Thurtell and Related Families
Thurtell and Related Families

Notes for Walter Benjamin THURTELL

The 1963 Thurtell Family History and the History of the Thurtell Family done by Susan Persia Thurtell about 1968 show Benjaman Thurtell was a salesman in Traverse City, Michigan. He and his wife, Conchessia Karns Thurtell, had one child, who died when he was only eight days old.

His birth record shows him as Walter Benjamin Thurtell, born July 17, 1887, in Kasson Township, Leelanau County, Michigan, the son of Walter Thurtell, a merchant, who was born in Canada, and Agnes Thurtell, who was born in New York City.

The 1911 Traverse City directory lists him as "Thurtell, Benjamin, baggageman, bds 440 6th." He is listed in the 1905 directory as "Thurtell, Benjamin W, driver, bds 410 5th."

He is listed as Walter B. Thurtell, son of Walter Thurtell, in the 1900 U.S. Census (Volume 23, E.D. 42, Sheet 7, Line 43, Traverse City, Grand Traverse County, Michigan). This census shows him as a white male born July 1887, age 12 in June 1900, born in Michigan, and attending school. As of that time he is living with his parents and sisters at 219 East Ninth Street, Traverse City, Michigan. He is not listed as living with his parents and sisters in the 1910 U.S. Census index for Michigan.

The Grand Traverse County, Michigan, marriage record index on the internet in October 1999 at shows that Walter B. Thurtell and Conchessie G. Karns were married in 1914 and that the record of their marriage is in Liber 4, page 065. The same index shows W. B. Thurtell married Minnie M. Ostrander in 1951 with license number 0177. The Traverse City, Michigan, Record Eagle for January 12, 1914, shows that a marriage license was issued to Walter B. Thurtell and Conchessia G. Karns, both of Traverse City, and the obituary for Conchessia Karns Thurtell in the Traverse City Record Eagle of February 3, 1945, shows that she married Ben Thurtell on January 12, 1914.

His name is shown as Walter B. Thurtell, born in the Township of Empire, and his wife as Conchissie I. Karns on the death certificate of their infant son, Walter Thurtell, who died in the Township of Empire, Leelanau County, Michigan, on June 15, 1914, at the age of eight days.

According to a letter dated February 25, 1998, from Dr. James W. Miller, W. Ben Thurtell worked in Traverse City as a baggage clerk. He earned enough for a ticket to the west coast. He went to Chicago, had his pocket picked, and was penniless. He went to Chicago Copy Company, where his uncles Alfred and Edward put him to work in Chicago delivering pictures. After a week or two they sent him out to West Virginia to replace a sales manager who had died. He then as a youth of about 18-20 years had 65 sales people under him - many of them alcholics, etc. etc. He continued to do this type of work successfully the rest of his life. Dr. James Miller added that he worked for him the summer of 1934 in Michigan and Wisconsin and the summer of 1935 in Portland, Oregon.

He is listed in the 1920 U.S. Census in Akron, Summit County, Ohio (Volume 189, ED 137, Sheet 13, Line 24). The census record shows him as Walter B. Thurtell, a white male age 32 and born in Michigan and living at 121 South High Street, Akron, Ohio. It shows his occupation as a salesman and the business as a picture company and that he is working for wages. The census shows he can read, write, and speak English and that his father was born in Canada with a mother tongue of English and that his mother was born in Michigan. Living with him is his wife, whose name is shown as Nellie Thurtell in the soundex and Nelly Thurtell in the census record itself. This is possibly a nickname used by Conchessia. The census shows that she is a white female age 28 who was born in Michigan, with her father born in Canada and her mother in Michigan. Her occupation is as none, and she is shown as able to read and write English. Both Walter Thurtell and Nelly Thurtell are shown as roomers in the building in which they reside.

An undated family history shows that Benjamin Thurtell was a salesman of pottery cookware in rural areas. Several of his relatives in 1998 recalled that "Uncle Ben" was an alcoholic for many years. He was remarried in about the 1950's in Michigan to Minnie, who had not realized he was an alcoholic before their marriage. They recalled that Minnie had been at the Traverse City Mental Institution for several years before her death - there were no nursing homes in the area at that time.

His Social Security number record, 371-34-5645, shows him as W. Benjamin Thurtell, born July 17, 1887, in Leelanau County, Michigan. He filed for Social Security benefits in early 1953 in Traverse City, Michigan. The claim termination item file indicates his death as February 1960. His only work under Social Security was in 1951 and 1952. His wife, Minnie O. Thurtell, received widow's benefits on his account from January 1960, until her death in September 1965.

Records of Oakwood Cemetery, 1225 East Eighth Street, Traverse City, Michigan 49686, show him as Walter B. Thurtell, who died January 5, 1960, at age 72 in Traverse City, Michigan. He is buried in Block 3, Lot 2, North Half, Hannah Avenue, Oakwood Cemetery.

Additions and corrections are always appreciated!

Please contact
Susan T. Miller
1411 West Childs Street
Wheaton, Illinois  60187-4601

Page built by Gedpage Version 2.16 ©2000 on 26 November 2000