Tilles Memorial City Park

Last updated
George Tilles Jr. Memorial Park
Tilles Memorial City Park
Type Municipal park
Location Oran, Missouri, United States
Coordinates 37°02′42″N89°23′38″W / 37.0451°N 89.39385°W / 37.0451; -89.39385 Coordinates: 37°02′42″N89°23′38″W / 37.0451°N 89.39385°W / 37.0451; -89.39385
Area15 acres (6.1 ha) [1]
CreatedJune 27, 1965 [2]
Owned byCity of Oran
Website Oran Municipality

Tilles Memorial City Park, also known as George Tilles Jr. Memorial Park, is the oldest municipal park in Oran, Missouri, United States. [3]



The park was founded in 1962 by Frank Pellegrino, CEO of the International Hat Company in St. Louis, Missouri. [3] [4] The park was dedicated by Pellegrino as a memorial to George Tilles Jr., Pellegrino's, friend, business partner, and former CEO of International Hat. George Tilles was also the nephew of horse racing magnate Cap Tilles.

Throughout the 1950s to the mid-1980s, the company's hat factory was the largest employer in Oran and one of the largest employers in Southeastern Missouri. The Oran factory was also the first International Hat plant built outside of St. Louis. These factors led to Pellegrino's choice of Oran, as a way of giving back to the employees of an International Hat town. As a condition for founding the park, Pellegrino petitioned the city that future funding of the new recreational facilities and park upkeep be managed through municipal taxation. The measure was placed on the voting ballot and passed with 93 percent of voters approving. [3]


Since 1995, a major feature of the park has been the annual car show, sponsored by the Oran Chamber of Commerce.

See also

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George Tilles Jr. was president of the International Hat Company during World War II. Under Tilles, International Hat become of the two dominant manufacturers of fiber pressed military pith helmets for the United States Army, Marines, and Navy. The Tilles Memorial City Park in Oran, Missouri is named in his honor.


  1. The Missourian. "Marble Hill to Ballot on Gift of Cash, Park". The Southeast Missourian, Cape Girardeau, May 17, 1969. Retrieved on 8 January 2014.
  2. "The Oran Chamber of Commerce: George Tilles Jr. Memorial Park Dedication Ceremony". Southeastern Missourian. June 27, 1965. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 The Missourian. "$10,000 Gift, Voter Approval Bring City Park". The Southeast Missourian, Cape Girardeau, April 2, 1962. Retrieved on 8 January 2014.
  4. "Dedicate New Bollinger Park". The Southeast Missourian, Cape Girardeau, June 5, 1972. Retrieved on 8 January 2014.