William Willard Whitmore

WILLIAM WILLARD WHITMORE, who now resides on a compact little farm of 12 acres, in Cherokee township, has been a resident of the State since 1872, having come to this locality when pioneer conditions prevailed. Mr. Whitmore was born May 8, 1836, in Noble County, Ohio, and is a son of John and Elizabeth (Archibald) Whitmore.

The father of Mr. Whitmore was born in Pennsylvania, and the mother, in Wheeling, Virginia, now West Virginia. Both died in Henry County, Illinois, the former, aged 96 years, and the latter, 76 years. The two surviving members of their 10 children are William Willard and his sister, Eliza, who is the wfe[sic] of William Bailey, and a resident of Nebraska. John Whitmore was a millwright by trade, and built many grist mills and sawmills throughout Ohio and Illinois, a number of which are still standing and in use. He was well known as a reliable contractor and builder.

The subject of this sketch was only 13 years of age when he began to earn his living. He worked up from a humble position on a Mississippi River steamboat until he became clerk, and for about seven seasons was employed in this capacity on steamers plying from St. Paul to New Orleans. In 1858 he married, and then settled in Henry County, Illinois, where he continued to live until the fall of 1872. Then he moved to Cherokee County, Kansas, taking up a government claim of 160 acres of wild land. At that time there were no settlements in his vicinity. No roads had been laid out nor any public improvements made; nothing could be seen but miles and miles of undulating prairie. Here Mr. Whitmore put in some years of very hard work, and made a good farm. This he sold to advantage at a later period, with the proceeds of which sale he bought another which he also improved and sold. His present farm of 12 acres is highly cultivated. Here he has made many substantial improvements, and here he is passing the evening of a busy, useful life in the enjoyment of comfortable surroundings.

In 1858, Mr. Whitmore married Julia Stephens, who was born in Morgan County, Ohio. They have the following named children: Dora, Cora, Nora, Flora and Mora, (twins), Ora, Zora, Lora and Clora. Dora, who was born in Illinois, married John Morgan, and has one child, Lena. Cora, who was born in Illinois, married Arthur Goes, of Iola, Kansas, and has three children,—Blanche, Hazel and Xenia. Nora, who was born in Illinois, is the widow of Joseph Morgan, and has one child,—Juda. The twins, Flora and Mora, were born in Illinois; the former married William Livingston, and has two children,—Bennett and Mora,—and the latter married Mary Naven, and has four children,—Lena, Joseph, Neil and Josephine. Ora was born in Miami County, Kansas. Zora, who was born in Cherokee County, Kansas, married Monty Arbuckle, and has two children,—Stewart and Fay. Lora, was born in Cherokee County. Clora, who was also born in this county, is the wife of Ross Reid, of Weir City, and has one child, Irene.

Politically, Mr. Whitmore is identified with the Democratic party. Since moving to his present location, he has not accepted any office, but while living on the farm he served for several terms as township trustee.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, instructor from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 6-28-97


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Tom & Carolyn Ward
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