Wister, William Rotch, 20th PA Cavalry, Lt. Colonel, MOLLUS 11945:
Obituary, Wednesday, August 23, 1911: "The Philadelphia Press"
William Rotch Wister, one of the founders of the Germantown Cricket Club and considered the father of the game in this country, died Monday night at his summer home at Saunderstown, R. I. Mr. Wister had been in ill health for several months and six weeks ago he went to Saunderstown to recuperate. The announcement of his death reached his office by telegram yesterday morning.
Mr. Wister lived at Clarkson and Wister Streets, Germantown. He was one the most prominent residents of Philadelphia, as well as the second oldest member of the Philadelphia bar, and the oldest living alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania, from which he held the degree of master of arts. He was graduated in the class of 1845.
The telegram received at Mr. Wister's office, 503 Chestnut Street, stated that the family of Mr. Wister would arrive in this city to-day, accompanying the body. It is expected that the funeral will take place either tomorrow or Friday.
Mr. Wister was a member of the old Germantown family of that name, being a son of William Wister and Sarah Logan Fisher, who was also of a well known family. He was born the on the Wister estate, Germantown, on December 7, 1827. After receiving his primary education, he studied law at the University of Pennsylvania.
Fought In Civil War.
At the outbreak of the Civil War he followed in the footsteps of his ancestors and went to the front as lieutenant colonel of the Twentieth Pennsylvania Cavalry, where he won distinction as a formidable foe to the Confederacy. At the close of the war he resigned his practice of law. In 1864 he married Miss Mary C. Eustis, grand-daughter of Rev. Dr. William Ellery Chaining, the noted New England scholar and clergyman. Early in life Mr. Wister took an active interest in civic and municipal affairs. He served in Councils for several years and was also solicitor for the Girard estate for some years. His main efforts, however, were in following his profession and he was quite prominent in settling estates.
From childhood, Mr. Wister was interested in cricket and was active in the organization of the Germantown Cricket Club, one of the oldest social organizations in the country devoted to the game.
He said that at the game originated in 1831, and that he first saw it played by some English mill-workers in Germantown. It was from this that the present Germantown Cricket Club began its career. Throughout his life, Mr. Wister was a strong advocate of the game and even participated in it when the Germantown Cricket Club celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. At that time he was gray with age and wore a long white beard. His interest continued until the time of his death.
In addition to his legal connections, Mr. Wister was interested in some large commercial and financial institutions. He was one of the founders of the National Bank of Germantown, and for many years, was director of the Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance Houses against Loss by Fir, the oldest insurance company in America. He was one of the promoters of the Duncannon, Jr. & Co., Inc. railroad supply manufacturers.
The various branches of the Wister family came here from Germany during colonial times. Several members fought in the Revolution, and this patriotic sentiment continues still. One of Mr. Wister's daughters, Mary Channing Wister, is the wife of Owen Wister, the novelist. Mr. Wister was one of the oldest members of the Union League. He is survived by his widow, Mrs. William Rotch Wister, three daughters, Miss Frances Anne Wister, who is interested in civic and school work; Mrs. Owen Wister and Mrs. D. Jansen Naines, of Des Moines, Iowa.
Died in North Kingstown, Washington Co., R.I. on 21 Aug 1911
Mary Rebecca Eustis Wister
1844–1944 (m. 1868)
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