Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library

Dillon Family Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Dillon Family
Title: Dillon Family Collection
Dates: 1890-1980
Accession No.: MA09.2
Quantity: 4 cubic feet
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Texas/Dallas History & Archives, Dallas Public Library 1515 Young St Dallas, TX 75201

Biographical Note

Henry Clay Dillon was born on January 22, 1864 in Fleming County, Kentucky. He married Laura Seaman of Greenfield, Indiana on February 6, 1889. Their two children, Charles Howard Dillon and Ruth Dillon were born on November 15, 1889 and May 28, 1892 respectively. They came to Sherman, Texas in 1892 where H.C. Dillon worked as the YMCA Secretary and State Secretary for the Texas Gospel Union. They joined the Central American Mission as missionaries in 1893, leaving on December 11, 1893 for Central America. Sickness plagued the missionaries, necessitating their return. On a steam ship to San Francisco, Laura Dillon died on June 26, 1894. Returning to Dallas on July 21st, 1894, H.C. Dillon decided he must continue his work in Central America, left his children in the care of Mr. and Mrs. E.M. Powell and Mr. and Mrs. Devlin. During one of his trips back to Dallas, H.C. Dillon married again on April 22, 1896, to Margaret Neely. H.C. Dillon finally passed away on August 29, 1897 in El Paraiso, Honduras. Margaret Dillon died in Dulce Nombre in June 9, 1913.

Howard and Ruth, now orphans, continued to live under the care of the Devlins and the Powells. E.M. Powell, and his wife Mary, would play an important role in the lives of the orphan children. Mr. Powell helped establish the Central Congregational Church of Dallas, and was a noted business leader and supporter of missionary activity. Their other benefactor, Robert Devlin, was noted for his charity towards the orphaned, helping raise sixteen orphaned children over his lifetime. Mr. Devlin was also a member of the Central Congregational Church. Howard played football at Dallas High School, becoming a teacher and football coach at Duncan, Oklahoma and later Cooper, Texas. It was in Cooper where he met Nettie Wood, whom he would marry in October 15, 1912. Their child, Howard Clay Dillon, was born in Dallas on March 14, 1916. In Dallas, Howard Dillon worked in the Tax and Valuation department of Western Union. He was also active in church activities, and was a noted singer. Charles Howard Dillon died December 8, 1967 in Dallas.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of materials chronicling the lives of three generations of the Dillon family. It consists of materials of Henry Clay Dillon, Charles Howard Dillon and Howard Clay Dillon. Within this collection are materials documenting the genealogy of this family, research on the missionary career of H.C. Dillon and the Central American Mission, correspondence from Central America to his children, and bulletins published by the CAM. The lives and careers of both Charles Howard Dillon and his son, Howard Clay Dillon are also documented. Snap shots document life in Dallas, including the Texas Centennial, and marching band activities from Sunset High School and Texas Christian University in the 1930s. Also contained are photos of H. Clay Dillon's service during the Second World War in Hawaii. One may also find information on the early history of the Central Congregational Church, and some of its most prominent founders and members.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Henry Clay Dillon
Laura Seaman (Dillon)
Margaret Neely Dillon
Howard Clay Dillon
Charles Howard Dillon
Nettie Wood (Dillon)
E.M. Powell
Central American Mission
Central Congregational Church
Family Names:
Dallas (Tex.)
Central America
Central America - Missionary Activities
Churches - Central Congregational Church - Dallas
Dillon Family Collection

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

MA09.2 Dillon Family Collection, Texas/Dallas History & Archives Division, Dallas Public Library

Processing Information

Processed by Bryan McKinney

Detailed Description of the Collection


Central American Mission

Box Folder
1 1 Information on Missionary Activities
2 Biographical Information on Missionaries
3 Correspondence (reproductions)
4 Central American Bulletin. Miscellaneous Copies
5 Clippings - Dallas Times Herald
6 Articles on CAM.
7 Correspondence - Wilkens B Winn, Professor of History


Family Papers

Box Folder
1 8 Henry Clay Dillon - Biographical Information
9 Henry Clay Dillon - writings, from Central American Bulletin and a map of Central America
10 Henry Clay Dillon - Letters written by son and grandson seeking information on
11 Laura Seaman (Dillon) - Genealogical Information
12 Margaret Neely Dillon - Biographical Information
13 Margaret Neely Dillon - Correspondence
14 Margaret Neely Dillon - Funeral Pamphlet, First Congregational Church October 19, 1913
15 Margaret Neely Dillon - Written material from various sources and CAM Bulletin regarding
16 Devlin and Powell Families
17 E.M. Powell - Articles regarding
18 Charles Howard Dillon - Correspondence regarding Birth Certificate
19 Charles Howard Dillon - Correspondence to Nettie Wood, 1914
20 Charles Howard Dillon - Postcards to him and wife
21 Charles Howard Dillon - Obituary, 12/9/1967
22 Wood Family Materials. Dr. Wood
23 Nettie Wood (Dillon) - Postcards
24 Nettie Wood (Dillon) - Progressive Garden Club. History and Clippings. 5/12/1952
25 Howard Clay Dillon - 1933 Sunset High School Graduate Announcement 1933
26 Howard Clay Dillon - Postcards
27 Howard Clay Dillon - Correspondence with Ruth Dillon Heckler
28 Unidentified Postcards



