Sibling Saturday: The Witherell Boys

Another prompt from geneabloggers! I’ll get to the new Book of Me, Written by You prompt after I’m done traveling so I can sit down longer than a few minutes in front of the computer.


Tom(?) Jack(?) and Glenn WITHERELL

Tom(?) Jack(?) and Glenn WITHERELL


I’m not sure who is who in this picture besides my great-grandpa – he’s on the far right. I recognize the mischievous glint in his eye! The other two boys I am assuming are (left to right) Tom and then Jack.

Now these three boys have a bit of bad blood or maybe it was just a dispute with their father. Either way, I knew none of the two great-uncles here. Jack died very young: only 22. He was hit by a car. It made the news twice because he had been hit by a Bay City official (whom they didn’t persecute). Apparently Jack just got out of the tractor he was running and walked into the path of his car. That seems weird to me but I have no idea what traffic was like in 1931 in Saginaw!

Tom did come around a bit but he moved out of state. He apparently was the brother who tried out for Tarzan (I thought it had been Jack) but was beaten out by the Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller. All family rumor of course but I do have this great picture of Tom from a swimming competition. My mom recalls Tom meeting my older brother when he was still a baby. My brother was crying, so my mom picked him up to comfort him and he told her she shouldn’t coddle my brother like that – he had to learn how to cry and move on. My mom obviously didn’t agree; my brother wasn’t even a year old yet! I got the impression that she found him a bit hard but I wonder if that’s just an old school way of raising boys.

I have more pictures of Jack and Glenn then I do of Tom and Glenn and I do think that was because Tom and Glenn didn’t get along real well. They stayed in touch a bit but comparing his brother to my great-grandmothers (see Friday’s post!) siblings, you can sense a frostiness. One thing I hope to learn is why it was there. I don’t know when it started either. I know that Tom was the witness for my great-grandparents wedding – which I was surprised to see because of the family rumor. Now I’m wondering how much stock to really put into that. I really wish I had asked more questions when he was still around!

My great-grandpa was an amazing guy. He was as goofy as his son and was always ready for a hug, a handshake (with a peppermint inside!), and a kiss for us great-grandkids. They had an amazing basement that we would always venture into where he’d show us his vast collection of shark teeth and let us play in the coal room (now a storage room). I never heard him talk though. He had had lung cancer and had his voice box removed. He died at age 86 – a full life.

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