Albert Zadock Tillotson

Albert Zadock Tillotson and Emily Feakins

Albert Zadock Tillotson was the son of Zadock Tillotson, Jr. and Emily Maria Metcalf. Albert was born August 2, 1867 in Brunswick, Medina County, Ohio. He married Emily Feakins on September 23, 1888. Emily was born June 29, 1869 in Sullivan, Ashland County, Ohio to George Henry Feakins and Maria Orr. George was born in England and Maria was born in County Cork, Ireland.

Albert and Emily had eight children, all born in Oberlin, Lorain County, Ohio:

Albert Zadock Tillotson taught school in Ridgeville and Camden, Ohio while he studied law with his uncle, Charles A. Metcalf. Albert was admitted to the bar in 1893. He practiced law in Oberlin for over forty three years.

The following announcement appeared in the Oberlin papers to mark the official opening of the new combined law office of Albert and his uncle Charles.

New Law Firm

Our late fellow townsmen (sic) C. A. Metcalf, Esq., now of Elyria, has entered in a law partnership with A. Z. Tillotson, Esq., of our city, under the name of Metcalf and Tillotson. Mr. Metcalf will remain in Elyria while Mr. Tillotson will conduct the Oberlin office. The Elyria and Oberlin offices will be connected by telephone this week, giving ample facilities for communications by wire between them.

Mr. Metcalf will be at the Oberlin office Thursday forenoons until further notice. Mr. Tillotson has resigned his office as Justice of the Peace and Police Justice, and will devote his entire attention to practice as attorney-at-law. He has made a good record as a magistrate and his retirement is to be regretted.

Albert listed his services in the business directory published in The Oberlin News which usually appeared on the front page of the paper. This directory typically listed attorneys, dentists, druggists, draymen, music teacher, and livery stables. For example, Albert's entry for Friday, November 11, 1898 reads as follows:


A. Z. Tillotson, Attorney and Counselor-at-Law, Notary Public, and special attorney in the Pension Department. Office over No. 19 West College street, Oberlin, Ohio. Prompt attention given to all law business, collections, and pensions. Telephone number office 100, residence 67.

Albert actively participated in the community, his church, and in professional organizations. He worked to improve conditions for everyone in Oberlin. For example, Albert was outrageed when he learned that patients were being turned away from the local hospital for lack of space. He penned the following strong plea for a new hospital. The article appeared in The Oberlin News for December 1, 1909.



Many Patients Have Been Turned Away for Lack of Accommodations.

The needs of a new hospital for Oberlin are presenting strong arguments for an enlargement of the present plant. The writer has learned that eighteen would-be patients have been refused entrance into Oberlin hospital, on account of lack of accommondation, since August 1. The present building has only six rooms, which accommodates nine beds. There are six nurses, who could care for twenty-five patients if conditions were favorable.

During the past year there have been ninety-seven patients treated in the hospital, of whom thirty-five were surgical cases, and sixty-two medical. Three were treated in the contagious hospital.

The equipment has proven far too inadequate for the demands made upon it.

The present arrangement for a building is very expensive from an economical standpoint. The rent of the house is $33.33 per month. The board of mangers (sic) are compelled to rent a room outside for the nurses' use at $7.00 per month, and the college pays $25 per month for the contagious hospital. This sum would pay interest on $13,000, which would be saved if the association owned its hospital.

The college furnished twenty-eight per cent of the patients the past year, which shows that the town furnished seventy-two per cent of the patients. There is a strong demand for a training school for nurses in Oberlin on account of the educational advantages here, and experience has taught us that nurses are hard to get, and if we have such a school we will have our own help. It is impracticable to start such a school under the present accommodations.

What we need is a modern, well equipped hospital, with accommodation for at least twenty-five beds, together with a home for nurses, and an endowment to insure the support of such an institution.

Oberlin is an educational center, with over two thousand students annually attending school here. Why not make the necessary preparations proper care of the sick? The citizens of Oberlin should interest themselves in this humane project, and take the initiative and start the subscription at once. An appeal should be made to those who have been financially favored to have them give to the college such endowments to be used for hospital purpose.

