KSGenWeb - The Primary Source for Kansas Genealogy

KSGenWeb Digital Library

Biographical Sketch
Henry L. Whitaker
Atchison County, Kansas


KSGENWEB INTERNET GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY COPYRIGHT NOTICE:  In keeping with the KSGenWeb policy of providing free information on the Internet, this data may be used by non-commercial entities, as long as this message remains on all copied materiel.  These electronic pages cannot be reproduced in any format for profit or other gain.  Copying of the files within by non-commercial individuals and libraries is encouraged.  Any other use, including publication, storage in a retrieval system, or transmission by electronic, mechanical, or other means requires approval of the file's author.

The following transcription is from a 750 page book titled "Genealogical and Biographical Record of North-Eastern Kansas, dated 1900.  These have been diligently transcribed and generously contributed by Penny R. Harrell, please give her a very big Thank You for her hard work!

Gold Bar

Henry L. Whitaker, respected and honored as one of the sterling early settlers of Atchison county, now makes his home in the thriving town of Lancaster, where he has identified himself with all of its enterprises.

Great changes have taken place in this section of the west since he first beheld it and as the years have rolled away he has energetically sought to perform his duty as a citizen and patriot.

The birth of H. L. Whitaker took place in Massachusetts July 24, 1838.  His grandfather was a soldier in the War of 1812 and his father, Lyman Whitaker, a successful merchant, died in 1852, aged forty years.

He left Mrs. Emeline Whitaker and three children: Henry L., B. F. and Fred. Subsequently the mother went to Illinois with her sons, whom she reared with loving care and wisdom.  For a number of years she taught school and, being a woman of good education and genuine business ability, made a success of the undertaking.

Being the eldest son much of the responsibility of the family fell to our subject in his youth.  His brothers both enlisted as orderly sergeants in the Union army during the Civil War, B. F., in the Tenth Kansas Infantry, who was subsequently promoted to the captaincy, and is a resident of Washington at the present time; and Fred also lives in the West.

After completing his education in the common schools Henry L. Whitaker obtained a position in a machine shop with Foster & Merriam.  The western fever, which had such a strong hold over the public during the '50s, took possession of the young, ambitious man, and when an opportunity presented itself whereby he might remove with his own team with Rev. Pardee Butler to this state he gladly accepted it.

Accordingly he made the long, tedious journey from Mount Sterling, Illinois, across the state of Missouri, arriving here December, 1856.  Later he returned to Illinois and in 1857 again came to Kansas, in order to secure a claim of land for his widowed mother.

He had some trouble in doing this, as "claim-jumpers" were numerous and everything here was in an extremely unsettled condition.  The so called "border ruffians" were rampant, and for several years the feeling between the slavery supporters and the abolitionists was intense.

Locating in Atchison county as a permanent resident, Mr. Whitaker began the improvement of his land and for about a quarter of a century gave his exclusive attention to agriculture.

As the result of his labors he now owns four hundred acres of valuable land, improved with well built house and barns and other needful accessories of a model country place of the period.

In 1881 Mr. Whitaker resolved to enter the mercantile field of enterprise and for the ensuing nine years he was successfully engaged in running a hardware store in Atchison.  In 1890 he removed his stock to Lancaster and, in partnership with his son, Harry, opened a hardware store there, where he is yet a resident and business man.

In his political views he is a Republican, actively interested and fully posted in the great issues of the day.  He has served as a justice of the peace for twelve years and for a number of terms held the office of township trustee.

Socially he belongs to Lancaster Lodge, No. 335, I.O.O.F. Denver and Laramie City were small mining camps when he first visited them and the progress which the entire west has made within a few decades appears marvelous to him, as to every one who has so closely watched its development.

The marriage of Mr. Whitaker and Harriet Merriam, a daughter of Salmon Merriam, occurred in Warren county, Illinois, in 1857.  She was born in Meriden, Connecticut, and is the mother of nine children, namely: Lyman, of Grand Junction, Colorado; Frank, of Nortonville, Kansas; Emma, the wife of Charles Tate, of Pardee, Kansas; May, the wife of H. Berry, of Lancaster, Kansas; Joseph, who is managing the homestead; Harry, a partner in the hardware business; Hattie, the wife of Frank Hursh, of Blackwell, Oklahoma; John Todd, who carries on a farm in Center township; and Salmon Arthur, also a member of the hardware firm.

Mrs. Whitaker, like her husband, is highly esteemed by all who know her and is a member of the Methodist church.

  Gold Bar

Last update: Thursday, January 15, 2004 01:03:56

The Digital Library of the KSGenWeb is a non-commercial entity dedicated to free access to records of genealogical value. All documents contained herein may be freely copied for personal and library use, as long as the KSGenWeb Statement of Use remains attached. These records may not be published in any format, including electronic (web pages or CD's) and print, without prior written consent of the contributor. In order to insure continued free access, violators of this policy will be vigorously pursued.

We invite all contributions of transcribed records with genealogical value. This could range from wills and letters from your personal family records to indexes of your county's marriage records. There are many, many more examples, of course. Anything you have that you are willing to contribute will be gratefully accepted. For more information, contact Kenneth Thomas, KSGenWeb Digital Library Coordinator at kgthomas5@earthlink.net.

We also accept any non-copyrighted printed materials that you have access to and would like to see transcribed and placed on-line. If the material is copyrighted and you are the copyright holder, please include written permission for use by The KSGenWeb Digital Library. These may be mailed to Kenneth Thomas, 26 Circle Dr., Windsor, MO 65360-1610.


Page Design, HTML Coding and Layout - Copyrightę1998-2004 by Kenneth Thomas, All Rights Reserved.
The KSGenWeb Project logo Copyrightę1996-2004 by Tom & Carolyn Ward, All Rights Reserved.
For the limited use of the KSGenWeb Project.  Permission is granted for use only on an Official KSGenWeb Project page.
The Official USGenWeb Project logo designed by Linda Cole.