Wilbur William Scruby 1883-1964


Wilbur William Scruby was born on March 31, 1883 in Wheeling, Livingston, Missouri to Frank Scruby and Anna Belle Fenstermacher.  He was the middle child of three children. He had an older sister, Nina Bella and a younger brother Charles A.  The family moved to Chillicothe, Missouri where he spent his childhood.  In 1901, Wilbur found work as clerk in the office of the auditor of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad in St. Joseph, Missouri.  In 1903 he entered a career in banking at the National Bank of Commerce in Kansas City.   Only a year later in April 1904, Wilbur moved to Seattle and found a job in the officer of the city treasurer, S.F. Rathbun.  Wilbur’s brother moved to Seattle in 1908 and both found positions with the Washington Trust Co.  When the Washington Trust Co. was absorbed by the Dexter Horton National Banks the brother continued their careers. In the 1910 census, the brothers are found living as boarders in the house of Charles A. Thorndike.  In 1912, he married Katherine Hemrich, the daughter of Andrew and Amelia Hemrich.


Wilbur and Katherine welcomed their first child on April 2, 1915 when Amelia Katherine is born.

WilburScruby In December 1918, Wilbur was promoted to assistant cashier. The picture on the left is from the announcement of the promotion featured in Seattle Times on Monday, December 2, 1918.  Later that month, Wilbur’s second daughter, Annabella was born.  The young family is found in the 1920 census living at 3907 McCellen Street.  Also living with the family is Katherine’s widow mother, Amelia. That same year, Wilbur received a promotion to cashier at Dexter Horton and Charles Scruby leaves Seattle and settles in Los Angeles, California.   Wilbur Jr. is born on January 22, 1924.  Wilbur received another promotion at Dexter Horton in 1927 when he is elected vice president.  He continued this position when Dexter Horton and other banks are consolidated into Seattle First National Bank in 1929.  His position with Dexter Horton allowed his family to take vacations and socialize with the affluent social circle. The Seattle Times calls his wife Katherine ‘one of Seattle’s most popular society matrons’ and details the many afternoon teas, lunches, and other social events hosted by the couple. In May 1930, Wilbur took his wife and daughter Amelia for a 1 month trip to New York.  That same year we find the family in the federal census residing in the family home at 3907 McCellen Street. Living in the house with the family is Jane Craigen, their private servant.  Wilbur’s mother-in-law is no longer living in the house with the family but has moved in next door.  His daughter Amelia was the talk of the town when she married Edward M. Argersinger in a lavish fall wedding. Wilbur faced tragedy in 1938 when his only son Wilbur Jr. passed away at the age of 15 after being admitted to the hospital with a streptocci infection.  In 1939, the family enjoyed a 3 week vacation to Alaska where they stayed on a dude ranch just outside Wrangell, Alaska.  Another tragedy was faced by the family in May 1944 when Wilbur’s daughter Amelia lost her twin infant daughters to atropine poising only two months after being born.  In 1947, Wilbur was named an honorary state senator for his 32 years of work as a lobbyist for the State Banking Association.  A year later, he retired as vice president of the Seattle First National Bank after 40 years.  In March 1950, Wilbur and his wife paid a visit to his brother in California where all three were involved in a head on collision. Wilbur suffered two broken ribs and his wife sustained severe cuts.  Only 4 months later, Charles Scruby passed away in Hollywood, California. It is unknown if this was from injuries sustained in the car accident or from other causes.  Not much of Wilbur’s later life is documented. On November 18, 1964 he passed away at the age of 81 in a Seattle hospital.  In his obituary, it noted that in addition to his career at First National, he was also “a director and vice president of the Marion Realty Co. here and of C.E. Blackwell & Co. Okanogan ; a director and treasurer of Lawyers Title Insurance Corp., Seattle  and a director of the First Realty Corp., Seattle. He was past president of the Rainer Club and treasurer-emeritus of the Nile Temple of the Shrine.”  He left behind his wife Katherine, his two daughters Annabelle Crandall and Amelia Argersinger, his sister Nina, eight grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.  He is buried in Lake View Cemetery in his wife’s family plot.

United States Federal Census. Year: 1900; Census Place: Chillicothe Ward 2, Livingston, Missouri; Roll: T623_872; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 93.

United States Federal Census. Year: 1910; Census Place: Seattle Ward 7, King, Washington; Roll: T624_1661; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0144; Image: 124; FHL Number: 1375674.

United States Federal Census. Year: 1920;Census Place: Seattle, King, Washington; Roll: T625_1930; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 297; Image: 409.

United States Federal Census. Year: 1930; Census Place: Seattle, King, Washington; Roll: 2502; Page: 44A; Enumeration District: 193; Image: 754.0.

World War I Registration Card. Registration Location: King County, Washington; Roll: 1991930; Draft Board: 10.

Unites States Son of the American Revolution Membership Applications. Volume 344; SAR Membership Number 68712

The Seattle Sunday Times. Wilbur Scruby and Katherine Hemrich Engagement Announcement. July 14, 1912. Pg. 4

Seattle Daily Times. ‘W.W. Scruby Named By Directors Assistant Cashier of Dexter Horton National Bank of Seattle’  December 2, 1918. Pg. 13

The Seattle Sunday Times. ‘Amelia Scruby will marry Mr. Argersinger’. October 6, 1935 Third Section. Pg.1

Seattle Daily Times.  ‘W.W. Scruby’s Son, 14, Dies in Hospital’ November 10, 1938.

The Seattle Times. ‘Twins’ Death Cause Revealed’ May 28, 1944. Pg. 2

The Seattle Times. ‘W.W. Scruby, 81, Retired Banker, Dies’ November 18, 1965. Pg. 73

History of Seattle: From the Earliest Settlement to the Present Time. Volume III. S.J. Clarke Publishing Company. 1916. Pgs. 136-37


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