Unfortunately the new hospital Albert envisioned did not become a reality until Dr. Dudley Peter Allen willed Oberlin college $100,000 to build a hospital. The Allen Hospital opened in 1925 with a 25 bed capacity.

While generous and supportive of the needy, Albert was not one to be taken in by con artists. The Oberlin News of January 27, 1909 recounts an amusing incident in which Albert successfully unmasked a faker.

The Imposter Failed In Oberlin

Tillotson Fooled The Smooth Clerical Individual.

Tried to work Oberlin Minister for Money on a Hard Luck Story.

On Saturday a smooth individual with a dress suit case and a clerical look dropped into town and inquired for the Baptist minister. He was directed to Rev. Detweiler, to whom he unfolded a very plausible hard luck story, giving his name as Rev. Bumpus, of Curtis, Lucas (?) county, Ohio. He said he had been preaching at a little town near Buffalo, and as the church was poor he could not get his salary, so was on his way home and had just money enough to bring him to Oberlin. He deplored very much the dire straits to which he had been reduced and declared he was willing to work or do anything to earn money enough to take him to Curtis.

Mr. Detweiler not being quite satisfied with the man's story, but willing to assist him if he proved to be worthy, took the fellow to the office of A. Z. Tillotson, who, lawyer-like, plied him with all sorts of questions, and caused him to convict himself.

When the man was told that Curtis was in Ottawa county he wilted, but tried to explain by saying he was away from home so much that he scarcely knew in which county he did reside. Tillotson had a lot of fun with the imposter before letting him down, but when the climax came the rascal sneaked away and has not been seen since.

Albert was a prohibitionist like many of his Tillotson relatives. His mother Emily Metcalf Tillotson was a member of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in Oberlin. The Oberlin News for October 7, 1908 published a table Albert prepared of the current status at that time of local prohibition laws and the number of "dry" counties in each state. No doubt Albert was active in supporting local prohibition efforts.

Albert was a good father and protective of his children. When Albert's daughter Ruth was beaten by a neighborhood bully he not only took steps to punish the offender but also to publicize the general problem with children bullying other children. He hoped that by prosecuting the girl who beat Ruth he might send a message to other children and their parents that such behavior would not be tolerated. This account appeared in The Oberlin News for December 1, 1909.

May End The Trouble

Larger Children Domineer Over the Smaller Ones and Beat and Frighten Them.

Considerable complaint has been entered of late from certain of the public school children chasing and striking smaller children on their way to and from school.

Last Saturday Elizabeth Berry, daughter of John Berry, was found guilty by Police Justice Summers on a count charging her with creating a disturbance on the public streets.

It seems that she chased Ruth Tillotson and struck her on the head with a stick, which was the foundation for her arrest. A. Z. Tillotson swore out a warrant and prosecuted the case.

This practice of one child domineering over another, simply because of their being stronger in brute force, ought to be stopped, and the good citizens of Oberlin should lend their assistance in breaking up such practices. The teachers in the public schools are unable to handle the situation unless they are supported by the citizens. A few prosecution (sic) like this one will tend to stop this practice.

The following biography of Albert Zadock Tillotson appeared in A Standard History of Lorain County, Ohio edited by G. Frederic Wright and published in 1916 by The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago.

ALBERT Z. TILLOTSON. While most lawyers of Lorain County have their homes in Elyria, one of the able representatives of the profession is Albert Z. Tillotson, of Oberlin. Mr. Tillotson has a very large private practice, and his position is such that it is evident that he made no mistake when he returned from his career as a school man, which he had followed for a number of years, to the law.

Born at Brunswick, Medina County, Ohio, August 2, 1867, he is a son of Zadock and Emily M. (Metcalf) Tillotson. Both parents were natives of Ohio, his father born in Brunswick in 1835 and his mother in Liverpool in 1843. They were married in Liverpool, Ohio, in 1860 and the father died after a long career as a farmer in May, 1913, at the home of his only son and child, Albert Z., in Oberlin. The mother died in 1898. The latter was a member of the Baptist Church while the father was a Methodist, was a republican in politics and was affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Albert Z. Tillotson finished his education in the Oberlin Business College, and had also attended a select school in Brunswick. His work as a teacher was continued through sixteen terms, and in the meantime he had taken up the study of law under his uncle, C. A. Metcalf, and after his admission to the bar practiced with his uncle at Oberlin and Elyria for five years. Since then he has been alone in practice and has handled cases before all the courts of the state and the Federal district.

