Erasmus Gorillas Tilley

Male 1853 - 1910  (56 years)


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  • Name Erasmus Gorillas Tilley  [1
    Born 7 Oct 1853  Prairie Lea, Caldwell County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Buried 1910  Evergreen Cemetery, Devine, Medina County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 26 May 1910  Devine, Medina County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Person ID I6931  My Genealogy
    Last Modified 22 Feb 2020 

    Father Gipson Erasmus Tilley,   b. Between 1826 and 1830, Blakely, Early County, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Oct 1905, Devine, Medina County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 79 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Mary Zelda Moore,   b. Between 1832 and 1835, Columbus, Lowndes County, Mississippi Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jul 1878, Knockernut, Caldwell County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 46 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 23 Dec 1852  Kerr, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Family ID F2409  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Cassandra Gertrude Harr,   b. 14 Aug 1861, Castroville, Medina, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Dec 1951, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Oklahoma, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 90 years) 
    Married 5 Apr 1878  Devine, Medina, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3, 4
    Children 
     1. Gip Zelda Tilley,   b. 14 Jan 1879, Medina County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Dec 1894, Medina County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 15 years)  [natural]
     2. Hettie Viola Tilley,   b. 4 Sep 1881, Joe E Bailey Ranch, Medina County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jan 1980, Oklahoma Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 98 years)  [natural]
     3. Charles Napoleon Tilley,   b. 27 Feb 1884, Kerr, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [natural]
     4. Joy Langdon Tilley,   b. 11 Sep 1886, Devine, Medina County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Nov 1974, Bexar County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years)  [natural]
     5. Halbert Lee Gosling Tilley,   b. 15 Mar 1889, Devine, Medina County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Oct 1967  (Age 78 years)  [natural]
     6. Loyd L. Tilley,   b. 11 Feb 1892, Bright Street, Devine, Medina County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Nov 1964, Corpus Christi, Nueces County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)  [natural]
     7. Donald A. McIan Tilley,   b. 6 Dec 1894, Bright Street, Devine, Medina County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1976  (Age 81 years)  [natural]
     8. Ellis Bean Tilley,   b. 27 Jul 1897, Bright Street, Devine, Medina County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 May 1967, Bexar County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years)  [natural]
     9. Leslie Lawton Tilley,   b. 29 May 1900, Bright Street, Devine, Medina County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Dec 1951, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 51 years)  [natural]
     10. Manon Eloise Tilley,   b. 2 Feb 1903, Bright Street, Devine, Medina County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Mar 1977, Oklahoma Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)  [natural]
     11. Harris Wolf Tilley,   b. 1 Jan 1905, Bright Street, Devine, Medina County, Texas Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Jan 1970, Oklahoma Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 65 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 22 Feb 2020 
    Family ID F2408  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 5 Apr 1878 - Devine, Medina, Texas, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • - Erasmus was a member of the "Woodmen of the World" and has a WOW memorial gravestone.

      - His grandchildren called him "Papa Grande."

      - The following information is from the genealogy files of Cassie Motes Fahrenthold, E.G.'s g-granddaughter:

      ERASMUS GORILLAS -- Came to Texas Medina Co. with his parents in 1857. Died May 26, 1910 in Devine, Texas. Buried Evergreen Cemetery, Devine, Texas. He was a member of ?Woodsmen of the World? and has a Woodsmen gravestone. He signed his name E.G. Tilley but was known as Bee Tilley to his friends. His grandchildren called him Papa Grande. His occupations included farming, digging wells by hand, cleaning out wells for $2.50, hauling wood for $.75 a load, also public weighter at Devine for a time.

      Cassie Gertrude Harr?s parents died when she was young and she lived with Sally Moore Ketchum, who is the sister of Mary Zelda Moore Tilley. Cassie said she graduated from school the day the teacher sent young Pete Ketchum home from school. While Pete was getting on his horse to go home, Cassie jumped out the window of the school house, got on her horse and rode off with Pete. Neither of them ever went back to school. Sally?s husband Pete Ketchum was killed by Indians and she later married Dan Patterson.

