jnwithey on Family Tree Circles
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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 1800âs. We find fatherâs 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 fatherâs 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 fatherâs 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. Maryâs 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: âIf anyone is interested, we would be glad to hear from old friends".
While searching I found Orrin's wife, Isabella and several of their adult children in Detroit from 1862 to 1880 in the city directory. Isabella is listed: Isabella Withey (wid. Orrin A.) which means he must have passed away after the 1870 Census for Wisconsin,Adams County, Dell Prairie. The thing I don't know is where and when? Was it in Wisconsin or Detroit?
Their eldest son William L. was employed in Detroit as first a cutter and later a foreman with H P Baldwin a shoemaker factory. William was also listed as a foreman with the Stephen F., and Co.
George A. was a clerk with the Michigan Central Railroad.
Stephen H. Withey was a carpenter.
George and Stephen would later serve long careers with Great Northern Railway. See entries
George Alexander Withey was born in Canada 29 May 1861. Geo. A. died 22 September 1946 and is buried near his brother Stephen H. in Crookston, Minnesota.
George married Mary (Marie) Antoinette Pasonault (Pinsonnault) also born in Canada in 1877 (St. Johns,New Brunswick, Canada).She came to the U.S. at 5 mos. of age.
George and Mary had four children:
Melvel Everett born March 31, 1902 in St.John, North Dakota.
Melba Evelyn born in 1910 North Dakota.
George C. born in 1897.
Jerome born in North Dakota 1912.
George A. was an engineer with many railroads, but started out as a clerk for the Michigan Central Railroad. He worked the: CNW, Grand Rapids & Indiana RR, St. Paul MM, Great Northern RR and was the first Engineer on the Antler branch.
I was able through online sources to find out info through a research fee(very fair) for Orrin Withey.
An obituary was photo copied and sent to me about his death date in 1908. The newspaper feature is full of inaccuracies but I feel there is enough to consider it.
This information is incompatible with known info so I hope it will help someone looking for this Oren.
Steve was an interesting fellow, born in 1856 in Canada he was a very well liked man who worked for the Great Northern Railroad for 50 years and 6 months as a conductor promoting later to Trainmaster. He married (unknown) and had a daughter named Ruby who married a man named George W. Gonyea (Gon-Yay).
George Alexander was a train engineer for many railroads, chiefly Great Northern Railroad. He was the first engineer for the line in Antler, North Dakota.
Brothers George A. and Steve are buried in Crookston, Minnesota in Polk County.
Both George A. and his son George C. were were noted ornithologists and collected rare eggs, some of which are in the Smithsonian.
I am trying to find my great,great grandfather Orrin A. Withey whom I think came to America through New York, but I have no evidence of this. He is the great anchor point in going back further.
Orrin was born March 23, 1824 and he married "Eisabella" McGregor from Edinburgh,Scotland.
They had seven children:
Franklin S. 1851
George A. 1860- (He is the other anchor point as he had a son Melvel Everett who in turn had a son, my dad James Jerome.)
On my grandmother's side (Claire) are the Norwegians of the Odegard family and are well documented.
This is a photo of George A. Withey with my father James Jerome and his sister Mary Ann.
I have more family info to share in the next journal.
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