Marshall County


Isaac T. WHITAKER, proprietor of a hotel in Wenona, was born in Breckinridge county, Kentucky, December 19, 1823, and is the son of Jesse WHITAKER, whose birth occurred in Barren county, of the same state, in 1791. However, Isaac WHITAKER, the paternal grandfather, was a native of Virginia and of English descent, the family having been founded in that state by ten brothers who came over from England about the time of the Revolutionary war, in which he served as a teamster. He later emigrated to Kentucky, but his last days were spent in Vigo county, Indiana. The mother of our subject, who bore the maiden name of Sallie PEARSON, was born in Shelby county, Kentucky, in 1797, and was the daughter of Moses PEARSON, a Welshman, who also served as a teamster in the war for independence, emigrated to Kentucky, and removed to Vigo county, Indiana, where his death occurred.

In Shelby county, Kentucky, in 1816, the marriage of the parents of our subject was celebrated, and in 1825 they located upon a new farm in Vigo county, Indiana, where they made their home until 1851, when they became residents of Cole county, Illinois. The father was a very patriotic man, who served in the war of 1812, being under General Jackson at the battle of New Orleans, raised a company for the Mexican war, but hostilities ceased before his troops were accepted, and during the civil war, although sixty-six years of age, he enlisted as a private soldier in the Seventy-ninth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with which he served for one years, and was then discharged on account of an injury sustained while lifting a cannon. Returning to his home in Coles county, he there lived until 1865, when he settled at Lacon, where his death occurred in January, 1879. The mother of our subject having died in Vigo county, Indiana, he wedded Mrs. Rhoda McCLURE, a widow lady, who also died in January, 1879. The parents were both earnest members of the Baptist church.

Our subject is the fourth in order of birth in the family of seven children born of the first marriage, the others being Moses P., who faithfully served his country during the civil war and died in 1871, leaving two children; Mrs. Resenah AKEN, who is living in Vigo county, Indiana, and has two children; Dorcas, deceased wife of Rice STARK, by whom she had six children; William C., who died while in the union service, leaving three children; Willis P., who died in 1895, leaving six children, and Jesse A., ex-sheriff of Marshall county, who at his death left one child.

The early life of Isaac T. Whitaker was passed in Vigo county, and on the 10th of March, 1846, he was joined in wedlock with Miss Mary Jane SMITH, who was born in Shelby county, Indiana, in 1828, and was the daughter of John C. SMITH, a native of Kentucky. He then located upon a farm in the hoosier state, which place continued to be his home until coming to Illinois in September, 1849, when he settled at Washington, but the following year he became a resident of Lacon, where he was engaged in mechanical work until 1862. After six years then spent in Peoria, he removed to a farm in Evans township, Marshall county, which he continued to improve and cultivate until 1875. At that time he came to Wenona, where he has since successfully conducted a hotel.

In September, 1850, Mr. WHITAKER’s first wife died. To them were born two children, one still living, Levi S., of Greeley, Colorado. He was again married in September, 1851, Mrs. Hannah MARTIN becoming his wife. She was born in Harrison county, Ohio, in April, 1831, and a daughter of Francis WORLEY, who came from Ohio to Marshall county Illinois, in 1835, but after a residence of about twelve years removed to Iowa, where his death occurred. By the second union were born three daughters, all of whom died while young.

For forty years, Mr. WHITAKER has been an earnest and consistent member of the Baptist church, to which his wife also belongs, and for a number of years was chorister in the church. In his younger years he also taught music all over Marshall and Putnam counties. He is a stanch adherent to the principles of the republican party in politics, and supports the candidates offered by that organization on all occasions.

Extracted May 2011 by Norma Hass from The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois, 1896.

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