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Old 05-20-2020, 08:07 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 1,671
Local history - I got lucky

I live in a suburb of Kansas City that was founded in 1867. I've lived here 20 years and became interested in the town's history when I started metal detecting a few years ago. After talking with some of the older locals and my neighbor, Grant, we started collecting stories and family histories but needed a place to organize it all. Grant and I started a local history website over the winter and kept researching people, families and land tracks when we had time.

Grant came across the name of a MLB catcher that played for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1920 and 1923. All I had was the name Frank Withrow, born in 1891 here in my small town of 3,000.

After scouring Ancestry.com and a great, subscription based site called Newspapers.com, I found the Withrow family moved to the small town of Tarkio, Missouri between 1900 and 1910. I found several family members buried in Tarkio and with little hope of finding a living family member to get more information from on Frank, I sent a Facebook message to the Tarkio chamber of commerce asking for help. Low and behold I was contacted a few days later with a name and phone number....to a son, Frank Withrow Jr. that was born in 1932 and still very much alive!

Frank Jr and I played phone tag a few times but we finally spoke last night. I asked him some information on his dad and gave him information I had found that he wasn't aware of. Frank Sr played in several minor league baseball teams in the US between 1913 and 1924 but Frank Jr didn't know the extent of his father's baseball career. I e-mailed Frank a picture of his dad I found from a 1915 newspaper article and he's having a picture of his late father sent to me. I am sending Frank copies from those old newspaper clippings that mention his dad. I could hear the excitement in Frank Jrs' voice that someone still showed interest in his dad who died in 1966. At the end of the conversation, I don't know who was more excited but sure glad I made a connection to my towns' past.

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Old 05-20-2020, 08:18 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: St. Joseph
Posts: 623
What a story! Talk about bringing dusty memories back to living color for the most important person on the face of the earth to want to know - his son. That's got to be one gratifying piece of investigative work for both you and his son. Cool story.


Jerry B.
"Stateboy" (Formerly "36fire412")
SW Lower Michigan
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:05 PM   #3
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Location: Newark, NY
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What a great endeavor, and to find it's touched lives in such a positive way. Very special!
Every day's a learning experience, though sometimes not what we expected.

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