Tombstone Tuesday: Arthur Witherell

arthur witherell

Meet my 1st cousin, 4 times removed. Whew, right?

To go through the relationship, Arthur’s father is John WITHERELL, my 3rd great grand uncle. John’s parents are David and Martha Witherell – my 4 times great-grandparents. Their youngest son, Gard, is my direct ancestor.

Going through my grandparents pictures that were left to me, I found this picture:

Arthur Witherell 1972

Arthur Witherell 1972

Along with a letter from his sister to my great aunt. Apparently, he and my great-grandpa (Glenn) kept in touch. Now, at first I was confused because my great-grandfather didn’t have cousins here (all of his mother’s family went west and his dad’s only brother went to Canada). So I had to go back a generation to find him. Here’s the relationship:

David and Martha WITHERELL (my 4 times great-grandparents)

John WITHERELL (1852-1915)                                                                                                                               Gard WITHERELL (1857-1915)

                    Arthur WITHERELL  (1892-1972)                                                                                                                         Gard Cyrus WITHERELL (1882-1952)

                                                                                                                                                                                         Glenn WITHERELL (1908-1994)

There was a bit of an age difference but I think it’s because Arthur was the only family really left in Saginaw, Michigan and therefore they bonded.

Here’s what I know about Arthur’s life:

Arthur was born 22 Feb 1892 to John and Elinor (HALL) WITHERELL(1). In the 1900 census, he is living at home with his parents and his two younger siblings (2). At that time, Martha was living with Gard (her youngest son) since his wife had passed away 5 years earlier (for her information, go here). Gard Cyrus was there (17 at the time) with his younger brother, Ostrom(3). They didn’t live too far apart and both John and Gard seemed particularly close as far as records go (they list each other as a person who will always know their address).

In the 1910 census, things change. Arthur (the oldest of the 4 siblings) and his brothers and sisters are now living with the Hall family, their mother’s parents(4). Elinor (Nellie) died in 1905(5). I have no clue where John goes at this time. I plan on investigating this further by looking into some city directories to see if he maybe lived with his brother or went elsewhere.

In 1915, Arthur is now 23 and truly an orphan (his father and Gard died within months of each other – same way too. That’ll be a post for another time!).  And he is actually gone from Michigan. According to his father’s obituary, he is in Thessalon, Ontario (6). I can confirm this as well by the Canada records of soldiers of World War I (7). At first I was confused of why he went to Canada but his mother was born there and his cousin, Ostrom, also lived there. So maybe the family drew him there and he decided to fight as well.

On 25 June 1923, he is recorded returning to Michigan through Sault Sainte Marie in Michigan (8). He still had some siblings that lived around here so he probably stayed with them until he could get his feet back on the ground.

In 1930, he is living in Saginaw, Michigan again as a lodger (9). He is working on steam railroad as a watchman. He is still in the same area as Glenn, who is now married with one child (my grandpa!) (10). I can assume that they probably got together often as some of the only family left to each other.

According to the 1940 census, he still lived in Saginaw in 1935. By the 1940 census though he moved out to Washington state. He is listed as the head of household for probably a small home as it was just him. He was seeking work at the time so I wonder if he had just recently moved there.

That brings me up to 1972, where I have a letter from his youngest sister to my aunt (12). He was quite ill with fever and his sister writes like it was an unexpected illness. He died in Portland, Oregon but the funeral and burial happened in Saginaw, Michigan. He was buried in Oaklawn next to his parents and brother in a place dedicated to Hall/Witherell relations (13).

Arthur Witherell was the first cousin that I came across for the Witherell side that was close to one my ancestors. Although there was a 16 year age difference, I’m glad that Arthur and Glenn knew each other and kept in touch as they did. I do plan on finding more about him as my research goes along. I found him quite interesting at the time I discovered him because I had yet to branch into the cousins to see more information. With that, I did start to look closer at the early 1900 censuses to see where the Witherell’s were. That’ll be a post for another time. :)

NOTES

1) Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, digital images (http://www.findagrave.com :  accessed 5 Nov 2013),  “gravestone for Arthur D. Witherell (1892-1972), Memorial No. 27656103, Records of the Oakwood Cemetery, Saginaw, Michigan.”

2) 1900 U.S. Census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Saginaw City Ward 14, SD 8, ED 70, sheet 2B, John Witherell, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry,com : accessed 5 Nov 2013); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 740.

3) 1900 U.S. Census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Saginaw City Ward 15, SD 8, ED 71, sheet 4A, Gard Witherell, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry,com : accessed 5 Nov 2013); citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 740.

4) 1910 U.S. Census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Saginaw City Ward 16, SD 8, ED 65, sheet 3A, ArthurWitherell, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry,com : accessed 5 Nov 2013); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 672.

5) Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, digital images (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 5 Nov 2013), “gravestone for Eleanor Elizabeth “Nellie” (Hall) Witherell (1874-1905), Memorial No. 27656295, Records of Oakwood Cemetery, Saginaw, Michigan.”

6) John Witherell obituary, Saginaw Courier Herald, Saginaw, Michigan, 11 July 1915, page 7.

7) Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., Ancestry.com, digital images (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 Nov 2013). Canada, Soldiers of the First World War, 1914-1918, Arthur Witherell, Record Group 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 4930 – 35, Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa.

8) Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., Ancestry.com, digital images (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 5 Nov 2013). Arthur Witherell, 25 Jun 1923, Michigan Passenger and Crew Lists, 1903-1965, NARA microfilm serial A3429, roll 8.

9) 1930 U.S. Census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Saginaw City Ward 3, SD 9, ED 73-29, sheet 17A, Arthur Witherell, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry,com : accessed 5 Nov 2013); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1021.

10) 1930 U.S. Census, Saginaw County, Michigan, population schedule, Saginaw City Ward 14, SD 9, ED 73-49, sheet 22A, Glenn Witherell, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry,com : accessed 5 Nov 2013); citing NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1022.

11) 1940 U.S. Census, Clallam County, Washington, population schedule, Port Angeles Ward 8, SD 2, ED 5-40, sheet 4B, Arthur Witherell, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry,com : accessed 5 Nov 2013); citing NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 4333.

12) Letter from Elinor (Witherell) McCullough to Joyann Cooper, 21 Aug 1972; held in 2013 by Nichelle Barra (address private). The letter discusses her brother, Arthur, who was gravely ill.

13) Find a Grave, Inc. Find a Grave, database, “Record, Arthur D. Witherell (1892-1972), Memorial No. 27656103.”

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One thought on “Tombstone Tuesday: Arthur Witherell

  1. Pingback: 52 Ancestors #15 David Witherell – A Disappearance Act | My People in History

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