Picture of Celia Tillotson Broadfoot

Celia Eliza Tillotson and Alexander Broadfoot


Celia Eliza Tillotson Broadfoot, sister of my great-grandfather James Francis Tillotson, was born May 28, 1858 in Duplain, Clinton County, Michigan. Celia was the daughter of Franklin James Tillotson and Jane Ann Sexton .

Celia Eliza Tillotson as a child.

Celia Eliza Tillotson as a child.

Celia Eliza Tillotson

Celia Eliza Tillotson.

Celia Eliza Tillotson in old age.

Celia Eliza Tillotson in old age.

Celia moved to Enterprise, Dickinson County, Kansas after visiting her sister Eveline Tillotson Darling who lived there with her husband Abe Darling. Abe found Celia a job as a teller and courier in a local bank. As a courier Celia often carried large sums of money. She had a young, innocent face at the age of 26, and so was not suspected of being a money courier.

Celia married Dr. Alexander Broadfoot on September 6, 1885 in Enterprise, Dickinson County, Kansas. They met while Celia was working in the bank. Alexander Broadfoot was born November 9, 1854 in on the Mains Farm in Tuckersmith Township, Huron County, Ontario, Canada. He was the son of Alexander Broadfoot and Marion McMillan and the grandson of James Broadfoot and Sarah McCririck. Alexander moved to Enterprise, Kansas in 1884. He became a United States citizen on April 6, 1885.

Alexander Broadfoot

Alexander Broadfoot

Celia and Alexander had the following children:

Doris, Celia, and Frances Broadfoot

Celia Eliza Tillotson Broadfoot and two of her daughters.

Left to right: Doris Irene Broadfoot, Celia Eliza Tillotson Broadfoot, Frances Eula Broadfoot.

Children of Alexander and Celia Tillotson Broadfoot

Children of Alexander and Celia Eliza Tillotson Broadfoot.

Back row, left to right: Marion, Grace, Doris, Frances.
Front row, left to right: Roscoe, Hibbard, Grover.

Before her marriage Celia had taught school for eight years in Will County, Illinois. She also taught school in Kansas. Politically she was a Democrat.

Alexander was a successful physician. He studied at the Toronto School of Medicine from which he graduated in 1884. After he married Celia they moved to Reed's Landing in 1887 and then to Independence, Wisconsin where Alexander practiced medicine for six years. In September, 1893 Alexander and Celia moved their family to Mondovi, Wisconsin where Alexander opened an office. In 1894 he and Dr. Charles Hebard established a joint practice under the name Hebard & Broadfoot, Physicians and Surgeons. Four years later Celia and Alexander moved to Gilmanton, Buffalo County, Wisconsin. Unfortunately Alexander was a bit too fond of alcohol which possibly contributed to his failing health and early demise from Tuberculosis on February 14, 1904 in Gilmanton (see his obituaries).

Celia lived as a widow for almost thirty years after the death of her husband. During this time she owned a grocery, variety, and ice cream store in Mondovi, Wisconsin. Celia was also a practical nurse.

Broadfoot home in Mondovi

Celia Tillotson Broadfoot's home in Mondovi, Wisconsin.

Celia took care of the three older Burns children while my father Robert F. Burns, who was born at home, was being delivered. My aunt Grace remembered telling Celia she heard a baby cry as my father was born. Celia responded "no you didn't" to prevent the three young Burns banshees from invading the delivery room. Celia's daughter Doris Broadfoot also lived with the Burns family one summer while a teenager. Celia often "farmed out" her children to relatives after her husband died in order to make ends meet. My aunts recalled Celia as a kind and generous person who was a very hard worker. She was always a welcome visitor.

Celia died February 9, 1933 in Mondovi, Buffalo County, Wisconsin. Her obituary appears below.


Obituary for Celia Eliza Tillotson Broadfoot (1858-1933)

Celia Tillotson Broadfoot

This obituary for Celia originally appeared in the Mondovi (Wisconsin) Herald News.

Celia, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Tillotson, was born at Medina, Ohio, on May 28, 1858. The family moved to Elsie, Michigan. Mr. Tillotson was the first Postmaster there and the place was named after his daughter, Elsie, the first child born there. Later, the family moved to Crete, Illinois.

Miss Celia Tillotson taught school in Illinois and Kansas. She obtained employment in a bank in Enterprise, Kansas, where she met Dr. Alexander Broadfoot, whom she married in the year 1885. Dr. and Mrs. Broadfoot made their home in Enterprise, where the Doctor practiced his profession for several years. They then moved to Wisconsin. For a while they were at Reeds Landing and then settled at Independence. In 1894 they came to this city, where the Doctor practiced for four years. The next four years were spent at Gilmanton and then they finally located in this city.

Eight children were born to Dr. and Mrs. Broadfoot. One son, James, died in infancy. The seven who survive their mother are: Marion, Mrs. Bert Shryock, of St. Paul, Minnesota; Grace, of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Roscoe, of Wausau; Grover L., of this city; Hibbard E., of New York City; Frances, Mrs. H.R. MacMartin, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Doris, Mrs. W.E. Brobst, of this city.

On February 14, 1904, Dr. Broadfoot died. Left with the care of seven children, Mrs. Broadfoot with undaunted spirit devoted her life to their welfare. In so doing she made many sacrifices of which few were aware. The upbringing and education of her children were her constant thought and her children ever gratefully realize that what of good fortune has been theirs they owe to the care and capacity of their mother.

