Elam Tilden came to the Lebanon Valley in the 1770's at the age of four with his family from Connecticut. He later managed one of the largest stores in the area located on the main road from Boston to Albany. Subsequently, he started the Gilbert & Tilden Company along with Elisha Gilbert. His sons Henry and Moses took over this business and built it into one of the largest pharmaceutical firms in the country. Their brother Samuel became a lawyer, NYS Governor and candidate for President.