Fitch Family in 1903

nbhips 13538).”]A. L. Fitch home 1903
A. L. Fitch home, Watertown, Nebraska, 1903 (Photo by Solomon D. Butcher, Nebraska State Historical Society, nbhips 13538).

The home of my great great grandfather Alva Levi Fitch in 1903 (Photo by Solomon D. Butcher).

Detail from Fitch photo
Detail from Fitch photo (Photo by Solomon D. Butcher, Nebraska State Historical Society, nbhips 13538).

Alva and his second wife (my step gg grandmother) Alice are on the left. The two in the middle are probably their children and the two on the right, children from Alva’s first marriage (research ongoing).

Alva Levi Fitch was born in Warren, Ohio in 1838. On September 10, 1861, he enlisted in the 14th Independent Battery Ohio Light Artillery (his brother George Fitch joined the 31st Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment). The 14th Battery was at Shiloh and the Siege of Corinth in 1862 then moved to Lynnville, Tennessee in 1863. In January of 1864, Alva reinlisted as a volunteer before the Atlanta Campaign and the Franklin-Nashville Campaign. The Battery was transferred to the Department of the Gulf in 1865 and mustered out August 11. Between February and April of 1865, the Battery was in New Orleans, which would put my gg grandfather Fitch of the 14th Ohio Battery and my gg grandfather Murray of the Mississippi Marine Brigade at nearly the same place in early 1865.

Alva married Emily June Edney in 1864 and they moved to Buffalo County Nebraska around 1870 after the birth of William Tecumseh Fitch in 1866. The Fitch farm was in Watertown, which existed to provide water to steam locomotives and disappeared in the 1920s after the age of steam (and after the Fitch home was struck by lightning and burned to the ground). Among his endeavors, Alva was postmaster, grain elevator operator, brickmaker, realtor, merchant, and Socialist candidate for Nebraska state senator.

Emily died in 1888 and Alva married Alice M. King, widow of Joshua R. King from Somerset, Maine who died in 1884. Joshua was also a Civil War veteran having served in the 10th Maine Infantry. He was discharged during the Battle of Chancellorsville, perhaps due to a severe wound. I don’t know whether Joshua King is related to my great grandfather Claude Eugene King who married Alva’s grand daughter Thelma.

Alvi Levi Fitch died in 1928 at age 89 and is buried in the Kearney Cemetery.

W. T. Fitch

W. T. Fitch and Family
William Tecumseh Fitch, his daughter Garnet and wife Eva Springer (from The Northern Crown, December 1904)

William Tecumseh Fitch was born in Trumbull County Ohio in 1866 and died in Oakland, California in 1932. His sister Jennie was my great grandmother and his father was Alva Levi Fitch (my great great grandfather) a Civil War veteran who served in the 14th Ohio Battery of light artillery in the Army of the Tennessee. William got his middle name from his father’s commanding general; I got mine from my great grandfather Claude King, Jennie’s husband. To my grandmother, W. T. Fitch was “Uncle B” (he was also uncle to Alva Revista Fitch).

W. T. Fitch moved West to Fort Bragg, California in the 1890s and was a photographer. In addition to studio portraits, he photographed Mendicino County landscapes and the lumber industry. His photographs and essays appeared in The Northern Crown magazine and he advertised as “Fitch, The Photo Man.”

W. T. Fitch - Redwood Loggers at Pudding Creek
Photo by W. T. Fitch of Redwood Loggers at Pudding Creek, Mendocino County, California (from Memoirs of the University of California, Volume 2, 1910).