of the fourth and succeeding generations unknown to present family members.
The 1880 United States Census of Rabun County, Georgia in Tennessee District No. 556 (showing John B. Dillard, Sr., age 53, and his wife Rachel M., age 48 as farmers with six sons in their household ranging in age from 20 down to 11) separately lists John B. Dillard, Jr., age 24, a "farmer" with his wife "Sarah F.", age 20, "keeping house", with one child John L., age 1.
The 1900 United States Census of Rabun County, Georgia clearly shows that John B. Dillard, Jr. was still there on that date with a wife and seven children at 44 years of age. His wife was listed as "Sarah F." Dillard, born June, 1858. Children were shown in this census as follows: John L. Dillard, born October, 1878; Sallie M. Dillard, born July, 1882 (this is the same person as Sallie Missouri Dillard); Nolla E. Dillard, born February, 1885 (this is the same person as Nola Dillard); Doctor H. Dillard, year of birth not given, age 12, (this is Doctor Holman Dillard); Gulie R. Dillard, age 10, year of birth not given (the spelling of this name is uncertain; it could be "Goolie" and was reported in the press hereinafter cited as "Goola"); Nannie V. Dillard, age 8, year of birth not given and Minnie V. Dillard, age 4, year of birth not given (the latter two are Vera Dillard and Versy (which could have been spelled "Versie") Dillard). For unknown reasons, his son Norman Barnard Dillard, born 1886 is not listed in this census.
No deed records have been found to this date for John B. Dillard, Jr. in either Rabun County or Oconee County, and it is difficult to determine when he first came into Westminster. The 1900 United States Census for South Carolina does not list John B. Dillard, Jr. and his family.
His grave marker which reads "John B. Dillard", without explaining what the "B" stood for recites that he was born on March 6, 1856 and died on September 6, 1917, which would make his age at the date of his death 6l. His wife, Florida Wilburn Dillard, who is buried next to her husband, was born on June 18, 1859 and died on April 29, 1936.
According to her grandson, K. Wylie Dillard, of Seneca, South Carolina Florida W. Dillard, a strong disciplinarian, resided with her son, Norman Barnard Dillard, at his home in Walhalla after the death of his wife, Ada T. Dillard, at thirty years of age to assist in the care of Wylie who was then a small child.
K. Wylie Dillard, Floree Ida Dillard Gilden and Nellie H. Dillard, widow of Forest Dillard, state that John B. Dillard, Jr. left Rabun County, Georgia with his large family to pursue employment in the textile mills. This coincides with the description of Dr. Ritchie of economic conditions in Rabun County, particularly the lack of employment opportunities, and the well known fact that farming people sought employment in the South in the rapidly growing textile plants at the turn of the century.
It is said that John B. Dillard, Jr. while working in a textile mill in Gainesville, Georgia was struck by the well known tornado which devastated that town resulting in the entire corner of the mill building being lifted up and dropped close to a nearby railroad track. Whether Uncle John was lifted up and dropped with the corner of the mill is unknown. He survived. This tornado is reported to have occurred on June 1, 1903 in a Pictorial History of Hall County to 1950. In the latter publication, photographs of the demolished Gainesville Cotton Mill and New Holland Mill in Gainesville are shown, where it is further reported that over 100 people were killed in this tornado. The foregoing would place John B. Dillard, Jr. in Gainesville in 1903, just after the l900 and just before the 1910 United States Censuses where he was shown respectively in Rabun County, Georgia and Anderson County, South Carolina.
Jim Dillard, 80 year old grandson of Hiram Dillard (a son of William F. Dillard, killed in the Civil War) knowledgeable in Rabun County history, of Dillard, Georgia states that Gainesville, Georgia was a popular place for Rabun County residents to enter work in textile mills at the turn of the century and later because of lack of opportunities to earn a livelihood in Rabun County, Georgia. The Hiram Dillard family followed this pattern by going to work in the New Holland Mill in Gainesville, Georgia about the same time as the John B. Dillard, Jr. family, with the Hiram Dillard family later returning to Dillard, Georgia to permanently reside.
The first South Carolina census which shows John B. Dillard, Jr. was in 1910 in which he is shown as living in Anderson County at age 54 with his wife, Florida, age 51 with a daughter, Bessie, (this is probably the census taker's mistake for Versy) age 14, a daughter Vera, age 18 and a son-in-law, Charles Parden, age 19, all of the same having been born in Georgia. Where he was living in Anderson County is not known. Anderson County is physically located approximately twelve miles from Westminster, and it is possible that John B. Dillard, Jr. was residing in a rural area in Anderson County and commuting to work in the textile mills of Westminster, South Carolina. His son, Norman Dillard, is shown in the 1910 United States Census as age 24 living in Westminster, Oconee County, with a wife Ada, age 17 and no children, which suggests that his father may have also been there.
