- Category: Biographies
- Published on Tuesday, 17 January 2012 20:32
- Written by Eloine Chesnut
Philip Sheridan WHITACRE, one of Madison township's well known and substantial farmers and landowners, proprietor of an excellent farm on rural mail route No. 3 out of Ft. Recovery (Ohio), is a native of the Buckeye state, but has been a resident of Jay county the greater part of his life. Mr. WHITACRE was born on a farm in Darke county, Ohio, May 24, 1867, and is a son of Robert B. and Rebecca ( HIESTAND ) WHITACRE, both of whom were born in that same county, the latter on October 8, 1847. daughter of Tobias and Elizabeth ( FOLTZ ) HIESTAND, the latter of whom was born in Virginia but was but a child when her parents, John FOLTZ and wife, moved with their family to Ohio. Tobias HIESTAND, who died in 1888, and who was for years well known throughout this section and in western Ohio as a traveling minister of the United Brethren church, was born in Fairfield county, Ohio, in 1815, and was a son of Samuel HIESTAND, a bishop of the United Brethren church, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1781 and who became one of the pioneers of Darke county, Ohio, where his last days were spent. Bishop Samuel HIESTAND did much toward the establishment of the United Brethren communion throughout this section of Indiana and in western Ohio and in his generation had a wide acquaintance among the pioneers of Jay county, even as had his son Tobias in the succeeding generation, and the memory of these two good men still persists in this community. Robert B. WHITACRE, an honored veteran of the Civil war, who died at his home in Jay county in 1921, was born in Darke county, Ohio, September 5, 1842, and was a son of Francis and Nancy ( REPLOGLE ) WHITACRE, both natives of that same state, the former born in Warren county and the latter in Darke county. Francis WHITACRE became a resident of Darke county when he was twenty years of age and the remainder of his life was spent there, his death occurring in 1901. His wife had preceded him to the grave in 1894. They were the parents of ten children and three of their sons served as soldiers of the Union during the Civil war. The late Robert B. WHITACRE was under twenty years of age when on August 15, 1862, he enlisted his services in behalf of the Union cause and went to the front as a member of Company H, 110th regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which was assigned to the Army of the Potomac, and with that gallant command he took part in the battle of Winchester, his admiration for Gen. Philip Sheridan, the hero of that engagement, later being reflected in the naming of his first son, the subject of this sketch. During this battle, June 15, 1863, Robert B. WHITACRE was taken prisoner by the enemy and was confined m the military prison at Richmond until the following November, when he was exchanged and rejoined his regiment at Culpeper Court House in time to participate in the battle of the Wilderness and in the succeeding campaigns before Petersburg and Cold Harbor, his special detail being that of a sharpshooter. He participated in the Grand Review at Washington at the close of the war and received his honorable discharge at Columbus, Ohio, July 2, 1865. Upon the completion of his military service Mr. WHITACRE returned to his home in Darke county and there on September 27, 1866, was united in marriage to Rebecca HIESTAND. He had been trained both as a carpenter and as a farmer and after his marriage he remained in Darke county, carrying on both vocations, until in April, 1881, when he came over into Indiana with his family and settled on a farm of 120 acres which he had previously bought in Madison township, this county. There he not only carried on his farming operations, but did much of the carpenter work and building done during that period in that neighborhood. When Mr. WHITACRE began to feel the weight of years he sold his farm and retired to a small tract of five acres on which he spent the remainder of his life in quiet comfort. He was past commander of Henry McLaughlin post of the Grand Army of the Republic at Salamonia and he and his wife were active members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he long served as class leader and steward. To Robert B. WHITACRE and wife were born thirteen children, all of whom are living save two, Charles S. who died in 1901, and one who died in infancy, the others besides the subject of this sketch being Francis Tobias, Mrs. Nancy Elizabeth DAVIS, Robert G., Edward M., William H., Samuel H., Mrs. Grace Myrtle BAKER, Mrs. Margaret Belle RICHARD, Mrs. Eleanor COOK and David Nathaniel. Philip Sheridan WHITACRE was fourteen years of age when his parents came to Jay county in 1881 and he completed his schooling in the Chapel school in Madison township. He early was trained in the craft of carpentry by his father and as an assistant to the latter both on the farm and in his building operations his youth was spent. When twenty-two years of age he went to Dayton, Ohio, and there became engaged in the Bamey & Smith car works, and was there thus engaged for about four years, at the end of which time he returned to Jay county and was here married. After his marriage Mr. WHITACRE rented a farm and for twelve years thereafter was engaged here as a tenant farmer. His wife inherited forty acres of the tract on which he is now living and he has since resided there. Since taking possession of this place Mr. WHITACRE has bought an adjoining tract of ten acres and has improved the place by the erection of new buildings, now having a very well equipped farm plant. He is also renting an adjoining "eighty" and is thus farming 130 acres, his sons being helpful factors in these operations. It was on December 24, 1892, that Philip S. WHITACRE was united in marriage to Maggie ARMSTRONG, who was born in Franklin county, Ohio, but was reared in Jay county, she having been but a child when her parents, Joshua and Emeline ( TRISH ) ARMSTRONG, of whom further and fitting mention is made elsewhere in this volume, became residents of Madison township, and her schooling was completed in the old school in district No. 1. To Philip S. and Maggie ( ARMSTRONG ) WHITACRE have been born seven children, Pearlie A., Clara M., Philip E., Dwight E., Charles L., Paul A. and Maggie E., all of whom are at home save the first born, Pearlie A., who married Earl Bickel, now farming in the neighboring county of Randolph, and has one child, a son, Sterling W. Mr. and Mrs. WHITACRE are members of the First Church of Christ at Ft. Recovery and he has been an elder of the church for about twenty-five years. He also is a member of the local lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Ft. Recovery. SOURCE: Milton T. Jay, M.D., History of Jay County Indiana, Historical Publishing Co., Indpls. 1922, Vol. II, pp.121-123. Transcribed by Eloine Chesnut.