Biography of Josiah Whitesides ( )
Portrait and Biographical Records of St. Charles, Warren and Lincoln Counties (Chicago: Chapman Pub. Co., 1895) page 432.

Josiah WHITESIDES was born on the old family plantation, near the town which was named in honor of his family. For the past twenty years he has made his home on the farm which he owns and cultivates, and which is located on section 24, township 50, range 2, Lincoln County. He has about two hundred acres used for raising crops, forty acres for pasture, and sixty acres in timber-land. In politics a Democrat, he has been called upon to serve in almost every local official capacity, and at all times has acquitted himself with great credit. Among other enterprises with which he has been connected is the ice company, which he helped to organize, and which annually harvests hundreds of carloads of the commodity from Keys Lake, it being one of the greatest enterprises of that locality.

The paternal grandfather of our subject, Isaac WHITESIDES, was a native of Scotland, and emigrated to Kentucky in the days of Daniel BOONE. His mother was a native of Wales. He was a soldier of the Revolution, the War of 1812, and fought in the Indian Wars with BOONE. A powder-horn which was used by him in the battle of New Orleans, under Old Hickory, was owned by his son William. For his wife, Isaac WHITESIDES married a Miss ELLIS, of Kentucky, and after her death he wedded a Miss VEACH. By the first union he had five sons, namely: William, Davis, Jacob, John and Isaac E.; and by his second marriage he had three sons and a daughter, as follows: Dorothy, Isaac V., Josiah and George.

William WHITESIDES, the father of the worthy old settler whose name heads this article, was born in Shelby County, Ky., October 10, 1804, and received but limited educational advantages in his early years. Later he learned to read, and his Old Testament, which he had perused from cover to cover hundreds of times, was, with its large print, his favorite book. In the spring of 1826 he settled in this county, which then extended as far north as the Iowa line. The tract of land which he took up was situated near a large pond which bears his name, and for sixty-eight years he continued to dwell on his original homestead. At the time of his death, which occurred December 19, 1894, he owned over twelve hundred acres of fine prairie and timber-land.

The first wife of William WHITESIDES was Eliza A., daughter of Horatio ROBERTSON. She was born in Kentucky, and died February 3, 1856, after having borne eleven children, as follows: Mildred Ann, Mrs. Charles L. ALLAWAY, whose home is near Burr Oak; Isaac, a retired farmer of Elsberry; Amanda E., Mrs. John ELLIS; Robert Robertson, who died of typhoid fever in 1861; Davis, deceased; Mary, Mrs. John W. WATERS, whose husband is a retired farmer of Elsberry; George W., who lives near WHITESIDES; William D., of Montgomery City, Mo.; Jacob, of Middleton, Montgomery County; John F., who lives near WHITESIDES; and Josiah. Isaac, Davis and George W. were all in the Confederate service, and the latter was also a soldier under Maximilian in Mexico. Davis was killed at Ashley, Pike County, Mo., in August, 1862.

On New Year's Day, 1863, William WHITESIDES, Sr., married Sallie Ann METCALF, nee CARR. She was born in Nelson County, Ky., in December, 1810, and first married Garner METCALF, who moved to Missouri at an early day. After his first marriage, the father brought his bride to his home on horseback, arriving under the lowly roof on Christmas Day, 1829. The building was not yet finished, and the half-completed chimney smoked so badly that the proprietor was obliged to take his wife back to his father's home. For many years he raised no meat for his own use, as he could shoot all the deer and turkeys needed, without going out of sight of his cabin. His furniture consisted of such as he could make himself from slabs and rough hewed boards. His bedstead was made of small beams, with deer-skin strips stretched across, as no rope could be had in those days. In time the log cabin of small dimensions was replaced by a six-room log house, and in 1868 Mr. WHITESIDES built a large eight-room frame house, which was one of the finest in the county at that time. In 1889 he divided his land between his children, reserving only a small homestead, where he resided until 1890. He then built a small house in the town which bears his name, but two years later went to live with his son John F., under whose roof his death occurred, and his wife survived him but eight days. He owned twenty-seven slaves (eleven of whom were grown) at the time of the emancipation. He was always a kind master, taking care of them when sick, and never separating mother and child, nor husband and wife. He never sold but two of his slaves. One of these tried to kill him, and the other tried to kill one of his fellow slaves. These two were sold in the South, seventeen years before the war, and the former returned after being freed. The slaves were well clothed and housed, and received food from the same supply of provisions which was provided for the family. In early life William WHITESIDES was a Whig, but became a Democrat before the war, and all of his sons have followed his example.

Josiah WHITESIDES was born May 25, 1853, and was only two years of age when his mother died. He was cared for by old "Mammy Car'line," who had been a house servant, and who, having been well reared, taught the boy the principles of good behavior and conduct in a much better way than did most of the white mothers of that day in the South. Until sixteen years of age the lad attended the district schools, after which for three years he was a student in Watson's Seminary at Ashley, Mo. During this period he studied civil engineering, and followed that calling for some time. His next venture was in renting land from his father and raising two crops. His father then offered him a two hundred acre tract if he would clear and improve it, as it was then all wild and heavily timbered. He accepted the proposition, and still cultivates the farm of which he then came into possession.

January 5, 1875, Mr. WHITESIDES married Susan E. PARK, who was born in this county, January 27, 1850, and who departed this life September 5, 1892. She was a daughter of William and Cynthia E. (STEVENS) PARK, natives of Virginia, and was one of thirteen children, four of whom died in early childhood. In 1854 William PARK removed to Hickory County, where he purchased a farm of about six hundred acres, which was confiscated during the war. On account of sectional bitterness he left the county and took up his abode in Lincoln County. In company with his son Perry, be enlisted in the Confederate service early in 1861, and remained until the latter part of the war. He participated in the battles of Lexington, Carthage, Helena and many others. His son was captured in Helena, Ark., July 4, 1863, and was held a prisoner in the old Alton Penitentiary for twenty-three months, when he was exchanged.

To Mr. and Mrs. WHITESIDES have been born five children, as follows: William L., September 25, 1875; Walter D., May 16, 1878; Eva Lee, February 3, 1880; George E., December 5, 1881; and Richard F., November 29, 1883.

Our subject and his three eldest children belong to the Star Hope Baptist Church, with which the wife and mother was also for years identified. Socially Mr. WHITESIDES is a member of the Knights of Honor, being Financial Reporter of Elsberry Lodge No. 3,845.

File submitted to HERITAGE PAGES of LINCOLN COUNTY, MISSOURI by Michael Parker.  Link change or update: 23 May 2000

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