Obit: Tolford, Joshua W. (1831 - 1913)

Transcriber: Stan



----Source: CLARK COUNTY REPUBLICAN & PRESS (Neillsville, Wis.) 12/25/1913


Tolford, Joshua W. (31 Oct 1831 - 20 Dec 1913)


Capt. J.W. Tolford, who has been failing in health and strength for several months, died at his home in this city Saturday morning Dec. 20, 1913, death being due mostly to old age. Joshua Woodbury Tolford was born in New Brunswick, Oct. 31, 1831. At the age of 17 he went to Portland, Maine, and learned the trade of carriage painter. In 1852 he came to Madison, Wis., and worked at his trade. He enlisted as First Lieut. Co. D. 23rd Wis. Inf. In 1862, and was afterwards made Captain of Co. G. in the same regiment and remained such till the close of the war, being mustered out Jul 4, 1865. He was engaged in business in Madison and was also Chief of Police in that city for some time. In Jul 1872 he came to Neillsville, Clark County and went into livery and stage business, operating a four horse coach between here and Humbird, the firm name being Lynn and Tolford. He took a leading part in building a telegraph line from here to Hatfield, which connected Neillsville with the outside world affairs. He served the county as Sheriff, making a fine officer, and later was assistant Clerk of the Circuit Court. He was one of the oldest Free Masons in Wisconsin, joining the order in Madison about 60 years ago. For many years he remained a member of the Madison lodge but attended and worked with the Neillsville Lodge, after coming here, later becoming a member of the Neillsville, Lodge. He was the first commander of the first G.A.R. Post ever organized and always took an active part in that organization. He also organized the Sherman Guards the first militia company in Neillsville and was their first captain.


Captain Tolford was married Sept. 29, 1858 to Julia E. Jewett who survives him. To them were born six children: Arthur died in 1864, Frank in 1866, Minnie in 1908 and a baby in 1874. Two sons are living, Ralph P. of Thorp and Joshua W. Jr. of Jerome, Arizona. He leaves three brothers: Frank of San Francisco, Ed of Blaine, Wash., and George of Boston, Mass.


Funeral services were held at the Unitarian Church Monday under the direction of the Masons. Besides the Masonic ceremonies an address was given by Judge O’Neill and also by S.M. Marsh. The review of Mr. Tolford’s life and character given in those addresses which will be published, are so full of truth and so entirely meet the approval of all who knew Capt. Tolford that no further comment on his life is necessary.


The remains were taken to Madison for burial in Forest Hill Cemetery.




Dear Friends at Clark County History,

I was rereading the obituary of Captain Joshua Woodbury Tolford today. He was my great great great grandfather. I'm the only grandchild of Frank John "Pete" Tolford, Jr. (Obituary below), who was one of Ralph Tolford's grandchildren.

My grandfather passed away in Jun after a short battle with cancer. He was 81 years old. He died in a wonderful old fashioned manner, at home, when he decided that he was tired of the fight and happy with what his life had been.  Friends and family gathered in my grandparents' home in Evanston, IL to share stories and say goodbye. I was lucky to be able to be there. It was quite hard for me, as Bops (as I called him) was a huge part of my life. 

I've read Captain Tolford's obit before, but not since my grandfather's death. We had a party in his honor just a few weeks ago, and people said the most wonderful things. The same things, in fact, that Judge O'Neill said about Captain Tolford. So I got a little teary eyed reading it.

Especially these: 


"As a citizen he was patriotic. In all the walks of private life he was true and generous. Who can look back over this record of forty years in this community and point to a stain or even a fault in the life of him whom we today lay away to rest. Captain Tolford was about the most unselfish man I ever knew. He never seemed to think about himself he was always ready to render a kindly service to others."

"All who knew him remember the constancy of his friendship. It has been said the only things worth while in this world are its loves and its friendships. Captain Tolford made all who became intimate with him his friends. No man in this community has had, more friends or more deserved them. He had a great, big, warm tender heart. "

It's interesting to see the values and strong characters that were obviously passed down through Joshua, Ralph, Frank Sr, Frank Jr, my mom and uncle, and [hopefully] me. I'm getting married in April to a man that has very similar beliefs and values, and we'll do our best to pass them on to future generations. 

Anyway, I'm the historian in the family, and I've inherited the collection of treasured Tolford artifacts, letters, and photographs. Including albums of Captain Tolford's. I live in St. Louis now, But I'm up in Evanston from time to time to see my mom and grandmother (who is quite stoic and seems to be doing well despite her loss). I'm going to be photographing and digitizing these family records, and eventually would like to have a space online for them. 

Just wanted to say thanks for having all that info available online. It's comforting. Feel free to share this email with anyone who would be interested. I'd love to connect with anyone interested in Wisconsin history, genealogy, etc. Hopefully I'll get up north sometime soon for a trip to Thorpe, Madison, and maybe even Neillsville!


Malaika Tolford


Obit: Tolford, Frank, Jr. (1932 - 2013)


----Source: Published in Chicago Tribune on June 16, 2013

Frank Tolford Jr. Obituary

Frank John (Pete) Tolford, Jr., of Evanston, was born in Milwaukee, Wis., on February 15, 1932, the son of Frank and Marion Killian Tolford. He died at home on Jun 12, 2013. Survived by his wife Virginia Chittick Tolford, son Robert William Tolford (Jacqueline Willard), daughter Ginger Crisenbery (Greg) and their daughter Malaika Tolford, brother James, several nieces and nephews, and many cousins. Pete grew up in Evanston. He married Ginny in Paris, Ill., on October 18, 1954. Following graduation from DePauw University in 1954, he served two years in the U. S. Army and was stationed in Germany. After living in Paris, Ill., where he was employed by U.O. Colson, Co., Pete and his family moved in 1957 to Evanston, and have resided there since. Pete worked in the graphic arts until his retirement. He was an active member of the Mid-West Tool Collectors Association. Interment is private. A memorial celebration will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Kellogg Cancer Center of Evanston North Shore University Hospital, North Shore Hospice Service, the Edgar County Historical Society (Paris, Ill.), or the Mid-West Tool Collectors Association. For information, Evanston Funeral & Cremation, (847) 866-8843.



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