Dictionary of Irish Latin American Biography

Dillon, Juan (1819-1887), businessman and public official, the second son of John Dillon (d.1826) of Dublin and Manuela Calderón (d.1867). John Dillon emigrated to Spain and in 1807 he settled in the River Plate as a merchant and owner of a meat-curing plant. Juan Dillon was the first to install a beer brewery plant in the country. After the fall of Rosas in 1852, Dillon was appointed judge of the peace in Morón and military commander for the region. In Merlo, Juan Dillon built the church, the municipality and many schools. In 1875 President Avellaneda appointed Dillon to the key position of Immigrations Commissioner. After that, he was elected senator during three terms in the Buenos Aires parliament, in which he chaired the budget commission. Juan Dillon married Josefa, née Ballesteros (b.1824). A street in Merlo is named after him.

Gonzalo Cané


- Coghlan, Eduardo A., Los Irlandeses en la Argentina: Su Actuación y Descendencia (Buenos Aires, 1987), p. 241. 

- The Southern Cross, Número del Centenario (Buenos Aires, 1975), p. 46.

Copyright © Society for Irish Latin American Studies, 2005

Online published: 1 September 2004
Edited: 07 May 2009

Cané, Gonzalo, '
Dillon, Juan (1819-1887)' in "Irish Migration Studies in Latin America" November-December 2005 (


The Society for Irish Latin American Studies, 2005

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