Manitoba Historical Society
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Manitoba Photographers: Harold Herbert Tilley (1876-1959)

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Born at Stafford, England in August 1876, son of photographer William Tilley (1834-1903) and Mary Tilley (1846-?), he was living at Stafford and working as a picture frame maker at the time of the 1901 UK census. In 1904, he liquidated his assets, boarded the vessel Dominion at Liverpool, and arrived in Montreal in August. He travelled to Minnedosa and established a photography studio. His wife Lillian Hodgson (1875-1958) and their two daughters, Lillian Jessie Tilley (1898-?) and Alice Gertrude Tilley (1900-1951, wife of George Frederick Challoner) joined him the following year. A third child, son Clarence Harold Tilley (1907-1990), was born at Minnedosa.

The family later moved to Selma, California where they had a farm and fruit orchard until early 1913 when he was “called back to Manitoba” and resumed operation of his studio. An advertisement later that year stated that his business consisted of cabinet portraits, family groups, wedding photos, photo postcards, picture framing, photo enlargement, and film development. He also had an eight-acre poultry farm near Minnedosa that he offered for sale from 1916 to 1920. He closed the studio in 1926 and moved to Kenora, Ontario where he continued to work as a photographer.

He died at the Winnipeg General Hospital on 5 October 1959 and was buried in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery at Kenora.

Work location(s)






Birth registration [Clarence Harold Tilley], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935, Ancestry.

1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

“Fruit lands,” Manitoba Free Press, 24 April 1913, page 30.

“Farm lands,” Manitoba Free Press, 24 January 1916, page 22.

1921 Canada census, Ancestry.

Marriage registration [Alice Gertrude Tilley], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Hostess at tea,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 October 1935, page 8.

Obituary, Winnipeg Tribune, 6 October 1959, page 35.

Canada, Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, Ancestry.

Obituary [George Frederick Challoner], Winnipeg Free Press, 7 June 1976, page 23.

US Social Security Death Index [Clarence Harold Tilley].

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Pete Bryan.

Page revised: 16 June 2020

Manitoba Photographers: 1858 to Present

A list of professional photographers who have worked in Manitoba, from 1858 to the present, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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