Thurtell and Related Families
Thurtell and Related Families

Notes for William WITHROW

Much of the information about William Withrow and his descendants was received from Francis E. Withrow, Jr. (Mike), 1501 Murray Avenue, Wichita, Kansas 67212-1037, in May 1998, including records from his data base, which was previously published by Broderbund's Family Tree Maker in World Family Tree, Volume 2, Tree 2760. He also provided the obituary of George Withrow, and the "History of William Withrow" by Nellie Stanton with "Facts Furnished by Her Mother, Edith Withrow Stanton.)" This history shows it was "Read by the Author at Her Home Near Platteville, Wisconsin, July 24, 1926, on the Occasion of a Family Reunion, Attended by the Descendants of William Withrow."

Records of the Bureau of Land Management show that William Withrow purchased land in Grant County, Wisconsion, on August 1, 1839, and additional land on April 1, 1848, at the Mineral Point Land Office. The August 1, 1839, purchase is listed in Document Number 431, which shows the legal description of the land was Aliquot Parts W1/2NE, Sec/Blk 9, Township 2-N, Range 3W, Fract. Sect. N, of the 4th Principal Meridian - 1831 Minnesota/Wisconsin, 60.8 acres in Grant County, Wisconsin. The two transactions on April 1, 1848, are in Documents Number 7409 and 7410. Document Number 7409 shows the legal description of one property was Aliquot Parts NENE, Sec/Blk 5, Township 2-N, Range 2W, Fract. Sect. N, of the 4th Principal Meridian - 1831 Minnesota/Wisconsin, 46.62 acres in Grant County, Wisconsin. Document Number 7410 shows the legal description of a second property was Aliquot Parts NWNW, Sec/Blk 9, Township 2-N, Range 2W, Fract. Sect. N, of the 4th Principal Meridian - 1831 Minnesota/Wisconsin, 40 acres in Grant County, Wisconsin.

Records of Mt. Zion Cemetery, Cornelia, Grant County, Wisconsin show that William Withrow died March 21, 1879, at age 79, and his wife Martha died February 15, 1885, at age 70. They are both buried in this cemetery.

The full text of this 1926 history follows:

"History of William Withrow" by Nellie Stanton, Author (Facts furnished by Her Mother, Edith Withrow Stanton.)

Read by the Author at Her Home Near Platteville, Wisconsin, July 24, 1926, on the Occasion of a Family Reunion, Attended by the Descendants of William Withrow.

In Loving Recognition of the Noble character and Sterling Qualities of William Withrow, This Memorial is Respectfully Dedicated by the Author, His Grandchild, to His Descendants.


William Withrow was born in Pennsylvania in the year 1801, his mother died at his birth, and his father died three years later, leaving two children, William and his sister Jane two years older. They were cared for and brought up by two maiden aunts. When he was sixteen years of age, he began learning the wagon making trade, which he followed for some time. When he was still a young man, he emigrated by steamboat to the lead mining district at Potosi, Wisconsin, where he did mining for a number of years. On March 8, 1848, he was united in marriage with a young widow, Martha Long, of Potosi, Wisconsin; she was the mother of two children Henry and Mary Long.

William Withrow was a kind and devoted step-father, and they remained in his home until they were married and went to homes of their own. A few years after the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Withrow, they moved on a farm in the town of Paris, near Dickeyville. Eight children were born to them.

Mail was so uncertain those days that he never heard from his relatives in Pennsylvania after leaving there. He wrote many letters back home but received no reply. Many years later he went to Hazel Green; one day the merchant called him Mr. Withrow. A strange man standing near, overheard him and asked to speak with Mr. Withrow, saying his wife's maiden name was Withrow, and after conversing, they found they were brothers-in-law. Mr. McCormick then took Mr. Withrow to his home to meet his long lost sister Jane. She was the mother of six children, three sons and three daughters. Mrs. Ida Smith of Fairplay, Wisconsin, is a granddaughter of his sister Jane. After the death of her husband, Mr. McCormick spent a great deal of her time at the home of her brother Williams; she died in the year 1877. William died March 21, 1879, aged seventy-eight years. He left his widow who died eight years later, Feb. 15, 1885, aged sixty-nine years.

