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William P. WHITTENBERG, a prominent farmer of Bloomfield Township, was born in Blount County, Tenn., October 25, 1831. His father, William Whittenberg, was born on the same farm, and the latter's father, Henry Whittenberg, was it is thought, born in Pennsylvania, of German ancestry. He removed from Pennsylvania to Tennessee, and bought a tract of timber land in Blount County, in the locality known as the Middle Settlement, which he improved and lived upon for many years. He at length removed to Illinois, lived with his children, and died in this State a few years later, having reared a large family of children, all of whom except William settled in Washington County, Ill. The maiden name of his wife was Pate.

Our subject was reared and married in his native State and in 1831 started on horseback to visit Illinois and there seek a location for a home. Reaching Illinois he visited his brother-in-law, but starting on his return trip he was in some way lost, and never again heard of, though his horse returned to the home of his brother-in-law. His wife was thus left a widow with nine children and in very limited circumstances, and in 1841, accompanied by her family, she removed to Henry County, Tenn., the removal being made by team. After living in Henry County two years she removed by means of oxen and a cart to Illinois, bringing with her all the family and all her earthly possessions. She settled in what is now Grantsburg Township, Johnson County, and made a elaim to a tract of Government land, upon which she built a log cabin; but, unable to pay $1.25 per acre for the land, she held it as a claim for a number of years, at the end of which time William P., by working on the Illinois Central Railroad, earned the money and paid for the laud. Mrs. Whittenberg resided there until a short time before her death, and then lived with her children, and died at the home of the eldest son, John S., in Tunnel Hill Township, at the age of sixty-six years. She reared nine children, viz: Polly A., John S., Sally D., Henry H., William P., Melinda, James, Matthew F. and Daniel W.

William P. was twelve years old when his mother brought him to Illinois, where he was reared and educated in Johnson County. He began when very young to assist with farm work and lived with his mother until he was twenty-three years old, when he married and settled in Elvira Township, where he purchased eighty acres of timber land, built a log house on the place and resided there until 1861. He then rented the farm and enlisted in Company K, First Illinois Light Artillery, and served in that command three years and three months, in Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. He was wounded at Wolf River Bridge, Moscow, Tenn., in December, 1863, and received a furlough home for forty days, which was afterward extended to one hundred days. He then rejoined his regiment and was with it until December 10, 1864, when he was honorably discharged and returned home. In 1866 he settled on the farm he now owns and occupies. This farm contains one hundred and sixty-nine acres, on which he has erected a good set of frame buildings, and improved a great portion of his farm for general farming and stock-raising. Our subject was married in 1854 to Zana Evans, a native of Middle Tennessee, and a daughter of Thomas Evans. The lady survived but three years and died in 1857. In 1866, Mr. Whittenberg was married to Martha A. (Crensbaw) Benson, who was born in Gallatin County, a daughter of Frederick Crenshaw. Mr. and Mrs. Whittenberg have six children, viz: William H., Daniel W., Ignatius M., Viola, James F. and Lulu May. The mother of these children is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the father is a Republican in politics. He is a member of Vienna Lodge No. 150, A. F. & A. M., and also of Vienna Post No. 221, G. A. R.






transcribed by Nan Starjak

Source:
The Biographical Review of  Johnson, Massac, Pope and Hardin Counties
Chicago
Biographical Publishing Co., 1893
pp. 396-397

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