The obituary of Florida Wilburn Dillard which appeared in the May 6, 1937 issue of the Keowee Courier states that she died a resident of Walhalla, but "before moving to Walhalla she had resided in Westminster for a number of years. Her husband who was a brother of Mr. W. M. Dillard and who came here many years ago from Rabun, Ga. preceeded her to the grave some 20 years ago."
All of the foregoing points to the probable conclusion that John B. Dillard, Jr. and his family came into Westminster probably close to 1910, and while he was the oldest of the Dillard brothers, he was the last to come to South Carolina.
Many of the children of John B. Dillard, Jr. and Florida Wilburn Dillard followed employment in the textile industry. This includes their oldest child, John Lee Dillard, Norman Barnard Dillard and Doctor Holman Dillard.
The gravemarker of John Lee Dillard in the John B. Dillard, Jr. grave plot recites that he was born in 1878 and died in 1965. His obituary, as noted above, more precisely gives his date of death as September 5, 1965. His wife, Cora Crane Dillard, was born in 1884 and died in 1964. The children of John Lee Dillard and Cora Crane Dillard were Forest Dillard, Ernest Dillard, Myrtle Dillard O'Bryant, Ila Dillard Arnold and Ethel Dillard Addis Nichols. An infant, J. D. Dillard, who died on May 22, 1922 at an unknown age is identified as a child of John Lee Dillard. Another child, Norman Ray Dillard, born November 14, 1909 who died on February 19, 1911 was a child of John Lee Dillard and Cora Crane Dillard. It appears that John Lee Dillard also earlier worked in the textile mills in Atlanta and Gainesville, Georgia.
A gravestone in this same cemetery plot marks the burial of Ila Dillard Arnold, born September 1, 1904 who died October 29, 1969 and her spouse, Paul K. Arnold, who was born on August 2, 1902 and died December 26, 1981. The marriage license of Ila Dillard to Paul Killian Arnold is reported on December 25, 1929 in the Keowee Courier at page 8, Column E.
Forest Dillard was born September 24, 1906 and died May 2, 1957. He is buried in Oconee Memorial Park near Seneca, South Carolina. His wife, Nellie H. Dillard, was born in 1916. The children of Forest Dillard and Nellie H. Dillard are Betty Lee Dillard Chambers, age 57, Randall Dillard, age 55, Barbara Dillard White, Nancy Dillard Stargel, Billy Ray Dillard, age 46 and Joann Dillard, age 52, who is unmarried.
Ethel Dillard Addis Nichols is now alive and resides in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Myrtle Dillard O'Bryant married Elmer O'Bryant and did reside in Spartanburg.
The gravestone in the nearby cemetery plot of Nola Dillard Loggins recites that she was born on February 21, 1884 and died on February 24, 1970. An infant Clyde Lord, child of Nola's first marriage to R. C. Lord, died September 9, 1910. Nola Dillard Lord divorced R. C. Lord and later married Nooney Loggins. The children of Nola Dillard Lord and R. C. Lord are Grace Lord Justice, who married a Baptist minister, Richard Justice, Beatrice Smith who died in Columbia, South Carolina, Otis Lord, found dead beside the railroad tracks in North Dakota, and Eunice Lord Hunt, who married retired Lt. Col. Thomas Cleland Hunt and resided in Laurens, South Carolina.
Thomas Cleland Hunt was born on February 14, 1908 and died August 2, 1986. The date of birth of Eunice Lord Hunt is unknown but she died on May 3, 1987. Eunice and Cleland Hunt had one child, Jean Hunt Gaulden, who has three children by her former spouse, Earle Gaulden, who are Dean Gaulden, Margaret Gaulden and Hunt Gaulden of Greenville, South Carolina.
In or adjoining the John B. Dillard, Jr. grave lot in the First Baptist Church of Westminster cemetery is the grave marker of Norman B. Dillard which reads he was born on February 5, l886 and died on November 1, 1941. His wife, Ada T. Dillard's gravestone recites that she was born on April 28, 1893 and died on February 28, 1923. Several infants are buried nearby, which include Carlton Dillard born December 29, 1914, died June 29, 1916, Meda (Almeda) Dillard , born June 19, 1910, died May 16, 1912, and Floyd Dillard, born 1912, died 1916. K. Wylie Dillard, the only child of Norman B. Dillard and Ada T. Dillard who survived to adulthood, states that two other infants born to this couple were Ethel Dillard, born May 21, 1918 at Westminster, died May 24, 1920 and Myrl Dillard born August 30, 1921 who died October 4, 1921.
