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Arthur Prentiss of MA and CA

Arthur Prentiss of MA and CA
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Winter 1999 and Revised 17 Sep 2008

We are helping Barbara Vaughn of Bellingham, WA in tracing her Prentice roots. Her email of 2 Aug 2003 added new information to that which we previously had. Here is what we have so far.

1. Arthur Prentiss was born about the 1860s and is called by Barbara Vaughn a "native of Worcester, MA." Arthur was working for the railroad in Truckee at the time of the birth of his children. Barbara Vaughn email of 4 Aug 2003 relates that Arthur was in his 80's, visiting kin in Boston about Dec. 1942 or 1943, when he was run down by a car and died there. That would suggest a birth date for him of somewhere between 1853 and 1862.

Arthur married Nellie Berry or Nellie Lewellen. She was the sister of Ed Berry who also lived in Folsom (he was b. 29 Sep 1863, d. 18 Dec 1936 and is bur at the Catholic Church in Folsom); his second wive was Isabel/Izzy. Nellie died of TB and is buried at the Catholic Church in Folsom, CA. After her death, Arthur placed his children in the care of the Catholic Church orphanage in Grass Valley, Nevada Co., CA. Arthur did remarry, but the name of his 2nd wife is not known. (See Fn. 1) Children:

  1. Alice Prentiss, b. Aug 1889, CA (per 1900 Grass Valley census). She m., 1st, Mr. Morris who died in the 1918 Flu epidemic. Children:
    1. (son) Morris who died in the 1918 flu epidemic.
    2. Dorothy Morris.
    3. Dick Morris who married and had a daughter, Lark Morris
    Alice m., 2nd, George Walker. She lived in El Cerrito, Alameda Co., CA. She died in the 1960s.

  2. Ada Prentiss, b. Jul 1891, CA. Died of appendicitis 1904 and buried in the Catholic Church Cemetary in Folsom.

  3. Emma/Elizabeth Prentiss, b. 9 Jan 1894 and died May 1993 in Sunnyvale, California. She married Herman Thorndyke and lived in Oakland for most of their married years. They had 3 daughters:
    1. Frances Thorndyke who m. Frank Teal and they had no children. She lived in Carmel and died before 1999.
    2. Ellen Thorndyke who m. Bill Harvey and lives in Sunnyvale, CA. Children:
      1. Sarah Harvey. Married. No children.
      2. Ned Harvey.
      3. Mike Harvey who m. married Dawn and had two daughters.
      4. Terry Harvey who m. Theresa and had two daughters.
    3. Alberta Thorndyke who m. Mr. Vroman and lives in Beaverton, OR.
  4. James Arthur Prentiss, b. 9 Mar 1895 and d. 22 Feb 1986. . . . . . . .[2]
  5. Thomas Prentiss. The 1900 Grass Valley, CA census says he was b. Aug 1895, CA, but that date may be an error. He may have 2 sons. He was "a traveling man and used to ride the rods." Thomas may have died in an "Old Soldiers' Home" at an unknown location.

  6. Spencer Prentiss. The date of his birth is unknown. He drowned at age 2, perhaps in Truckee.

2. James Arthur Prentiss, b. 9 Mar 1895 and d. 22 Feb 1986 (per headstone) in National City. He married in 1918 Josephine Elizabeth E. Knapp of Littleton, Colorado. She was b. 26 Nov 1903 and d. 24 Nov 1965 (per headstone). James worked at the Southern Pacific yards in Roseville in the teens of 1900. He met Josephine in a boarding house where my great his mother washed clothes. He was later a police officer in Oakland, Alameda Co., CA. James and Josephine are buried at the Catholic Church cemetery in Folsom. Children:

  1. Norma Leonta Prentiss, b. 1920, Alameda, CA. (Vaughan, Monroe, Montgomery) She m. Arthur Lamar Vaughan, Mississippi. Children:
    1. Barbara Valarie Vaughn, b. 1941. Barbara had 3 children, born in New Mexico.
    2. Wayne Arthur Vaughn, b. 1922 and d. 1973, Pueblo, CO. No children.
  2. Roy Arthur Prentiss, b. 26 Aug 1922 and d. 15 May 1983 (per headstone). He married Ardyce Blowers. Ardyce later m., 2nd, Joe Dantzman and lived in Montrose, CO. Roy served in he US Navy during WW II and is buried at the Catholic Church cemetery in Folsom. Children:
    1. Thomas Prentiss. He later assumed the surname, Dantzman. Thomas had 3 children.
    2. Roy Prentiss.
    3. Judy Prentiss.
    4. Valerie Prentiss.
    5. Adria Prentiss.
  3. Ada Barbara Prentiss, stillborn in 1932.
  4. Edward Carlton Prentiss b. 1935, Oakland, CA. Edward m., 1st, Dolores Wigley. Son:
    1. James Prentiss born 1949. He had a son and daughter. The oldest is 13 and they live in Sacramento.
    Edward m., 2nd, Mary Kirk. Son:
    1. Kirk Prentiss born 1955 in Grass Valley, CA.

Who are Arthur Prentiss' Parents?

Based on the statement by Barbara Vaughn that Arthur is a "native of Worcester, MA", his age at death, and also the name of one of Arthur's sons, there seems a good possibility that Arthur is the Arthur Prentiss, b. 23 Aug 1860, son of Spencer Prentiss who is #106/130 in our database. He was living at home with his parents in the 1880 Hubbardston, MA, census.

We do note that Arthur named one of his sons, "Spencer Prentiss." That is a sufficiently unusual first name and seems to corroborate the possibility that Arthur is the son of the above Spencer Prentiss.

Fn. 1: Arthur Prentiss and his second wife may be the Arthur H. Prentiss, b. c. 1860-61 in MA, and wife, Maria L., b. c. 1854, Sweden, shown in the 1920 Oakland census. If so, Arthur H. Prentiss is likely 106/130ix in our PRENTICE book who was b. 23 Aug 1860.

Correspondence:   If you have any information about the folks mentioned in this article, please send your information to us at the Prentice Newsletter. Be sure to give the full title and date of this article in the Subject line of the email.

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