This film includes material originally shot by the Tilley brothers in the 1910s and 1920s. W.H. Tilley later edited, compiled, and transferred these clips to 16mm, adding caption from his perspective forty years later. The clips feature footage of the Texas Capitol grounds (1911 and 1956), Congress Avenue (facing the Capitol, 1910s), 7th Avenue (1910s), the Tilley brothers talking and strolling (1912), a Krit Motor Car demonstration (1910s), a circus parade on Congress Avenue (facing the Capitol, 1912), W. Hope Tilley at Cockle Burr Hill (1925, current site of Austin's Sri Atmananda Memorial School), W.H.'s son Wesley, Jr. with a straw hat and a toy gun (mid-1920s), the commemoration and Congress Avenue parade for Austin's first mail plane (1926), Austin "flappers" (Congress Avenue, 1924), a bird on a car's hood (undated), Congress Avenue (facing south, and facing the Capitol, 1924), Austin's first Vitaphone (1929, at the Majestic Theater, now the Paramount), Armistice Day parade (Congress Avenue in front of the Capitol, 1925), Moslah Temple Shriner trip to California (1927, with stops in Royal Gorge, CO.), W.H. Tilley and his "well-dressed" family (Capitol grounds, 1926), Paul and Wesley, Jr. (with unidentified individuals, undated), Wesley, Jr. on his tricycle (mid-1920s), Wesley, Jr. with his mother Helen (mid-1920s), W.H. with Helen and Wesley, Jr. at "Ramona's Marriage Place" (San Diego, mid-1920s), and two family photos of Helen and Wesley, Jr. (1920s).
Brothers Wesley Hope and Paul Tilley can be counted among Texas' pioneering filmmakers. Their movie work extends at least as far back as 1910.
In addition to their short subjects (as for-hire filmmakers) and early documentary movies of Texas, the Austin-based Tilleys made cartoons, titles, slides, advertisements, newsreels, and comedy features. The brothers were also involved in the turn-of-the-century amusement business as carnival music producers and for-hire projectionists.
The Tilley brothers are best known, however, for their three commercial narrative features: Mexican Conspiracy Outgeneralled, Their Lives By a Slender Thread and The Kentucky Feud. These films were produced in 1913 around central Texas (as well as Mexico) under the auspices of their Satex production company and film lab, one of the first of its kind in Texas.
W. Hope Tilley eventually pursued his music-related activities full-time, remaining in Austin. Paul Tilley later worked with another fellow Texan in Hollywood, film director King Vidor.