A teaching career that spanned over fifty years across north-central and northwestern Kansas is a testament to the concern and dedication Asa Brade Dillon gave to the lives of the youth of the region. The son of Asa and Catherine (Simonton) Dillon, Brade was born May 2, 1875, in Pennsboro, Ritchie County, West Virginia. Five years later he moved with his family to Lawrenceburg, Indiana, and attended the local schools. In 1885 his family moved toDowns, Kansas, in Osborne County, and ten years later Brade became a member of the first-ever graduating class from Downs High School.
In September 1895 Brade began teaching in a one-room rural schoolhouse southwest of Alton, Kansas. Over the years he gradually moved up the education ladder from teacher to administrator to superintendent, reaching the apex of his career when in 1908 he was elected Osborne County Superintendent of Schools, an office that he held for two two-year terms. In this capacity Brade was able to continue doctrine of building character in young people through sports; even the smallest rural school had a baseball team that competed with neighboring schools. In 1906 he organized the first girls basketball team at Downs High School and in 1908 he organized the first baseball, football, and boys basketball teams there.
On September 17, 1899, Brade married Cora May Putnam in Downs. They had one son, Dean. A lifelong member of the Congregational Church, Brade was also a member of the Downs Masonic Lodge for fifty years. The esteem that Brade was held in became evident in June 1949 when a reception was held at Downs High School in his honor. Hundreds of former students and teachers from across northern Kansas came to pay their respects to him, and to observe as the Downs High School athletic field was officially named Dillon Field for the man who had devoted the greater portion of his life to youth and sports. Asa Brade Dillon diedNovember 21, 1955, in Downs and his remains were interred in the Downs Cemetery.
Asa Brade Dillon Teaching Record (By School Year):
Pleasant View School District, Number 46, Mount Ayr Township, Osborne County, Kansas–1895.
Downs, Kansas, Grade School, 8th Grade–1896 and 1897.
Rocky Hill School District, Number 4, Ross Township, Osborne County, Kansas–1898.
Alton, Kansas, City School–1899.
Pleasant Valley School District, Number 110, Sumner Township, Osborne County, Kansas–1900.
Rocky Hill School District, Number 4, Ross Township, Osborne County, Kansas–1901.
Downs Grade School, 8th Grade–1902 through 1904.
Superintendent, Downs Schools–1905 through 1908.
Osborne County Normal Instructor–1908 and 1909.
Osborne County Normal Conductor–1910 through 1912.
Alton, Kansas, Superintendent of Schools–1913 through 1916.
Kirwin, Kansas, Superintendent of Schools–1917 through 1920.
Lenora, Kansas, Superintendent of Schools–1921 through 1926.
Norton County, Kansas, Normal Instructor–1926.
Alton Superintendent of Schools–1928 through 1933.
Kirwin Superintendent of Schools–1934.
Hunter, Kansas, Superintendent of Schools–1935 through 1938.
Downs High School Librarian and Study Hall Teacher–1940 through 1945.
Downs High School Substitute Teacher–1946 through 1951.