When I started preparing this article
I intended to use the picture of Tilton's Bank principally because
it was, at least, about Allendale and there certainly was no picture
around about the Fourth of July celebration of 1857 in Allendale.
In doing research about the bank, I became more interested in Calvin Tilton the man. As the article evolved, it ended up being about two separate things with Allendale being the only thing in common.
In the November 27, 1902, issue of the Grant City Times, in discussing the opening of the new bank, a major portion of the article deals with the description of the vault. I guess in the days before FDIC and modern day safety devices the vault would have been of major importance.
The news article states, "The bank has an elegant vault, constructed on the most improved plan, and is supplied with a modern safe from Victor Safe and Lock Co. of Cincinnati, OH. It is made of Brooklyn Five-ply chrome steel, highly tempered and drill proof. The door is circular in form and has a thickness of nine inches, six of which are steel. It swings on patent hinges, with ball bearing adjustments. All steel used in its construction was thoroughly tested before putting it to use and the manufacturers declare it to be absolutely proof against saw, drill, file and hammer, and guarantee the door to be proof against steam, liquids and air. The safe, with fire proof jacket weighs 4000 pounds. Everything is made as nearly fireproof as possible and no fears need be entertained along these lines."
Calvin Tilton was no stranger to the banking business when he opened his bank in Allendale. In 1876 he was one of the organizers of the first bank in Worth County. He was the first president of the Worth County Bank.
Tilton was born in Kennebec County, Maine, in 1829. In his young manhood he clerked in a store and when 22 years old he went to California. He was in California from 1851 until 1854 when he returned to Maine. He remained there only a short time and then returned to California where he stayed until 1859.
Again he returned to his home state but the next year he came to Eagleville, Mo., where he opened a drug store.
In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company A, thirty-fifth Regiment, Missouri Volunteer Infantry, as a second lieutenant. He saw duty in Arkansas and Kentucky and was mustered out of the service in 1864 as a captain. He returned to Eagleville and in August, 1865, moved to Allendale, Mo.
Tilton engaged in the mercantile business until 1899 when he sold his business and then engaged in the real estate and loan business in Allendale before establishing his own bank in 1902.
As the old saying goes, "The Lord willing and the creek don't rise", I plan on being at the Allendale Park for the annual breakfast on the 4th of July. The occasion has a lot of tradition but I doubt that very few people realize how far back in our county's history the tradition lies.
In the June 23, 1898 issue of the Grant City Star the following description is given in the Allendale news.
"Allendale extends a cordial invitation to the people of Worth and adjoining counties to join her people in celebrating Independence Day, July 4th. In 1857 the people of Allendale arranged the first celebration at this place. A grand barbecue was announced from mouth to mouth and from neighborhood to neighborhood."
"Sturdy farmers, frontiersmen, lawyers and merchants for thirty miles around came in ox carts, horseback and afoot until, for the age, an immense throng was centered here. Two large steers, one hog and four sheep were pitted and roasted whole. Peter Vassar and Tillman Guess performed the chef-d'ouevre at the pitts, which are plainly marked after 41 years of storm and flood."
"A table 75 yards long was erected and loaded with beans, new potatoes, lettuce, radishes, onions, dried venison, beef roast, pork roast, mutton roast and a dessert of the delicacies of the day, including dried pumpkin and gooseberry pies sweetened with sorghum."
"David Hayes was marshal of the day with a flowing red sash, astride of a spirited brown charger he dashed up and down the procession, making a picturesque figure that has never been effaced from the mind of a 5 year old boy. Elisha Cameron and Peter Shelton were the principal orators of the day. There were other orators that held aloft the eagle that day, who, a few years later proved the sincerity of their words by yielding up their lives in defense of that independence they loved so well." (In the Civil war. WGG)
"Times and conditions have changed. Allendale has given many celebrations since and always with marked success. The hearty good cheer of the father is inherited by the son, and we welcome you as our fathers welcomed your fathers. Come and let us celebrate the day that gave birth to freedom and dethroned despotism, impressed by an object lesson of the down trodden in other lands. Let us celebrate the beginning of the day in which intellect and virtue and not the inheritance of brutal brawn and muscle shall rule supreme, and as we celebrate the birth of liberty, our heroic brothers in the far east and west will cast aside with their bayonets the chains that have bound and benighted a multitude of people." (The writer is most likely talking here about the coming Spanish-American War. WGG)