Mr. and Mrs. Withrow were religious people and active church workers and departed from their life in perfect faith of Jesus Christ. As Mr. Withrow was an early pioneer, he had many thrilling experiences with the Indians. It was very entertaining for the young people in those days who gathered in their home for entertainment. Mr. and Mrs. Withrow were very hospitable people, making everyone welcome; they spent many pleasant hours listening to Mr. Withrow relate his thrilling experiences of the past. He was a very fine horseback rider and he had a fine bay saddle horse which he prized very highly. It seems he had the envy of the Indians for his beautiful horse was stolen; he tracked the Indians for many miles through the hills and valleys, he traced them as far as Prairie du Chien, but lost the trail and never found his horse. His children can well remember when the Indians would come to their homes in droves demanding food and also oats for their ponies; they were not satisfied with bread alone, they would demand butter also. Mr. Withrow was a great reader. He read by candle light so much that his eyes failed him, and he became nearly blind which prevented him from active work for many years before he died. Their first child John was born in Potosi. June 8, 1841. He was a soldier in the union army enlisting in Company H, 25th Wisconsin V. I., and served in the Civil war until he contracted a severe illness, making it necessary to return home. He was brought home on a stretcher by his mother. He never fully recovered from his illness, having delicate health the remainder of his life. He married Margaret Wilson, and settled on the old homestead in the town of Paris, where he died Jan. 6, 1890, age forty-eight years, leaving a wife and seven children. His widow still owns the old homestead.

Jane was born Sept. 4, 1843, and died at LeMars, Iowa, Nov. 19, 1871, age twenty-eight years. Rebecca was born Oct. 4, 1845; she was the wife of Payton Vaughn, of LeMars, Iowa. She died March 7, 1886, age forty years. She left a husband and five children, two sons and three daughters, of which only two daughters are now living, of whom Elberta is the eldest. After her mother's death, she then took charge of the home and family, taking the mother's place as best she could until her father married a second wife. This eldest daughter Elberta Fraser is now living with her only daughter, Mrs. Edward Drager of Sioux Falls, S. D., and Mrs. Myrtle Magelssen, also of South Dakota.

George was born Feb. 18, 1848. He married Mary Thurtell; five daughters were born to them; one daughter Annie died in childhood, aged ten years and is buried at Mt. Zion church near the old farm home, Grant county. Wis. They lived on a farm at Cornelia for sixteen years. The three oldest daughters, Amy, Grace and Bertha during this time had been educated at the State Normal school at Platteville, Wisconsin, and had followed the profession of school teachers in Grant county, Wisconsin. In the year 1896, George joined the gold rush to the Klondike region in Alaska, where he remained for seventeen years, engaged in mining and returned home in failing health. At the time he left Grant county, his wife and daughters, of whom the youngest was Mary Belle, aged twelve years, removed to Chicago, where the eldest taught in the Chicago public schools. The second, Grace, became secretary to the postmaster, and the two youngest engaged in art work. Bertha attained remarkable success as a portrait artist. Grace died in Phoenix, Arizona, 1903, and Bertha in San Antonio, Texas, 1907.

In June. 1913, George returned from Alaska, and with his wife and two remaining daughters, visited the old home and family and reported his many strange. adventures. On May 31, 1916, he died age sixty-eight years, at the home of his daughter, Mary Belle Spencer, wife of Richard Vance Spencer, M. D., Chicago Heights, Illinois, and is buried at Mt. Zion church, Grant County, Wisconsin. His wife Mary died Nov. 7, 1917, at Kansas City, Missouri, and his daughter Amy died Sept. 25. 1918, at Chicago. Illinois, and is buried In Kansas City, beside her mother. His only living descendants are Mary Belle Spencer, (a lawyer of Chicago, holding the degree of Bachelor of Laws, of the Northwestern University, Class 1918, and office of Public Guardian of Cook County, Illinois, 1918-1922) and her daughters Mary Belle Jr.. born Dec. 14, 1919, and Victoria born Nov. 27, 1921.

James was born Oct. 28, 1850. He married Cassie Catanaough. Seven children were born to them, four daughters and three sons. They lived most of their married life in Omaha, Nebraska. James was a conductor on the street cars there for more than a score of years. He died Jan. 21, 1910, age sixty years, leaving a wife and seven children, all of whom are still living. Names: Harry, Will, Walter, Jessie, Florence, Lillian and Ethel.

Wesley was born March 2, 1852. He married Elizabeth Hooser and four children were born to them, two daughters and two sons, Harriet, Ida, Wesley and George. Wesley was engaged in the early part of his life in the wood business, boating to Dubuque. Later he moved to the northern woods of Wisconsin. He never was a robust man but was always industrious. For the last twelve years of his life, owing to failing health he was very quiet. He died at the St. Joseph hospital at Chippewa Falls of lingering paralysis, Feb. 2, 1920, aged sixty-eight years, leaving to mourn his loss two sons and two daughters, all of whom are still living.

