TILLEY, JOHN. - Springfield is a city of interest, not only because of its historic connections and its indissoluble associations with the names of Lincoln and Douglas, but also on account of the character of the men who now live there. They are unusually intelligent, capable and earnest, striving towards good government, purity in politics and the beautifying of their city. One who can always be counted upon to support whatever he believes will prove of benefit to the community is John Tilley, residing at No. 1710 North Eighth Street. He was born in Whitstable, County of Kent, England, February 4, 1847, eldest son of Henry and Mary Ann (Richardson) Tilley, who had twelve children and died in England.
John Tilley was educated in the English schools, attending them until he was sixteen years old, when he commenced fishing. The people in his native place were chiefly fishermen, and he followed the occupation of his forefathers, but was not content, so he left home, and in 1873 came to the United States. He took passage at Liverpool for New York City, whence he came direct to Springfield, and for two years after his arrival in Sangamon County worked on a farm. He then became an employee at the St. Nicholas Hotel, under the old proprietor, John McCrery. Marrying, Mr. Tilley began working at the coal shaft, and has been a miner ever since.
On May 11, 1876, Mr. Tilley married Mary Kelly, daughter of Dennis and Ann Kelly, who came to the United States. The young couple commenced housekeeping on Mason Street, but in 1885 Mr. Tilley built his present residence, and later erected another house just north of his home. Mr. and Mrs. Tilley have had the following children: Mayme, Mrs. George Robinson, of this city; Florence, Mrs. Henry St. Clair, of Aurora, Ill.; Harry, Jennie and Frances, at home; John died at the age of ten years; William, Arthur and Eva, all at home. Mr. Tilley was reared in the Church of England, but became a convert to Catholicism when he married. He is a stanch Republican, but has never sought office. He belongs to the Court of Honor and the American Home Society. Honest, hard working and frugal, Mr. Tilley is one of the men who form the back bone of any nation, and would be a desirable addition to any community onto which he might move.