Family:John Spriggs and Charlotte Westby (1)

Facts and Events
Marriage[1] 19 Aug 1898 Spokane, Spokane, Washington, United States

I do not remember my Grandfather Spriggs because he died before I was born. My brother was 6 years old and my sister was 3 years old when our grandfather died. He was a farmer in South Dakota for most of his life. He was born in Iowa and his father was born in England,(having come to the United States when he was 8 years old with his family). Grandpa Spriggs grew up in an English-Irish community in Iowa. He apparently grow up learning how to fight and "hold his own" with the other kids in school. He never ran from a fight. His name was John William but everyone called him Willie. He left Iowa and went to Washington state for a short time when he was about 26 years old. Then to North Dakota and South Dakota. He bought land near Iroquois, South Dakota, and farmed there the rest of his life until he died in 1934 at the age of 62. My dad remembered his dad sitting in a chair many nights trying to sleep because of his asthma. Even despite his asthma he continued to farm because that was his way to earn a living. He died young probably because of a heart affected by asthma. He was about 5' 8" and had red hair. The three children, Spencer, Lillian, and Leonard, inherited the land and only Spencer stayed to farm the land until he died at age 99.

My grandmother, Charlotte Marie Westby was born in Norway in 1876. She came to the United States with her older sister, Emma, and her mother, Maren, when she was 2 years old. Her father, Ole, had come the year before to earn money to send for his family. So my great grandmother, Maren, came by ship with two children, ages 4 and 2. They settled in Iowa and farmed. Some of Maren's brothers eventually came to Iowa. As my grandmother grew up, she refused to speak Norwegian because she was an "American" now. I know nothing of my grandmother's growing up years. She met my grandfather, William Spriggs in Iowa. He left in the early summer of 1898 and went to Washington state and a month later, she followed him to Washington. They were married there in Aug 1898, although she wrote in the family Bible that their marriage was in Aug 1897. They went to North Dakota to live with her sister, Emma, until the first child was born 2 months later in Nov 1898. They stayed there for awhile and then went to South Dakota. My grandmother always wore her hair in abraid around her head. When she finally was unable to stay by herself on the farm, she moved into town. I remember that she would not use the hot water heater because she was afraid it would blow up. She continued to heat her water on the stove as she had done all her life.

My grandmother's sister, Emma, was 2 years older than Charlotte. The rwo sisters, Emma and Charlotte, married two brothers, William and Fred Spriggs. Emma and Fred farmed in North Dakota. When William and Charlotte got married in Washington state, they came to live with Emma and Fred until my Dad, Spencer was born. A few years later William and Charlotte went to South Dakota to farm. I never knew my Grandfather Spriggs because he died before I was born. My older brother and sister remember him a little.

Charlotte's sister Emma and her husband Fred continued to farm in Maddoxk, North Dakota. I remember hearing one story about Emma. They had a hired farm worker who was from Germany. Henry Viets was 26 years old when Emma who was 45 years old, left Fred and ran off with Henry. I don't know if Emma and Fred ever divorced. Emma and Henry had a child that year and then the next year Emma came back to Maddock and raised all her children together. Although Fred never lived with her again.

  1. Certificate of Marriage - State of Washington.