Alfred M. Tilden (1887-1961)
1915 obituary linking Alfred Tilden to Samuel Tilden: Chatham NY Courier (warning – takes approx. five minutes to load)
Florence Villa Citrus Growers Association
Florida Clearing House Association
Exchange National Bank of Winter Haven
Lake Alfred Citrus Experiment Station
U.S.D.A. Citrus Laboratory
Alfred M. Tilden was born in Lebanon, New York, in 1887. Alfred Tilden’s father, George, was the nephew of New York Governor and Presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden, meaning that Samuel Tilden was Alfred’s great uncle.
Tilden attended Cornell University where he was a member of the social fraternity Theta Delta Chi. Soon after his graduation in 1911, Tilden moved to Winter Haven, Florida, where he became involved with orange and grapefruit growing in that area.
After the outbreak of World War I, Tilden joined the U.S. Army and served overseas. Upon his return to Florida, he continued his career in the citrus industry. Tilden accumulated a large number of groves which led to his involvement with several different citrus associations. He became involved with the Florence Villa Citrus Growers Association where he served as President for eight years. His large grove holdings in Polk County helped him become known as an authority on citrus culture in the area. In 1928 he was one of the organizers of the Florida Clearing House Associations, which promoted an early voluntary method for setting standards in the industry.
Tilden also became involved with banking, serving as a Director of the Exchange National Bank of Winter Haven for 30 years, where he helped finance and develop many citrus related properties and processing organizations.
Tilden also chaired a committee that established the Citrus Experiment Station in Lake Alfred, Florida. In 1931 Tilden helped establish the US Department of Agriculture Citrus Laboratory in Winter Haven. Tilden’s efforts in this regard have had an inestimable impact on the Florida Citrus; both centers have developed crucial scientific advancements for the industry and produced several scientists and researchers who have gone on to be inducted into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame themselves.
Alfred Tilden died in 1961, leaving behind his wife Elmina and their three children. In 1963 the citrus community honored Tilden by inducting him into the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame.