Biography of Colonel Frank W. Tillinghast

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An outstanding citizen of Johnston, Rhode Island, Colonel Frank W. Tillinghast ranks high among the members of the legal profession throughout the United States. He is a member of the firm of Tillinghast, Morrissey & Flynn, attorneys, of Providence, Rhode Island. He is also president of Tillinghast, Stiles & Company, and interested in many industrial and financial enterprises in Rhode Island and New York.

In thus assuming a position of leadership, Colonel Tillinghast continues the traditions of a family long honored in Rhode Island. The name is derived from the German word “theilen” (Dutch “deelen”), meaning to separate, divide, pay over, and referring also to a dealing house, or place where auctions were held. The American progenitor of the numerous branches of the family now to be found in this country was Pardon Tillinghast, a clergyman born at Seven Cliffs, now Eastbourne, near Beachy Head, County of Sussex, England, in 1622, who came to Providence, Rhode Island, in 1643, occupied himself as a Baptist minister, and died January 29, 1718.

Frank W. Tillinghast was born in Richmond, Rhode Island, May 19, 1859, son of William B. and Julia (Thompson) Tillinghast. He attended the public schools and later was a student in the New Hampton Institute at New Hampton, New Hampshire. After the good old fashion he obtained a practical introduction to the study of law by working in the office of the Hon. P. E. Tillinghast, afterward Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island. Subsequently the young student continued his pursuit of the law in Boston University Law School, obtaining his degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1883. In July of the same year he was admitted to the bar, and at once began to practice his profession in Westerly, Rhode Island. In 1886 he launched himself in manufacturing in Johnston, Rhode Island, and in 1890 organized Tillinghast, Stiles & Company, Inc., of which he now is president. He is director of the Outlet Company, and interested in numerous industrial enterprises. It was in 1900 that Mr. Lynch associated himself with Colonel Tillinghast in the practice of the law, and the firm of Tillinghast & Lynch began on its more than a quarter of a century of legal practice. This association was dissolved and the present firm of Tillinghast, Morrissey & Flynn was organized.

As a Republican, the Colonel has been active in public life. He was in the Rhode Island General Assembly in 1887-88-89. In 1895-96-97, he was colonel of the United Train Artillery, in 1900 was senior aide on the staff of Governor William Gregory, with the rank of colonel, and from 1901 to 1903 was a member of the staff of Governor Charles Dean Kimball. His clubs are the University, Pomham, Turks Head, and Wannamoisett, of Providence.

Colonel Tillinghast married Grace G. Peckham, daughter of Thomas C. Peckham, of Coventry, Rhode Island, and they are the parents of LeRoy Lincoln Tillinghast. One son, Carl K., is deceased.

Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.

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