Picture of Franklin James Tillotson

Franklin James Tillotson

Franklin James Tillotson was the grandson of Samuel Tillotson and Sarah Partridge, and the second son of Daniel Tillotson and Tryphena Hulet. Franklin was born in Brunswick, Medina County, Ohio on April 3, 1824.

Franklin James Tillotson

Franklin James Tillotson.

Franklin James Tillotson

Franklin James Tillotson.

Franklin James Tillotson married Jane Ann Sexton in Brunswick on December 16, 1847. Jane Ann was the daughter of Henry Youmans Sexton and Roxa Adams, and the step-daughter of Minerva Peat. After their marriage Franklin and Jane Ann lived in Brunswick for a few years. (See the 1850 U. S. Census record for Franklin and Jane Ann.) Franklin and Jane Ann produced two children while living in Brunswick:

Tillotson Residence in Brunswick, Ohio

Franklin and Jane Ann's Residence in Brunswick, Medina County, Ohio.

Franklin and Jane Ann moved their family to Duplain, Clinton County, Michigan in 1852 along with the Hicks family. In so doing Franklin and Jane Ann were following in the footsteps of the Sextons who had moved there in 1850. Franklin's first cousin William Thomas Tillotson shortly thereafter joined him in Elsie where he worked for Franklin. Other relatives followed. Susan Hicks Cobb describes the trek from Ohio to Duplain in Old Time Recollections.

Like all his forbears in this county, Franklin was a farmer. He also was a wool dealer. He became the first postmaster of Elsie, Michigan in 1857. He held that post until 1861 when J. D. Sickels succeeded Franklin. Elsie itself was named for Elsie Amelia Tillotson, the third child of Franklin and Jane Ann. Elsie was the first white child born in what later became the town of Elsie. See Lloyd Craven's Early History of Elsie, Michigan and Sara Show's Early History of Elsie, Michigan for more information. Franklin and Jane Ann produced seven children while living in Elsie:

Harriet Emeline and Milo Daniel died as children and are buried in Elsie.

Tillotson Residence in Crete, Illinois

Franklin and Jane Ann's Residence in Crete, Will County, Illinois.

While living in Elsie, Franklin and Jane Ann were members of the Free Will Baptist Church. Jane Ann's brother Charles Sexton supervised contruction of the church building.

In November 1865 Franklin and Jane Ann relocated their family to Will County, Illinois, settling on a farm near Goodenow about thirty miles south of Chicago and five miles from the Illinois/Indiana border. Several of Franklin's uncles, aunts, and cousins already lived in that area. After a few years Franklin's health began to deteriorate and he felt unable to work a large farm. especially after his son James moved to Chicago to work in the Stockyards. In 1876 Franklin and Jane Ann moved their family into the nearby town of Crete.

Franklin and Jane Ann's last child was born in Will County:

Franklin and Jane Ann's fiftieth wedding anniversary merited the following mention in the Elsie, Michigan newpaper.

Mr. and Mrs. Frank Tillotson, early settlers in this township, and who removed to Crete, Illinois, many years ago celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage at their home Chicago December 19th, 1897.

The death of my great-grandfather James in 1893 hit Franklin very hard. His health gradually declined. In the winter of 1897 he suffered a severe illness (possibly a heart attack) from which he only partially recovered. In February 1900 he fell ill with influenza. A few weeks later on March 12 he suffered a mild stroke. Ten days later a paralyzing stroke incapacitated him permanently. Franklin held on a few months longer, suffering intensely, and wasting away to a mere shell of his former self.

Franklin James Tillotson died in Crete, Will County, Illinois on August 7, 1900. He is buried there. (See Franklin's obituaries from Crete and Elsie). Jane Ann Sexton died April 14, 1904 in Crete and is also buried there. (See Jane Ann's obituaries from Crete and Elsie).

Tillotson Cemetery Plot in Crete, Illinois

Tillotson cemetery plot in Crete, Illinois.

See the cemetery records for these graves.

Photo of Franklin James Tillotson at top of page courtesy of Candace Gale Severson. Photo of Brunswick, Ohio home from E. Ward Tillotson's manuscript The Tillotson Family in America . The remaining photos were taken by my grandaunt Jennie May Tillotson.

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Last modified by pib on March 28, 2011.