Our business was established in 1926 by our grandfather, Daniel Lee Tillman, Sr., and later named Dan L. Tillman & Sons Insurance and Real Estate. He operated the property and casualty insurance agency and sold some property, while also serving as the Town Clerk of Cheraw S.C. for 39 years from 1911 until 1950. That year he passed away from a heart attack at the annual Fireman’s dinner for the Cheraw Fire Department, which he helped to organize from a volunteer bucket brigade to the beginnings of what we have today at Cheraw Fire Department.
Daniel Lee Tillman had three sons and two daughters. The oldest was Francis M. Tillman. He graduated from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta in 1939. After serving and being wounded in combat in WWII, our uncle Francis returned to Cheraw and began working in the agency with his father.
Our father, Daniel Lee Tillman, Jr., was a Clemson College sophomore and Pershing Rifle cadet in 1941 when Pearl Harbor was bombed. The following spring of 1942, he had the President of Clemson write his mother for permission for him to join the Army. He became an infantry sergeant and served in Belgium, France, and Germany in the final months of the war. He would return to Cheraw in the spring of 1946. Our mother, Ruth Raines Tillman, seven years his junior, was from Blythewood, South Carolina and met our father via a block of wood he had put his name and address on and left in the school yard of Blythewood school while a soldier on maneuvers from Fort Jackson in South Carolina in 1942. That school girl, our mother, would write that soldier weekly for four years until they first met when he returned from Europe in 1946. They married on December 27, 1949 in Blythewood, after she graduated Columbia College. The next year, as an Army reservist, Dan Tillman, Jr. would be called back into active duty to lead an infantry platoon in Korea before settling in with his brother Francis in the agency in late 1951.
Daniel Lee Tillman III came to work in the agency in January of 1978 after graduating Presbyterian College in Clinton South Carolina in December of 1977. In September of 1982, William R. Tillman, having graduated Clemson University, joined the agency with an interest in Real Estate - as the agency had always been active in real estate sales/brokerage. In January of 1985 Francis Tillman retired. In 2006, Dan Tillman, Jr. passed away after having worked with his sons for many years and serving the agency for a total of 53 years. Dan Tillman III and William R. Tillman have been the agency’s sole owners since 2006. William Raines Tillman, Jr. joined the agency in June of 2017 as an Agent/CSR and was followed by Blake Tillman.
While our name remains Dan L. Tillman & Sons Insurance and Real Estate, in 2021 we began branding ourselves as Tillman Insurance.