WASHINGTON IRVING TILLOTSON. The hardy and enterprising colonists of the New England States have contributed a large majority of the founders of Central New York. The family of this gentleman were from Connecticut.
His great-grandfather distinguished himself, as a soldier in the struggle for independence. His grandfather, General John Tillotson, emigrated from Connecticut to New York State about the year 1790, and was one of the first
settlers of Genoa, Cayuga County, where he secured a tract of timbered land one mile east of Cayuga Lake. Here in the virgin forest, untenanted save by bird and beast, he prepared to make his home,
"And in the twilight of the forest noon
Wield the first axe these shores ever heard."
On this farm he built his rude log cabin, and settled down to a lifelong residence with his wife and little family.
The General's son, the father of our subject, was born in Genoa, Cayuga County, in 1796. He was fortunate in receiving an excellent education, and in young manhood taught school and gave lessons in vocal music. He was for a time book-keeper in the employment of Mack & Andrus, publishers in Ithaca, Tompkins County. From Ithaca he moved to Utica, and engaged as contractor and builder,
conducting the business there for a number of years. Miss Eleanor Montague, daughter of Nathaniel and Eleanor Montague, who became his wife, was born in New Hartford, N.Y., and died there in November of 1883. Her husband spent his last days at this same place, where he died July 2, 1850. They had three children who grew to maturity; namely, Caroline E., Ellen, and Washington Irving.
Washington Irving Tillotson grew up and was educated in New Hartford, which is situated near the city of Utica, N. Y. He was born in Utica, January 10, 1833. An inherited talent for drawing led him to adopt architecture as his profession. Beginning his studies at sixteen years of age, he followed that calling in New Hartford until 1854; in Elgin, Ill., the next six years; in Kalamazoo, Mich., for two years; coming thence to Oneida, where he has since remained. He has been an important factor in the place, his good taste and skill in designing, and the variety in style of his work, making the village of Oneida one of the handsomest and most artistically built in New York State. He has been the architect of nearly all of its principal business blocks and private residences.
Mr. Tillotson has been twice married,--first in 1857, while at Elgin, to Miss Abigail A. Bangs, who was born in Dundee, Kane County, Ill., and was the daughter of David W. Bangs, one of the first settlers of that county. Mrs. Abigail A. Tillotson died April 17, 1863. There was one son by this marriage,- Sherwood D. In 1866 Mr. Tillotson contracted a second marriage, his bride being Miss Carrie H. Bowen. Her birthplace was in Ogden, Monroe County, N.Y. She was the daughter of Benjamin F. Bowen. This estimable couple have been blest with four children,--Luella J., Carrie R., Rena B., Daisy E.
In their beautiful residence on Park Avenue, shaded by noble trees many of which were planted by our subject, he enjoys, with his charming family, a delightful home life, their hospitable fireside being withal an attractive rendezvous for a large circle of friends and acquaintances.
Mr. Tillotson is pre-eminently a leading citizen, and his interest in the progress and advancement of Oneida Village never wearies. His opinions are uniformly respected; and, being possessed of unblemished integrity, he has endeared himself in the hearts of the community, and made a reputation of which his children may well be proud.
Mr. Tillotson, having associated himself, on attaining his majority, with the Sauquoit Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, takes a lively interest in the good and charitable works of the Masonic Order. He votes the Republican ticket.
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