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Lucian C. Tilden (bio 1931)


Posted By: IAGenWeb History Project
Date: 2/7/2010 at 20:20:58

A Narrative History
The People of Iowa
Curator of the
Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa
Volume IV
Chicago and New York

LUCIAN C. TILDEN has been a resident of Ames from the time of his infancy and has here been actively concerned in civic and material progress during the period of his mature life, the while he has maintained impregnable vantage-ground in the confidence and esteem of the community, in which he was reared and educated. He is now serving as postmaster of Ames, and he has held other local positions of public trust. Mr. Tilden was born at Rochester, Vermont, November 15, 1868, and is a son of Major George G. and Lydia (Cooper) Tilden, both likewise natives of Rochester and both representatives of Colonial New England ancestry. Major George G. Tolden was one of the youthful sons of the old Green Mountain State who went forth in defense of the Union when the Civil war was precipitated, he having been but twenty yours of age when he was chosen captain of his company in the Eleventh Vermont Volunteer Infantry, which was assigned to the Army of the Potomac and with which he participated in the various campaigns of that splendid organization, including the Gettysburg campaign. He took part in many battles and minor engagements, and while at the front won advancement to the rank of major, with which grade he received his honorable discharge.

After the close of the Civil war Major Tilden continued his residence in Vermont until 1869, when he came with his family to Iowa and established himself in the general merchandise business at Ames, which was then a mere village. He was founder of the now large and important business that is conducted under the corporate title of the Tilden Store Company, the business having been incorporated in 1910 and being conducted on the site of the original store here opened by Major Tolden fully sixty years ago. Major Tilden was prominently identified with the development and progress of Ames, was a citizen of prominence and influence, and his sterling character and worthy achievement marked him for unqualified popular confidence and esteem. His political allegiance was given to the Republican party, he was affiliated with the Grand Army of the Republic and he and his wife were earnest members of the Congregational Church. The death of Major Tilden occurred in 1892, and his widow passed away in 1925, at a venerable age and as one of the loved pioneer women of Ames. Of the children Lucian C., of this review, is the eldest and he was not yet one year old at the time the family home was established at Ames, where were born all other children of the family: J. Galen was born March 28, 1874, and continues his residence in Ames, where he is one of the principals in the corporation of the Tilden Manufacturing Company and the Union National Bank; George, next younger of the sons, was a resident of Seattle, Washington, at the time of his death, in 1921; Mary is the wife of Harry F. Brown, who is the general representative at Ames of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, of Milwaukee; Winifred R. is professor of physical education for women in Iowa State College, at Ames.

After completing his studies in the Ames High School Lucian C. Tilden here entered Iowa State College, which was then known as Iowa Agricultural College, and in this institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1888 and with the degree of Bachelor of Science. He then became associated with his father's general merchandise business, and upon the death of the honored father of the firm name of Tilden Brothers & Company was adopted, this title having been retained until 1910, when the business was incorporated as the Tilden Store Company, he being still one of the executive officers of this representative mercantile corporation, which is one of the most important in Story County.

Mr. Tilden has ever shown loyal and helpful interest in all things touching the welfare and advancement of his home city, served as a member of its municipal council in 1894-96, was mayor in 1897-98, and for nine years he was a member of the local board of education, of which he was president a portion of the time. In 1923 he was appointed postmaster of Ames, and by reappointment he has since continued the incumbent of this office, in which his administration has been signally progressive and popular. He has been influential in the local councils of the Republican party, he is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity, being a Knight Templar Mason, he is a valued member and former officer of the local Rotary Club, and he and his wife are active members of the First Congregational Church.

July 20, 1897, recorded the marriage of Mr. Tilden to Miss Ruth Duncan, who was born at Darlington, Wisconsin, and who was a child when her parents established their residence at Ames, Iowa, in 1882. John E. Duncan, father of Mrs. Tilden, was long editor and publisher of the Ames Intelligencer and also served as postmaster of this city. Mrs. Tilden was reared and educated at Ames, and was here graduated in Iowa State College as a member of the class of 1895 and with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. She is a popular factor in the social, cultural and church activities of her home community. To Mr. and Mrs. Lucian C. Tilden were born two children, a son and a daughter. The son, Clark D. Tilden, was born April 25, 1898, was graduated in Iowa State College, the alma mater of his parents, and is now manager of the Tilden Store Company, and treasurer of the corporation that conducts this business that was founded by his paternal grandfather. In 1923 he married Miss Dorothy McCorkindale, and they have two children, John Duncan and Robert C. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lucian C. Tilden is Harriet Tilden, who was born June 22, 1902, and who remains at the parental home. She is popular in the social life of her native city, having graduated from Iowa State College as a member of the class of 1923, she then taught art for two years in the State University of Texas, at Austin, Texas, after which for some time she was engaged in an executive capacity in mercantile business in Chicago and in her home city of Ames. At the present time (1930) she is majoring for her M. A. degree at Columbia University, New York City.


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