Thurtell and Related Families
Notes for George WITHROW
Much of the information about George Withrow and the children of George
and Mary Thurtell Withrow was copied from World Family Tree, Volume 2,
Tree 2760, which was submitted by Francis E. Withrow, Jr. (Mike), plus
additional information received from Mike Withrow in 1998, including
additional information from his data base, the obituary of George
Withrow, and the 1926 "History of William Withrow" by Nellie Stanton.
The 1880 U.S. Census Soundex for Grant County, Wisconsin, in Volume 10,
ED 107, Sheet 9, Line 2, for Harrison Town, shows George Withrow as a
laborer age 32 born in Wisconsin. He is shown living with his wife, Mary
Withrow, age 30 born in Wisconsin; and their children Patty, age 9, born
in Iowa; Grace, age 7, born in Iowa; Bertha, age 5, born in Wisconsin,
and Anna, age 3, born in Wisconsin.
The 1901 Grant County, Wisconsin, Biographical Sketch Book, in the entry
for Daniel Stanton, shows that George Withrow, son of William and Martha
Withrow, was "now a miner of the Klondike, while his wife and four
children live in Chicago."
An index to Klondike "Placermining Applications, Volumes 2 and 3" on the
internet at http://www.gold-rush.org show both volumes list G. Withrow
with applications recorded in 1902-1903 (microfilm number 50348 14) and
recorded 1906-1907 (microfilm number 93632 18). He is not listed in the
index for the 1901 Census or in Polks Gazeteer 1903 Directory in the same
The July 24, 1926, "History of William Withrow" by Nellie Stanton with
"Facts Furnished by Her Mother, Edith Withrow Stanton" shows George
Withrow "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."
The death certificate for George Withrow shows he died May 31, 1916, at
1445 Fifth Avenue, Chicago Heights, Bloom Township, Cook County,
Illinois. It shows he was born February 18, 1847, in Wisconsin and was
69 years, 3 months, 13 days old at the time of his death. His occupation
was shown as a farmer. It shows he was married, but no information about
his wife or parents was provided. The informant was Dr. R. V. Spencer,
Chicago Heights, Illinois. It shows he had resided at this address one
month and previously resided in Kansas City, Missouri. The place of
burial or removal is shown as Plattville, Wisconsin. The causes of death
are hard to read but appear to be chronic myocarditis, arterio sclerosis,
and one other illegible condition.
The obituary appeared in a June 7, 1916, unknown newspaper from Grant
County, Wisconsin. It shows "George Withrow was a son of Martha and
William Withrow, pioneer settlers of Paris Township. Deceased was born in the town of Paris in this county, Feb. 18, 1848. He was one of a
family of ten children. Two brothers and two sisters survive him: Henry
Long of Platteville, Wis., Wesley Withrow of Hayward, Wis. Mrs. S. A.
Vannatta of Platteville and Mrs. Dan Stanton of Cornelia. The deceased
married Mary Catherine Thurtell, Feb. 21, 1870, in Jamestown, Grant Co.
Five children were born to them: Amy, a prominent teacher in the public
schols of Kansas City Missouri and Mary Belle, wife of Dr. R. V. Spencer,
of Chicago Heights, Ill. Annie, Grace and Bertha preceded their father in death. The widow, who resides at Kansas City owing to ill health was
unable to attend the funeral which was held at Cornelia church. He
passed away at the home of his daughter in Chicago Heights. Mr. Withrow
had journeyed far from the place of his birth throughout the west and in
the remote Alaskan and Canadian northwest. He was of the pioneer type,
dauntless of courageous spirit and had the temperament of the early
explorers who have led the way for the progress of civilization into the
untrodden places. He was a man of great energy and perseverance, a
devoted father and husband, and a large circle of friends will long
cherish his memory."
Records of Mt. Zion Cemetery, Cornelia, Grant County, Wisconsin, show
George Withrow, 1843 - 1916, is buried there, along with his daughter,
Annie A. Withrow, who had died January 20, 1888, at age 10 years, 2
months, 12 days. His parents are also buried in this cemetery.
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Susan T. Miller
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