Search billions of records on

Source: History of Boone County, Indiana, by Hon. L.M. Crist, 1914.

WILLIAM EVANS WHITTINGHILL It is the pride of the inhabitants of this country
that when the titanic struggle between the states closed in 1865 all the vast army of
citizen soldiery quietly laid down their arms and returned to the pursuits of peace. It was
predicted by the governments of Europe, not only that the country would be divided, but
that after the war an enormous army would be kept up and a military dictatorship would
be established perhaps, on the fragments of every state. Foreign nations did not
understand the spirit of the people of this country, that is the spirit of the people in all the
free states. They could not understand how we could come to love the name of liberty
and be willing to sacrifice so much blood and treasure to save a country founded upon the
rock of freedom. In view of these misguided ideas the most of the foreign nations stood
ready to pounce upon the fragments when the smoke of war had rolled away. But they
saw a splendid sight. They saw the great armies melt away, saw a reunited country in
which liberty was a fact as well as a name, and saw the soldiers return to their farms,
work-shops, mills and various other vocations. One of this number was William Evans
Whittinghill, a gallant defender of the Union, who has long been an honored citizen of
Boone county, where he has engaged in various pursuits with success and aided in many
ways in the general upbuilding of the locality.

Mr. Whittinghill was born August 9, 1849, in Mercer county, Kentucky. He is a son of
Robertson and Lucretia (Salee) Whittinghill. The father was born in the same county and
state, June 14, 1814, and was a son of George and Mary (Gabhart) Whittinghill. The
former was a native of Holland, from which country he emigrated to America when a
young man, located in Kentucky in pioneer days and there became a large land owner,
also owned land in Virginia and Indiana. He was a millwright by trade, and two mills
which he built on Salt river, Mercer county, Kentucky are still standing. His wife was a
native of Scotland. Robertson Whittinghill was reared in the Blue Grass state, and he
devoted his life successfully to milling and farming, becoming owner of nearly one
hundred acres of land. He was one of the extensive hemp growers of his country. He was
opposed to negro slavery, was a Whig, later a Republican in politics, and in religion a
Baptist. He was a man of much business ability and was highly respected for his industry,
honesty and hospitality. His death occurred November 29, 1891. He and Lucretia Salee
were married February 20, 1834. She was born June 30, 1816, in Mercer county,
Kentucky, and was a daughter of Shateen and Elizabeth (Burns) Salee, pioneers of
Kentucky. Her death occurred November 3, 1909, at an advanced age, after a useful and
model Christian life.

William E. Whittinghill was reared on the parental acres which he worked when a boy,
and he attended the common schools in his native community, remaining on the farm in
Mercer county, Kentucky until 1861, when, on March 27th of that memorable year he
enlisted in Company B, Fourth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, in which he saw much hard
service. He was in the battle of Mills Springs, Bowling Fork, and fought from Nashville
to Chattanooga, was in the great battles of Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge, also
Ringgold, after which the entire regiment was given a thirty days' furlough to Louisville,
Kentucky. Then he re-enlisted in January, 1864, in the same company and regiment,
mounted. They joined Sherman at Kenesaw Mountain, and was in numerous
engagements around there. On July 29, 1864, the regiment made a raid in the rear of the
Confederate army and was captured, only a few escaping. Our subject was sent to
Andersonville prison where he remained four months and thirteen days, enduring the
cruelty, hunger and general horrors which he says are indescribable. While there he
contracted a disease from which he has never recovered. He was a mere skeleton upon his
release. But nothing daunted he rejoined his regiment near Nashville, and fought in that
battle, in fact, took part, in all the engagements of the regiment in the second Atlanta
campaign, which terminated at Macon, Georgia, in May, 1865. He was with the troops
that captured Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, near the city of Macon when
he attempted to pass through the Union lines. Our subject was mustered out August 20,
1865, being honorably discharged at Louisville, ten days later. He soon thereafter
returned to his father's farm in Mercer county, Kentucky, where he worked until
September, 1868, when he came to Johnson county, Indiana, locating on a farm one mile
northeast of Franklin where he remained two years then went to Clay county, Kansas,
thence to Monroe county, Missouri, where he engaged in the cattle business for two
years, then came back to Indiana and located in Scott county where he engaged in the
dry-goods business, also handled groceries, until 1880, then began the milling business at
Scottsburg. In 1889 he moved to Boone county, locating on a farm of one hundred and
ninety-three acres, seven miles southwest of Lebanon, and although he now lives in the
county-seat he still manages this finely improved and valuable farm. He also owns one
hundred and thirty-five acres in Hendricks county. He left the farm and moved to his
pleasant home in Lebanon in 1900. He has been very successful in all his business
ventures and is one of the substantial men of Boone county and an excellent citizen in
every respect.

Mr. Whittinghill was married November 30, 1875, to Luira V. Wardell, who was born in
Scott county, Indiana, August 9, 1858, and there grew to womanhood and was educated,
being a daughter of a highly respected old family of that locality.. To our subject and wife
four children have been born, namely: Ota E., who is engaged in the newspaper business
at Redkey, Jay county; Harry R. is farming in Hendricks county; Hazel F. is at home; and
Ira M. is the wife of C. Roark, of Lebanon.

Politically, Mr. Whittinghill is a staunch Republican, and religiously he is a member of
the Central Christian church. He belongs to Rich Mountain Post, No. 42, Grand Army of
the Republic, of which he is past commander. He is a member of Celestial Lodge No.
525, Free and Accepted Masons, at Whitestown; also is a member of Ben Adhem Lodge
No. 472 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and is past grand of the local lodge.


Submitted by Amy K Davis