In politics he is a republican and an active party man in his section of Lorain County. He has served as justice of the peace, and was elected police judge of Oberlin, being one of the youngest men honored with that office. He has also been a candidate for nomination as probate judge.

In 1888 Mr. Tillotson married Emily C. Felakins (sic). She was born in Sullivan, Ashland County, Ohio, daughter of George Felakins (sic), a farmer and early settler there. Mr. and Mrs. Tillotson have a fine family of eight children: Roy E., who is now a senior in Oberlin College; Jessie, a teacher in the public schools; Mary E., a teacher at Penfield; Frances E., who is employed in Cleveland, Ohio; Ruth Marie, Esther M., Ruby Lou, and Rose Elaine, all at home.

Mr. Tillotson is a member of the Baptist Church, is a Mason, having served as senior deacon in his lodge, has passed all the chairs of local lodge of Royal Arcanum, and is also a member of the Knights of Pythias.

Albert Zadock Tillotson died November 4, 1935 in Oberlin, Lorain County, Ohio. He is buried there in Westwood Cemetery. HIs wife Emily Feakins, an invalid, survived Albert but at the time of his death had been living for several years with their daughter Mary in Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio. Emily was unable to attend Albert's funeral because of her condition.

Albert's death notice from The Chronicle-Telegram of Elyria, Ohio for March 4, 1935 reads as follows:

Attorney A. Z. Tillotson, 67, who has been practiccing (sic) law in Oberlin for a number of years, died early this morning at Allen hospital. He leaves a wife, one son, and seven daughters. Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

Albert's obituary from The Chronicle-Telegram for March 5, 1935 reads as follows:

Tillotson Funeral
Set For Wednesday

Funeral services for Attorney A. Z. Tillotson, who passed away yesterday at Allen hospital, will be held Wednesday at 2:30 at the Sedgeman Funeral parlor, with Rev. George J. Huntley officiating. Burial will be made in Westwood Cemetery.

Mr. Tillotson was born in Brunswick, O., August 2, 1867, but spent the greater part of his life in Oberlin. He graduated from Oberlin High School and from Oberlin Business College and then taught for five years in Ridgeville and Camden school. He then studied law for several years in the office of his uncle, Charles Metcalf, in Oberlin. He was admitted to the bar in 1893, and has since practiced law in Oberlin.

Mr. Tillotson was a member of the Masonic order, the K. of P. Lodge, the Royal Arcanum, and a number of the Bar Association in Elyria. He was also a life long member of the First Baptist church.

Besides his wife, Emily C., who because of ill health is being cared for at the home of her daughter Mary in Lebanon, Ohio, he is survived by one son, Roy E., who is a coach at Franklin College, Indiana, and seven daughter, Miss Jessie Tillotson, Mrs. Frank Phillips, Mrs. Paul Conley, Mrs. William James Haslett, Mrs. Herman Brandt of Cleveland, and Mrs. Mary E. Quaile (sic) and Mrs. Esther Owen of Lebanon, Ohio.

Common pleas court will be suspended in Elyria tomorrow afternoon to permit members of the bar to attend the funeral.

Elyria attorneys will meet in a body at the court house at 1:45 p.m. to go to Oberlin for the services.

Albert's obituary from The Oberlin News-Tribune for March 5, 1935 reads as follows:




After an illness of several months, Attorney A. Z. Tillotson died at Allen Hospital at 12:15 Sunday night, aged 67. He had been in poor health during the last year or so but had attended to his practice until a few weeks ago.

Mr. Tillotson was born in Brunswick in 1867, son of Mr. and Mrs. Zadock Tillotson. At an early age he came to Oberlin to study. He completed the high school course and then he entered the Oberlin Business College. He taught school for five years in Ridgeville and Camden and studied law in the office of his uncle, Charles Metcalf who had a law office on East College Street. He was admitted to the bar in 1893 and had practiced law here for over 43 years.

