My Grandfather's Family History as Written by Him
George Withey Engineer On Antler Branch
By M.E. Withey
Our Father's ancestors arrived in America on the ship Hopewell in 1635 and settled in New York State. There is very little information from 1600, 1700 and 1800’s. We find father’s parents had moved to Leamington, Ontario, Canada, where our father was born in 1861 to Orrin and (nee) Izabell McGregor, who was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. Shortly after father’s birth, the family moved to Genoa, Ohio and in 1865 moved to Friendship, Wisconsin, with a span of mules and a covered wagon. They farmed in that area and the deer population was so large that it was the duty to chase them out of the grain fields.
During father’s late teens he was employed by several railroads, namely CNW, Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad, Michigan Central and St P.MM as clerk and messenger in Detroit, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois. In 1883 he hired out to G.N. Railroad as fireman and due to reduction in forces, worked as an agent at Bartlett, North Dakota, and billing clerk at Great Falls, Montana. Late in 1888 he returned to Barnesville, Minnesota as a fireman and in 1892 was promoted to engineer and assigned to the Churches Ferry to St. john run.
In 1896 he married Mary Antoinette Pasonault, who was born in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada and at an early age moved to the Rolla-Cando area.
Son George C. was born in 1897 and Everett in March, 1902 at St. John, North Dakota. Father ran from St. John to Churches Ferry and eventually to Willow City which was the terminal for what was to be the Rugby-Antler branch.
We moved to Antler in 1904 or 1905 and lived in a home on the west side of town which was owned by Sarah and Robert Walton and today is resided in by Effie( Walton) Young and son Kenny. We had a home built a block west of the high school by Master Carpenter David Ogg. Being located so near the school, over the years hundreds of students and teachers visited our home. Mother always had some goodies for them as she was a marvelous cook and was dearly loved by all who knew her.
Brother George worked as a clerk for the G.N. Railroad and pumped water for the locomotives form Antler Creek. He was in the Army during the war and served in Leavenworth, Kansas also as an instructor in Buzzer School at Camp Meade, Maryland until the end of the war. On return he was agent and operator at several points. While in Deering, he married Alice Coram and form this union two sons and one daughter were born: Robert, now of Willow City. He served in the Army (Co. M 409th Infantry Regiment 103rd Infantry Division, Section Leader 81mm Mortar Platoon. He was in the 7th Army in France, Alps and Southern Germany.
Lloyd (Bud) now of Kalispel, served in the Air Corps during the war with the 385th Bomber Gn 549th Bomber Squadron stationed in Elmswell, England. He was a radio operator/gunner and made 42 missions over Germany, France, Holland and Belgium.
Helen (deceased) lost her husband Jack Bower in the war while stationed in Italy.
Everett attended first grade in 1908. His teacher was Ida Mae Hogan, who married Dick Bennett, pharmacist and drug store owner. Mrs. Bennett attended the reunion held at Antler in 1972. She was in excellent health and we enjoyed our visit with her.
Everett was employed by Great Northern Railroad in 1919 as a clerk and warehouseman at Berthold, North Dakota and served in the same capacity at several other points until 1923 when he worked for Oregon Washington Railroad until 1925. He returned to Antler as helper and in 1926 was rehired as agent telegrapher. (Mel Walton who was agent telegrapher at Antler for many years taught me station accounting and telegraphy.) Everett married in 1930 at New Rockford and has a son James of Carson City, Nevada and a daughter Mary Ann of Concord, California.
Sister Melba was born in 1910, later she attended Jamestown Teachers College, she taught school at various points. In 1938 Melba was married in St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Antler to John Trobec and to this union four daughters and one son were born. Three daughters: Patricia, Mary and Marsha and son John live in the immediate vicinity of St. Cloud, Minnesota, where their parents reside and one daughter, Sharon lives in Anaheim, California.
Brother Jerome was born in 1912 and graduated from Antler High School and attended the School of Forestry at Bottineau. From 1932 to 1940 he worked for American Timber Co., in Kalispel, Montana. In 1941 he went to the West Coast with Clint Howery and was inducted into the Army in 1942. He was discharged in 1944 and returned to Tacoma and worked for meat companies. He was married in Tacoma and has one daughter, Stephanie. He worked for Fox Lumber Co. at Freeland, Washington on Whidby Island as a truck driver and managed the lumber yard for three years. From 1973 to 1975 he worked for nephew Bud Withey of Kalispel in a health food store. He is now retired and living in Whitefish, Montana.
In conclusion, I am happy to have been raised in Antler, when you think of the conditions as they are today. In our little town there was no vandalism, robberies, starvation or petty jealousies. Everyone was your friend and in time of crisis united together to assist the unfortunate in any way possible.
(My grandfather then closes with: “If anyone is interested, we would be glad to hear from old friends".