Julius Clark Tilden was born in Hartford, Vermont, on Sept. 7, 1809, the eleventh child of the sixteen children of Josiah and Elizabeth Tracy Tilden. He married Eliza Brigss in 1836 and with her had eight children, five of whom lived into adulthood; Eliza died on Oct. 7, 1861, at the age of 47. Julius owned a store in Rochester, Vermont, where he became a clerk and partner with his older brother Joseph, who had established a mercantile business there in 1834. Julius migrated to Iowa in 1867 with his son Frederick, and settled in Ames in 1870. He died on March 23, 1892.