During his years in Oberlin Mr. Tillotson had taken an active part in community life. He was president of the Oberlin Cemetery Association for many years and also had charge of the Associated Charities until that organization was absorbed by other relief work. He had served as city solicitor for a number of years and he was active in many of the civic organizations. He had served as vice president of the Lorain County Bar Association and had taken an active part in the State Bar Association. He was a member of Oberlin Masonic Lodge and Chapter, was a Past Patron of Pansy Chapter, Order of Eastern Star, and an active member of the Knights of Pythias. He was a member of the First Baptist church.

Mr. Tillotson was married on September 23, 1888, to Miss Emily Peakins who had been an invalid during the last six years. She is now residing with a daughter in Lebanon, and on account of her serious condition, it is impossible for her to come to Oberlin for the services tomorrow. Besides his wife Mr. Tillotson is survived by a son and seven daughters: Roy E. Tillotson, Oberlin graduate and now coach at Franklin College, Indiana, Miss Jessie Tillotson of Cleveland, Mrs. Mary E. Quaile (sic) of Lebanon, Mrs. Francis Phillips, Mrs. Paul Conley, Mrs. Esther Owen, Mrs. Herman Brandt and Mrs. William James Haslett of Cleveland.

Mr. Tillotson was a man of fine personality and Christian character. He was conscientious and diligent in his practice of law and in his business dealings. He had a charitable nature and a deep sense of tolerance for those who viewed life in opposite ways to his own beliefs. He had been a valued citizen who did his best for Oberlin in a public capacity and as a resident.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 at Sedgeman's Funeral Parlors with Dr. George Huntley in charge. The Masonic Lodge will have charge of the services in Westwood cemetery.

Emily Feakins Tillotson died August 6, 1937 in Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio. Her death notice in The Chronicle-Telegram reads as follows.

Mrs. Tillotson Dies

Word has been received of the death of Mrs. A. Z. Tillotson which occurred in Lebanon, Ohio, where she had been making her home with her daughter, Mrs. Mary E. Quaile (sic), for several years. She formerly resided in Oberlin for many years.

She was a sister of J. H. Feakins of Oberlin, and is also survived by six daughters and one son. Mr. Tillotson passed away several years ago. Arrangements have not been completed for the funeral which will be held in Oberlin. Interment will be made in the family lot in Westwood.

Emily's obituary from The Oberlin News-Tribune of August 10, 1937 reads as follows.



The funeral of Mrs. Emily C. Tillotson, widow of A. Z. Tillotson, for many years a practicing attorney in Oberlin, was held at the Sedgeman funeral parlors Sunday afternoon at 4 o'clock. Rev. Gordon Trick, pastor of the First Baptist church, was assisted by Rev. William Smith. Burial was made at Westwood.

Mrs. Tillotson, who was 68, died Thursday at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Philip Quayle at Lebanon after a long illness. Mrs. Tillotson spent almost all her life in Oberlin. She was a member of the First Baptist church and was active in civic affairs.

In addition to Mrs. Quayle, Mrs. Tillotson leaves six other daughters and one son. They are: Miss Jessie Tillotson, Mrs. Frank Phillips, Mrs. Paul R. Conley, Mrs. Esther Owen, all of Cleveland; Mrs. Herman Brandt of Parma; Mrs. William J. Haslett of East Cleveland and Roy Tillotson of Franklin, Indiana.

Mr. Tillotson, who practiced law in Oberlin the greater part of his life, was active in Republican politics. He died several years ago.

Photos of Roy Everett Tillotson courtesy Hiram College archives and Miami of Ohio archives.

Daniel C. Conley provided the death notices, obituaries, and biographical extracts for Albert Zadock Tillotson, Emily Feakins, and Paul R. Conley. Daniel also provided the photos of Albert Zadock Tillotson, Rose Elaine Tillotson, Paul Rector Conley, and Ruth Marie Tillotson Conley.

Mary Prue Reviea and Jane Heather Tillotson provided information about Roy Everett Tillotson's children. Jane Tillotson provided the death date for Ruby Lou Tillotson Brandt.

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Last modified by pib on May 2, 2018.