Squire Bill Widener
Squire Bill Widener
When this question of the identity of Squire Bill Widener had come up earlier on this list, I did some Internet research on the subject. I did find some information, mostly on genealogy websites. The information I found is mostly just basic genealogical information (with, obviously, no guarantee as to its accuracy) and gives no information as to how Squire Bill would have become known to TR. But I will copy what I found when I did this research last year, with the links to the web sites the information came from at the time. If anyone wants to pursue this matter further, they may want to look for the book cited (see #4 below) or try to contact the people who created the web sites. But, given that the name, nickname, and location of residence match what we know from TR's autobiography, and the birth and death dates identify William Meek Widener as a contemporary of TR, one thing that we can probably conclude is that Squire Bill Widener was not a figure in fiction but a real person TR knew or knew of.
Wm. Meek Widener was called "Squire Bill" from having served as "Squire" or Justice of the Peace. He was also known as "Thummy Bill", because of his enormous thumbs.
2. From http://www.gendex.com/users/bobspu/spurgeon/d0019/g0000049.html:
William Meek Widener
1 Feb 1840 - 8 Sep 1920
- BIRTH: 1 Feb 1840, Washington County, Virginia
- DEATH: 8 Sep 1920, Widener's Valley, Washington County, Virginia
- BAPTISM: Widener's Valley, Washington County, Virginia
- ADOPTION: Widener's Valley, Washington County, Virginia
Father: Phillip Widener <../d0039/g0000021.html>
Mother: Winnie Meek <../d0038/g0000050.html>
Family 1 : Mary Catherine Virginia Wills <../d0022/g0000059.html>
- MARRIAGE: 25 Nov 1869, Widener's Valley, Washington County, Virginia
+Newton Fitzhugh Widener <../d0023/g0000059.html>
Frances H. Widener <../d0024/g0000059.html>
Sophia Winnie Widener <../d0025/g0000059.html>
Willie Virginia Widener <../d0026/g0000059.html>
Alberta Jane Widener <../d0027/g0000059.html>
3. From http://www.claynet.com/athomas/widener/pafg13.htm:
194. William Meek WIDENER <pafg04.htm> 1 <pafc13.htm> (Phillip <pafg04.htm> , John Thaddeus <pafg02.htm> , Johann "John" <pafg01.htm> ) was born 1 Feb 1840 in Widener's Valley, Washington, VA, US. He died 8 Sep 1920 in Widener's Valley, Washington, VA, US and was buried in Rush Creek Primi, Washington, VA, US.
William married Mary Catherine Virginia WILLS on 25 Nov 1869 in , Washington, VA, US. Mary died 16 Mar 1924 in Widener's Valley, Washington, VA, US.
They had the following children:
+ 794 M i Newton Fitzhugh WIDENER <pafg35.htm> was born 5 Oct 1870 and died 26 Feb 1937.
795 F ii Frances H WIDENER was born 11 Feb 1875 in Widener's Valley, Washington, VA, US. She died 10 Oct 1920 in Widener's Valley, Washington, VA, US.
796 F iii Sophia Winnie WIDENER was born 6 Jul 1878 in Widener's Valley, Washington, VA, US. She died 15 Jun 1946 in Widener's Valley, Washington, VA, US.
797 F iv Willie Virginia WIDENER was born 1 Jul 1881 in Widener's Valley, Washington, VA, US. She died 7 Nov 1951 in Widener's Valley, Washington, VA, US.
+ 798 F v Alberta Jane WIDENER <pafg35.htm> was born 9 Dec 1885 and died 17 Dec 1970.
4. From http://www.claynet.com/athomas/widener/pafc101.htm#128499C1 [This might not be the correct William Widener, but the cited book might still be useful for learning about our William Widener.]:
5400. William WIDENER <pafg101.htm>
1Shirley Widener Crump, Widener Family of Widener's Valley: Descendants of John Widener and Mary Rouse.
American Institutes for Research
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