William Tennis

William Tennis
b. 30 September 1832, Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, to Samuel S. and Jane (Crow) Tennis
d. 14 March 1914, Kingfisher County, Oklahoma

m. 5 September 1878, Forest City, Iowa
Laura C. Westbury
b. 6 July 1860, Forest City, Iowa
d. 15 May 1937, Kingfisher County, Oklahoma

Children with Laura C. Westbury:

  • Lloyd A.
  • Lillie E.
  • Jennie
  • Sam
  • Bertha
  • Mabel
  • Everett
  • Nora
  • Angie

William was the first settler in Norway Township, Winnebago County, Iowa, in 1856. He spent four years, 1860-1864, in Colorado with two partners mining for silver and gold. They were isolated from the world and lived off the land. Arriving in Denver, Colorado, still a tent city, to record and claim their mine in 1864, they discovered that there had been a Civil War but that it was now just over.

William lost the Humboldt silver mine, the largest silver mine in Colorado, when papers were destroyed in a house fire in Forest City, Iowa, in 1892. He and his family then migrated to Kingfisher, Oklahoma, where he again homesteaded during the Oklahoma Land Rush. He never had the chance to return to Denver, Colorado, to renew the burned papers showing his one-third ownership in the Humboldt mine due to his large family of seven children by 1893.

Laura (Westbury) Tennis was a fourth cousin to Gene Stratton, the original “Tom Thumb”. She was the midwife for at least six of her grandchildren. After William’s death in 1914, she made her home with one of her sons.

Submitted by:
Glen R. Tennis
San Angelo TX

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