Stephen W. Tilson, farmer, was born in Franklin Township, Johnson County, October 22, 1834, the son of Lemuel and Sidney (Crow) Tilson; the former was a son of Thomas Tilson, and was born about 1804, and died about 1872. The latter was born about 1802, and died about 1866. Our subject’s early life was spent on a farm in Johnson County. He received a good common school education, and attended Franklin College two terms. Was a music teacher for about three years, giving it his whole attention. At the age of twenty-one years he began life for himself as a farmer, and occasionally worked at the carpenter’s trade. During Morgan’s raid in Indiana, he was with the company that guarded the city of Madison. November 25, 1856, he was united in marriage to Susan Ballard, a daughter of Taylor and Nancy (Fitzpatrick) Ballard; the father was assassinated on January 15, 1885; the mother was born in 1806, and died March 6, 1883. This union was blessed with the following children: Alferetta, born September 1, 1857; Romeo S., December 29, 1858; Indiana, September 6, 1860; Luella, March 13, 1862; Jessie, deceased, February 10, 1864; twin boys, unnamed, one of whom is deceased, September 22, 1865; Eldon, June 4, 1867; Flora, February 19, 1869; Mack, August 29, 1871; Julia Dot, May 27, 1873, and Lemuel B., April 3, 1875. The mother of these children was born October 3, 1834. She is a member of the Methodist Church; the husband and eight children are members of the Missionary Baptist Church. In politics, he belongs to the union labor party. He has served his township as justice of the peace about one year.

Transcribed by Cheryl Zufall Parker

Banta, D. D. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888, page 500.