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Biography of Bradley Tillinghast (1807 to ____)
Daniel H. Weiskotten
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From: Smith, James H., 1880, History of Chenango and Madison Counties, New York. D. Mason & Co.. Syracuse, NY

Bradley Tillinghast
Facing Page 632

The original text includes an illustration of Bradley Tillinghast


        The subject of this sketch was born March 8, 1807, in the town of Mansfield, Windham county, CT.  His parents were Daniel and Mary (Weaver) Tillinghast, natives of Rhode Island.  The former was born June 5, 1756, and the latter April 6, 1768.  They were married October 26, 1788.  Mary was Daniel's second wife.  By his first wife he had two sons, Daniel, born September 26, 1780, (died October 27, 1802,) and Christopher, born August 21, 1783, (died May 22, 1828.)  The children by his last wife (Mary) were nine in number, all of whom except Bradley, who was the youngest, are now dead.  Their names and dates of birth are as follows: Penelope, October 16, 1789; Deborah, September 20, 1791; Mary, August 21, 1793; John, December 5, 1795; Antipass, November 11, 1797; Clark, December 5, 1799; Eunice, January 21, 1802; Ruth, March 6, 1804, and Bradley, as above.  These parents settled in the town of Nelson in 1821.  The father was a cooper by trade.  He was a captain in the Revolutionary War and was in the service of his country until the close of her struggle for independence. He then engaged in farming, which business he followed before and several years after his settlement in Nelson.  His wife died on the farm in Nelson, August 22, 1827.  He moved to Morrisville some years afterwards where he was living at the time of his death which occurred March 22, 1839.  He was a man possessed of sterling qualities of mind and heart and was esteemed by all who knew him for his strict integrity and high moral worth.
        Bradley lived at home with his parents until he was seventeen years of age, assisting them on the farm and receiving such an education as could be obtained in the common schools of his town.  At that age in 1821, he was bound to C. & O.S. Avery, shoemakers and tanners and curriers, at Perryville, Madison county, for four years.  He remained with them until the expiration of his term of service, securing a perfect knowledge of his business in all its branches.  He then started out for himself, with a kit of shoemaker's tools on his back and traveled through Central New York, accepting work wherever it was offered.  But in those days it was not an easy thing to get a job and he was forced to plod along sometimes many days before he could find employment.  In this manner two years were spent.  He then returned to Perryville and accepted the position of foreman in the establishment in which he learned his trade, remaining one year.  He then came to Morrisville and worked at shoemaking for himself, and carried on that business until the next spring, 1831, when he commenced the business of tanning and currying, the business that he is now engaged in, and which he has carried on uninterruptedly for nearly fifty years in the same location.
        In 1859, his son George S., was given an interest in the business and the firm is now B. Tillinghast & Son.  They have acquired an enviable fame in the manufacture of their goods, known as wax leather, and the extent of their business is very large, averaging nearly one hundred and fifty hides per week the year round.  The leather is marketed entirely in Boston, Mass.
        Mr. Tillinghast has identified himself with every enterprise that seemed to be for the benefit of Morrisville since his residence here.  When the First National Bank of Morrisville was established he was chosen one of the Committee on Finance and held that position several years, and has been one of its Directors since its organization up to the present time.  He has been President of the village several terms and has been entrusted with other offices of responsibility by his fellow citizens and all these positions have been filled with that integrity of purpose and honest dealing which have characterized his whole life.  Mr. Tillinghast is a plain, unassuming man, having the full confidence of his fellow men, and now at the age of seventy-three years retains an active mind and business ability apparently unimpaired.
        March 9, 1831, Mr. Tillinghast married Rebecca, daughter of Peter and Mary (Petit) Smith, of Jefferson county.  She was born Mary 22, 1809.  There have been born to them six children, viz: Mary Eliza, born Mary 27, 1832, died Sept. 13, 1858; Julia Ann, born November 4, 1834, died April 1, 1853; George Smith, born December 11, 1836; Adelaide Sophia, born June 3, 1843, married to Dr. C.E. Pinkham, of Boston, now living in California; Eunice Blanche, born March 30, 1845, died August 24, 1848; and Emma Blanche, born December 1, 1850, married to Frederick Starr, now living in Brooklyn, NY.