Sunday, March 10, 2013

Dr. William Marion Withers, M.D. (1829-1887)

Dr. William Marion Withers, M.D. (1829-1887)

The Richmond Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia)
1 February 1887

Death of Dr. Withers

Dr. William M. Withers died at his residence, at the northwest corner of First and Cary streets, at 3 P. M. yesterday, in the fifty-eighth year of his age. He had been sick for a week and under medical treatment, but it was not until Sunday that serious apprehensions were aroused. His disease was probably peritonitis.

The deceased was born in Caswell county, North Carolina, and was prepared for the practice of medicine at a college in New York. He married Miss Lee, of Campbell, and settled in that county for the pursuit of his profession, in which he was very successful. He possessed high qualifications; was a man of very pleasing manners, and was kind and helpful to those with whom he came in contact. He, however, gave up his chosen profession, and accepted the general agency of the North American Insurance Company, for which he secured an immense amount of business, and which afforded him a rich income until the panic of 1873. He was also for some years a member of the firm of Wilkinson & Withers, who did an extensive clothing business in Stearns's Block. Later on he was engaged in a number of enterprises, among others in the sale of a disinfectant, which was meeting with considerable success.

Seventeen or eighteen years ago Dr. Withers connected himself with Dr. Hoge's church, and was most regular in attendance upon divine worship, and very devoted to church work. He was known to nearly everybody in that congregation, as well as to hundreds of others in the city and county. His affable manners made him a great favorite everywhere, and his friendships were very strong and true.

The Doctor was in the Supreme Court-room at the Capitol when the memorable disaster of April 27, 1870, occurred. He was standing about the middle of the room, when, noticing how densely the room was crowded, he said to a friend: "I am afraid there is too much weight on the floor; I am going to stand aside." He immediately walked over to the fireplace and stood on the hearth. Soon afterwards the floor sank and he was able to save himself by clinging to the mantelpiece.

His wife survives him and with her four children of the union -- viz., Mrs. C. P. Montague, of Baltimore; Mrs. Polk Miller, Mrs. Percy Montague, and Miss Fannie Withers, of Richmond. He has two brothers living -- Colonel E. Benton Withers, a prominent lawyer, of Danville, and Mr. D. L. Withers, of Wentworth, N.C.

His funeral will take place from Dr. Hoge's church tomorrow at an hour to be hereafter announced, and he will be buried in Hollywood.

The Virginia Capitol Disaster: On April 27, 1870, during arguments before the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals about a hotly disputed Richmond mayoral election, the balcony of the third-floor courtroom of the Capitol building collapsed. The floor of the courtroom crashed into the chamber of the House of Delegates one floor below. More than 60 persons died in what came to be known as the Capitol Disaster. Despite some calls to raze and replace the damaged Capitol, the legislators approved funds and repaired the building.

1850 United States Federal Census
Name: William M Withers
Age: 20
Birth Year: abt 1830
Birthplace: Caswell
Home in 1850: Caswell, North Carolina
Gender: Male
Family Number: 1298
Household Members: Name Age
Elizah K Withers 46
Nancy B Withers 46
Susan Withers 22
William M Withers 20
Jane Withers 18
Catherine Withers 15
Elijah B Withers 13
Nancy B Withers 10
Cornelia A Withers 7
David L Withers 2

1860 United States Federal Census
Name: Wm M Withers
Age in 1860: 31
Birth Year: abt 1829
Birthplace: North Carolina
Home in 1860: Western District, Campbell, Virginia
Gender: Male
Post Office: Castle Craig
Household Members: Name Age
Wm M Withers 31
Francis E Withers 23
Ward L Withers 7
L L Withers 5
Inez Withers 2

1870 United States Federal Census
Name: William Withers
Age in 1870: 41
Birth Year: abt 1829
Birthplace: North Carolina
Home in 1870: Richmond Monroe Ward, Henrico, Virginia
Race: White
Gender: Male
Post Office: Richmond
Household Members: Name Age
William Withers 41
Frances Withers 33
M Lee Withers 17
Lilia Withers 15
Agnes Withers 13
James Withers 3

1880 United States Federal Census
Name: Wm. M. Withers
Age: 50
Birth Year: abt 1830
Birthplace: Virginia
Home in 1880: Richmond, Henrico, Virginia
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Self (Head)
Marital Status: Married
Spouse's Name: Fany B. Withers
Father's Birthplace: Virginia
Mother's Birthplace: Virginia
Occupation: Physician
Household Members: Name Age
Wm. M. Withers 50
Fany B. Withers 42
Ineze Withers 22
Fany W. Withers 12
Lotty Smith 14

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