Biography of George A. Tisdale
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

GEORGE A. TISDALE gained prominence and influence as one of the early executive officers in a pioneer fire insurance company in the City of Cleveland, and later made his technical ability and adthinistrative resourcefulness distinctly potent in the development of the business of the Mercantile Insurance Company of this city, of which he continued the secretary and manager until about a year prior to his death, ill health having been the cause of his retirement. Aside from the success and prestige gained by Mr. Tisdale, it is pleasing to record that those who knew him remember him as a man of noble and well poised character and most gracious personality. Without desire for political activity or public office, he wielded the benignant influence of a. loyal and progressive citizen, and had a secure place in the confidence and good will of all who knew him, as business associate, as friend and as man among men. His strength was as the number of his days, and he was one of the venerable and honored citizens of Cleveland at the time of his death, in 1893, at the age of seventy two years.

At Sacketts Harbor, at the foot of Lake Erie, in Jefferson County, New York, George A. Tisdale was born October 3, 1821, a son of George L. and Amelia Maria (Graham) Tisdale, the former of whom was born in Taunton, Massachusetts, and the latter in Dutchess County, New York, and were representatives of families early founded in America. Mr. Tisdale received good educational advantages, as gauged by the standards of the locality and period, and was a student in an excellent school at Cazenovia, New York, at the time of his father's death, in 1838. As a young man Mr. Tisdale made an extended tour through the West, and in April, 1852, he established his permanent home in Cleveland, where he became secretary and treasurer of the Commercial Mutual Insurance Company. He continued his able and successful administration of the affairs of this corporation until, like many others, its business was swamped by losses entailed in connection with the great Chicago fire of 1871, and it passed out of existence. Within a short time thereafter, with virtually the same directorate as that of the former company and with Mr. Tisdale as secretary, treasurer and manager, the Mercantile Insurance Company was incorporated with its general offices in Cleveland. Concerning the connection of Mr. Tisdale with this corporation the following record has been given: "This position he held until a year or so before his death, when failing health made it necessary for him to retire from active life. By reason of this enforced retirement, the Mercantile Insurance Company decided to liquidate the business while Mr. Tisdale was still able to manage its affairs. Thus he had the satisfaction of seeing his life work brought to a successful close after nearly forty years of strict and unremitting attention to business. He may be called a pioneer in the insufance business of Cleveland. He was well known along the shores of the Great Lakes as a man who was thoroughly informed in both fire and marine insurance, and he was also considered an authority in the matter of insurance law."

Mr. Tisdale was a stalwart advocate of the principles of the republican party, was distinctly liberal and public spirited in his civic attitude, was kindly, tolerant and considerate in all human contacts, was a loyal steward in his support of charitable and benevolent work and agencies, and made his life count for good in its every relation. He and his wife were earnest communicants of St. Paul's Church, Protestant Episcopal, in which he served many years as a member of the vestry and of which he was senior warden at the time of his death. His widow survived him a number of years, and her memory is revered by all who came within the sphere of her gentle and gracious influence. The family home was maintained for more than thirty years in that section of Euclid Avenue that is now the business center.

In his old home town of Sacketts Harbor was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Tisdale and Miss Caroline M. Burt, and their surviving child is Mrs. James B. Savage. Miss Caroline A. Tisdale died November 13, 1919. To the late James B. Savage a special memoir is dedicated in the preceding sketch.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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