CYRENIUS T. WHIPPLE, the honored and venerable pioneer of Benton county who died at his home in Vinton December 7, 1900, had but just passed the seventy-third year of an active, useful and manly life, in which earnest and persistent struggles to overcome early disadvantages and later obstacles had brought that high success in which moral character had not been sacrificed to ambition. He was born in Licking county, Ohio, on the llth of October, 1827, son of Enoch and Catherine (Shaw) Whipple, respectively of Vermont and New York. The family is of English stock, and the maternal ancestors were so closely related to Commodore Perry that Mr. Whipple's mother was a first cousin to the brave leader of the American navy. The parents came to Benton county in 1854, and located on a farm which Cyrenius had located for them—one hundred and sixty acres in section 27, two miles southeast of Vinton. There the father farmed until his death October 10, 1857, and the mother followed him in November, 1865.
Tracing more in detail the movements of C. T. Whipple, the son, it is learned that when about eleven years of age he was brought by his parents from Ohio to Indiana, the family locating at Eugene, Vermilion county, where the father engaged at his trade as a cooper. The boy worked by the month until the commencement of the "pork season,'7 when he entered the employ of Groonendyke and Thompson, who were engaged in sending meat down the river on flatboats to New Orleans. He worked for that firm every winter until 1850, when he entered two hundred and ten acres of land in Taylor township, this county, and remained on his claim for nearly three months. The young man, then twenty-three years of age, returned to Indiana and took a trip to Benton county in 1851; but, with that exception, remained in the Hoosier state until 1854. In August of that year, with his parents (for whom he had entered land in 1851), he loaded two wagons and started for the new home in Benton county. Arriving about the middle of the month, the men at once built a two-room house of hewn logs, with slab flooring, and there the father died.
On March 6, 1856, Cyrenius T. Whipple was united in marriage with Miss Nancy J. Cline, born in Johnson county, Indiana, on the 2d of January, 1838, daughter of William and Elizabeth A. (Young) Cline, of Kentucky and Indiana, respectively. The father, who was born September 29, 1812, was a farmer and a soldier in the Blackhawk war, and died April 26, 1901, while his wife, who was born October 26, 1819, died on the 3d of September, 1847. Mrs. C. T. Whipple came to Benton county with her father and two sisters in 1850, her other sister (now Mrs. Henry M. Wilson) remaining in Indiana. The father had entered his claim in the vicinity of Vinton two years before, and when the family arrived a solitary log house stood on the site of the present city. Since that time, nearly sixty years ago, Mrs. Whipple has resided in the locality. Four of her five children developed into men and women, with families of their own, and the mother witnessed a wonderful transformation of her home community and the surrounding country. The children who came to bless and sustain her life were as follows: William P., who is mentioned elsewhere in this work; Milo E., who was born September 16, 1858, married Lottie Barr, and now resides in Taylor township; Selmon T., who was born August 20, 1861, and married Miss Anna Edwards; Callie, who was born September 4, 1868, and died August 28, 1878; and Cora J., who was born March 27, 1874, is now the widow of Lieutenant Guy Kellogg (for whose biography, see elsewhere in this work), and resides with her widowed mother.
The deceased father of this family came to be the owner of a fine estate in Taylor township, embracing nine hundred acres of finely improved land and a comfortable homestead. He had possessed those qualities of energy, intelligence and uprightness which had wrestled worldly success from unpromising circumstances, and at the same time maintained his character in its early strength and virtue. From whatever point of view he is considered, he won success in its substantial and high form.