1925 Biography - Josiah Whitnel

Josiah Whitnel was born in Caldwell Co., Ky., 1824. His grandfather was Josiah, an Irish weaver who raised three sons and three daughters of whom John was the eldest. John Whitnel married Mary Reynolds, daughter of Charles and Mary (McAnally) Ladd of Scotland, (recorded in a bible printed in Edinburgh in 1756), they had five sons who were physicians. Josiah, received a good education in the select schools of his neighborhood and graduated from the Medical College at Louisville, Ky. He was the first of his family to come to Illinois, and he came alone on horseback and located as Reynoldsburg, this county for the practice of his profession in 1852. He was a prominent character as citizen and physician, was appointed surgeon of the 120th Ill. Inf., but resigned before going into service. He lived on a farm and practiced medicine throughout his life. Only the early settler appreciates the vicissitudes and helpfulness of the country doctor. He was a Royal Arch Mayson and a Democrat. He married Susan E. Miller, neighbor in Kentucky. They had John L. (2), Mary R. (2), Elizabeth (2) and D. T. (2); John L. (2) was a graduate of the Louisville Medical College and practiced with his lather many years, was a fine surgeon as well as physicion, and was the third generation and the seventh member of the family following the medical profession. Mary R. (2) married N. J. Mozley (see Worley), D. T. (2) not married, makes his home with Mrs Mozley; Elizabeth (2) is the wife of C. M. Sullins a merchant of Marshall, Ill. Dr. Josiah Whitnel's descendants have a cane that was cut from the stalk of a palm tree Jan. 9, 1815, at New Orleans, the day after the battle. Dr. Whitnel's father (John) was a soldiei under General Jackson during this engagement. The family bible published in 1756 is in the possession of D. T. Whitnel.
Dr. David T. Whitnel was a brother of Josiah and came to this county some time between 1852 and 60. He settled in Vienna and his home was on the site of the present home of C. M. Pickens. He, like the other Whitnel brothers was born, educated and graduated in medicine in Kentucky. He served in the Civil War as surgeon in the 31st Ill. Vol. Infantry, till after the battle of Vicksburg where he was attacked by yellow fever, he returned home and died in a few months. He married Permelia Caldwell also of Kentucky, children Ella (2), Lindorf Osborn (2). These children were raised in the home of Josiah Whitnel after the mother's death which occurred in 1869. Ella (2) married J. W. Heaton of New Burnside, they have Lindorf (3), Herman (3), Clara (3).
L. O. Whitnel (2) was born in this county in 1863. He attended the public schools of the community, later a Normal School at Carmi, Ill., and Central College at Danville, Ind. He was employed as a clerk in a store by David Shearer for a short time at New Burnside and also as a clerk at Goreville, Ill. He came to Vienna in the fall of 1865 and entered the law office of P. T. Chapman and began the study of law. In 1886 he entered a partnership with Chapman which firm of Chapman & Whitnel, Attys., continued four years, when he and G. B. Gillespie formed the legal firm of Whitnell & Gillespie spoken of under Mr. Gillespie's Biography. In 1904 Mr. Whitnel moved to East St. Louis forming a partnership with Hon. W. S. Foreman. Mr. Foreman died in 1908. Mr. Whitnel was employed as General Attorney for the Missouri Pacific R. R. Co., other positions followed, such as attorney for the St. Louis, Troy and Eastern, Pennsylvania lines, Chicago and Eastern Illinois, the East St. Louis, Columbia and Waterloo, and other railroads. In addition to this he was General Counsel for the Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis, Mo., and General Attorney for the Western Coal & Mining Company. After his son Josiah's return from France in 1919 where he served as Lieutenant in the World War, he entered practice with his father forming the firm of "Whitnel & Whitnel". They have offices in the Cahokia Bldg., East St. Louis, Ill. Mr. Whitnell died in December 1924.
The strength and veracity of this firm is so well known that comment is unnecessary. Josiah was born in Johnson County. He is a graduate of the East St. Louis High School and the law department of the University of Illinois. L. O. Whitnel married Amanda Trammell 1888 (see Chapman). Dr. Constantine L. Whitnel, another of the four Doctors Whitnel settled in Goreville Township in 1855. He did an extensive country practice throughout his life. He erected a fine country home for that time, 1861, which is still standing, and occupied as a resident by Charles Calhoun. The second story of this home was used by the Goreville Masonic Lodge until the hall was built. Dr. C. L. Whitnel married first Ann Looney and their children were Charles (2), who followed the profession of his father and was also very successful. He married Ann Cook, both died and left one son, Harry C. (3), who lives in Marion, Ill.; Mary (2) married Milo Trammell, George (3), their only child, married Clara Beauman of this county and is cashier of the First State Bank of Mound City, Ill., where they reside; Flora (2) married Thomas H Taylor and had Nora (3), Pearl (3), Ora (3), Holley (3) and Ada (3). Nora (3) married E. W. (see Sutton), Pearl (3) is a business woman of Vienna, Ora (3) married Roy Milburn and has Helen (4) and Lyman (4); Holley (3) married Oma Casey and has Virginia (4), Verly (4), S. Holley (4) and Betty Joe (4); Ada (3) married William (see Fern).
Dr. C. L. Whitnel married s(econd) Mrs. McNealy and had Ida (2) who married John Gibson and had Charles (3), Nettie (3), Ernest M. (3), James H. (3), L. O. (3), Ruth (3), Esther (3), Virgil (3), married Myrtle Foster and is the only one of the family beside the parents residing in this county.
Dr. Robert, a fourth brother of the Whitnel's came to this county and settled in the West Eden neighborhood, and like his brothers, spent his life in ministering to, and relieving the sick and disabled. He married Julia Miller and their children were Minnie (2) who married John Stewart and their children are Mabel (3), Frank (3) and Harry (3); William (2) married Agusta Fisher, and their children are Edna (3), Clarence (3), Wayne (3) and Julia (3); Gertrude (2) married Harry Gallway and has one son, Otis Whitnel (3); Brittiana (2) married Marshall Cantrell and has Carl (3). All of Dr. Whitnel's family have removed from the county except his son, William.

Extracted 08 Feb 2017 by Norma Hass from 1925 A History of Johnson County, Illinois, by Mrs. P. T. Chapman, pages 466-469.

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