BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE – Benjamin Johnston Tillar (1866-1923)
Fort Worth attorney and businessman played a major role in the establishment of the National Live Stock Bank of Fort Worth. Tillar, who moved to Fort Worth in 1894, co-founded the ranch holding company of Bush and Tillar -- one of the largest beef producers in Texas at that time. He sold his interest in this firm in 1906, and embarked upon the financing and construction of the Westbrook Hotel in Fort Worth, which was completed in 1910. The next year, oil was discovered in Electra, Texas, followed by a boom in Ranger, Texas. The Westbrook became an important center for oil and gas transactions for decades. Tillar died September 7, 1923, while on vacation in Paris, France, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Fort Worth.
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE – Genevieve Eagon Tillar (1874-1961)
The Tillars wed on December 28, 1898, and first lived at 411 First Street, where the Tarrant County Plaza Building now stands. They later moved to 1000 West Fifth Street, the Seibold Hotel, the Delaware Hotel, and the Westbrook Hotel in Fort Worth. As an active member of the Woman's Wednesday Club, she helped sponsor 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. Genevieve bequeathed $1,784,334.27 to the Fort Worth Art Association. A wing of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is named for the Tillars. She made many other significant gifts to community organizations in Fort Worth, including Cooks Children's Hospital.
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