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    Portrait donors to be recognized

    An event to honor the donors of two historic portraits will be held a 3 p.m. Thursday, November 7, in the Tarrant County Archives on the Fifth Floor of the Plaza Building at 200 Taylor Street in downtown Fort Worth.
    On October 2, 2013, two oil-on-canvas portraits of Genevieve Eagon Tillar and Benjamin Johnston Tillar were delivered to the Tarrant County Archives by donors Joe Barentine III, Susan Pritchett and Pamela Smith.
    Genevieve Reynolds, of Los Angeles, had owned the portraits since the 1980s when she inherited them from her mother, the great niece of the portrait subjects.  They had been stored in her garage until she sold them to Barentine in 2010.  The paintings were restored with funds provided by the donors as a group then donated to the Archives.
    Ben Tillar (1866-1923) was an attorney and businessman who came to Fort Worth in 1894.  He played a major role in the establishment of the National Live Stock Bank of Fort Worth, where he served as vice president until the bank merged with the American National Bank in 1897.  He formed a ranch holding company, which eventually acquired some 100,000 acres in Howard, Borden, Mitchell, and Scurry counties and became one of the state's largest beef producers.  He sold his interest in the firm in 1906 and embarked upon the financing and construction of the Westbrook Hotel in Fort Worth.  After oil booms in Electra and Ranger in 1914 and 1917, the hotel became an important center for oil and gas transactions for decades.
    Genevieve Tillar (1874-1961) married her husband on December 28, 1898.  She was a founding sponsor of the Fort Worth Library Association, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Association and the Fort Worth Art Association, which later became the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.  She bequeathed about $1.8 million to the Fort Worth Art Association to buy art and made many other significant gifts to community organizations in Fort Worth, including Cooks Children's Hospital. A wing of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is named for the Tillars.

    For more information contact Dawn Youngblood Tarrant County Archivist, at 817-884-3272.