Theron R. Lillie was a man of many interests, talents and troubles. He was part of Lodi’s history for probably fewer than 20 years, but he had an impact on a rapidly changing time. He set athletic records, attained a measure of national fame and operated a number of different businesses with his brother that helped usher Lodi into a modern world with telephones and automobiles. But his life ended in tragedy.
Theron Rufus Lillie was born in Aug. 1868 in Ontario, Canada. He was the second child of Henry and Henrietta Lillie. Theron’s brother, Johnathon Henry Lillie (who was known as J. Harry) was two years older. Theron’s sister, named Lillie according to online genealogy records, was two years younger.