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Encyclopedia Dubuque



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DILLON, Lyman. (Utica, NY, June 12, 1800--Dec. 8, 1857). Orphaned with his younger brother at an early age, Dillon was "bound out" to a tavern-keeper who worked him very hard. He finally ran away and returned to Utica where he worked and graduated college.

He moved west to Iowa and was attracted to the area which developed into Cascade because of the possibilities offered by agriculture and water power. He married and invested in a small tract of land two miles north of town and purchased a sawmill built by the Delong brothers.

There remains a controversy whether Dillon was hired in 1839 by R. C. Tilghman, the surveyor of the route, or James or Lucius Hart LANGWORTHY to establish a trail between Dubuque and Iowa City. The route, broken by a team of oxen pulling a great breaking plow, was a plowed furrow as straight as the animals and contour of the land would allow. This became the basis of a road planned by Congress from Dubuque to the Missouri border.



"Lyman Dillon," Undated and untitled newspaper article found by Diane Harris.