GEORGE F. TILLINGHAST

BIOGRAPHY

AS RECORDED IN:

COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF 
TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES CONNECTICUT.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE  CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P.  1070

GEORGE F. TILLINGHAST.  The ancestors of this prominent agriculturist of Canterbury, Windham county, belonged to some of the most distinguished colonial families.

Pardon Tillinghast, the first American of this line, born in Seven Cliffs near Beachy Head, now Eastborn, Sussex, England, in 1622, served in the English army under Cromwell, and fought in the battle of Marston Moor.  He later came to New England, and in 1645 settled in Providence, R.I., where, obtaining his residentship, he bought a quarter interest in the original Providence purchase.  He became a merchant in Providence, was exceedingly active in public affairs, and was widely known as a man of great religious zeal.  With his own money he built in 1700, the First Baptist Church at Providence, R.I., the oldest church of this denomination in America, and for over forty years (1678-1718) without any remuneration acted as pastor of that society.  For over twenty-five years he held various posts of honor in the town and he also served the colony many times as deputy to the General Court.  Further information concerning the Tillinghast genealogy will be found in the sketch of F.H. Tillinghast in this volume.

Cornelius Waldo, a prominent maternal ancestor of George F. Tillinghast, supposed to have been born in England in 1624, and to have resided at Ipswich, Mass., for a time, later moved to Chelmsford, where he owned considerable land.  He also owned an extensive tract in Dunstable.  As a highly respected Christian he was chosen deacon of Mr. Weld’s church in Dunstable.  He died in Chelmsford, Jan. 3, 1700, and his wife, Hannah (Cogswell), passed away Dec. 25, 1704.  For further information concerning the ancestors of George F. Tillinghast see the sketch of the Waldo Family in this volume.

Judge Benjamin Tillinghast, grandfather of George F., was born in West Greenwich, R.I., and there passed his entire life on the extensive family homestead.  He engaged extensively in farming and was one of the most successful agriculturists in his region.  At first a Whig, later a Republican, Mr. Tillinghast often filled local offices and served for many years with marked ability as judge of probate.  He died in West Greenwich, at the age of eighty-three.  His wife, Eunice (Green), was a near relative of Gen. Greene, of the Revolutionary war, and by her he had the following children:  (1) John married Abbie Vaughn and lived in Griswold, Conn.  They had five children:  A child that died in infancy;  Daniel, who died at the age of thirty;  Betsey, who died, unmarried, in Jewett City, Conn.;  Henry, a druggist, who died in Illinois; he left a daughter, who is living in the West;  John, a resident of Jewett City, Conn.  (2) Caleb married Phoebe Tillinghast and lived in Plainfield, Conn.; he was killed by the cars.  (3) Gideon G. is mentioned below.  (4) Lydia married Dr. Alvin Gallup, of West Greenwich, R.I., and they had two children:  William, who settled in the West, and Eunice.  (5) Hannah married Ira Brown, of Hopkinton, R.I., and they had two daughters.  (6) Eunice married Pardon Tillinghast and resided in Plainfield and later in Danielson, Conn.  They had two children:  Caleb, a state librarian at Boston, Mass., and Kate, who married Charles Thayer and, after his death, H. Wood, an undertaker of Danielson.  They have one child.  (7) Phoebe married Deacon Weaver, of Danielson.  (8) Benjamin, a school teacher, married Alice Hazzard, and lived in Rhode Island.  He had two children who survived him, Dr. Frank and Agnes (who married William Hutchings, a hotel-keeper).

