Insurance and Real Estate

 Bio-Pen Pictures

            James S. Dilley is a native of Ohio, and was born at Hubbard, Trumbull County, in 1816.  His parents were Cornelius and Sarah (Lock) Dilley, both deceased.  Mr. Dilley received his education mostly at Farmington Academy, at Farmington, Ohio.  At the age of nineteen he began to teach in the schools of Trumbull County, and taught some three years.  In 1838 he went to Valparaiso, Indiana, where he taught several years; afterward he farmed near Hebron, on the Kankakee River, until 1843; next he went to Delaware, Wisconsin, and engaged in the mercantile business till 1850, when he came to California, overland, and engaged in mining in the gold diggings on the Middle Fork of the American River, and at Negro Bar, now Folsom.  After spending a year there as a miner, he returned to Wisconsin, by way of Nicaragua and New York, where he remained until 1854, when he again made a trip to California, by way of Panama; he engaged in mining and merchandising at Drytown till 1856, when, returning to Wisconsin, he was employed as a commercial traveler.  In 1860 he made his second trip over the plains, this time being accompanied by his family, locating at Silver City, Nevada Territory, where he was engaged in business, and was subsequently elected and served one term as County Collector.  In 1862 he was appointed by President Lincoln Internal Revenue Collector for that Territory and served four years.  In 1866, leaving Silver City, he came to Santa Clara, where he established himself in general insurance and real-estate business.

            Politically, he was originally a Whig and voted for Wm. H. Harrison in 1840 for President, afterward being among the organizers of that party in Wisconsin, in 1848, and was that year a delegate from that State to the National Free-soil Convention held at Buffalo, New York, that nominated Martin Van Buren for the presidency.  At the organization of the Republican party he became a Republican, and so voted until 1885, when he espoused the cause of the Prohibition party, of which he is a zealous partisan.  In 1872 he was elected a Justice of the Peace of Santa Clara, which office he held by re-election for six consecutive years.

            In 1838 he was married, at Valparaiso, Indiana, to Miss Sarah A. Richards.  They are members of the Episcopal Church of Santa Clara.  Eight children were born to them, only four of whom are living:  John B., of Santa Clara, attorney at law; Charles R., mining in Montana Territory; Sarah A., wife of Seldin Hetzel, register of the U. S. Land Office at Sacramento, and Mary E., wife of F. D. Kuettner, holding a clerical position at Portland, Oregon.  Their oldest son, James D., died in Chicago, Illinois, in 1876, from disease contracted while serving in the Union army.  He was out during the whole war, serving in different Wisconsin regiments.  Another son died in 1868 in Chicago, where he was engaged in the mercantile business.  Two others died in infancy.

 Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
Pg.  279

Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight