Biography - William Whitworth

WILLIAM WHITWORTH, who, as a sagacious, skillful farmer, has helped to make Shelby County a rich, well-developed agricultural center, has at the same time acquired a valuable property, and not only owns a fine farm within the corporate limits of the city of Moweaqua, but has here a handsome, well-appointed residence, in which he is living in retirement from active business. He is a native of Perry County, Ind., born May 25, 1838, a son of Abraham Whitworth, who was born in Virginia in 1807. The father of the latter, also named Abraham, was likewise a native of Virginia, and was the son of an Englishman, who came to this country and settled in the Old Dominion in Colonial times, spending the remainder of his life there.

The grandfather of our subject went from his native State to Tennessee with his family in 1811, and after a two years' sojourn in the wilderness in that State, he proceeded Northward into Breckenridge County, Ky., where he in time cleared a farm from the timber, and there closed his earthly pilgrimage, he married Nancy Board, who was born in Virginia and died in Kentucky.

The father of our subject was scarcely more than a babe when his parents took up their abode in Kentucky, and he grew to a vigorous manhood under the influences of the rough pioneer life of those days. When he became a young man he too became a pioneer, selecting the more newly settled State of Indiana as the scene of his operations, and he there look unto himself a wife, Miss Martha Gregory uniting her life with his. She was also a native of Virginia, and was a daughter of Peter and Mary (Dobson) Gregory, natives of Virginia, the latter a daughter of William O. Dobson, also a Virginian. After marriage, Mr. Whitworth, who had formerly been a pilot on a flat boat that plied on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, commencing life at boating when quite young, turned his attention to farming. In 1861 he came to Illinois, and settled on a tract of land that he bought in Moweaqua Township, located four miles east of the village, where he resided until his life was rounded out in death in July, 1864. His wife survived him until the following year, and then she too passed away, dying in the month of December. She was the mother of eight children that were reared to maturity.

The early life of our subject was passed amid the scenes of his birth. He came to Shelby County in 1858, and he began his career here by working out by the day or month. Prudently saving his earnings, in 1864 he invested in eighty acres of good farming land four and one-half miles northwest of the village of Moweaqua, and later added to it forty acres more. He resided on that place several years, devoting his energies to its improvement, and when he left it in 1886 to take up his abode in the city he had placed it under a high state of cultivation, and had made of it a well-ordered farm. He came to Moweaqua in the year mentioned, bought property, and in 1890 erected his present commodious residence, which is built after plans drawn by himself and wife, is very conveniently arranged and is an ornament to the city. He also has a fine farm advantageously located within the limits of this municipality, which contains sixty-four acres of well-tilled land, and is amply supplied with buildings and everything needful for its successful cultivation.

Mr. Whitworth has been twice married. In 1861 he was wedded to Miss Sarah Lamb, a native of Richland County, Ill. Their brief but happy union was closed by her death in 1864. She left two children, Clara and Alice. Clara married William Landram, and has two children. Alice married James Chance, and has four children. The present estimable wife of our subject, to whom he was united in marriage in 1866, was formerly Miss Isabella Doyle. She is a native of Macoupin County, this State, and a daughter of E. M. Doyle, who is represented in this work.

Mr. Whitworth, as we have seen, has become one of the prosperous citizens of this county through the exercise of good mental and physical endowments. He is a gentleman of sound principles and blameless life, who is justly held in high consideration by his neighbors and associates, and in him the Baptist Church has a conscientious, right-living member, his wife also belonging to that church, and identifying herself with its best efforts to elevate the moral status of the community. As a loyal and true-hearted citizen should, our subject interests himself in politics, and is a stanch adherent of the Republican party.

Extracted 09 Apr 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 464-465.

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