Box Folder
2 1 Genealogy Research
2 "Dillonana" by Carol H. and H. Clay Dillon, 1980
3 Taylor Family - special focus on Dr. Slade J.K. Taylor
4 "Mama's Diary" Mabel Merle McLaughlin 1920. The Diary of Almeda Taylor McLaughlin.
5 "Kith Kin N Kith'n Kouth'nth" of William Alpheus and Martha Angeline Wood of Delta County, Texas



Box Folder
2 Martin, Dorothy. (1990). 100...and Counting. The Story of CAM's First Century.
Winn, Wilkins B. (1973). Pioneer Protestant Missionaries in Honduras.
Spain, Mildred W. (1954). And In Samaria
Thompson, E.T. (1934). Presbyterian Missions in the Southern United States.


Family Artifacts

Box Folder
2 Baby's Childhood Days. Howard Clay Dillon. 1916
Our Baby. 1916
Five Year Diary. Nettie Dillon ca. 1933
Daybook - Mr and Mrs. Powell. January 1st, 1886
H. Clay Dillon - WW2 Dog Tags
Box Folder
3 1 Certificated and Diplomas for Howard Clay Dillon



Box Folder
3 Small framed photograph, unknown. ca. 1880
2 State Conference. Central Congregational Church 1921
3 Group of Children in Front of Central Congregational Church ca. 1920
4 Dr. Thomas H. Harper Bible Class. Easter Sunday. April 15, 1922
5 Junior Church Central Congregational Church October 1922
6 Association of Western Union Employees. Old City Hall. New Orleans. ca. 1925
Framed Photograph. Individual unknown.
Box Folder
4 Photo Album. Dillon Family Life 1916-1930
Photo Album. Dillon Family Life. 1912-1920
Photo Albums. Dillon Family Vacations. 1914-1925
Box Folder
5 1 Charles H Dillon. Dallas High School Football Player. (2) 1906
2 Mr. and Mrs. E.M. Powell. CA. 1920
3 Mrs. E.M. Powell and Mrs. Jessie K Rodgers 1928
4 Camp Dallas Band. Baker Hotel, Mineral Wells. June 1932
5 Sunset Band. May 1933
6 Howard Clay Dillon. 1941
7 Howard Clay Dillon. Portrait. ca. 1940
8 Charles B. Dillon. Henry Clay Dillon's Brother. ca. 1880
9 Charles B. Dillon. and Florence R Dillon. ca. 1880
10 Laura Seaman Dillon. ca. 1893
11 Margaret Neely Dillon. ca.1895
12 Laura, Howard and Mr. Dillon. tin type ca. 1890
13 Mr. and Mrs. E.M. Powell
14 Mrs. E.M. Powell. ca. 1930-1940
15 Powell Residence. 6944 Lakeshire and 1927 old residence on North Ervay across from Cumberland School
16 Charles Howard Dillon age four. ca. 1898
17 Charles Howard Dillon. 1920-1940
18 Charles and Nettie Dillon
19 Mr. and Mrs Dillon at Devlin Home. ca. 1930
20 Charles Howard Dillon. Director Children's Choir East Dallas Presbyterian Church
21 Charles Howard Dillon. Western Union Photographs ca. 1930s
Box Folder
6 1 Nettie Wood (Dillon)
2 Nettie Dillon and Clay Howard Dillon. August 28, 1952
3 Howard Clay Dillon, 1930-1940
4 Sunset High School. ca. 1928-1933
5 Clay Dillon's graduation and trip to Camp Dallas. 1933
6 TCU Football and Band scenes. Taken from stands. ca. 1935
7 Texas Centennial. Clay Dillon worked as a Guide. 1936
8 Howard Clay Dillon. Graduation from Baylor. August 1939
9 Howard Clay Dillon. UT Graduation 1942
10 Howard Clay Dillon. World War II snapshots. Hawaii. 1943-1945
11 Howard Clay Dillon. Teaching Electronics.
12 Charles Howard Dillon. ca. 1960
13 Dillon Family. Streets of downtown Dallas. ca. 1935
14 Dillon Family Group Shots
15 1927 Trip to Colorado Springs
16 Vacation to Corpus Christi, September 1930
17 Unknown Woman, 5/15/1927
18 Betty Harris. ca. 1930
19 Phil Stay 3/22/1931
20 Columbia Auto Service Station ca. 1925
21 Posed tourist shots, Mexico? ca. 1910