Friday, March 14, 2014

#8- Henry Addison Tilton– Funnels Alot of Living Into A Short Life

Henry Addison Tilton becomes upwardly mobile  
My maternal great-great grandfather was Henry Addison Tilton. It’s always interesting to see how children differ from their parents—yet others resemble them. After writing this I believe he must have taken the collective energy of his Tilton ancestors they got from chilling out in New Jersey and he funneled it into his short but full life: 
In post #10 I mention that from about 1700 on the Tiltons were in New Jersey--indeed, Henry’s father William dared moved them across the river to Brooklyn.

Henry Addison Tilton's parents were William Henry Tilton, 1820–1899 and Sarah Jane Conover, 1831–1895. He and his siblings were born in New Jersey. 

Henry A Tilton’s siblings:
1 William      b 1853 in New Jersey and died in 1910 in NY.
2 Amos (b NJ 1850, d. 1883) M. Catherine (Kate) Tompkins (b 1853 in NY-D. 1935). They had children: Margaret b 1871 2) May b 1873 3) Harry 1870 As of 1877 Amos was still in Brooklyn.
3 Margaret (Not sure of this).

In Brooklyn Henry’s father was a poultry dealer, as was his uncle-his father’s brother.
Henry married Louisa Copes of Staten Island, NY. (Born 8 April 1853 D. 28 Feb 1919 in New York)

Henry Addison & Louisa had three children: 
1 William Henry Tilton-1874–1916 
(Gertrude Bancroft’s husband from 52 Ancestors from Post # 8)
2 Isabella (Belle) C. Tilton-1875–1940 (married Charles Roe, 4 children)
3 Clarence Addison Tilton-1877–1925 (in 52 Ancestors # 12)
While in Brooklyn he participated and became a member of his wife’s Moravian Church.
Henry worked as a salesman in New York City (likely Brooklyn) in the plate glass business. His entire business career was involved in some way with the plate glass industry. 
Eventually his energy and his business acumen got him sent to Butler, PA to be the manager in the Plate Glass Company there. “…Henry A Tilton…at one time general manager of the Standard company.” – [from National Glass Budget Weekly; Review of the American Glass Industry, July 24, 1915.]

Butler was, compared to Brooklyn, a small city. It's north of Pittsburgh but it is the county seat of Butler County. I’m unable to pinpoint the year of his move, but likely before 1890. His son William (my great grandfather) was working at the same company in 1892: In 1915 a paper reported that William (his son) was resigning after “23 years continuous service…with the Standard Plate Glass Co.” [National Glass Budget, Weekly Review of the American Glass Industry]

Still, Henry kept himself busy in Butler: “he served a term on the town council and took an active part in the promotion for the betterment of the community.” At some point his children married and moved on--except for William (my great grandfather) who stayed in Butler. 

He was in his middle age, but HAT wasn’t slowing down: in the late 1890s he and Louisa moved first to Boston where he took a job with the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. (Now PP&G, a conglomerate of paints, glass and varnish). The plate glass business (as opposed to window glass) was booming and he was bringing together his knowledge in the glass products with his business skills.

Shortly thereafter, they were transferred to Detroit. His time in Detroit, from 1897 to 1909, was a busy one:

He was a member of American Legion of Honor, National Provident Union, the IOOF; the F & A.M, being a thirty-second degree Mason, the Midtown Sovereign Consistory, Detroit Commmandery No 1, Moslem Temple, Mystic Shrine, and King Cyrus Chapter.                  

He and Louisa lived in Detroit City, and were members of a country club: the “Daus Blue Book of Detroit,” lists them as members of “The Wallace” Club.

Eventually the founders of his company went their separate ways, and the company underwent a complete restructure in the 1890s.
So, while in Detroit, HAT founded the Central Plate Glass Company, and managed the H.W. Schmidt Picture Frame Company.   
Henry continued building his career, and they moved to San Francisco, CA (he would have been 54) by 1910.

A year later, he was working in Los Angeles, undoubtedly energetically getting LA all glassed-up.
But “failing health compelled his retirement. He then came back to Chicago and spent the last months of his life an invalid at the home of his daughter Mrs. Charles (Belle Tilton) Roe.”
Belle tended her father in his illness till he died on October 1, 1911.

Henry Addison Tilton was interred in the Moravian Cemetery in Staten Island (October 3, 1911): the same cemetery his wife Louisa’s family was buried in.
Henry Addison Tilton’s 1911 obituary describes him:
“a man of genial and social disposition, unselfish almost to a fault and the number of his friends was limited only by the extent of his acquaintance. He had strong religious convictions, lived an upright life and was a model husband and father. He is survived by his wife, two sons, William H. Tilton of Butler and Clarence A. Tilton of Bradenton, Florida and one daughter Mrs. Charles H. Roe of Chicago. All of these were present in his dying hour. Five grandchildren also survive him.”

If his life was rather short--it was also rather full!

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