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Home: Surnames: Torrence Family Genealogy Forum

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William Wilson Torrence (1857-1906)
Posted by: Tom Fetters (ID *****5614) Date: August 20, 2011 at 07:45:13
In Reply to: Re: Gerald Arthur Torrence, Jr. (1917-2004) by Tom Fetters of 1443

The answer to who William Wilson Torrence was and how he came to be in Teheran, Persia is that he was a missionary sent to the area. The Chicago Daily Inter-Ocean of June 3, 1887 had a story taken from the Echo de Paerse, a French journal from Teheran.

Dr Torrence graduated from Rush Medical College in 1880. We know he married a lady, Jennie Gassner, at Mount Pleasant, Iowa in 1881. We also know the couple left for Teheran later in the year with his role of medical missionary.

The Cincinnati Commercial Tribune of June 07 of 1885 describes the journey which was by rail, steamer, rail, steamer, and river boats to get to Persia. Dr. Torrence would help anyone who made the trip.

The Daily Inter-Ocean story reported that Dr. Torrence, physician to the mission, had been appointed as director of a new hospital in Teheran which was to serve everyone without distinction to creed or race.

His Imperial Majesty, The Shah, desiring to reward the zeal and devotion of Dr. Torrence, who for many years has been graciously relieving so much suffering and distress has named him
Grand Officer of the Order of the Lion and Sun of Persia.

I believe that is the highest reward ever received by a Torrence family member.

I leared from other papers that William was working with a Reverend J L Potter. William returned to Persia in 1892 after leaving in 1890 to live in Ottawa, IL and with passport #7 traveled with a minor named Potter to return to the USA.

This is really an amazing story and it all stemed from an offer to see a photo of William's grandson which I found two weeks ago.


Tom Fetters

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