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Sue L. Murdock (1873-1946) and
John 'William' Fawcett


Sue L. (Murdock) Fawcett was born in 1873 in Wheeling, Ohio County, WV, the daughter of Godfrey Guesman and Amanda (Stephens) Murdock

At the age of 20, on 1893, Sue was joined in the bonds of wedlock with her cousin, 22-year-old John "William" Fawcett (1871-1901), the son of Charles Wesley and Margaret Elizabeth (Herndon) Fawcett of Newburg, Preston County,WV. Rev. A.B. Riker performed the nuptials, in Wheeling, on June 14, 1893. Since Sue was underage, her father provided his consent to the union.

Will is thought, but not proven, to have been a physician. When he was age 26, in 1897, his mother died, and his father married another cousin, Julia Hanshaw.

The Fawcetts together produced a family of two children -- William "Murdock" Fawcett and Thelma M. Fawcett. 


Wheeling's busy Market Street, looking up from 13th Street



J.W.'s obit, Wheeling Register, 1901

They first lived in Kingwood, Preston County, WV, where son Murdock was born in 1894. Later, the family moved to Wheeling, where they resided at 27 Virginia Street.

Tragedy struck when John became ill while in Kingwood in the summer of 1901. He died there at the age of 30 on June 8, 1901. The Wheeling Register reported that funeral services were held at the residence of A.L. Edwards, 16 South Penn Street in Wheeling, followed by private burial at Greenwood. 

In 1910, when the federal census was taken, Sue was employed as a saleslady in a dry goods store in Wheeling, and resided with the children on North York Street. That year, 15-year-old son Murdock helped support the family by working as an errand boy for a shoe store. 

Tragically, in a five-year span between 1916 and 1921, Sue lost both of her children -- Thelma to diabetes in 1916, at age 18, and Murdock to pneumonia in 1921, at age 27. See details below. At the death of her son in 1921, the Wheeling Intelligencer said that Sue was "the only immediate member of the family now living."

Sue survived alone for 35 years. She died of acute cardiac failure at the age of 73 on May 3, 1946, and was laid to rest in the Greenwood Cemetery in Wheeling. The informant for her certificate of death was brother in law Bertram Seelye of 15 Lenox Avenue, White Plains, Westchester County, NY. 


~ Daughter Thelma Fawcett ~

Daughter Thelma M. Fawcett (1898- ? ) was born in 1898.

She is believed to have been employed as a telephone operator in Kingwood circa 1916. 

Suffering from diabetes at age 18, she passed away in Kingwood on Nov. 14, 1916.


~ Son William "Murdock" Fawcett ~

Son William "Murdock" Fawcett (1894-1921) was born on June 28, 1894 in Kingwood, Peston County, WV.

He was a lifelong bachelor.

In January 1921, he migrated to Detroit to take a sales position with the Harvey Reptoe Stove Company, also known as Detroit Heater Corporation. His address in the Motor City was 495 Ledyard.


Detroit's Hammond Building, Savings Bank Building and City Hall



Obit, Wheeling Intelligencer, 1921

Tragically, while visiting in Wheeling in December 1920, he contracted pulmonary tuberculosis.

He recovered sufficiently enough to return home, but "upon going to Detroit when convalescent was again stricken," reported the Wheeling Intelligencer. "Complications set in and death resulted."

Death overcame him at the age of 26 years, 10 months and 20 days on April 16, 1921 as a patient in Herman Keefer Hospital.

His remains were returned to Wheeling for burial, following the funeral held at the home of his cousin, Mrs. A. Edwards, at 16 South Penn Street.


Copyright 2001-2003, 2008, 2021 Mark A. Miner