Gideon G. Tillinghast, father of George F., a well-remembered resident of Griswold, Conn., was born in 1810 in West Greenwich, R.I., in the schools of which as a youth he obtained a thorough education.  When a young man he went to Griswold, Conn., and taught school for some time; and in this place he married Mercy Waldo, who was born in Canterbury, Conn., March 17, 1804.  She was a daughter of Samuel and Margaret (Gallup) Waldo, and granddaughter of Benjamin Gallup, of Voluntown, Conn.  He had fourteen children, thirteen of whom lived to maturity and married.  Mrs. Tillinghast died Dec. 14, 1885.  By this union there were seven children:  (1) Susan died in her seventh year.  (2) Angeline married Warren D. Fiske, a farmer of South Coventry, Conn.  They had a family of three children.  (3) Caroline, who never married, died at the age of twenty-seven.  (4) George Franklin is mentioned below.  (5) Edwin died in his twenty-seventh year, and  (6) Belinda in her twenty-first.  (7) Gideon G., Jr., born Aug. 12, 1843, married, in Voluntown, Conn., Sept. 1, 1879, Sarah B. Gallup, daughter of Isaac and Olive (Park) Gallup.  By this union there were five children:  Clara B., born in August, 1880;  Ladie Flora, April 4, 1882 (died Sept. 5, 1882);  Arthur Gideon, Aug. 2, 1883;  Hellen May, Sept. 19, 1885; and Waldo Elliot, June 4, 1887.  Since his marriage Gideon G., Jr., has resided in Vernon, Conn., where he has been a merchant, but now raises fruit and poultry.  As a Republican he has held several local offices.  He is a member and active worker of the Vernon Center Congregational Church, to which his wife belongs.

Mr. Tillinghast after his marriage purchased a large farm on Stone Hill.  He died in April, 1843, and is buried at Pachaug, in the town of Griswold, Conn.  As a young man Gideon G. Tillinghast belonged to the Rhode Island State Militia, of which he was quartermaster.  In politics he was a Whig.  Both he and his wife belonged to the Baptist Church of Jewett City.  As a forceful man he exerted a wide influence in his community.

George F. Tillinghast is an honest and good citizen of Canterbury.  Born in Griswold, Conn., Dec. 31, 1838, he obtained his education in the schools of his neighborhood.  At the age of seventeen he entered a mill in Hopeville, where he worked for some time, and later entered another at Almyville, Conn.  During this time the slavery trouble was stirring the country, and so deeply moved was Mr. Tillinghast that when the war broke out he was among the first to offer his services, enlisting in Company B., of the 2d Connecticut Regiment, which was commanded by Col. A.H. Terry.  At the expiration of his first term he re-enlisted for three years in Co. D. 11th C.V.I., and with his regiment fought in some of the bloodiest battles of the war:  First Bull Run, Newberne, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Suffolk, Bermuda-Hundred, Palmer Creek, Drury’s Bluff and Petersburg.  His last battle was before Petersburg, the three years for which he enlisted having expired.  With the exception of a slight wound received at Antietam, and a shot through the blouse at Cold Harbor, Mr. Tillinghast escaped uninjured.  He received an honorable discharge Nov. 26, 1864.  After the war he went to Nebraska and purchased real estate, which he afterward sold at a considerable profit.  In 1868 he returned East, and until 1875, in company with his brother, Gideon G., engaged in the book trade.  On Dec. 27, 1876, he married Rosa Wilcox, who was born in Canterbury, daughter of Nathaniel and Julia (Palmer) Wilcox, and granddaughter of Potter and Lydia (Brown) Wilcox.  Her maternal grandparents were Asher and Joannah (Ames) Palmer.  Mr. and Mrs. Tillinghast have had three children:  Andrew F., born Feb. 1, 1879, married, in November, 1900, Susie Brown, of Stonington, Conn.  They reside at Groton, Conn., in the ship yard of which place he holds a lucrative position.  Edwin, born Oct. 23, 1881, assists his father on the farm; and Annie Rosa, born May 29, 1889, also resides at home.

Since 1875 Mr. Tillinghast has been engaged in agriculture; since 1880 on the Adams farm in Canterbury, which he purchased in that year and where he has since resided.

At first a Republican, since 1888 a Prohibitionist, Mr. Tillinghast has always taken an active part in politics.  While in Nebraska he did his full share in bringing the capital of that State to Lincoln instead of Omaha.  In Canterbury he has held several town offices, among them that of selectman, and he has run on the Prohibition ticket as a candidate for the State Legislature.  As an influential member of the Packerville Baptist Church, to which his wife also belongs, he serves on the church committee.  Socially he affiliates with the G.A.R., Sedgwick Post, of Norwich, Conn., and has been a member of the Canterbury Grange. 

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel

 

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