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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

ERVIN WITHEY. - Ervin Withey, the fourth child of William H. Withey, was born in Springfield, at the corner of Monroe and Twelfth streets, on the 13th of February, 1857, a son o f William H. and Lydia (Robinson) Withey. His mother came to this county with her parents in 1840, the family journeying westward overland in company with nine other families. Ervin Withey was educated in the Lincoln school and for two years was a student in a high school, putting aside his textbooks in 1874. He then secured a clerkship in the grocery store of Armstrong & Gillett, with whom he remained for two years. He afterward went into his father's shop and learned the trade of carriage painting, being thus employed until 1896, at which time he embarked in the grocery business on Eighth street, conducting this store for two years. Prior to this time he and his wife made a trip to England, and it was upon their return that he established his grocery business. On disposing of this he enjoyed a period of rest for a time and then accepted his present position as foreman of the paint department with the Sattley Manufacturing Company. He is well qualified for the important duties which devolve upon him, owing to his thorough mastery of the business in which as a young tradesman he embarked.

On the 3d of October, 1887, Mr. Withey was united in marriage to Miss Alice King, a daughter of James and Caroline King. Her father was born in Sheffield, York, England, and came to Springfield when twenty-one years of age. Here he entered into partnership in a foundry and machine shop as a member of the firm of King, Berriman & Rippon, which relation was maintained until 1850, at which time Mr. Withey withdrew and went into the Wabash Railroad shops as master mechanic, occupying that position for twenty-four consecutive years, from 1850 until 1874. After leaving the shops he was superintendent of a coal shaft and he also erected the Eastern Hotel in this city. In 1877 he took his family to England and was for some time engaged in business with his brother, living in his native land until April, 1886. He then returned to this country, and he purchased the old Henning place, where Christ's church is now located. Subsequently Mr. Withey removed the house to its present location. Both Mr. and Mrs. king died at the old home, at the corner of Fifth and Allen streets, which he built at the time of his marriage. He was a well educated man and came from well-to-do families of England. The Kings are a long lived race and through many years representatives of the name have been connected with the provision business in England, enjoying an extensive trade. Mr. King, the father of Mrs. Withey, was a member of the Masonic fraternity and a man of genuine worth, respected by all with whom he was associated. In 1850 he married Caroline Withey and they became the parents of nine children, but only four are now living: William J., a machinist at the watch factory; Alice, who was born March 19, 1861, and is the wife of Ervin Withey; Herbert T., who is employed by the Register Printing Company; and Emma C., the wife of Harry Hinch, who is employed by the Register Company. One son of this family, Lewis George, died in May, 1901, in Nottingham, England, where he was engaged in the provision business with his uncle, Another son, Edwin, died at the age of fifteen years, and the others departed this life in infancy. All of the children of the King family were born in Springfield and educated in the public schools here. Mr. King was devoted to the welfare of his wife and children and held friendship inviolable. All who knew him recognized his many sterling traits of character and entertained for him warm regard.

Unto Mr. and Mrs. Ervin Withey have been born four children; Alice, born August 1, 1888; Ervin, born July 23, 1891; Nellie Irene, who was born September 2, 1893 and died December 26, 1895; and Mabel Jannette, born September 20, 1898. Since 1888 the parents have resided at their present home at No. 830 South Eighth street.

Mr. Withey is a member of the Sangamon Lodge, No. 6, I.O.O.F., in which he has passed all of the chairs, and he and his wife hold membership relations with Lilla Lodge, No. 63, D.R. He is also connected with Capital Camp, No. 333, M.W.A., with the Court of Honor, No. 25, and Royal Circle, No. 1. Having spent his entire life in this city, he has a wide acquaintance and is popular with his many friends. In business he is known for his capability and trustworthiness, and is today one of the valued representatives of the Sattley Manufacturing Company.

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