|Sign Guestbook View Guestbook|
by Geri Ellen Neumann
Written for the Monticello, NY Becentennial Celebration
|Just outside the village of Monticello, off Forestburgh Road and at the
end of Dillon Road lies a piece of land upon which a modest farmhouse
once stood. The year was 1879, a young married couple, Thomas Dillon
of Mongaup Valley and Annie Naughton of Stevensville, established a
dairy farm and home. Both were children of Irish immigrants, John and
Mary Dillon and Patrick and Ann Naughton. They came to America to
escape the famine epidemic in Ireland with hopes of a better life.
Thomas and Annie raised eight children on the farm. They were Edward,
John, Mary, Gabriella, Joseph, Katherine, Thomas and William.
Life was never dull or boring on the farm. From sunrise to sunset the
chores and work had to be done, animals tended to, crops watched, food
to be made, wood to be chopped and much more. Children worked right
along with their parents; all hands were needed to accomplish the
multitude of tasks. Depending on what time of year certain work would
have to be accomplished. Such as canning vegetables after a fall
harvest, blocks of ice cut from the nearby pond and brought up to the
icehouse in the winter, cultivating and seeding the earth in the spring
and cutting the hayfields in the summer. Corn was grown to feed the
Thomas Dillon was well respected in his community, by his peers and
well loved by his family. His days as a youth were spent under the
supervision of his father who instilled in him the values and morals one
needs to become an expert farmer, loving family man and true friend. He
died in 1916.
Annie Dillon continued the legacy set forth by her husband with the help
of their children. Some went off into the world on different endeavors.
Annie died in 1925. Joseph, Gabriella and Thomas remained on the
Joseph had a son, Leo Dillon, from his only marriage. He built his own
little bungalow on Dillon Road. He farmed the land with his brother and
sister until his death in 1936.
Gabriella was a devoted daughter and sister. She was a hard worker,
feisty and had great determination. Later on she built a small house to
live and to suit her needs. She remained there until her death in 1969. In
1919 Thomas married a city girl, Margaret Sheridan of Astoria, Queens.
They built a house on Dillon Road and they raised three children
Thomas Jr., Anna May and Alice.
In summer friends and relatives would drive up from the city to visit and
or stay a while to enjoy the quiet country life. As time went on farming
became harder and more laborious to do with less hands around and
the aging farmers. Many acres of farmland were sold off and the original
farmhouse was destroyed by fire due to its old age and lack of occupants.
Thomas was kind, never owned or drove a car. He sang Irish tunes he
learned from his mother and he sang them with such loving affection
and soul. Family heritage was preserved through the stories and tales of
wonder that he told, which was passed down to him. Margaret had a
heart of gold, devoted to her mother, siblings, husband and children. She
was brilliant at needlecraft and could cure any ailment with her home
Thomas Jr. was a carpenter by trade and talented in furniture making. He
served in the army and liberated concentration camps in WW2. In 1957
he married Mildred Larson of Bergenfield, NJ and remained there until
his death in 1994.
Anna May attended Albany, NY State College and graduated with a
degree in teaching. She moved on to a long time career as assistant
plant manager with the New York Telephone Company. She was a world
traveler and took many great trips with her dear friends. She committed
herself to care for her aging parents and remained with them until they
died, Thomas in 1973 and Margaret in 1977. She was classy, fun and
loved everyone the same. She died 1999.
Alice, nicknamed “Dew” by her siblings, trained oxen and showed them
in county fairs and exhibitions. The oxen Jim and Sam also worked the
farm but were gentle giants and were more like members of the family.
She fell in love with and married Gerard “Jerry” Kreiter from Waymart, PA
in 1949. They built a home on Dillon Road and raised a family of four
Ellen, Margaret “Peggy”, Peter and Kathleen. Jerry was a butcher by trade
and was affiliated with local sportsman’s associations. He died in 1987.
Ellen married Eric Neumann in 1970 and they have two children Geri
Ellen and Barbi Alice. Geri married Craig Duffy in 1999 and they have two
children EllenRose and Erin Kathleen. Geri and family live with Ellen and
Eric in Bradley just outside of Liberty. In 2003 Alice gave Geri four acres
of the original farm to keep for generations to come. Barbi married
DanielMarty in 1998, they have two children Dianna May and Sofia Maria
They live in Parksville.
Peggy married Edward Lindstadt II in 1971 and they have two children
Suzanne Marie and Edward Charles III. Suzanne has one child Kayla.
Peggy and her husband live in the home that once belonged Gabriella
Dillon. Suzanne, Kayla and Edward live in the home that once belonged
to Thomas and Margaret Dillon.
Peter resides in the village of Monticello. He loves to travel and has a
talent for working on and with computers. Peter carries on the tradition of
the Dillon wit and humor.
Kathleen married John Silva in 1998. She has two children Keith
Richards Restrepo and Kyle Thomas Kreiter. After living in CT for several
years she returned home with her family to live with her mother on Dillon
|Edward, Thomas, John
Dillon, baby unidentified
|Annie Naughton Dillon
|Alice Dillon and her oxen.
|Anna May, Alice, Thomas
|Ellen, Peter, Peggy, Kathy