Sidney WHITAKER is an enterprising farmer residing two miles east of Granville on section 11, Granville township. He was born in Eden township, La Salle county, December 20, 1859. His father, John Irelan WHITAKER, was born in Bridgeton, New Jersey, June 2, 1822, and in 1843, when a young man of twenty-one years, came west to Putnam county, which was then largely a frontier district, the evidences of improvement and progress being comparatively few. Only here and there had a settlement been made and much of the land was still unclaimed and uncultivated. He lived upon a farm near Granville until 1855, when he removed to Eden township, La Salle county, where he resided until his death, which occurred December 12, 1904, when he was eighty-two years of age. His wife, who in her maidenhood was Wilhelmina SCHEOTTLER, was born in Hesse-Cassel, Germany, and was a maiden of fourteen years when she came to America. She, too, died upon the homestead farm in La Salle county, where she passed away in 1898 at the age of sixty-seven years. In the family were six children, all of whom are living: Effie, the wife of E. H. WHITAKER, living in Eden township, La Salle county; Clara, who is living upon the old homestead in La Salle county; Sidney; Linna, the wife of E. T. JAMES, a resident of Madison, North Dakota; Eugenie, at home; and Charles L., who is living at Zearing, Story county, Iowa.
Sidney WHITAKER largely acquired his education in the district schools of Eden township and later completed the course in Peru high school, although he did not graduate. His life work has been that of the farm and while yet at home he purchased and operated land in La Salle county. In 1898 he came to Putnam county and was here married to Miss Martha B. HOPKINS, a daughter of Joel W. HOPKINS, deceased, of whom mention is made on another page of this work. Unto Mr. and Mrs. WHITAKER have been born six children: Sidney, John H., Joel H., Sarah Hyde, Wilhelmina Scheottler and Richard H.
Mr. WHITAKER has one hundred and sixty acres of land in the home farm, whereon he resides. It is improved with a beautiful residence and good buildings and he and his wife own other land in the county, together with some in La Salle county and also in Iowa. Mr. WHITAKER is now renting most of his farm, retaining only a small piece of farm land and some pasture, whereon his stock can feed. Pleasantly situated in life, he and his family are enabled to enjoy all of the comforts and many of the luxuries which go to make life worth living, their property affording them a gratifying income. In politics Mr. WHITAKER is a republican where national issues are involved, but at local elections votes independently. He and his wife are members of the Congregational church at Granville, in which they take an active and helpful interest, Mr. WHITAKER having served as superintendent of the Sunday-school, while at the present writing he is its secretary. Both he and his wife have spent their entire lives in this part of the state and have a wide acquaintance, the hospitality of the best homes being cordially extended them.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.