Biography - William Whiteaker

WILLIAM H. WHITEAKER, who has for the past ten years lived on his eighty-acre farm, which is a part of section 8, township 11, range 4, east, was born in Johnson County, January 29,1839. His father, Hall Whiteaker, was born in southern Illinois in 1811, and was a son of Mark Whiteaker, one of the earliest pioneers of Illinois. He was a farmer, and came from South Carolina to Illinois, where he lived to an advanced age, and died on the land he had taken up as a squatter. He left a family of four sons and one daughter, of whom Hall Whiteaker was the eldest. The mother of our subject was Alvira Damron in her maiden days, a native of Illinois, and a daughter of John and Anna Damron, who came to Illinois from North Carolina in a very early day, when this part of Illinois was a wild and wooded wilderness. They were well-to-do farmers for those times, and died on their own farm in Burnside Township, having arrived at a great age, especially Mrs. Damron, who died in 1850, an octogenarian. There was a large family by two mothers, who were sisters.
The parents of William H. Whiteaker were farmers all their lives, and lived on several farms before Mr. Whiteaker died in 1844, at the age of thirty-three years. Mrs. Whiteaker was left with three sons and three daughters, of whom William H., our subject, was the fourth child and second son. She survived her husband forty-four years, and after selling her claim took up another of one hundred and twenty acres in Burnside Township. She acquired a deed to this land, improved it and. lived there for a time, but afterward sold it. Her death occurred March 10, 1884, at the age of seventy-three years. She left six children, viz: Marsh Whiteaker, now in charge of the asylum farm at Anna, Ill, who is a successful farmer, and has a wife, four sons and five daughters; Anna, who resides in Burnside Township with her sister, Mrs. Jinsey Ballance; William. H.; Polly, widow of Dallas Moore, living on her farm in Burnside Township, who has seven children; and John A., a farmer of Burnside Township, who has a wife and seven children.
William H. Whiteaker was reared on the farm and received but little education. At the age of twenty-three years, August 13, 1862, he was enrolled at Springfield, Ill., a member of Company G, One Hundred and Twentieth Illinois Infantry, under Capt. Mark Whiteaker, his brother, who was a victim of chronic diarrhea, and was obliged to resign after serving one year. Our subject served three years and one month, and when discharged was Second Sergeant of his company. He was in the ranks most of the time of his service, and was neither wounded, taken prisoner, nor taken seriously ill. When he went to war, he left his young wife behind him, who was a Miss Sarah Deaton, and was married August 22, 1860. She was born in De Kalb County, Ala., and is the daughter of William and Martha Deaton, who removed from Alabama to Williamson County, Ill., in 1848. Her parents died in Illinois, the father in 1868, aged over seventy years, and the mother in 1870, aged sixty-eight years. Mr. and Mrs. Whiteaker have always lived near their present home. They have not been blessed with children, but have reared two foster sons, Henry Wright, now married and doing for himself, and Guy Burton, at home, and fourteen years of age. They also reared two foster daughters, viz.: Lucy E. Wright, deceased, wife of Henry Vaughn, who left one child, a daughter, and Sarah E. Vaughn, now the wife of Stephen Crow. Mr. Whiteaker has been a Republican most of his life, though he voted for Stephen A. Douglas for President. He and his wife are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which they have been zealous workers-for a long time.

Extracted 12 May 2002 by Rick Girtman from 1893 Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope, and Hardin Counties, Illinois, pages 358-359.

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