Alfred C. Dillon – 1996 Inductee

Osborne County through the years has been blessed with a large number of doctors who gave long years of dedicated service to their communities and throughout the county.  One of the earliest to practice his profession was Alfred C. Dillon.  Alfred was born October 11, 1844, in Warren, Trumball County, Ohio.  He was a Civil War veteran having served in Company G of the 125th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  He married Mary Shafer at Austinburg, Ohio, on June 6, 1866, and soon after entered medical college.  The Dillons had five children: Alberta, Nellie, John, Emma, and Harry.

The Dillon family arrived in Osborne, County,Kansas, the same day that the town of Osborne was founded, May 1, 1871.  They settled on a homestead in Corinth Township.  Dillon supplemented his professional income over the next thirty years working his farm, which he reluctantly gave up in 1901.  Part of the farm land was donated in 1875 to become the Corinth Cemetery, much to the detriment of son John, whose school mates often kidded him about his father being a country doctor with a private cemetery on his farm.

Dillon attended to patients over a radius of fifty miles for over fifty years.  He was always ready and willing to go, no matter what the distance or the weather.  The trip in those days was made astride a sturdy horse or in an open buckboard, and more times without pay as with.  He had a well-known driving horse, named “Old Dec” that accompanied the good doctor on his rounds for nearly twenty-four years until the animal’s death in 1912.

“[Dr. Dillon] has called upon his patients living in the dugout, the old sod shanty, the frame house and the modern home of today.  His patients came to him in pony-drawn carts, then [in] the road wagon, and as those who stayed and developed the country were blessed with prosperity, now come in carriages drawn by splendid teams or the modern car.

Dr. Dillon has always been interested in the growth and development and showed his faith in the future of Osborne by erecting a two-story building; 30 X 100 feet, the first building of cement construction in the city.  The first floor of this building is used by a clothing store, the second story being used for the offices of Dr. Dillon and his son, Dr. [Harry] Dillon, each using one-half.  Dr. Dillon has nicely appointed rooms; his consultation room is equipped with an X-ray machine and other modern devices found in a well-equipped office of a general practitioner.” — Osborne County News, February 10, 1916.

Between 1874 and 1891 Dr. Alfred Dillon served five terms as Osborne County Coroner.  He moved his family into Osborne in 1887 and was a respected voice in civic affairs.  In 1905 he was featured in the book Men of Kansas.  He died June 2, 1923, at his home in Osborne and was buried in the Osborne Cemetery.

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