After twenty-three years of continuous service as bank cashier, probably the longest consecutive time spent in that position by any person in Southern Illinois, Daniel Webster Whittenberg, now connected with the First National Bank of Vienna, Illinois, is widely known in financial circles of the state, and has also been associated with some of the leading business industries of Southern Illinois. He is richly endowed by nature with a splendid physique and an alert and active mind, so necessary to the successful financier. His highly honorable and engaging manner, the solid and substantial character of the enterprises with which his name has been associated, have won for him the confidence of the people of the community in which he has spent so many years, and have given him an enviable prestige among the business men of Southern Illinois.

Daniel Webster Whittenberg was born July 2, 1867, on a farm in Bloomfield township, Johnson county, Illinois. His father, William P., was the second son of William Whittenberg and Nancy (Smith) Whittenberg, of Henry county, Tennessee, and came with his widowed mother and family to Johnson county, Illinois, in 1840. They settled on a farm in Grantsburg township. Those early times were trying times for the pioneer settler of Southern Illinois. For the widow and fatherless to bear the burdens of life alone meant a constant struggle. The mother was a strong character, and under her inspiring leadership her sons were able to secure title to land, erect a home, and carve out of the virgin wilderness a farm of eighty acres, upon which the family grew to manhood.

William P. was twelve years of age when the family began their struggles in Johnson county. From this tender age he was compelled to endure all the privations and hardships of pioneer life, which the present generation know so little about. He remained with his mother until he was twenty-three years of age, when he entered from the government a tract of timbered land in Elvira township. He was married to a Miss Evans, who lived but a short time, there being no children. To a second marriage one child, a daughter, Mary Jane, was born, who became the wife of Henry Burklow. The second wife lived but a few years, and in the summer of 1861 William P., a widower, thirty years of age, heard Lincoln's call for volunteer soldiers. He at once resolved to stand by the flag of his country and enlisted for three years or until the close of the war. Company K, First Illinois Light Artillery, was raised by Captain Jason B. Smith, of Grantsburg township, Johnson county, and in this company he went to the front. He served three years and three months, participating in numerous engagements in Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. At Wolf River Bridge, Moscow, Tennessee, in December, 1863, he received a severe wound. He was granted a forty-day furlough, which was later extended to one hundred days, at the end of which time he rejoined his regiment and served faithfully until his discharge, December 10, 1864. Brave in battle, faithful to duty at all times, Mr. Whittenberg made an ideal soldier, and on his return home made just as good a citizen. Years of industrious toil brought their reward, and he is now living on his farm in comfortable circumstances, a successful man and highly esteemed citizen. In 1866 he was married to Martha Ann (Crenshaw) Benson, the widow of Charles Benson, who was a soldier and died from the effect of a gun shot wound and imprisonment at Andersonville. To this union there were born four sons and two daughters, as follows: W. H., a farmer and stock raiser of Johnson county; D. W.; I. M., the well known Mount Carmel dentist; J. Frank, who died in 1905, leaving a widow and one child (a daughter); Viola, who died in 1905, the wife of J. B. Morray and mother of two children (a son and daughter), of whom Daniel W. Whittenberg is guardian; and Lulu May, who received her education in the Southern Illinois Normal University at Carbondale, and is now the wife of Thomas J. Layman, of Benton, Illinois.

Until he was twenty years of age Daniel W. Whittenberg remained on the home farm, securing his primary education in the district schools and later attending the Southern Illinois Normal University. He began teaching school when he was eighteen years of age, and in January, 1888, entered the Bank of Vienna, as book-keeper. He was promoted to the position of cashier in 1889, and the First National Bank was organized in 1890, as successor to the Bank of Vienna. He has been cashier of this bank ever since.

Mr. Whittenberg is an enthusiastic agriculturist. He owns several farms, and is actively engaged in dairying, stock raising and grain farming. He is indeed, closely applied to his various business interests, but throughout his intercourse with the public generally, his large experience enables him in a very marked way to luminate the problems of life, and it is the opinion of the writer that, although his business may produce ever so great dividend, no financial return is more pleasing to him than the idea of being generally serviceable.

In Masonic bodies Mr. Whittenberg is widely known. He is a member of Vienna Lodge, No. 150, A. F. & A. M.; Vienna Chapter, No. 67, R. A. M.; Cairo Commandry, No. 13, K. T.; Harrisburg Council, R. & S. M.; also Valley of East St. Louis, No. 32, Scottish Right Masonry. He was worthy grand patron of the Order of the Eastern Star, state of Illinois, 1904. A faithful and active member of the Methodist Episcopal church, he has been prominent in all its movements, and for the past twenty-two years has served as superintendent of the Sunday-school. He is a great friend of education, and is now secretary of the Vienna library board. Exercising due caution in his business affairs, Mr. Whittenberg is, nevertheless, quick to see an opportunity and grasp its possibilities, but he has always respected the rights of others, and the integrity with which his business affairs have been prosecuted has only been equaled by the probity of his everyday life.

On October 7, 1891, Mr. Whittenberg was married to Miss Ida C. Chapman, daughter of Daniel C. Chapman and a sister to Pleasant T. Chapman. Three children have been born to this union: Daniel Wayne, who is eighteen years of age and a graduate of the Vienna high school; Charles Franklin, who died in 1899, at the age of two years; and Martha Elizabeth, the baby, who is two years old.

Extracted 07 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from History of Southern Illinois, by George Washington Smith, published in 1912, volume 3, pages 1681-1683.

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