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Andrew "Cap" Tilles
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Birth: Nov. 27, 1865
Missouri, USA
Death: Nov. 22, 1951
Missouri, USA



Andrew ("Cap") Tilles was born in St. Louis on November 27, 1847. His mother died when he was quite young. The young Tilles went to Fort Smith, Arkansas with his father.They arrived in Fort Smith in March of 1866, and Tilles' father died just 11 years later in 1875. From that time on, his upbringing was in the hands of Mrs. Joseph Adler. Later, Tilles was to be a business associate of Mrs. Adler's son, Sam, in sporting enterprises in St. Louis and around the country. Tilles attended the Belle Grave School in Fort Smith, and was a student at St. Anne's Academy when his father died. In 1879 or 1880, he also attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He later finished his studies at the University of Arkansas in 1882.

As a young boy in Fort Smith, "Cap" was in the cigar and tobacco business with his father and brother George. George later became one of Fort Smith's ablest historians.

Some years after his father's death, Cap and Sam W. Adler moved to St. Louis. Together they opened a cigar store at 9th and Olive and managed a retail and jobbing business that eventually led them into the burgeoning business of horse racing. One of their early projects was a cigar stand at the old South Side racetrack, on the present site of McKinley High School. The track was not prosperous and its backers were deeply in debt. Tilles and Adler, seeing the opportunity, bought the ailing racetrack and, under their able management, it began to prosper. They were later joined by Louis Cella. At one time, they operated 25 racetracks, including every large racing establishment in the country, except for those in Chicago. By this time, Tilles was also associated with the stock and brokerage business and was president of Delmar Investment Company.

The Rosalie Tilles Non-Sectarian Charity Fund - now known as The Tilles Fund - came as a Christmas gift to the poor of St. Louis from "Cap" Tilles as a tribute to his mother, Rosalie Peck Tilles, in 1926. Tilles' particular sympathy for the lot of the orphan was, no doubt, a reflection of his own youth as an orphan and his struggle to make his own way. The purpose of the Foundation was summed up by Tilles, who said, "Use it to give those kids who need it a helping hand." Modest and self-effacing, "Cap" Tilles rarely discussed his giving. When the fund was created, he left St. Louis in order to avoid being interviewed by newspapers. Tilles had an aversion for newspaper publicity he refused to be interviewed. The Fund was established to help deserving children in the City and County of St. Louis who are in need of physical or educational help, without discrimination as to religious creed or race. The Fund also assists such charitable organizations that may be engaged in similar charitable undertakings.

In 1932, Tilles asked the City of St. Louis to accept his country estate, "Rest Haven," as a public playground for the children of St. Louis City and the County. He had purchased the property 20 years earlier.

Tilles provided that the City would receive, after his death, an additional 7.47 acres on the Lay Road side of the park, where he made his home. Development of the park was completed by the WPA at a cost of nearly $300,000. Six years later, in 1939, the park was open to the public.

St. Louis County bought the 58.8-acre park at McKnight and Litzsinger Roads from the City of St. Louis in 1957 for $429,000. It is currently operated as Tilles Park by St. Louis County. The City used the funds derived from the sale of the park to acquire and develop the 20-acre Rosalie Tilles Park at Hampton and Fyler Avenue. It was dedicated in 1961.

Due to "Cap" Tilles' generosity and the diligence of dedicated Trustees, the Tilles Fund continues to provide substantial funding to "kids who need a helping hand." This is accomplished through a scholarship program and a charitable grant program

History of Tilles Park

There are two Tilles Parks, one located on Hampton and Fyler Avenues in the City of St. Louis and the other on Litzinger and Lay Roads in St. Louis county.

Why does St. Louis have two Tilles Parks?

The story goes back to the life of Andrew Tilles, who died in 1951 at the age of 87. Andrew Tilles was born in St. Louis in 1865. He moved to Fort Smith, Arkansas, and acquired the nickname of "Cap", because as a youth he operated a ferry across a stream.

"Cap" Tilles returned to St. Louis in 1886. He went into business with Sam Adler and Charles Cella. The business became known as Adler, Cella and Tilles. At one time these three businessmen owned Churchill Downs and the Fairgrounds Race Track.

In 1926, "Cap" Tilles set up a foundation, a non-sectarian million dollar charitable foundation in memory of his mother, for the education of poor children in St. Louis. In 1955, scholarships were extended to needy university students to attend the three universities - Washington University, St. Louis University, and Missouri University.

In 1932, Tilles donated a 68-acre parcel of land located in St. Louis County at Lay and Litzinger Roads to the City of St. Louis. The park was named in honor of his mother, Rosalie Peck Tilles, who was born in 1837 in Prussia and died in 1872 in Ft. Smith Arkansas.

There is another Tilles Park in Fort Smith, Arkansas, named in honor of his father, Louis Tilles.

The county park was developed in 1937 by the City Of St. Louis and W.P.A. funds and was maintained by the city for 18 years. A study found that more than 80 per cent of the people who used the park lived in the county. Another study showed that the city needed more open park space for its citizens.

In March of 1955, the Mayor and the Comptroller were authorized to sell the Rosalie Tilles Park in the county. The proceeds from the sale of the county park were used to purchase 29 acres for the present Rosalie Tilles Park at Hampton and Fyler.

This Park was extensively developed from the 1955 Bond Issue.

Hampton Gardens apartments, on the park's north side, were built in 1952 on the site of the former cemetery for indigent people.

The area surrounding Tilles Park is part of the Northampton neighborhood, which is divided into two parts...east of Macklind is Kingshighway Hills and west of Macklind is the Tilles Park neighbood.

The park serves as the heart of the neigborhood and the park benefits from the care provided by its residents. The Tilles Park Neighborhood Association plants and maintains the trees and garden in its park and the park committee schedules "work" days at the park. The "Taste of Tilles" raises funds to plant trees, shrubs and flowers in the park.


Colleen Sondermann

Memorial Playground

Rosalie's Garden

Roller Hockey Rink

3 Soccer Fields

3 Softball Fields

Basketball/Volleyball Court

Baseball Field

2 Lighted Racquetball Courts

Soccer Kick Board

3 Lighted Tennis Courts

Picnic Pavilion

Comfort Station

Andrew "Cap" Tilles, former owner of Churchill Downs, the racetrack of the Kentucky Derby. Also, founder of Tilles Park in Ladue, and Tilles Park in St. Louis City[19] 
Family links: 
  Louis Tilles (1830 - 1875)
  Rosalie Peck Tilles (1837 - 1872)
  George Tilles (1859 - 1929)*
  Emanuel A. Tilles (1862 - 1881)*
  Andrew Tilles (1865 - 1951)*
  Andrew Tilles (1865 - 1951)
  Hannah Tilles Apple (1868 - 1957)*
  Carrie Tilles Lick (1872 - 1947)*
*Calculated relationship
Non-Cemetery Burial
Specifically: unknown burial
Maintained by: L Bruns
Originally Created by: Stone Shooter
Record added: Jun 10, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 91711756
Andrew Cap Tilles
Added by: Stone Shooter
Andrew Cap Tilles
Added by: Stone Shooter
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