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Record 192/261
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Admin/Biog History Thomas Boting Petford Sr. was born circa 1790 in Worcestor, England. He served in the British Military circa 1815. He married Mary Lowesmore and they had at least five children; Thomas Jr., John, Henry (Harry), Mary Ann, and Elizabeth. The family immigrated to the United States through the port of New York in 1845. They sent Tom Jr. ahead while Tom Sr. and part of the family followed to Wisconsin Territory in 1846. They came to Milwaukee and then to Butte des Morts. Thomas Sr. died in Butte des Morts on Friday October 25, 1850 from stomach ulcers complicated by severe drinking. His wife Mary died July 7, 1876 at the age of 74 and is burried in Plummer Cemetery. No trace of Thomas Sr.'s grave can be found. His son mentions in a letter that he was to be burried in Oshkosh, but the earlier burrials were moved to Riverside Cemetery, which has no records of his grave. He is not burried in the family plot.
Thomas B. Petford Jr. was born in Worcestor, England in 1825. He imigrated to the United States with his wife Anna, father (Thomas Boting Petford Sr.), his mother Mary Lowesmore Petford, siblings; John, Henry (Harry), Mary Ann, and Elizabeth Jenkins and her husband John, in 1845. They came through the port of New York and Thomas Jr. went ahead of the family to Milwaukee, Wisconsin Territory and 114 miles beyond. His parents, brother John, and sister Mary Ann soon followed in 1846. He first clerked for Augustin Grignon at his trading post on the Fox River, 1 1/2 miles north-east of the present site of Omro. In 1855 he leased the Grignon Hotel in Butte des Morts until he built the Petford Hotel in 1859. His wife's name was Anna, born in May 2, 1825 in Worcestor and died May 8, 1896. They had two children, Thomas B. Petford III and Mrs. Ole Oleson. Thomas Jr. was also a Justice of the Peace in Butte des Morts for many years. He died on April 27, 1908 from dropsey and complications from old age in Oshkosh and is burried in the family plot at Plummer Cemetery.
Classification Archives
Collection Petford Collection
Dates of Accumulation October 1847
Abstract Letter to Henry Petford in Buffalo, New York from Thomas B. Petford, Jr. in Butte des Morts, announcing the death of their father, Thomas B. Petford, Sr. They had all come from England together, but most of the Petfords had continued on to Wisconsin Territory.

Mr. Henry Petford
State of New York

Butte des Morts Oct. 26/1850

Dear Brother

I have the painful task to inform you of the Death of our father. About 4 months ago he had a swelling of his feet. A short time after he had a substance on the left side of his heart. That broke and he felt some relieved. We had doctors to see him and got the best advice for him we could and every care of him we could. The doctor helped him some and enabled him to live a little longer than he could without their assistance and alleviated his pain some. They said it was utterly impossible for anyone to cure him. His stomach was burnt out by drinking so much. His complaint was something the same as it was in Milwaukee, only his insides were more gone by hard drinking. We kept it from him as much as we could, but it was to no purpose. The last 2 or 3 weeks of his life he could not drink any. He died Friday morning Oct. 25 about past 1 o'clock. Death struck him about 9 o'clock the night before. He was sensible to the last and went off quiet without the least struggle. He got off the bed and sat on the side of the bed and died there in that posture in about 15 minutes. He has been a great sufferer. He will be buried on Monday next the 28th in the graveyard at Oshkosh. Father made his will at Butte des Morts. Hamilton made and had some neighbors to witness it. John nor me do not know what is in it. I was gone to Neenah Mill the day he made it. It was sealed up then. It has not been opened yet, but I think it is all of us share alike. I should have wrote to you sooner, but we did not think he would have died so soon and it would hinder your time and putting you in expense and trouble. John has been at work up the Fox River at a place called Omro. He came back on the Sunday before he died and staid at home since. My wife and the two Johns join me in kind love to you.

I remain Your
Affectionate Brother
Thos. B. Petford [Jr.]
Category 8: Communication Artifact
Object ID RG10.13
Object Name Letter
People Petford, Thomas B., Sr.
Petford, Thomas B., Jr.
Petford, Henry
Subjects Immigrants
Emigration & immigration
Westward movement
Alcoholic beverages
Death & burial
Title Letter
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009