But Mrs. Broadfoot did not confine her activities to her home and her children, although they had the first place in her heart. So long as her health and strength permitted, she was an active member of the Congregational church, the Eastern Star, the Woman's Club, the American Legion Auxiliary, the Beavers and the Royal Neighbors of America and was welcome wherever she went.

Since last August, Mrs. Broadfoot has been in failing health and since last October has been confined to her bed at the home of her daughter, Mrs. W.E. Brobst, where she made her home. The end came peacefully early Thursday morning, February 9. Funeral services were held Saturday afternoon, February 1, at the home of her son, Grover, Rev. William Lodwick officiating. There was a large attendance. All the children were present. Mrs. Hartwell Halverson and Mrs. W.R. Hardy sang "In The Garden". There was a beautiful profusion of floral tributes.

From Mondovi, the funeral cortege went to Gilmanton, where burial was made in the family lot.

Besides the children already mentioned, Mrs. Broadfoot is survived by twelve grandchildren.


Articles and Obituaries for Alexander Broadfoot (1854-1904)

Alexander Broadfoot

These articles and obituaries for Alexander Broadfoot originally appeared in the Mondovi (Wisconsin) Herald.


Reviewing The Past

From the Herald of Jan, 7, 1898

Alexander Broadfoot, physician and surgeon, was born in Huron County province of Ontario, Canada on the 9th of November, 1854. His early years were spent in the Clinton grammar school one year, the collegiate institute of St. Catherine two years, the science department of the Toronto university two years and in 1880 he entered the Toronto school of Medicine from which institution he graduated in 1884. The same year he began practicing medicine in Enterprise, Kansas, where he remained two years, going from there to Independence, Wisconsin in Jan, 1887. He remained in Independence six years enjoying a good practice. Dr. Broadfoot moved to this city in Sept. 1893 and opened an office in the Peese Block over Luetscher Bros. & Helveg’s store. He soon worked up a good business and in April, 1984, became associated with Dr. Chas. Hebard under the firm name of Hebard & Broadfoot, physicians and surgeons. This partnership was dissolved about three weeks ago and Dr. Broadfoot moved to Gilmanton this week at the earnest solicitation of a large number of people of that community whose flattering propositions to the doctor bespeaks the legend in which his professional qualities are held. In his early years he took four years of hospital practice under Dr. James Stewart, now professor in McGill College, Montreal. In 1873 and ‘74 the Doctor was principal of a school where all of the students were French. The doctor has been camp physician for the Modern Woodmen of this place and Gilmanton for several years.


Reviewing The Past

From the Herald of Feb. 27, 1904

Alexander Broadfoot was born in Huron County, Province of Ontario, Canada, November 9, 1854. In 1880, he entered the Toronto School of Medicine from which institute he graduated in 1884. The same year he began the practice of medicine in Enterprise, Kansas, where he remained two years going from there to Minnesota where he spent a short time and from there went to Independence, Wisconsin, in 1887. He remained in Independence 6 years, during which time he he had a large practice. In the fall of 1893, he came to Mondovi and in April 1894 entered into partnership with Dr. Hebard in December 1897 he went to Gilmanton where he remained till July 1903 when he moved back to Mondovi. Later he went to Arizona hoping to regain his health, but returned the following April. From this time his health gradually declined till February 14, 1904, when he peacefully passed to the great beyond. His remains were interred in the Gilmanton cemetery, February 16, under the auspices of the M.W.A. Dr. Broadfoot was a man of kindness of heart and a physician of skill and ability.


Obituary for Alexander Broadfoot

Alexander Broadfoot, medical doctor and surgeon in Mondovi and Gilmanton, Wisconsin, was born on November 9, 1854 on the Mains Farm in Tuckersmith Township, Huron County, Ontario. He grew up in the Clinton area, attending Clinton Grammar School, an received his secondary education in the Collegiate institute in St. Catherines and further education in Toronto University. In 1873-74, he was principal of a school where all the students spoke French. In 1880, he entered the Toronto School of Medicine, from which he graduated in 1884. He decided to move in that year, to Kansas, USA and set up a practice in the town of Enterprise, where he began practising medicine. He was a good doctor and soon had a well-established practice.

On April 6, 1885, he became a citizen of the United States and in that same year, he married Celia Tillotson in Enterprise, Kansas. In 1887, they moved to Reed's Landing and then on to Independence, Wisconsin, where he practiced medicine for six years. In September of 1893, they moved to Mondovi, Wisconsin, where he opened an office in the Peeso Block, over the Luetscher Bros. & Helwig's store.

In April 1894, he became associated with Dr. Charles Hebard under the firm name of Hebard & Broadfoot, Physicians and Surgeons. Four years later, Alexander and his family moved to Gilmanton, Wisconsin.

Alexander Broadfoot died on February 14, 1904, leaving his wife and seven children. He was buried in the family plot in Gilmanton Cemetery, where his infant son was also buried.


Photos of Celia Tillotson courtesy Candace Gale Severson and Susan Linn. Most photos of Broadfoot children courtesy Candace Gale Severson and Thomas Tompkins. Photo of Marion Jane Broadfoot courtesy Susan Linn. Photos of the MacMartins, Alexander Broadfoot, and the Broadfoot home courtesy Candace Gale Severson. Portrait of Hibbard Broadfoot belonged to my grandmother Eva Tillotson Burns, Celia's niece.

My thanks to Candace and William A. Brobst for providing most of the articles and biographical information above. Margaret Roddy provided the death information for Hibbard and Helen's children.


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Last modified by pib on December 4, 2010.