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Whitehead, Fred

WHITEHEAD, HARRIS, REED, HANKINS

Posted By: Volunteer Transcriber
Date: 10/24/2009 at 10:27:15

Whitehead, Fred

Conspicuous among Jasper County's most influential and solid citizens and representative businessmen of central Iowa, Fred Whitehead, although born in alien lands, has, while advancing his individual interests, done much for the general development of this vicinity, with which the latter part of his life has been closely interwoven. A man of sterling worth, unswerving integrity and progressive ideas, his well-regulated life has gained the admiration and respect of all who have come into contact with him.

Mr. Fred Whitehead was born in Somersetshire, England, October 4, 1835, the son of William and Maria (Harris) Whitehead, both natives of England, his father being the third in order of birth in a family of four children born to Thomas Whitehead and wife. William Whitehead was a mason by trade, also followed farming later in life. He emigrated to America with his family in 1845, when the subject was ten years old, and they settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in which city a brother John, uncle of Fred, of this review, had located eight years previously. Leaving Pittsburgh in 1851 William Whitehead moved his family to Chicago, but soon left there and bought a farm near Joliet, Illinois, which he sold in 1856 and moved to Madison County, Iowa, and later to Marion County, where he continued to reside until his death, in 1891, at the advanced age of eighty-nine years. He established a good home in the new world, became active in Republican politics and was highly respected wherever he lived. His widow survived him until 1897, when she died at Monroe, Iowa, having attained the ripe age of ninety-one years.

To William Whitehead and wife four children were born, namely: Matilda, who married William F. Reed, a business man of Pittsburgh, died while on a visit to the subject of this sketch at Monroe; Walter is living on a farm in Kansas; his wife died, leaving eight children; Fred of this review; Elizabeth A. is the widow of William A. Hankins, lives with her son, her only child, who is a rancher and stock man in northwestern Nebraska.

Fred Whitehead obtained his education in the country schools, which was later in life supplemented by wide and careful reading on miscellaneous subjects and by actual contact with the world. In speaking of this phase of his life record, he laconically remarked that his early education had been neglected in view of the fact that he had to work instead of go to school. He learned the plumbers' trade in Pittsburgh and also farmed a while prior to the commencement of the Civil War. On August 15, 1861, he proved his loyalty to his adopted country by enlisting at Monroe, Iowa, in Company I, Tenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and he proved to be a very faithful defender of the Stars and Stripes, having taken part in the following engagements: Raymond, Jackson (before the Siege of Vicksburg), Champion's Hill, Siege of Vicksburg, second battle of Jackson, Missionary Ridge, New Madrid, Missouri, and Corinth, Mississippi. He received an honorable discharge and was mustered out on September 28, 1864, at Kingston, Georgia. He was wounded in the Battle of Champion's Hill.

After his career in the army Mr. Whitehead returned to Iowa and bought ninety acres in Marion County, for which he paid three dollars and fifty cents per acre. He held this land until five years ago. At the present time he owns a half section of good land in Arkansas and nearly six hundred acres in Tennessee. He also owned considerable land in Nebraska, which he later disposed of. In 1894 he retired from active farm life and moved to Monroe, where he has a modern, attractive and pleasant home. He has been very successful in his business operations and is one of the substantial men of the southern part of the county. He has never married.

Mr. Whitehead is a Republican and he cast his first ballot for Fremont. He has always taken an abiding interest in public affairs, especially in whatever tended to the betterment of Jasper County. Personally, he is a genial, obliging and honest gentleman. Past and Present of Jasper County Iowa B. F. Bowden & Company, Indianapolis, IN, 1912 Page 970.


 

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