Founder George W. Dillan, John’s grandfather, who left Pennsylvania for “greener pastures” to work in the fields of North and South Dakota during the early 1900s. By 1919, he returned to Darlington, a small farming and mining village at the time, to start a family and a business.
For his coal testing and water well drilling work, Dillan first used a steam powered, wooden 32 Star rig, which was pulled to each site with a team of horses. A few years later, he commissioned the Star Drilling Machine Co. in Akron, OH to build him the first truck-mounted drilling rig from that factory. It was mounted on a 1917 Graham-Burnstein rubber tired truck.
George’s son, Carl, had grown up in the company and after returning from service during World War II, he started his own company. Father and son work in the same area but were good competitors. After his father’s death in 1950, Carl W. bought out his equipment. The third generation, John W. Dillan, had been involved with the company since 1959. Upon Carl W. retiring in 1976, John W. purchased the business and assets and he was president of the company but has retired from the company.
The fourth generation has taken over. Todd W. Dillan is President and Mark J. Dillan is Vice President. Todd takes care of the geothermal heat drilling and water well drilling operations. Mark J. is in charge of the water treatment and pump service division. Todd is currently treasurer of the Pennsylvania Ground Water Association. In 2010 Todd Dillan was appointed by Pennsylvania Governor Rendell to serve on the Ohio Regional Water Resource Committee, a position he currently serves.
Today, George W. would be amazed at the progress made in this company. The old steam-power rig has been replaced with four rotary rigs, two cable tool drill rigs, three rig tenders, three pump hoists, water treatment van, and additional service trucks. The service area is now over a 150-mile radius. The company currently employs 22 employees.