Tillar Portrait Group Collection

                                       Genevieve Eagon Tillar (1874-1961)                         Benjamin Johnston Tillar (1866-1923)
Two oil on canvas portraits of Genevieve Eagon Tillar and Benjamin Johnston Tillar (images shown) were delivered to the Tarrant County Archives by donors Joe P. Barentine IIISusan Murrin Pritchett, and Pamela Smith Smith on October 2, 2013.  Discovered by donor Joe Barentine as outlined in a manuscript that is part of his collection, the purchased paintings were restored with funds provided by the donors as a group then donated to the Archives.
In 2010, Barentine purchased the two portraits from Genevieve Eagon McIntosh Reynolds in Los Angeles, where they were stored in her garage. Genevieve Eagon McIntosh Reynolds ("Vevie") stated to donor that she owned the portraits since the early 1980s, after she received them from her mother, Bettye Herbert, who in turn had received them as inheritance from her mother, Elisabeth Eagon Hurst - the sister of Genevieve Eagon Tillar.

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. 

  • Benjamin Johnston Tillar, oil on canvas measuring 32 by 40 inches, by Susan Ricker Knox approximately 1923; gilded arts and crafts frame by Newcomb-Macklin, Chicago
  • Genevieve Eagon Tillar, oil on canvas measuring 30 by 40 inches, by unknown artist approximately 1930; gilded arts and crafts frame source unknown
This page was last modified on January 21, 2016


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