K. Wylie Dillard states that his father's name was "Norman Barnard Dillard", which supports the probability that the real name of John B. Dillard, Sr. and John B. Dillard, Jr. was Barnard and not Barnett. Norman B. Dillard lived and worked at Walhalla, South Carolina and, at the time of his death, his only surviving child, K. Wylie Dillard, now of Seneca, South Carolina was in service in World War II.
Kenneth Wylie Walton Deaton Dillard, a child of Norman Barnard Dillard and Ada T. Dillard was born on July 29, 1919 and is married to Mattie Hamby Dillard. He and his wife have no children, but Mattie Hamby Dillard has several daughters by a previous marriage.
Doctor Holman Dillard, a son of John B. Dillard, Jr. and Florida Wilburn Dillard, was born in 1889 and died in 1961. He and his wife, Rosaline Dickson Dillard, who was born in 1898 and died in 1981, resided at Westminster, South Carolina. They are buried in First Baptist Church Cemetery at Westminster, South Carolina.
Their children were Floree Ida Dillard Gilden, born June 25, 1917, and died on January 12, 1993, who resided at Westminster, South Carolina, Malory Dillard and Norman Roy Dillard.
Floree Dillard Gilden married Clyde Daniel Gilden and was employed with Beacon Manufacturing Company. She died on January 12, 1993, and was buried in the First Baptist Church Cemetery of Westminister, South Carolina. The children of Floree Dillard Gilden are Theron Gilden of Seneca, South Carolina, now married to Shirley Dillard, a son, Dave Gilden who died at twenty-nine years of age, and a granddaughter, Grechen Gilden Harbin. Guardianship proceedings exist in the Probate Court for Oconee County, South Carolina for Norman Roy Dillard which plead that he was born to D. Holman Dillard on December 14, 1912, and at age 17 recovered a $900.00 judgment against Oconee Mills Co. for personal injuries suffered on January 2, 1930.
The records of the Probate Court for Oconee County, South Carolina show that Norman Roy Dillard (born in 1912 according to Oconee County cemetery card survey) died intestate at age 63 on December 24, 1975 survived by his wife, Ruth Brewster Dillard, and his children, Cheryl Dillard Webb, age 21, Norma Jean Dillard Morton, age 27, Vicki Dillard Shirley, age 25, Gary Dillard, age 14, and Garland Eric Dillard, age 6. He is buried in First Baptist Church Cemetery of Westminster, South Carolina. The Oconee County Cemetery survey indicates that Ruth Brewster Dillard, born 1929, who died March 21, 1990, a daughter of Frank Brewster and Ila Belle Wood Brewster, is buried at Clearmont Baptist Church cemetery in Westminster, South Carolina.
According to information from Floree Dillard Gilden, Malory Dillard, the youngest child of Holman Dillard, is buried in Memorial Park in Seneca, South Carolina and had several children, including Dewena Dillard.
Versy Dillard Ballentine married Will Ballentine and lived in Hiram, Georgia. Her children consist of Faye Ballentine, Ray Ballentine, Connie Ballentine and perhaps one or two others who names are unknown.
Three other daughters of John B. Dillard, Jr. and Florida Wilburn Dillard migrated to Hiram, Georgia, a small town in Paulding County, Georgia a few miles northwest of Atlanta, Georgia. They were Gulie Dillard Sorrells, Vera Dillard Thackston and Missouri Dillard Brown, all three of whom are buried in Hiram, Georgia. The children of Gulie Dillard Sorrells are Edward Sorrells, Dillard Sorrells, Frank Sorrells, Gladys Dillard Sanders and Albert Sorrells. The marriage of "Goola" Dillard to Norman Sorrells which occurred on December 23, 1905 was reported in the Keowee Courier on page l, column D on December 27, 1905.
Nannie Vera Dillard married Ed Mathis as her first husband. Her second husband was Cliff Thackston. She had no children and is said to have died and been buried in the Hiram, Georgia area.
Sallie Missouri Dillard married Will Brown and is said to be buried in the Hiram, Georgia community. She had only one child, Ernest Brown, who after residing in Greenville, South Carolina was last known to have been a resident of Florida. Revised through October 5, 1994. All rights reserved by John M. Dillard, Post Office Box 91, Greenville, South Carolina 29602.