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William C. Pritchard


Posted By: Deborah Gilbert (email)
Date: 9/9/2016 at 14:15:36

Maxwell Book: 1883-1983

William C. Pritchard was born August 27, 1841, the son of Thomas and Mary Evans Pritchard at Bryn Cohr Farm near New Bridge on Wye, Wales, with five brothers and sisters.

He arrived in this country in 1869 at New York City, later arriving by train in Mitchellville and walking with his steamer trunk to Peoria City. He bought his first land in 1870, 80 acres, which is still part of the Bryn Mawr stock farm. This farm had a log cabin which sat where the current house is located. On July 8, 1876 he married Mary Etta Watkins, whose family came from New York state and lived across the road from Mr. Pritchard's farm.

From the Maxwell Tribune of September 28, 1893: William C. Pritchard lives three and a half miles east of Maxwell, owning 200 acres in Collins Township and 160 acres in Indian Creek. He has 60 acres of oats, 120 acres of corn, 160 acres in tame hay and the remainder in pasture. His stock comprises 100 head of hogs, 11 horses, and 40 head of cattle. Mr. Pritchard was born in Wales, coming to Iowa in 1869. He has been a very successful farmer. He offers a fine team for sale. Mr. Pritchard has been a faithful subscriber for the Tribune since the days of its infancy.

William C. and Mary Etta Watkins Pritchard had seven children:

Jessie, born 1877, died in infancy.

Alva Thomas, born 1878, remained a bachelor and spent most of his life in and around Maxwell. He died in 1954.

Roscoe Reece, born 1881, grew up on the family farm and graduated from the Collins High School in 1899, after which he attended Des Moines University. He farmed near Maxwell for many years. In later years he moved into Maxwell and in 1944 moved to Nevada, Iowa. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Maxwell. He married Elsie H. Berns in 1923. They had one daughter Gloria who married Chester Bills. Their children are Judith Marie, Sharon Sue and Craig Alvin.

Marmion Orpheus, born 1889, married Mary Steensma. Their children are Juanita Lucille and Marie Edith. He later married Mildred Denniston. He died in 1962.

William Watkins W. was born in 1893 and died in 1971. He married Rose Tessman and they had one son, Russell Williams. He later married Kathryn Taft.

Edythe Elizabeth, born 1883, remained single and lived in Maxwell caring for her mother Mary Etta until her death. She was an active member of the Methodist Church and the local ladies groups. Edythe died in 1964.

Flavius George, born 1885, graduated from Collins Normal School in 1902. He attended College briefly at Highland Park College in Des Moines and taught country school at the old Mt. Olive School in Collins Township. In 1911 he married Sadie Mabel Hand, daughter of William and Rose Hand of Collins. They lived northeast of Collins, from there moved to the Farrar area, and then to Bryn Mawr farm east of Maxwell in 1928. Their ten children are Beatrice Fern 'Betty' born in 1911 and married Andrew Boot; Arlene June 'Joan' born in 1914 and married Wilbur Lundholm; Virginia Ruth born in 1916 and married Frank Lough and later Murl Sutton; Rose Etta born in 1918 and married Frank Baird; twin sons William John and Robert George born in 1920 and both died in infancy; Katherine born in 1922 and married Orval Hokel; Ila Mae "Jeri' born in 1924 and married Jim Freeman; William Flavius born in 1928 and married Carol Irene Robertson; Lois Anita born in 1929 married Tom Breuklander.

Bryn Mawr farm established by W. C. Pritchard in 1870 is one of Iowa's Century Farms and is still in the Pritchard family. Upon the death of W. C. Pritchard it was inherited by his daughter Edythe, and purchased from her by Flavius G. Pritchard in 1947. Upon the death of Flavius G. Pritchard in 1968 it was inherited by his seven daughters and one son. It was purchased by William P. Pritchard from his sisters in 1973 and he is still the current owner.


Story Biographies maintained by Mark Christian.
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