Aldrich History Project

Chapter LII

William Henry Dill

DILL, WILLIAM H. William Henry Dill, son of Rev. Henry G. and Sarah A. (Gilbert) Dill, was born at Sunbury, Northurnberland county, Pa., on the 28th day of September, in the year 1838. In the family were eight children, and, in the order of their birth, William H. was the fourth. The father was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and, as such, was called upon to make frequent changes in place of residence, as designated by the conference to which he was attached.

At the age of twelve years William began to take care of himself, and entered a drug store at Berwick, Pa., in the capacity of clerk, where he remained about one year, working for the modest compensation of board and twenty dollars cash. After that he found employment in a dry goods establishment at Middletown, Md., whither his father and family had been called in the line of his ministerial duty. In the month of September, 1855, our subject commenced a course of study in the Williamsport Dickinson Seminary, where he remained two years, and graduated in June, 1857, talking first honors, and delivering the valedictory of the class. He then taught school for a time at Berwick, and with such success that he was, in 1858, awarded a professor's certificate by the superintendent of common schools of Columbia county. In the month of April, 1859, Mr. Dill entered the junior class of the Pennsylvania College, at Gettysburg, for the regular classical course. His advanced position here was granted from the fact of his having attained a sufficient degree of proficiency in scholarship in the Dickinson Seminary to entitle him thereto. From this institution he was graduated in the month of September, 1860, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and subsequently, at the end of three years, the further degree of Master of Arts was conferred on him. In the month of April, of this same year, and prior to his graduation, Mr. Dill was elected professor of ancient and German languages of Williamsport Dickinson Seminary, which professorship he was allowed to accept by the faculty of the Pennsylvania College on condition that present himself at the regular examinations of the senior class of that institution. In the Dickinson Seminary he filled the chair of languages from the time of his first election until the latter part of the year 1865, having been elected to that position by the board of directors, or so appointed by the bishop in charge, each successive year. Furthermore, during this same period and in the year 1861, Mr. Dill became a traveling minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and attached to the Central Pennsylvania Conference. Five years later, March, 1866, he entered the active work of the pastorate, filling such charges as were designated by the conference, and in March, 1868, he came to Clearfield.

In July, 1870, under the advice of his physician, Mr. Dill discontinued his relation with the active, traveling ministry and accepted a business position as cashier of the First National Bank of Clearfield, still maintaining, however, his ministerial position in connection with the church at Clearfield and other points in the vicinity. In the year 1882, at his own request, he was granted a location, and thereby practically severed his connection with the active ministry. While occupying the position of professor of languages at Dickinson Seminary, he became acquainted with Edith, daughter of Jonathan Boynton, of Clearfield, and subsequently, on the 31st day of July, 1865, Edith Boynton and William H. Dill were united in the bonds of matrimony. Of this marriage six children have been born, two sons and four daughters.

The life of our subject since his retirement from the ministry, has not, by any means, been one of inactivity, as there is, perhaps, no man in the entire county whose time is more wholly employed. Besides his duties as cashier, he is extensively engaged in the lumber business as one of the firm of Dill, Watson & Co., of Myersdale, Somerset county, and also a partner in the firm of A. W. Lee & Co., at Belsena, in this county.

His public spiritedness too, is undoubted, as every effort in the interest and welfare of his county, its institutions, and its people, meets not only with his hearty approval but his cordial support. The part taken by him during the strike in the coal region, in the year 1886, and in bringing about an amicable adjustment of the difficulties there existing, brought to him and to those with whom he was associated, the gratitude of thousands of laboring men. His standing in the Masonic fraternity is also worthy of notice, he having filled numerous offices of trust and responsibility therein, and advanced, step by step, until he occupies an elevated and enviable position at the halls of that most ancient and honorable institution.


Source: Pages 690-691, History of Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, Syracuse, NY: D. Mason & Co., Publishers, 1887.
Transcribed August 1999 by Richard L. McKee for the Clearfield County Aldrich Project
Contributed for use by the Clearfield County Genealogy Project (

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