Levinia was born Sept. 6, 1855. She married Silas Van Natta. Five children were born to them, four daughters and one son. Two daughters Maud and Nellie died in childhood. Levinia and her husband lived active lives on their farm at Cornelia, where their children were brought to manhood and womanhood. They were faithful church workers and ready to aid in everything for the betterment of the community in which they lived. When their son Howard was married, they sold their farm to him where he still lives and they purchased a home in Platteville, where they are enjoying a comfortable and happy old age.

Their eldest daughter Jenny Harms has always been a leading and greatly beloved woman. She and her husband George Harms, reside in Platteville, where they have large business interests. Their children are Clarence, Harry, Helen and Eleanor. Clarence has a wife Ruby and little son Billie.

The son of Lavenia and Silas is Howard Van Natta. He and his wife Lena have one son George Van Natta. The youngest daughter of Lavenia and her husband Silas is Mrs. Verna Steinhoff, wife of George S. Steinhoff, who is engaged in farming near Platteville. Their children are Lester, Blanche and Dorothy Ann.

Edith, the youngest daughter of William Withrow, was born Dec. 21, 1857, and married Daniel Stanton, and six children, Ernest, Eldridge, Warner, Norman, Nellie and Virgil were born to them, all of whom are living near their parents. Edith has been a noble mother, and the sterling character of both her and her husband, have earned the love and respect of all who know them; their industry has prospered them. Their entire life has been devoted to farming. They have moved several times but have always lived within three miles of the homes of their childhood. They are still doing active work on the farm and are performing their share of church and community work.

Their eldest son Ernest and, his wife Sadie, have two children, Lillie, who is the wife of Purl Eastlick, they have a son named Earl, and George Eldridge and his wife May have five children, Grace, Frank. Iva, Lile and Maynard.

Warner and his wife Grace, have three children, John, Wilbur and Donald. Norman and his wife Laura have two children, Gale and Clifford. Virgil and his wife Rosena have four children, Daniel, Edith, Leman and Ruby Nell.

Margaret, the widow of John, is also enjoying a long life, she lives in Platteville, surrounded by her splendid sons and daughters, all of whom are prominent in the neighborhood, and an honor and credit to their parents and grandparents. Julia, Hattie and Minnie are happily married and live near their mother, to whom they and their children are a constant comfort. Their brothers Frank, John, George and Walter have also established themselves in their own homes, with excellent wives and are living exemplary lives.

The eldest daughter Julia is the wife of Milton Van Natta, their children are Leslie, Mrs. Bertie Mathews and Milton Junior. Leslie has a wife named Margret and one son Robert. Bertie and her husband Charles have three children, Wendell, Theodore and Carolyn. Minnie is the wife of Bert Rieter; their children are Purl and Gladys who is the wife of Henry Udelhofen; their children are Kenneth, Dale and Lloyd.

Purl has a wife Sophia and a daughter Marcella. Hattie is the wife of Henry McClain; their children are Mable, Nellie and Blanch, who is the wife of Irvin Brown; they have one son, Henry.

Frank Withrow has a wife Louise and two sons Irvin and John.

John Withrow and his wife Myrtle have three children, Leta, Velma and Clinton.

George Withrow has a wife Anna.

Walter Withrow has his wife Jane and their son Mancal.

The many descendants of William Withrow, are residing near the old family home, and all who have removed to distant points are notable for the high principles, upright honesty and industry that were the splendid characteristics of that pioneer."

The family of William Withrow is listed in the 1860 U.S. Census for the Township of Paris, Grant County, Wisconsin, which had a Post Office address of Dickeyville. It was enumerated in July 1860. This census shows William Withrow, age 50, born in Virginia, a farmer with real estate worth $900 and personal property worth $578. Living with him are Martha Withrow, age 45, born in Delaware; William Withrow, age 23, a Teamster, born in Iowa; Mary A. Withrow, age 21, born in Wisconsin; John Withrow, age 19, a farm laborer born in Wisconsin who attended school during the prior year; Jane Withrow, age 1? (the age is illegible and could have been 14, 17, or 19), born in Wisconsin and attending school; Rebecca Withrow, age 14, born in Wisconsin and in school; George Withrow, age 7, born in Wisconsin and in school; Wesley Withrow, age 4, born in Wisconsin; Lavina Withrow, age 2, born in Wisconsin; and Eda Withrow, age 12, born in Wisconsin and in school. Family relationships are not shown in the 1860 census.


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