      Among the frontiersmen, who have figured in Indian History on the Hondo, Black Creek and other points near Devine, and in Medina County, is Bee Tilley. While not participating in many Indian Battles, Bee Tilley was an actor in connection with one of those distressing frontier tragedies in which the bloody hand of the savage had brought mourning to many people. The following was told by his son, Joy Langdon Tilley and also written of by A.J. Sewell:

      Early on the morning of April 22, 1877, a young man named Joe Wilton, 18 years of age, started from the ranch of Dan Patterson, about one mile East of Devine, to go to the store in Hondo, West of the Patterson ranch. When Joe Wilton did not return home at the proper time, his mother (a widow) became uneasy and a search was instituted. On this same day a religious service was being held at the home of Rev. C.B. Huskill. Bee Tilley, one of the searcher for the absence Joe Wilton, went to the meeting house, thinking the boy had likely gone there but no one had seen him. It was now near night. Rev. Huskill, who had not been on the frontier very long, told Bee Tilley that their horses had been carried off that day by men, who had tin pans on their arms. ?Indians? said Tilley. What Huskill took for tin pans on their arms were shields. Bee Tilley was almost certain that the Indians had killed Joe, and set out in the night to the ranch of Lon Moore, who lived on the Hondo below the crossing, to see if Joe had been there. On the way, Bee saw the horse of the unfortunate Joe Wilton, but did not recognize it in the uncertain light. The horse had been wounded but was still standing. Coming to the Moore Ranch and wakening Lon, Bee could get no news of the missing Joe Wilton, but as yet no one had gone to the store. After leaving Lon Moore?s place Bee Tilley, with the company of Rufus Ketchum, went back to the Patterson place, arriving about daybreak. But still no tidings of Joe. A crowd of 10 to 12 men now gathered to make a thorough search and to fight the Indians, if they came into contact with them. There was no doubt Indians were in the country. Among those gathered for the search were:
      Bee Tilley Cull Moore (Brother to Mary Zelda Moore Tilley, Uncle of Bee Tilley)
      Napoleon & Charlie Harr (Brothers to Cassie Harr Tilley)
      Frank Jackson (friend of family)
      Hay and Lon Moore (Nephews to Mary Zelda Moore Tilley, Cousins to Bee
      Rube Ketchum (Nephew to Mary Zelda Moore Tilley, Cousin to Bee Tilley)
      Dan Patterson ( brother-in-law to Mary Zelda Moore Tilley, Uncle to Bee Tilley)
      John Tilley (Possibly the son of Elija Tilley then being a cousin to Bee Tilley)

      These men scattered out in different directions - when near Black Creek, They heard Napoleon Harr yell and they went to him. Napoleon had found Joe Wilton?s horse, which had been wounded and soon died. The men commenced with renewed energy to find the body. The men found a trail where a chase had occurred and followed fast. Apparently, Wilton had run a trail with Indians on both sides of him. About 500 yards down the trail, Hay Moore, found the body of Joe Wilton, lying under a Live Oak tree with white chaparral bushes around it. The boy had run under the tree, after leaving his wounded horse, and was there killed, stripped, and mutilated. Joe Wilton?s body had one bullet hole in the lower part of his neck, between the shoulders, up high. One arrow, in the left nipple, that went through the body and pushed the skin out on the opposite side. This arrow was in so deep that it was hard to extract, so Charlie Harr held the body down while Bee Tilley pulled it out. Besides these wounds there was a lance wound through the right breast and another gun shot wound in the head and one in the hip. The men left Charlie Harr and Cull Moore with the body and the rest went back to the settlement to carry the news. Bee Tilley went back with a wagon and brought the body in. Joe Wilton is buried one mile East of Devine. A tombstone with Joe?s name, date of death and cause of death inscribed on it now marks the spot.

      Cassie Gertrude Harr was 16 when she married Erasmus (Bee) Gorillas Tilley. http://www.hal-pc.org/~berrys/html2/pafg51.htm>

      - "Bee Tilley was well known and respected. He was noted for his sterling honesty. He reared eleven children by the sweat of his brow. He never held a major public office. He never sought publicity, in fact, he avoided it. He was a strong supporter of public schools -- at one time he gave a month's work toward a school improvement project. He did his part and more toward any civi improvement project, but hsi name does not appear on any of these records. I think this instance marks the esteem of his fellows. At his death, business and professional men and associates dug his grave. They would allow no hired hand touch it."

  • Sources 
    1. [S238] Mary Farek.
      Fellow researcher.

    2. [S126] Ancestry World Family Tree.

    3. [S207] Joy Langdon Tilley.
      (Son)

    4. [S234] Marriage Records.
      Ancestry.com. Texas Marriage Collection, 1814-1909 and 1966-2002 [database online]. Provo, Utah: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2005. Original data: (1) Dodd, Jordan R, et. al. Early American Marriages: Texas to 1850. Bountiful, UT: Precision Indexing Publishers, 19xx. (2) Hunting For Bears, comp. Texas marriage information taken from county courthouse records. Many of these records were extracted from copies of the original records in microfilm, microfiche, or book format, located at the Family History Library. (3) Texas Department of State Health Services. Texas Marriage Index, 1966-2002. Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas. (4) Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research, comp. (P.O. Box 740, Orem, Utah 84059) from county marriage records on microfilm located at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, in published books cataloged by the Library of Congress, or from county courthouse records.